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Transcript: The 11th Hour with Brian Williams, November 10, 2020

Guests: Tim Ryan, Stephen Sample


Donald Trump escalates fight to resist conceding to Joe Biden. Biden dismisses Trump's refusal to concede. Biden pledges to protect Obamacare. Many Republicans refuse to recognize Biden's win. U.S. surpasses one million new confirmed coronavirus cases in first 10 days of November. Drugmaker Pfizer said an early look at data from its coronavirus vaccine shows it is more than 90 percent effective.


LAWRENCE O'DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: Jon Ossoff, Democratic candidate for Senate in Georgia. Thank you for joining us tomorrow night. The other Democratic candidate for Senate in Georgia, Raphael Warnock will join us. That is tonight's LAST WORD. "THE 11TH HOUR" with Brian Williams starts now.

BRIAN WILLIAMS, MSNBC HOST: Well, good evening, once again. Day 1,391 of the Trump administration, 71 days to go until the inauguration. That brings us to the transition to a Biden administration. That's being held up. That's because the incumbent president is questioning the election results, potentially triggering a colossal constitutional crisis. He hasn't spoken in public since last week, although we may see him tomorrow at a Veterans Day event at Arlington National Cemetery.

Trump still maintains he did not lose the presidential race, writing this morning, we will win. But tonight The New York Times reports it has contacted election officials from both parties in almost every state who said there was no evidence of fraud or other irregularities.

Nothing has changed the central fact tonight that Joe Biden is the president-elect of the United States. Today, he said his transition team is indeed moving forward.


JOE BIDEN, (D) U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: The ability for the administration in any way by failure to recognize and submit as -- our win does not change the dynamic at all what we're able to do. We can get through without the funding. I don't see a need for the election, quite frankly.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What do you say to the Americans that are anxious over the fact that President Trump has yet to concede and what that might mean for the country?

BIDEN: Well, I just think it's an embarrassment. Quite frankly, the only thing that -- how can I say this tactfully? I think it will not help the President's legacy.


WILLIAMS: Biden is still ahead of Trump by more than 257,000 votes in the states where lawsuits have been filed to challenge the results. Biden is leading by over 4.9 million in the total vote, the popular vote. And while the math appears not to be working in Trump's favor, there are new signs of the Trump administration's role in blocking this transition to the president-elect.

NBC News has confirmed the Washington Post reporting that the White House Budget Office has directed federal agencies to go ahead and continue preparing the Trump administration budget proposal for the next fiscal year.

NBC News also reporting Trump loyalists have now been installed in top positions at the Pentagon. One day after the firing by tweet of the Defense Secretary and the resignation of several other senior officials.

And over at the State Department Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo made this rather bold statement.


MIKE POMPEO, SECRETARY OF STATE: There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration. Right, we're ready. The world is watching what's taking place. We're going to count all the votes.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: This department frequently sends out statements encouraging free and fair elections abroad.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And for the losers of those elections to accept the results. Doesn't President Trump's refusal to concede discredit those efforts?

POMPEO: That's ridiculous. And you know, it's ridiculous, you asked it because it's ridiculous.


WILLIAMS: That is America's top diplomat on the world stage. President-elect Biden who's already taken calls from six foreign leaders, including some of our closest allies dismissed Pompeo's remark.


BIDEN: So far, there is no evidence of any of the assertions made by the President or sec. State Pompeo, Secretary State Pompeo.


WILLIAMS: Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, Senate Republicans and their Leader Mitch McConnell for the most part, backing the President in their refusal to publicly recognize Biden as the president-elect.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator, did Vice President Biden win the election?

SEN. RICHARD SHELBY (R-AL): We don't know yet. It hasn't been certified.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator, have you congratulated Vice President Biden yet?



JOHNSON: Nothing to congratulate him about.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Have you spoken to Vice President Biden yet?


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you believe he won the election?

SEN. ROY BLUNT, (R) MISSOURI: President wasn't defeated by huge numbers. In fact, he may not have been defeated at all.


WILLIAMS: That last guy there is Senator Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri. You just heard him say he may not have been defeated at all, talking about the president. He's actually Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on inaugural ceremony, so he might be getting busy here soon.

There is also growing concern tonight about the impact of the highly charged transition crisis on our national security. Another piece in The Washington Post notes current and former officials fear that Trump may be inclined to disclose highly classified information for his own purposes. House Democrats are now demanding Trump officials keep and preserve all records that may be subject to congressional subpoenas or investigations.

Amid all this, the Supreme Court today heard that much anticipated case involving the latest challenge to Obamacare, two key conservative members of the court, the Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh signaled they'd be less than inclined to get rid of the entire law.


JOHN ROBERTS, CHIEF JUSTICE: I think it's hard for you to argue that Congress intended the entire act of fall if the mandate were struck down. When the same Congress had lowered the penalty to zero, did not even try to repeal the rest of the Act. I think, frankly, that they wanted the court to do that. But that's not our job. I tend to agree with you on it. It's a very straightforward case for severability under our precedents, meaning that we would excise the mandate and leave the rest of the act in place.


WILLIAMS: And late today, Joe Biden spoke out about this case before the court and promised to protect the health care law.


BIDEN: This case represents the latest attempt by the far right at logs to do what they've been repeatedly failed to do for a long time. And the courts and the Congress and the court of public opinion, regardless of the outcome of this case, I promise you this, beginning on January 20, the Vice President-elect Harris and I, we're going to do everything in our power to ease the burden of health care on you and your family. I promise you that. As I said, I will protect your health care like I protect my kids, with my own family.


WILLIAMS: One last thing to note here as we watch the battle over the transition, it was exactly four years ago today that Barack Obama welcomed Donald Trump to the White House after Trump won the election, and was beginning to plan his own tradition. We were also reminded it was exactly 12 years ago today, when the Bushes were graceful hosts to the Obamas at the White House.

Given all that let's bring in our leadoff discussion on a Tuesday night, Jill Colvin, White House Reporter for The Associated Press, Robert Costa, National Political Reporter for The Washington Post, also Moderator of Washington Week over on PBS, and Jeremy Bash, Former Chief of Staff at CIA and the Pentagon, Former Chief Counsel to the House Intel Committee.

Good evening, and welcome to you all. Jill, I'll read this to you from our friends over at the Washington Post. "Trump met with advisors again Tuesday afternoon to discuss whether there is a path forward set a person with knowledge of the discussions, he is all over the place, it changes from hour to hour, the person said, does that match with your reporting, Jill?

JILL COLVIN, ASSOCIATED PRESS WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yeah, I mean, you've got a situation here where the President and the people around him are really torn. You've got some folks, many folks at the White House who realize, this is over. We had an election, Vice President -- former Vice President Joe Biden is the president-elect of the United States. And that's what the numbers show.

You've also got people around the president like Rudy Giuliani, like his sons, like you know, some other outside allies, we're really egging him on here. And there seems to be a recognition that this legal effort is not really going to go anywhere. But nonetheless, people, including the President see benefits here. Number one, you've got a president with a very volatile temper, and this is something that energize going, that kind of satisfies his ego, by pretending some of the time that maybe this really isn't over.

But you also have his very powerful base, and you bet a lot of Republicans as you're seeing there, we're very nervous about potentially turning off those voters when it comes time for them to vote again, you know, we've got two very competitive runoff elections coming up in Georgia. And the last thing Republicans like Mitch McConnell wants to see is to turn off Trump's voters and potentially lose control of the Senate. We've also got a president who's on his future here whether that is a media organization, whether that is potentially running again in 2024, which is something that he has openly discussed, so it benefits him politically, to keep those people engaged and to look like he's fighting.

WILLIAMS: Robert Costa, it boggles the mind to think that in another era, these men and women would have jumped into Normandy for us. I've never seen so many full grown adults. So scared of one man in all of your reporting, are any Republican stepping forward to say Donald Trump lost this election?

ROBERT COSTA, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Republicans right now, Brian, are not so much focused on fear of President Trump who they believe could actually be irrelevant in some respects, early next year. They're focused on their own power. And they're using President Trump to build on Jill's point as a way of keeping the Senate majority.

And they believe if you look at a state like Georgia, that is fast changing new demographics, a growing Latino and Asian American population strong growing group of white liberals, traditional Democratic voters of black Americans in the city of Atlanta, they see a state that could be falling out of their grasp, and President-elect Biden's pulling ahead and Georgia in the latest count by thousands of votes. And because of that they need to stoke grievances in the suburbs of Atlanta, with white voters. And that's part of this play right now, by Republicans. They are fully aware that President Trump may have been defeated. They see the math as well as anyone in conversations privately, they're acknowledging the math, but they also believe President Trump controls the voters, the voters control them, and they're really in thrall to this president and their own voters. And they're not willing to step up at this point. Even the establishment types Leader McConnell, Senator Blunt, unwilling to step up and confront this president, and they believe they have this excuse about certification, even though the race has been called.

WILLIAMS: Boy in thrall is the right phrase to use. Jeremy Bash, I want to read you something from a name from our not so distant past Alexander Vindman. He writes, and this is important because he name checks your former job title. In the last 24 hours, the Secretary of Defense, Undersecretary of defense for policy, Under Secretary of Defense for Intel have been sacked. Trump loyalists now sent in the one three and four slots at DOD. Kash. Patel is the DOD Chief of Staff. Why? Jeremy Bash I'm hoping you can take a swing at this and tell us what is going on inside the Pentagon?

JEREMY BASH, FORMER, CIA CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, the DOD Chief of Staff, Brian, is the person who's in charge of the DOD transition. And so what I think the Trump team is trying to do is they're trying to install loyalists to try to frustrate the transition. But a couple of points number one is nothing will slow down. Nothing will frustrate, nothing will delay the Biden-Harris transition.

They are already receiving phone calls from world leaders. They've rolled out today 125 national security professionals across the IC, DOD, DHS, the State Department and the National Security Council who will be responsible for the transition. And those are professionals who actually know more and will know more on day one about national security and the Trump team will know after four years, but what I think Trump is trying to do is he's trying to and it's scary. Frankly, he's trying to potentially undermine national security over the next 71 days.

Now, we don't exactly understand his endgame. We know he's trying to frustrate the transition. But as he tried to do something potentially more dangerous, is he trying to trigger a conflict with an adversary? Is he trying to plant false information about foreign interference? Is he just trying to declassify and release information that supports his own Russian narrative at this hour, Brian, we don't exactly know what he's up to. And if you see other dominoes fall, if you see Gina Haspel at CIA, or Chris Wray at the FBI fall, I think there's going to be a lot to be worried about.

WILLIAMS: Jill Colvin, let's pick up on Jeremy's you know, ominous point. Is this, in all the reporting you've done? Is there any indication that the next 71 days won't be just like this? And do you have any finer read than Robert, on adults who are willing to rise up?

COLVIN: I mean, at some point, one would hope that the people around the president that leaders on Capitol Hill would eventually look around, see the reality of the numbers and realize that this isn't just about the President's ego. It's not just about politics. There are serious consequences here. A government transition is supposed to be underway now. The President is slowing that down. GSA this Government Services Administration has not given the go ahead to indicate that there has been a result. Word has come from the White House to every government agency saying do not assist the Biden people if they call you, do not help them. You know, each of those agencies has these very comprehensive briefing books that they've been putting together that they're supposed to be passing down so that when the advise Biden administration comes in, they can start from day one that hasn't happened, you know, Vice President, former Vice President Biden is making calls now to foreign leaders were congratulating him, but that's not being done by the State Department. You've got intelligence briefings. Very, you know, you're important for national security matters that need to be discussed that are supposed to be right now, there's conversations taking place that are all because the president is preventing the government from acting and accepting the truth.

WILLIAMS: And, Robert, back to the point you started on the Trump party, there are reports that Don Jr. wants to run the party perhaps in concert with Kimberly Guilfoyle. The President very much wants to remain the chief spokesperson, the focal point you could argue Republicans have sold over control of their party to Donald Trump four years ago, considering Trump got more votes this time than last time, if you're them, why not?

COSTA: When you use the terms sold over, Brian, you imply that it's transactional. And in some ways, there is a transaction, Republicans are getting judicial nominations, a tax cut, they've had other wins as policy wise, through their alliance with President Trump, but it is not a transactional relationship at its core. It's a relationship of submission. This is a republican party that when they hear stories about Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend, Ms. Guilfoyle, thinking about taking over the Republican National Committee, what four or five years ago may have prompted a chuckle, now prompts blank stares, because they know the President has taken over the party, his family is that's -- its senior positions inside of this White House, the President has talked about his children as possible political heirs. And this is a Republican Party that while they have scored some gains, by being part of this whole arrangement, they also know that they don't really have a strategy to make it go away.

And what we're seeing right now in real time is the Republican Party dealing with this, and not really knowing how to move forward. They don't necessarily believe President Trump's helpful to have a national coalition. They also don't believe they can really rally their voters in the same way without him.

WILLIAMS: Jeremy Bash, somebody posted on Twitter, the headline and now a speech from the leader of the free world. It was the remarks by Angela Merkel, I'm tempted to keep repeating every night the whole world is watching Joe Biden may modestly say as he did today, it's not a big deal that he's not already receiving the PDB, the Presidential Daily Brief. It's not a big deal, that the machinery of the transition isn't coming his way. He's going to continue with their work. But indeed, Jeremy, the whole world is watching and can see this.

BASH: And I agree with the president elect nothing will prevent him from assuming office on January 20. But when the world sees what's going on here, and they understand that incoming officials at the Department of Defense may not get that briefing about nuclear command control, or may not get that briefing about how to shoot down an incoming ballistic missile. That emboldens our adversaries and if they try to steal a march on us because they sense weakness. They'll be Donald Trump's responsibility and his own fault. And frankly, Brian, I'm not sure he cares. And so all people who care about national security speak out about this and call for an orderly, sane, credible transition.

WILLIAMS: That is about chilling enough for our Tuesday night broadcast with our thanks to our big three for starting us off Jill Colvin, Robert Costa, Jeremy Bash, greatly appreciate it.

Coming up for us, they beat Trump but what other victories are the Democrats crowing about down ballot and what do they want to be in the future? James Carville, back with us, Congressman Tim Ryan of Ohio is with him wading into the full on food fight as it's been reported, going on inside the Democratic Party.

And later, an emergency room doctor in the thick of the COVID battle shares his surprising insights during a scary time when the virus is now reaching its new peak in our country on a daily basis. All of it as THE 11TH HOUR is just getting underway on this Tuesday night.


WILLIAMS: Senators Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell were both reelected to their leadership positions today. Also reelected today was Republican Senator Thom Tillis. He will keep his North Carolina Senate seat after defeating the challenger democratic Cal Cunningham. That means the two January runoff elections in Georgia likely will be ballgame. They will decide control of the U.S. Senate. Then there's the tension in the democratically led house. Democratically led but not by much.

Today, Politico reports at this way. "The House Democratic Caucus has broken out into a full on food fight with some of the most prominent progressive and moderate members openly warring with each other over the Election Day losses. A three-hour caucus call last week turned nasty as centrist said their far left colleagues cost them seats with progressive calls to defund the police and ban fracking. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded in the press blasting swing district Democrats for not doing enough to shore up their own races by spending on digital advertisements and canvassing.

Back with us again tonight, James Carville, Veteran Democratic Strategist, rose to national fame with the Clinton presidential campaign. He is currently co-host of the 2020 politics War Room Podcast. And we are so happy to have back with us, Congressman Tim Ryan, Democrat of the State of Ohio, and you'll recall a former 2020 presidential candidate.

Gentlemen, can't thank you enough for coming on. James, I owe you a question. This is the first time since Biden was named president-elect that we've been able to speak to you. It is a fraught time but I'm curious to hear out your reaction.

JAMES CARVILLE, VETERAN DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: My reaction is one ugly Brian. This is Pappy Van Winkle right here about $100. And by the way, I just got to promise a new thought a great State of Alaska, there's a Senate race in Alaska is not done. It has not been called. They have 115,000 more votes to count. So we're not out of that yet. And we certainly not out of these two seats in Georgia. So I just want to get that update from my friends in Alaska.

WILLIAMS: OK, Congressman Ryan, this is where the tough love comes in. You famously ran on behalf of all those Americans who take a shower at the end of their work day and not at the beginning. And my question to you is, when did Democrats lose the ability to reach those people in a nation where the most popular vehicle is the Ford F-150. The Democratic Party seems to be speaking Tesla, to too many people. This used to be your base, what do you think happened?

REP. TIM RYAN (D-OH): Well, I think Joe Biden is has done a good job. I think, obviously, he he's going to win, he's going to win with probably over 300 electoral votes. He won and rebuilt the blue wall. But I think outside of Joe Biden, outside of the president elect from, from Scranton, I think we do have some issues that we need to deal with.

And it's the issues around jobs and pensions and wages and unions and the kind of things that that aren't as sexy as some of the other issues that are out there. But I think really fundamental to us rebuilding a strong coalition moving forward.

And I think I'm really excited about the opportunities we have with the Vice President, because I think he is the kind of brand, the kind of candidate, the kind of President that can really help us reengage with those working class people who do think we abandon them, globalization, automation, you know, all of these things that happened and a lot of communities and a lot of families were forgotten along the way.

But it has consistently been the Democratic Party who's trying to rebuild that. I just think we've got to do a better job of connecting with them. And I think Joe Biden being now the brand for the Democratic Party is a hell of an opportunity for us to do that.

WILLIAMS: James, keep drinking while I asked you this. 2007 toss ups went to the Republicans, not a single, not a single state house was flipped. Trump got more votes this time than he did in 2016. And in a huge swath of the country they weren't buying what you guys were selling. Do you want those voters badly enough. You think to go after them in the future?

CARVILLE: Oh, yeah, I drive a Ford Rangers. F-150 is a little bit too big for me. So I have a midsize pickup. But somebody broke people need to take a nap. All right, I mean, we got -- we have some good candidates out there. We lost some close races. And we got to get back up and win these two races in Georgia. We got to get back up. We got a shot here in Alaska. And we need to do some improved performance in 2022. We need to do that by speaking to all of America, not just one sliver of American, college riders, right.

Now he knows it's like in Ohio, we thought we were going to do better. Well, we got to -- we got to dust ourselves off and go back. By the way, we won by 5 million more votes. And he got so somebody did something right. I think that Vice President Biden had a message that resonated more across this country in some of the things that we're hearing from some of the more extreme elements of the Democratic Party and I don't think that was helpful and talked to many people in the party and not very many of them think is very helpful either.

WILLIAMS: Hey, James, I got 10 seconds before a break. I see your hoodie and I'll raise you one question, tell the good folks watching why today was St. Chesty Day, the importance of today to people like you.

CARVILLE: Turn cavern, Philadelphia November 10 is I think it's 245 year return 45th birthday ranker (ph) couldn't be wrong. I'm an E4 so what I know, number one day of the year in the Marine Corps.

WILLIAMS: Well, there you go. While James takes another step to celebrate another milestone. James and the congressman have nicely agreed to stay with us a bit longer.

Coming up, a confident President-elect predicts success by reaching across the aisle, but will he be met with an open hand or a clenched fist?



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How you expect to work with Republicans if they won't even acknowledge you as president elect.

BIDEN: They will. They will. Thank you very much.


WILLIAMS: The current vice president and head of the COVID Task Force was originally scheduled to be on vacation in Florida this week. But the New York Times reports Mike Pence was on Capitol Hill today, rallying Republicans behind the President's efforts to challenge the results of the election. Quote, Pence spent little time discussing the administration's refusal to accept the outcome of the election, though he listed the states where the Trump campaign was pursuing legal challenges.

Back with us are James Carville and Congressman Tim Ryan. James, how long are you going to be cool with the theory of be patient, cooler heads will prevail? Surely somebody will get to Trump, surely there will be a proper transition and a proper inauguration.

CARVILLE: I urge him to recount everywhere beat him twice. I'm not satisfied with him once, recount for your drop. I don't care. And it's going to be December the 14th. I'm not sure but the Constitution of the statutory that lays out when this is going to happen.

And he is -- they're out there scamming, they're raising money and they're not even put it into retail. And now they want Don Jr. to run the RNC can scam more money. That's all they're trying to do here. This is this is just a fundraising grift. And it doesn't matter.

I really I was upset about it this afternoon and watch the president elect and he really was a great leader. He called me down. And I feel very good. I think he's exhibiting real qualities of leadership. And like I say, please recount everything. You know, it's always good to go out and you beat somebody, beat him again. That's what we did to get to Tampa Bay, we beat him and then we came back Sunday night, and we beat him again. Same thing is going to happen when it recount these votes. He's going to lose twice.

WILLIAMS: You sure did. You beat them and their quarterback like a drama and my dad. Hey, Congressman, let's talk about your party in the House. You've got what a cushion of seven votes in the majority. Nancy Pelosi came very close to yielding to a speaker McCarthy, it was laughable a week ago. It's quite serious now.

First of all, yes or no question. Should Speaker Pelosi return as Speaker in your view?

RYAN: She's going to be the speaker again, there's no question. But the issue you bring up is the issue that we've been talking about now for a while, Brian. And I just -- I'll say quickly that I was getting texts in the breaks, a break from friends of mine who I have an occasional bourbon with that said, we got to go to Carville's house, he's got all the good stuff.

We've got to get reconnected with those working class people that you brought up earlier. And we've got to have an agenda with Joe Biden at the top of the ticket. I think it's less important from a messaging standpoint, who's leading the House and who's leading the Senate, because he's the standard bearer, he's going to be the president, it's going to be his agenda that we're all going to be working towards.

But we've got to dig into these working class people, whether they're white, or black, or brown, or gay or straight. They've got to see us as a party that's going to deliver for them on the bread and butter issues that they talk about every single day, their pensions, their health care, their wages, their job security, period, end of story. And whether it's an infrastructure bill, or how we build more electric vehicles and charging stations and batteries. Communities, though, like the ones I represent in Youngstown, Ohio, or Akron, Ohio, people just want to know, what the hell am I going to do for the next few years and am I going to have a good job that I don't have to always look over my shoulder for the next shoe to drop, our party has got to be that party.

And if we are, Brian, if we deliver on these issues, in the next year, get through COVID, get the economy going, get an infrastructure bill, start doing the kind of things I just mentioned, we will have an opportunity to gain seats in the midterm because the economy is going to be opening back up, we'll inject some money into the economy, we'll have a hell of a shot to change history a little bit and build this majority back up. And that's exactly what we got to do. It's now it's about delivering. This election stuff is the, we're going to get through this.

Now, it's going to be about delivering for working class people. And if we do that, they will reward us and we'll see the numbers start to shift and then come back home.


WILLIAMS: Congressmen minute left, what about the messaging on the left? What about the folks who thought defund the police was a good idea? What about the folks who thought the Green New Deal would sell in Ohio and Western PA? What about the folks who, in your audience potential customers were horrified watching Kenosha burn, regardless of the cost? What went into it? Of the cause rather. You don't dispute that you have work to do as a party.

RYAN: We have a lot of work to do. I am a candidate, Brian, I'm down, you know, nine points from my election two years ago and it was all around defund the police, a million dollars worth of ads in my district and all over the country around a defend the police.

That is not a message that works. I mean, when you -- and then you have thousands of people, union workers who are working in the natural gas industry, for example, who five years ago they were heroes because they were kicking coal to the curb because natural gas was going to be the transition and now they're demonized for the work that they do and they're make they're some of the best jobs for working class people in the entire country. And people are saying, you know, you got to ban this industry.

That does not work and Joe Biden was smart enough and his team smart enough to recognize that that it's a transition. He's supportive of those natural gas plants in Western PA and $10 billion, one and in eastern Ohio, where there's thousands and thousands of union construction workers building these things as a transition.

And Joe Biden understood that and that's why he did well in Western PA crushed it in Allegheny County. If he had an anti-fracking position, he would not have one the state of Pennsylvania and then the environmental policy we had the United States would potentially be Donald Trump's environmental policy. And we all know that that's terrible.

So we've got to be smart. And I think Joe Biden is smart. And he's laying this out very methodically on how we move to the build back better, and how we begin to green the economy immediately, but cut these workers in on the deal.

And that's what's happening now. That's why we're in an exciting time we can change the brand, transform the economy, achieve our climate goals, and cut workers in on the deal. What's wrong with that picture? We do that the Democrats can be in the majority for a long, long time and then we're all going to be drinking Pappy Van Winkle with Carville and I could put away my hands and Miller light.

WILLIAMS: There you go. Don't do anything to Miller light just yet. Congressman, thank you for coming on. Let's continue to have this discussion if we can.

RYAN: Thank you.

WILLIAMS: And James I know it's expensive. But at some point tonight, go out on the front lawn, pour one out for all the great Marines that went before you. Thank you very much to both of you. Appreciate it, gentlemen. James, don't drive just stay home for the rest of the night.

Coming up for us as this COVID outbreak gets sets grim records every day, another good reason to wear a mask. We'll check back with one of the rural doctors on the front lines who we often speak to right after this.


WILLIAMS: Let's file this one under better late than never. The timing is curious but the CDC just issued its strongest advisory on mask wearing yet. They have announced that adopting universal masking policies can help avert future lockdowns. This come as it -- comes as the U.S. breaks another record of COVID-19 cases over 130,000 just today. We lost close to 1,400 people in the last 24 hours.

And to put the case numbers in some perspective, the U.S. has surpassed 1 million now new confirmed coronavirus cases in just the first 10 days of November. New York Times also reporting hospitalizations have now reached a record high across our country as our medical facilities are under strain.

So back with us again tonight is Dr. Stephen Sample. He's an ER doc at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper, Indiana. Doctor, you and I have exactly three and a half minutes. But we can do this. And I'll start the way I always start. Tell us the situation where you are.

DR. STEPHEN SAMPLE, EMERGENCY PHYSICIAN IN JASPER, INDIANA: Hi, Brian, we're vertical man. The State of Indiana is vertical right now. We have doubled our hospitalizations over the last 30 days. We've doubled our ICU cases over the last 30 days. In my district of full 33 or so percent of all hospital admissions right now are COVID related. We rounded the curve on our way up.

WILLIAMS: I presume you're really psyched about the CDC mask advisory you probably would have been really psyched about it at have been last February.

SAMPLE: Yes, it would have been nice. I am -- I'm happy about it. You know, we've known before, we've been trying to counsel our patients in our communities that that my mask protects you and your mask protects me. But now, we're hearing that the data is pointing that it actually may give ourselves some protection as well. So that's good.

Because clearly, you know, there's a large segment a segment of the population that helping their neighbor was not enough for them. So I'm hoping that hearing that -- hearing that the mass may actually give them some degree of protection will help as well.

I'm not terribly optimistic because I think the science well has been poisoned over the last eight or 10 months. And honestly, I think that there's a good chunk of the country that doesn't believe the damn thing that comes up of the CDC or anyplace else.

WILLIAMS: Yes, sadly, I think you're right. How hopeful are you about this reported vaccine out of Pfizer and what reality checks would you offer the viewers watching tonight who think we can hang everything on the delivery date for this vaccine?

SAMPLE: Right, there's still a lot up in the air, I will tell you when I woke up the other day. I've had two occasions this week where I've taken a big deep sigh of relief. And this is the first kind of hope that I felt along the way as in regards to the virus, sorry.

You know, I take this always with a grain of salt when the drug companies put out their numbers. We need to see the numbers. We need to analyze the data. People way smarter than me are going to tell us if it works.

But if we're in the ballpark of 90 percent, this really could be a game changer for all of us. But it's going to take weeks, you know, to get this -- to get this down the road, into the hands and into the arms or butts or whatever we stick with this vaccine to the American people.

I think that the most important thing right now for our leaders is to really start a big educational campaign, because there's a big anti vaccination movement on both sides of the aisle, right. We've got the granolas on one side who think it causes autism, which it doesn't. And we've got people on the right that think that Bill Gates is going to microchip us. We need education. We need science first, and we need people to understand that this is our way out. There's no herd immunity without this.

WILLIAMS: Well, we did it with the Salk vaccine. It entailed a huge public education campaign. It can be done. I'm here to tell you, Dr. Stephen Sample, always a pleasure. Thank you for having us in after the long day you have had at work.

Coming up for us, let's make the turn from crisis to hope as we did in our conversation with the doctor. We have a special look tonight at the race for a remedy when THE 11TH HOUR comes right back.


WILLIAMS: Early data from Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine trial has been encouraging news for several vaccines. Now also in late stage trials though the experts continue to warn that a lot has to go right for all of this to work.

And we also want to show you this. Our chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel got an inside look at one of the most promising efforts underway in the UK.


RICHARD ENGEL, NBC NEWS CHIEF FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After nearly a year of research and testing, a coronavirus vaccine is within reach. Pfizer this week announcing better than expected progress. The UK today cautioning no guarantees, but getting ready for a December rollout.

For a reality check, I went to St. Mary's Hospital in London. Professor Robin Shattock is leading the development of another vaccine one of the U.K.'s most promising. I've been following his work for months. He had something to show me.

ROBIN SHATTOCK, IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON PROFESSOR: This is a vaccine. No longer a prototype.

ENGEL: Tiny biles like this one could potentially end the pandemic.

(on camera): So this is a vaccine. It's still in trials, but it's being produced on an industrial scale with the highest quality controls. It's not ready yet, but it's coming.

(voice-over): Like most of the vaccines in development, this one doesn't provide full immunity from the coronavirus. It's more like a flu shot, it tamps down infections across society.

SHATTOCK: I'm absolutely convinced that we will get a number of vaccines that will work that works at different levels.

ENGEL (on camera): When do you realistically think generally, we're going to have a vaccine ready to go?

SHATTOCK: I think we'll see the first candidates coming through by the beginning of next year. But it will still be a huge effort to make them available for everybody who needs.

ENGEL: Sorting out the regulation and distributions is the coming challenge. But the science to make the vaccines is getting close. Richard Engel, NBC News, London.


WILLIAMS: And coming up for us the current conversation about voter fraud has some people wondering where is it, we've heard that before. We have the answer after this.


WILLIAMS: Last thing before we go tonight, all this talk about voter fraud. We wondered where we had heard it before. And it turns out our friends over at The Daily Show with Trevor Noah had the same thought they scurried to their vast archives and came up with where we'd heard it before.


KAYLEIGH MCENANY, RNC SPOKESPERSON: Democrats are being sore losers. They refuse to acknowledge they lost the election. So what do they do they cry malfeasance wrongdoing, criminality fraud.

LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS HOST: Democrats more so than Republicans seem to have a problem conceding defeat either the election system broke down, or some mystery votes are hiding somewhere.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: A whole series of Democrats who just said normally, if our candidate doesn't win, they please stole the election.

GREG GUTFELD, FOX NEWS HOST: The Dems just want to make America suffer. It's like losing the World Series and demanding an extra inning. A day later.

JEANINE PIRRO, FOX NEWS HOST: The Democrats are refusing to accept the declared results of the national media. So how do they do this? Lo and behold, they find missing ballots.

LOU DOBBS, FOX BUSINESS HOST: The radical left is attacking the sanctity of our votes, refusing to accept the midterm election results.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So what if these were Republicans refusing to concede.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Democrats may see how they'll be able in the future to steal elections through lawsuits that they can't win with the voters.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: Ramping up election conspiracy theories accusing Republicans of outright stealing the election. Kind of rich. You know what sounds sore loserish.


WILLIAMS: Music a nice touch. I wouldn't have thought of that. With thanks and a tip of the hat to The Daily Show. That'll take us off the year this Tuesday night with thanks to you for spending this time. Here with us on behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of NBC News. Good night.


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