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US cities close TRANSCRIPT: 3/16/20, The Rachel Maddow Show

Guests: Ian Lipkin, Stanley McChrystal, Chris Fussell, Daniel Goldman

RICK HASEN, AUTHOR, "ELECTION MELTDOWN": So a lot has to be put in the bill  to ensure that we don`t disenfranchise people and that, you know, the  election has integrity and safeguarded from tampering. 

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST:  Final question for you, Rick. How prepared is the  American election system on the whole to deal with exigencies like this? 

HASEN:  Well, I just wrote a book called "Election Meltdown" and that title  should tell you we`re not well-prepared at all. And now is a time for plan  B. Not just for this. 

HAYES:  Yes.

HASEN:  What about cyber attacks on our elections?

HAYES:  The book is great. It`s called "Election Meltdown". Rick Hasen,  thanks for being with me. 

That is "ALL IN" for this evening. 

THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW starts right now. 

Good evening, Rachel.

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST:  Extra thanks to you tonight, Chris. Thank you,  my friend. Much appreciated.

Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour as well. 

There has not been a top-down federally led response to the coronavirus  crisis in the United States. That hasn`t happened. That`s not been the way  that we have confronted this as a country. Although the president today did  finally at least speak about the crisis, in a tone that suggested he has  figured out that maybe this is something serious, and that`s an advance. 

The bulk of the nation`s response, though, to try to slow and contain and  cope with the pandemic has thus far been led by state and local officials,  even by businesses, in the absence of clear federal guidance. And you can  look at that as a sort of, you know, plucky, bottom-up, grassroots American  story about our can-do spirit and our entrepreneurial nature. 

But in practical terms, it`s a failure. And it means that despite  individual acts of heroism, and intelligence, and far-sightedness, and  well-informed decision making, here and there, despite good examples, again  here and there, that you can point to, in terms of how this has worked out  well, overall, what it means is that the U.S. response to this pandemic has  been patch work, uneven, internally contradictory, and thus far  ineffective. 

As the number of U.S. cases climbs over 4,000, and that is still with only  minimal testing nationwide, let alone in known hot spots, mayors and  increasingly governors, it`s interesting, are starting to arrive at sort of  the same place, in terms of what policies they`re instituting to try to  deal with this and that`s interesting because that hasn`t come from the top  down. Everybody`s freelancing. Everybody`s leading from the front, trying  to figure out what to do on their own terms. 

It`s therefore interesting that states, cities, regions, are starting to  vaguely coalesce around what we ought to do to try to slow, stop and attack  the virus. So, I`ll speak in general terms here knowing there will be some  places that are falling short of these measures and some places that are  being more aggressive.

But if you do want to try to generalize about what the American response to  coronavirus is now, you do have to look across the country, you have to  look at what the different states and cities and regions are doing, but  where you basically arrive at, now, on the 16th of March, 2020, is schools  by and large being closed, events of significant size by and large being  canceled, and initially, you know, state and local officials ordered the  cancellation of events with more than 500 people, and then it was more than  250 people, and then it was more than 100 people, and now, we`re down at  numbers more like 50 people, 25 people, even 10 people in terms of size of  gatherings and events that should be canceled and postponed.

Broadly speaking, we`re seeing the closure of indoor spaces of all kinds  that combine large numbers of people. So casinos, theaters, clubs, we`re  seeing widespread closures now, of bars and restaurants. Although in a lot  of jurisdictions, restaurants and bars are being allowed to stay open if  they transition to only takeout or only delivery, rather than allowing  people to congregate inside and consume food and drink on-site. 

And that distinction does sort of tow the line, between wholesale shutting  down that entire sector of our economy, while also trying to protect  patrons from being infected at those places of business. You can see how  policy makers arrived at that sort of compromise. But it does have a cost. 

If you leave restaurants and bars open, so that they can`t serve people who  congregate there on-site but they can prepare food for delivery and  takeout, that`s better in terms of patrons potentially being infected when  they congregate at a restaurant or a bar, but for people who work at  restaurants and bars, it also leaves in place the possibility that they may  be in an unsafe work environment, among their colleagues. People working in  restaurants and bars, preparing food, preparing stuff on-site, to be taken  out or delivered, those people are working on-site together, with their  colleagues, which is a cost, in terms of trying to limit the  epidemiological curve here. 

We`re also starting to see some state and local officials order the  shutdown of what they`re calling nonessential businesses, or nonessential  services, but that term is being defined very widely, and quite disparately  between different states and locations. I think as we head toward more and  more closures, more and more orders of things being shut down, you will see  that definition of what counts as a nonessential service, getting broader  and broader and you will see the number and types of businesses that are  allowed to stay open get smaller and smaller. 

And again, these are just the broad contours of what American officials are  starting to order, starting to recommend, to try to stop Americans from  transmitting this virus between us, or at least to slow down what appears  to be a raging and rapidly expanding outbreak in this country. But there is  no federal standard for what states should do, and for what cities should  do, and there hasn`t been from the beginning, and so the American response  to this catastrophe lurches along, inching some national standards some day  of what we`re going to do and how we`re going to do it.

But we really are, I mean, policy-wise and in terms of way we`re dealing  with this public health matter, we`re a blob inching along right now, sort  of finding ways forward, without clear direction. I mean, there is a  clearer view now than there was two or three days ago, in terms of what  measures were going to be tried in the United States. But it is still ad  hoc. 

Today, oddly, I`m not sure they meant to roll it out this way, but the  White House today released this sort of ad hoc photocopied, Microsoft Word  list of what they`re calling the president`s coronavirus guidelines for  America. It`s like a list of ideas attributed to the president. It`s like  weird word processing document with a bunch of different kinds of bullet  points and asterisks and notes and pieces of advice. 

Things that do seem helpful, but it`s not clear if this is now meant to be  the national plan, and who wrote this, in a spare five minutes today?

I mean, there are, from the White House today, in this odd document, there  are some clear points here, which is -- which is a good thing. Quote: If  you are an older person, stay home and away from other people. That is  clear. 

Quote: If someone in your household has tested positive for coronavirus,  keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work. Do not go to school.  Contact your medical provider. 

Quote: Even if you`re young or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your  activities can increase the risk for others. It`s critical that do you your  part to stop the spread of coronavirus. Work or engage in schooling from  home, whenever possible. 

Quote: Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than ten people. This ten- person cutoff was invented for this document, in this briefing today. After  the CDC just yesterday said the cutoff to be 50 people. OK. What counts as  federal guidance then? 

Also this. Quote: avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, or food  courts, use drive thru, pickup, or delivery options. 

Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits. Avoid  discretionary social visits. And shopping trips. And travel. 

Quote: Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands. Avoid touching your face.  Sneeze or cough into a tissue or inside of your elbow, disinfect frequently  used items and surfaces as much as possible. 

Quote: Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long term care  facilities, unless you`re providing critical assistance at one of those  facilities. 

Again, this was sort of unexpected, oddly formatted, uncredited document,  deliberated in the White House briefing room today. It`s not clear if this  is meant to guide policy all over the country, and if so, why the guidance  in that document was different than say what the CDC is recommending  officially as of just yesterday, but you know, this is how we`re handling  this. Everybody`s kind of freelancing, deciding on their own, what they  want to, do including the White House today. 

Tonight, as of midnight, Pacific Time, in California, the San Francisco Bay  Area, they`re moving to what they call a shelter in place order. It`s for  San Francisco City and County, Santa Clara County, San Mateo County, Contra  Costa County, Marin County, and Alameda County. 

And in all of those heavily-populated counties, everyone as of tonight is  being told to shelter in place for the next three weeks. As the mayor of  San Mateo explained today, bluntly, quote, everyone needs to go home and  stay home. These six counties in the Bay Area that are doing this, go home  and stay home, shelter in place order, those counties, I know you`re  thinking six county, why this little region, those six counties, include  collectively, nearly seven million people, which means this broad shelter  in place, go home, stay home order, which goes into effect tonight, this  affects a population that is larger than like 36 different states in this  country. 

And this Bay Area shelter in place order is the first place in the country  where they`re trying to enforce this kind of blanket quarantine. Where  everybody is told to go home and stay home, along the lines of what they`ve  done in Italy, what they`re newly doing in Spain, what they`re newly doing  in France. But just because the bay area is the first place to do that in  the United States, they`re not likely to be the last place to do that in  the United States. 

The decision to do this in the Bay Area today, was made after the Bay Area  recorded a spike in new cases. There`s about 250-plus cases now in the Bay  Area. But more than half of those cases were reported over the last four  days alone. So they`re saying a rapid uptick. 

And as that number of new cases in the Bay Area starts to shoot upwards,  they decided to take that dramatic new approach, to try to stop the virus.  We are likely to see that pattern in other places in the country. Not just  because that`s the way exponential growth works for a virus for each person  who has it on average is infecting two or three others, it is also because  the testing situation in the United States is so terrible, that as testing  is expanded, so late in the game, as testing is finally starting to roll  out, you will see a spike in the number of reported cases, which will leave  more jurisdictions around the country to find their way towards the type of  policy that six counties in northern California have unveiled tonight. 

But even as the Bay Area takes those new measures that we`re not seeing  other places yet, you should not think of California as being the place in  the country that is bearing the worst in the virus. The largest number of  cases in the United States is now in New York. We saw this coming last  week. Washington had been out in front in terms of the number of cases in  the country. 

Last week, we saw New York approach Washington, in terms of the number of  cases, and we saw New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warning at the end of last  week that New York would soon surpass Washington and have the most cases in  the country, and now they do, by a lot. Even without very much testing in  New York, or anyone in the country. 

The shape of the epidemiological curve in New York has led to widespread  fear that New York is heading rapidly toward an outcome like what we`ve  seen in northern Italy. Not just in terms of the large number of cases  we`ve seen in Italy, and the large number of deaths we`ve seen in Italy,  but specifically, there`s fear in New York, because of the trajectory of  the epidemic here. There is fear in New York, that New York health  facilities, New York hospitals, will soon be overwhelmed, which is what has  happened in northern Italy, which has been so much of the tragedy and the  collapse in northern Italy. 

Over the weekend, New York`s governor, Andrew Cuomo, requested that the  federal government take action immediately to try to avert that  possibility. He wasn`t asking for, you know, vague financial support or  some vague new federal leadership or some broad policy thing, he`s  specifically asking the federal government, the president, to order the  Army Corps of Engineers to start building hospital capacity immediately, in  the places most at risk of the hospitals being overrun. 

I will play you the clip of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. I want you to  hear this, almost unedited, I want you to hear it at length because not  only is I think he making a case in what you can hear, in terms of what the  federal government can do that no other jurisdiction can do, but he`s also  explaining a key point here, about why it is that the U.S. has fewer  hospital beds per population, than other industrialized countries. Why it  is that we are almost uniquely vulnerable to our hospitals being overrun,  to there being way more people who need hospital beds than can get them and  what that might mean in terms of this -- the face of this tragedy in this  country to come. 

This is worth watching. 


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D), NEW YORK:  They have tremendous capacity. This is  what they do. This is what they do. 

They build airports. They build bridges. They build hospitals. This is  exactly what they do. 

Deploy the Army Corps of Engineers, to come work with states, to build  temporary medical facilities. Get us back-up beds, so when the hospital is  overwhelmed, we can have some of the people who are in the hospital beds go  to a back-up medical facility. It makes all the sense in the world. 

And if you don`t do it, you know what is going to happen. You are going to  overwhelm the hospitals. You only have 53,000 hospital beds, you only have  3,000 ICU beds, why? Because our health system is basically a private  system. 

They don`t build capacity that they don`t need. They don`t build extra ICU  beds just in case. An intensive care bed is very expensive. They don`t  build a wing of ICU beds that sit vacant for 10 years on the off-chance  that there is going to be a public health emergency and you`ll need the  beds. 

They don`t. It`s not economic. It`s not the business model. We don`t have  them. 

We have the capacity that people use day in and day out and that`s not just  New York, that`s every state in the United States. You now have this influx  you can`t handle, you overwhelm the hospitals. 

You have people on gurneys in hallways, and that is what is going to happen  now, if we do nothing. That is what is going to happen now, if we do  nothing. We know what lies ahead. 

Look at the numbers from China, South Korea, and Italy. You don`t have to  guess. You just have to project. 

You compare those numbers, to our hospital capacity, and it`s still math at  the end of the day, and it doesn`t work. The federal government must do  this. 


MADDOW:  The federal government must do this. After making that urgent  case, for emergency federal government action, deploy the Army Corps of  Engineers, to build out more hospital capacity right now, after making that  urgent case, New York also announced today that they`re going to start  looking for facilities that they can transition immediately into  supplemental hospital capacity. 

Basically, they`re looking for places that they can set up temporary  facilities, or places they can re-purpose, to become hospital overflow,  right now, so that there`s some place to park people when the hospital beds  are suddenly full. And there are people who are coming in, who are in need  of urgent care, who are in need of intensive care, who are in need of  getting intubated and on ventilators and all the rest of it. 

The urgency of the case that New York officials are making now that New  York has more cases than anywhere in the country, what is honestly culpable  fear among New York officials, who are looking at the numbers, in New York  state, it almost can`t be overstated, I`ve seen public remarks today, from  New York officials, in a number of different levels and also had private  conversations, with New York officials, at a number of different levels,  the fear is palpable because they see this coming. 

And they see it coming in short term. Like over a matter of days. Not over  a matter of weeks. For all of the worrisome comparisons about what is  happening in New York, to what is happening in Italy, and we have been  watching the shape of those curves, I know that the raw numbers are  different here, between these two graphs, it is the shape of the  epidemiological upswing here which you see mirrored between New York and  Italy, it is the shape of the curve, that is so worrying here. 

But I should also mention, that in Italy, today they reported a 13 percent  rise in cases than just yesterday. And that sounds bad but that is actually  good in context because the 13 percent rise in new cases in one day, that`s  the lowest rise in new cases in one day since late last month when the  epidemic in Italy really started to take off. 

So 13 percent rise in new cases in one day is terrible for a disease that  kills as many people as this does. But if that`s an improvement, if in fact  Italy is slowing the rise in new cases, that is a hopeful sign, not only  for them, but for us, because while Italy has now settled into to what is a  long running nationwide lockdown, effectively a nationwide quarantine, if  it turns out that nationwide lockdown is working, if it is really slowing  the spread of the epidemic there, if it is potentially stopping the  expansion of the collapse of the Italian health care system, if it is  stopping the overrunning of more Italian hospitals, if they are finally  coming around the curve around that, well then that is something to build  on, because that`s kind of what we`re planning on doing, too. That`s kind  of where we`re heading. 

I mean as of tonight, we`ve got, in our country, our first broad-based  shelter in place order affecting millions of people in the San Francisco  Bay Area. Other American cities, other American states have not moved to  that yet. But if that turns out to be effective, that may become the next  point on the number line, that state and local officials start to coalesce  around. And our patch work off the cuff, catch as catch can, no compass, no  leadership, here and there American response. 

I mean at the core, the American -- if you want one story of the American  response, policy is all over the map, but if you want one story about the  American response, it remains the fact that testing is still almost  impossible to get. And that remains the hallmark of America`s disastrous  handling of this crisis. 

This is the director general of WHO today. 


DR. TEDROS A. GHEBREYESUS, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION DIRECTOR-GENERAL:  The  most effective way to prevent infections and save lives is breaking the  chains of transmission. And to do that, you must test and isolate. You  cannot fight a fire blindfolded. And we cannot stop this pandemic if we  don`t know who is infected. 

We have a simple message for all countries -- test, test, test. Test every  suspected case. If they had -- if they test positive, isolate them, and  find out who they have been in close contact with, two days before they  developed symptoms, and test those people, too. 


MADDOW:  Simple message for all countries. Test, test, test. Every  suspected case that they test positive, isolate them. And find out who  they`ve been in close contact with, from two days before they developed  symptoms and go test those people too and if those people tested positive,  isolate them and then test their contacts, too. 

That`s the World Health Organization. A message for every country -- test,  test, test. America cannot get that done. I mean, even as testing is slowly  starting to come online, and some places in the United States, we are so  far from being able to respond the way the World Health Organization says  every country must. 

And the way that every country has gotten anywhere near containing this  thing has already behaved. We are not testing every suspected case. People  who are desperately suspected cases are having an incredibly different time  getting tested. That means we`re not isolated everybody who could be  positive. That means we`re not contacting -- tracing everyone -- each  person who the infected person has been in contact with, we are not doing  any of it because we can`t do the first step of that.

And one of the consequences of that is that we haven`t build up the  capacity or even the expectation of what to do with positive people. We  don`t have the capacity. We don`t have the expectation, that we will need  to have adequate facilities to isolate everybody who needs to be isolated,  because we have no idea who they are. No idea how many they are, because  the lack of coronavirus testing in America, even this far into it, it is  the fundamental fiasco at the heart of all of this. Thank you, federal  government. 

So we`re going to talk about a few things over the course of the hour.  We`re going to talk with one of the world`s leading infectious disease  epidemiologists about whether we might be happenstance starting to coalesce  around policies that could make a dent. We`re going to talk this hour with  somebody who you have a great deal of respect for who himself has tested  positive for coronavirus and has been ill with it and is now recovering.

And we`re going to talk tonight with a couple of experts who are doing some  very hard thinking and starting to give some interesting advice, on what it  means for the American economy to be lobbing the doors and going home,  which is what is happening all over the country, as people stop working in  their workplaces and instead work alone from their own homes. 

I mean that`s not just a meta story. Yes, the stock market dropped 3,000  points today. And yes, airline industry analysts said today that the entire  U.S. airline industry may be out of business by May if they are not  wholesale bailed out by the federal government. I mean, we are in the  middle of what is effectively an economic nuclear blast. 

But the way those of us on the ground are living, it for the most part, is  we`re being sent home to do our work the best we can, alone, away from our  colleagues and everyone else in our field. So, we`re going to talk tonight  -- talk tonight about how sustainable that is, and how likely that is to  evolve over time, when we finally settle into the fact that this isn`t  going to be a snow day. This isn`t going to be a long weekend or a week or  ten days or some kind of extended spring break. This is going to be a long  while. 

Nobody`s going to descend from Washington to lead us here. It is going to  be innovation and resolve and creativity and resilience and incredibly hard  work, and tons and tons of pain and heartache, from all of us, that`s going  to be our national response. 

So let`s talk about how we`re going to do it. We`ll be right back. 


MADDOW:  Five days ago, state and local officials in the San Francisco Area  banned all gatherings of a thousand or more people. That is until three  days ago, when they banned gatherings of 100 or more people. And then  today, they ordered residents of San Francisco and five other counties to  shelter in place, to stay at home, full stop. 

San Francisco is not alone here in terms of coming up with one standard for  combating the spread of coronavirus and then ripping it up and coming up  with the next one, coming up with a new one the next day. As lots of places  around the country try to figure out how they`re going to respond to, this  and everybody comes up with their own nuanced response, for how they think  they need to deal, here is what I want to know. 

Having this patch work of standards and strategies, from place to place and  day to day, is it as bad as it seems? It seems bad. But if you think about  this like an epidemiologist, do you look at that and think about that as  people test-driving stuff that other people now need to start around the  country, or do you see it as a stumbling around in the dark? 

Well, Dr. Ian Lipkin is the director for the Center of Inspection and  Immunity at Columbia University School of Public Health. He`s one of the  world`s leading infectious disease epidemiologists.

Dr. Lipkin, thank you so much for being here tonight.


MADDOW:  So, let me ask you first if I have said anything tonight that  strikes you as wrong or wrong-headed in a way. 

LIPKIN:  No, I think you have said what needs to be said.

The one thing I would -- I would emphasize is that there`s no reason to  test drive this in the Bay Area. It`s already being test-driven in China.  This is how the outbreak was shut down in Hubei province, in Wuhan. That  was the shelter in place we`re talking about here as being novel. It is not  novel. 

At some point as you pointed out, we wind up edging toward fewer people  sheltering in place, starting with large gatherings, and smaller and  smaller, and why don`t we just go there all at once? If we go there all at  once, then we will truncate the time required to actually get out of this  mess. 

MADDOW:  So if it is a sort of epidemiological, from an epidemiological  perspective, it`s the sort of gold standard that people should shelter in  place, stay home, not get to together, what I worry about in a society with  almost no testing, are you guaranteeing that people who are positive right  now and don`t know it are going to infect other family member with whom  they are sheltering in place? 

LIPKIN:  That`s part of the price. You have to get them out of the  community. There is no other way. 

What you said earlier about testing, being essential, it is the point. And  that`s one of the reasons why in our center, we focus on testing. We refer  to it as medical intelligence. This is what allows us to make informed  decisions. 

Without testing, we don`t have informed decisions. Now, one of the problems  we have with tests is we may assume that all tests are equivalent and  they`re not. Some tests give you false negatives. If you have a false  negative, that`s a big problem, because then you have a sense of security  and complacency, and to put people together who shouldn`t be together. 

But you do know that if in fact you move this direction, and say we`re  going to shelter in place, we`re going to isolate people, we`re going to  prevent the continued spread, then you will indeed flatten that curve that  you`ve shown. And that`s exactly what we need to do. 

Now, there`s some other things that we can do, too. We can begin to look at  a variety of medications that look like they might be helpful. We need, for  example, there`s one drug that is oral, called hydroxyquinoline, which is,  which may in fact be useful, as a preventive measure. We know that  antibodies that people have when they convalesce can prevent disease. 

We`re not investing enough in tried and true classical sort of methods  repurposing drugs and strategies that have already been shown to work. Most  of our investment is in things that are sexy and new and patentable. 

MADDOW:  Patentable. 

LIPKIN:  Right. We`re in the middle of a public health crisis and we need  to start with what works. 

MADDOW:  Let me ask you this to reiterate something that I think you  already made clear but I want to underscore, it you believe that the kinds  of measures that have been announced tonight for six counties, in the San  Francisco Bay Area, should be instituted nationwide. 

LIPKIN:  Yes. 

MADDOW:  Right away. 

Do you believe that the U.S. is capable of doing that? If that was decided  at the federal level that`s what everybody should do, do you think we`re  capable of doing it? 

LIPKIN:  Well, the president seems to be capable of doing whatever the  president really wants to do, including some things that surprised me  sometimes. And I -- you know, he is, my president irrespective --  

MADDOW:  All of us.

LIPKIN:  -- of political differences and it is an opportunity to step up  and do the right thing, and he has advisers who tell him things, they`re  not palatable, necessarily, but we`re going to go through this pain  irrespective of whether we do it in one fell swoop or decide to slowly pull  off this band-aid, it`s going to hurt as you say, but we should do it. 

MADDOW:  Dr. Ian Lipkin is the director of Center for Infection and  Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, thank you  so much, sir. I know that you -- it`s -- you have a lot of work to do and  you taking the time to talk to the media right now is part of your public  service. Thank you. 

LIPKIN:  My pleasure. Thank you.

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


MADDOW:  There are a lot of Americans who have to keep coming to during  this pandemic. There`s a lot of Americans who are losing their work because  of this pandemic and then there are the tons and tons and tons of Americans  who are being sent home to kind of work through this pandemic or at least  for now. 

That working remotely idea may become the new American way of school, way  of work, and way of life, not just for the short term. And this is going to  be profoundly important, not only for what the economy becomes after this,  but for what our lives are like in the meantime. 

General Stanley McChrystal worked for decades for the world`s biggest  employer, the U.S. Department of Defense. He was commander of the Joint  Special Operations Command in the years after 9/11, when the war on  terrorism suddenly turned to what was a centralized top-down organizational  effort into something very different, and hundreds of thousands of discrete  groups, some as small teams as two or three people flown all over the world  while still trying to maintain cohesion and work toward the same strategic  aims. 

General McChrystal first went on to become commander of U.S. forces in  Afghanistan. He`s now founder and CEO of the McChrystal Group.

The president of the McChrystal Group is former Navy SEAL officer, Chris  Fussell, who also happens to be my friend, who I`ve had a lot of  conversations with about this since this thing started.

General McChrystal and Chris Fussell join us.

Sir, gentlemen, thank you very much for being here. 



MADDOW:  The reason I wanted to have you two on here tonight is because I  feel like a lot of Americans are adjusting to a new normal in which, normal  in which we feel we`re working in a way that doesn`t feel effective. We are  just waking up to the fact that it is going to be for a very long time and  in lots and lots of different business environments, we`re realizing that  this might be the most challenging business environment we`ve ever worked  in as the U.S. economy comes to a collapse. 

I want to talk to you guys about leadership in that context and business  organizations and the work environment and how you help people be good at  what they`re doing through these kinds of changes. 

FUSSELL, RETIRED NAVY SEAL OFFICER:  Yes, maybe I`ll throw in some opening  comments, Rachel, just to having been on the ground and the receiving end  of this, when Stanley McChrystal started to put this into practice. We were  like any other organization, very big top-down structure, with small teams,  you met at central headquarters, folks went out into the field and did  their jobs and came back and checked in.

And he had to radically transform that into, as you described, into this  incredibly decentralized network and the similarities between what forced  that, the spread of an ideology through human networks versus what is  happening now, a spread of a disease through human networks, it is very  similar. So, whether we like it or not, this digital leadership, leaders  having to do this, staring into screens for six, seven, eight hours a day  and communicate with their people is a new norm. How long it`s going to  last remains to be seen, but leaders have to start moving quickly to get  ahead of this new state of work culture. 

MADDOW:  And, General McChrystal, you talked about how the shift to an  environment in which you`re not working alongside all of your colleagues,  you`re all in disparate environments, all your own separate geographic  locations can lead to an immediately, at least in the short term, before  you adopt, a loss of effectiveness. I think Americans all over the country  right now are feeling that, as they start to realize that while it`s cool  to be able to work from your couch, they can`t get anything done nearly  like they used to, before they got sent home. 

MCCHRYSTAL:  I think that`s right. Because we can graph out how our  operation works on paper but in reality an awful lot of it happens around  the coffee pot or in the water cooler or in the halls, a lot of the  direction that we give, a lot of the guidance that people take, a lot of  the wisdom that you learn, of how to do your job, it comes from interacting  with other people, very informally.

And a lot of that confidence you get to do your job often comes from that  interaction, and the feedback from your bosses or your peers or your  subordinates. All of that human factor has got to be replicated virtually,  and it doesn`t just come naturally. It`s got to be with something that we  ended up calling in JSOC, digital leadership, and it was something that we  had to learn from the top as Chris described. 

MADDOW:  Chris, one of the things that you talked about as people are going  through this transition is the fact that the type of disparate physical  space that we need to operate in now requires a lot of I.T. backbone,  literally, we need better Internet connections, we need better top logical  resources that allow us to connect. Certainly, working in the news  business, we`re experienced that with the work from the road capacity is  already tapped and more and more people are going home every day. 

FUSSELL:  Yes, that`s right. And I`m sure for leaders out there, your head  of I.T. is standing or trying to get on your schedule to walk you through  the status. So, take time, sit down with those folks, do a survey of what`s  on hand, what are your digital tools, what are your bandwidth, state of  bandwidth for home systems, do you have secure systems to be able to  transfer files. 

All of these things that we can take for granted, run back to the office  and take care of, when that`s removed from us, we can be in a pretty dire  straits very quickly. So, make sure you`re looking at your digital  backbone. Are you ready to go remote? 

We didn`t have that in place in the service. I mean I didn`t have a laptop  assigned to me on 9/11. That`s how much McChrystal had to transform this  organization and that took years to get to. Businesses need to get ahead of  that question right now. 

MADDOW:  Chris Fussell, former Navy SEAL commander, General Stanley  McChrystal, former commander at U.S. JSOC, I really appreciate you being  here tonight. You guys operating in the business space after having been in  the military space gives us a unique angle from which to look at these  things. Thanks for being here tonight. 

MCCHRYSTAL:  Thanks, Rachel. 

FUSSELL:  Thanks, Rachel.

MADDOW:  All right. Coming up next, we`re going to be speaking with  somebody who you probably know who has the virus, who has been sick with  it, is now recovering, and has an amazing tale about how difficult it was  to get tested for it. Stay with us. That`s next. 



DANIEL GOLDMAN, FORMER HOUSE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY MAJORITY COUNSEL:   President Trump`s persistent and continuing effort to coerce a foreign  country to help him cheat to win an election is a clear and present danger  to our free and fair elections, and to our national security. 


MADDOW:  Daniel Goldman is a former prosecutor for the southern district of  New York. Starting in February of last year, through just this month, he  worked as the top lawyer for Democrats on the Intelligence Committee. He  helped author the nearly 300-page House impeachment report on President  Trump, he was the lead staffer on the impeachment investigation, he was the  key lawyer examining and cross-examining witnesses during the impeachment  hearings. That`s Dan Goldman. You know Dan Goldman. 

That`s the reason we all got a pit in our stomach when we learned late last  week from Dan Goldman`s Twitter feed that he had a fever, a headache, and a  negative flu test. He couldn`t rule out coronavirus because nobody was  giving him a coronavirus test. He kept tweeting his updates in pursuit of a  coronavirus test, ultimately deciding that he could drive up to a location  in Connecticut, at 4:45 in the morning, to try to get a curb-side test,  quite far from where he lives. 

Well, we found out over the weekend that that test came back positive.  There is good news though. Daniel Goldman is going to be OK. He is at home,  he is quarantined and resting and he is well enough to take a little time  to talk to us about what he`s been through right now. 

Dan Goldman, thank you so much for being here, joining us by Skype. It`s  great to see you. 

GOLDMAN:  Good to see you, Rachel. Thanks for having me. 

MADDOW:  Tell us how you`re feeling and what your odyssey has been like in  terms of how sick you`ve been. 

GOLDMAN:  I`m feeling much better, almost back to normal. It was probably  about three days of what felt like pretty bad flu-like symptoms. A fever, a  headache, and that is what coronavirus is. It`s similar to the flu. And  those were the symptoms that I had that obviously in this time take on  greater meaning and greater concern, than when my flu test came back  negative, it felt like the only thing to do that I needed to do was figure  out whether I had coronavirus. Unfortunately, that was a lot more difficult  than I expected. 

MADDOW:  You know, you ended up driving in the pre-dawn hours up to a curb- side testing facility in Connecticut. I mean, you went through a whole  odyssey to try to get tested, anyway you could and ultimately that is the  way you found to ultimately thread the needle. 

GOLDMAN:  Yes. I mean, part of it was, I started trying to get a test and  felt like I was just going to continue because it felt like it was  important to do. I had very much in the front of my mind President Trump`s  assertion that anyone who wanted a test could get a test. And that was  completely not the case with me. I suspect it`s completely not the case  with very many people. 

And so I started going public with my efforts to highlight the fact that it  is not the case that you can get a test, you have, you played a clip from  Dr. Tedros today, saying the best way to handle an epidemic or a pandemic,  is to test, test, test. 

That`s clear, I`m not a doctor, but that seems obvious and its very  frustrating I kept getting turned away from everywhere I went in New York. 

MADDOW:  Dan, I know you said that your wife has been experiencing symptoms  similar to yours. Is it true that she also hasn`t been able to get a test  in New York? 

GOLDMAN:  She was able to get a test because she obviously had known  contact with me after I tested positive. One of the real barriers to my  getting a test is that I could not identify a known positive carrier that I  came into contact with and without that, I didn`t meet the criteria to get  a test. 

She obviously met the criteria. She has had similar flu-like symptoms over  the weekend, is also getting better but a few days behind me in her  recovery. But both of us are on the other side. 

I`d just like to point out, this is -- it`s a virus, but it`s not an  affliction, I don`t have a scarlet CV across my forehead. It is very deadly  strain of a virus that needs to be addressed and dealt with, and it`s very  sad that we`re at the point now where your earlier guest says we need to  essentially shut down the country for two weeks in order to deal with this.  That could have been prevented if we had enough tests from get-go and we  had that opportunity. 

MADDOW:  Daniel Goldman, former senior advisor and director of  investigations at the House Intelligence Committee, I`m happy to see your  face. We`ve all been very worried about you ever since you`ve been talking  about this publicly. I hope that your wife feels better soon and we look  back -- we look forward to having you here onset when we`re on the other  side of this. 

GOLDMAN:  Thanks very much for having me, Rachel. 

MADDOW:  All right. Thanks a lot.

We`ll be right back. Stay with us.


MADDOW:  Here is news from Earth 2, where the biggest thing going on over  there is the presidential race and not the global pandemic. Tonight in the  Democratic presidential primary, NBC News is projecting that Joe Biden has  won in Washington state, where they voted back on March 10th, which is less  than a week ago but feels like several lifetimes ago. 

Vice President Biden leads Senator Bernie Sanders in Washington state by  about a point and a half. And NBC does project that Biden will be the  winner. As a matter of context, it was Senator Sanders who won Washington  over Hillary Clinton in 2016 by about 40 something points. But he`s lost it  this time to Vice President Biden. 

Now we have more states that are wrestling with how to hold an election as  the coronavirus crisis really brings daily life in many ways to a halt in  this country. On Friday, Louisiana was the first state to announce they  postponed their primary election scheduled for next month and Georgia  announced the same thing over the weekend.

And tonight, Kentucky announced that they delayed their contest as well. 

But amazingly, up until today, the election officials for the four states  that are voting tomorrow all said they would go ahead more or less as  planned -- Arizona, Ohio, Florida and Illinois. That has been through some  turbulence over the course of the afternoon and into the evening. Polling  places in Ohio filled up this weekend with long lines of people trying to  vote early. 

Upon seeing that, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, who`s been aggressive in  trying to fight the coronavirus epidemic, announced that he would try to  postpone in person voting tomorrow to take place instead in June. Governor  DeWine said, quote: We cannot tell people to stay inside but also tell them  to go out and vote. The Ohio governor said he did not believe there was  anyway to stay within CDC guidelines for how to deal with the pandemic  while also holding in person voting in Ohio tomorrow. 

Now, that said, the governor in Ohio doesn`t have the power to delay  elections on his own. What he did instead, was he supported a lawsuit that  was filed by some people vulnerable to the virus who had opposed the plan  for tomorrow`s primary. Well, tonight, an Ohio judge has rejected the  proposal to delay tomorrow`s primary, despite the sort of urgency with  which the governor has made that case so at least, we think right now, that  Ohio`s primary election is going to go ahead tomorrow alongside Illinois  and Florida and Arizona. 

That said, tonight Arizona secretary of state has released a statement  saying the vote should go ahead in Arizona because, quote, the longer we  wait, the more difficult and dangerous it could become. 

Tonight, Democratic Party Chairman Tom Perez told Chris Hayes here on MSNBC  that there should be an expansion of vote by mail options in all the  remaining states wherever practical. How exactly that would happen, we  don`t know, but as of right now, primary elections are a go tomorrow in  Ohio, we think, Florida, Arizona and Illinois. At least as best they can. 

Watch this space. 


MADDOW:  That`s going to do it for us tonight. Thanks for being with us. 

I do want to tell you that tomorrow -- tomorrow night, believe it or not,  we`re going to have special election coverage starting here at 7:00 p.m.  Eastern. I`ll be hosting alongside Brian Williams. We`ll see how that goes.  It seems like every day these days is sort of a lifetime in news terms but  we`ll be here from 7:00 Eastern tomorrow night covering those four  primaries in Florida, Ohio, Illinois and Arizona, including the interesting  question as to whether or not those primaries will actually happen. 


Good evening, Lawrence.

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