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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 1/26/21

Guest: Hakeem Jeffries, Ryan Reilly, Tina Nguyen, Tim Miller, Elaine Kamarck, Cory Booker


This afternoon, after senators were sworn in for Trump`s impeachment trial, Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky forced a vote on whether the trial itself is unconstitutional. The man who threatened the family of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries during the Capitol riots has been indicted. The GOP is excusing the wrongdoings of Donald Trump to court his supporters. Today, the Biden administration has purchased 200 million additional vaccine doses, which will be delivered over the summer, providing us with enough doses to vaccinate a total of 300 million Americans.



that we will be putting on this administration.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: That`s how it works with activism and indeed.

Patrisse Collars, thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate

you. And "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice over): Tonight on ALL IN. The Senate swears

in for impeachment and 45 Republicans voted to give Trump a preemptive



mean, give the man a break. I mean, move on.

HAYES: Tonight, the corrupt political bargain for Trump enablers in the

wake of a fascist riot. Plus, a Trump supporter arrested for threatening

Congressman Hakeem Jeffries. Congressman Jeffries joins me exclusively.

Then, Joe Biden`s massive promise on vaccines and explaining why some

states are doing so much better than others. And Senator Cory Booker on the

Biden agenda and the President`s executive orders to address systemic

racism, when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight,

Republicans in the United States Senate took a vote to show that they have

no intention of holding the former president accountable for his role in

the January 6th assaults in the capital that led to the death of a Capitol

Police Officer.

And that vote comes as we`ve learned new disturbing details of a threat

that day against the family of a leading member of Congress. Today, we

learned of this. An indictment in the Southern District of New York

charging that on January 6th, the day of the riot, the day of the assault,

the day that people died in that building, a 35-year-old California man

sent threatening text messages to a family member of a New York City-based

U.S. Congressman, including a text to his brother, reading the following.

"Your brother is putting your entire family at risk with his lives and

other words. We are armed and nearby your house. You had better have a word

with him."

The target of the threat was a family of Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, the

chair of the House Democratic Caucus. Congressman Jeffries will join us

here in just a moment. Thankfully he and his family are safe. The man now

in custody, 35-year-old Robert Lemke did not travel to the Capitol for the

riots, but he is charged with making those threats against Congressman

Jeffrey`s family on the same day the riots took place January 6th.

And he believed what the rioters believed, a false claim pushed again and

again by the President and members of the Republican Party and Fox News and

conservative media that Donald Trump won the election. That his supporters

should do whatever necessary to keep an office to save democracy and quote

"stop the steal."

Today, the FBI said it has now open 400 investigations into those involved

in the riot. That so far, 150 of them, have resulted in criminal charges.

But accountability for the elites who inspired the rioters, Donald Trump

and the other elected officials when cited that insurrection, well, that`s

harder to come by.

This afternoon, after senators were sworn in for Trump`s impeachment trial,

a trial that could stop Trump from ever holding office again, Republican

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky forced a vote on whether the trial itself is

unconstitutional. Arguing it is not constitutional because Trump is out of


Now, most legal experts, we should point out, say the trial is flatly

constitutional. In fact, just to be clear, the Senate has tried former

officeholders before. There is ample precedent established. Now, it would

take two-thirds of the Senate to convict Trump, 67 senators out of 100. So,

if more than 33 Republicans vote the trial is unconstitutional, well,

you`re probably not going to get a conviction.

And here`s what happened. 55 senators, including all the Democrats, said

the trial does not violate the constitution. Only five Republicans agreed.

That leaves 45 Republicans who left open the notion the whole entire

enterprise is unconstitutional. Now, that tally may not ultimately reflect

the final vote on impeachment, but it strongly suggests and indeed, Rand

Paul wanted to suggest that there will not be 67 votes in the Senate to

convict Trump.

Because listen to me, those Republicans are saying, and they`ve been saying

this for years and everyone should pay attention when they do, we`re fine

with what Trump does and did. We are the party of Donald Trump. We like

Trumpism. That is what we stand for. That`s the project we`re all engaged

in. We don`t want to excise the Trump cancer from the body politic.

We don`t care that Trumpism has so thoroughly degraded American democracy,

that we came within perhaps minutes of a lynch mob, which was chanting hang

Mike Pence, getting its hands on the vice president of the United States in

the capital. No, Donald Trump is our leader. I don`t care about that stuff.

We want to stick it to you, libs.

Among those who voted for a procedural matter that point of order that the

impeachment trial is unconstitutional, or voted at least to debate that

matter, Mitch McConnell. Now, Mitch McConnell saying, well, maybe this is

all unconstitutional because the president is not the president anymore.

You`ll remember it was that same guy, doesn`t he look familiar, the same

guy who was the majority leader a few weeks ago. And one of his last acts

of majority leader was to refuse to take up the trial in a timely manner

until Trump left office. So there was a riot on Capitol Hill incited by the

President. It killed five people including a police officer. We watch

people with MAGA flags and Trump hats beat people to within an inch of

their life, and Mitch McConnell said, well, you can impeach him but let`s

wait. And then after he waited, he said, you know what, it might be too

late to try him.

Yes, this is what they`ve been doing more or less since Trump wrapped up

the nomination, right. Just complete supplication bowing and scraping.

Thank you, sir. May I have another? It`s humiliating. I find it

embarrassing on their behalf. I do. Even as the guy is now out of office

and ensconced at the omelet bar at Mar-a-Lago.

Part of the reason for that is they realize that radical by any means

necessary efforts to undo just American democracy, modern multiracial

American democracy, is what the party stands for as it is invested in.

That`s who they`re pandering to. There`s no principle here. It`s just raw

power politics, who and whom, to quote, someone once. Listen to Nikki Haley



HALEY: I mean, they beat him up before he got into office. They`re beating

him up after he leaves office. I mean, at some point, I mean, give the man

a break. I mean, move on.


HAYES: I mean, the contradiction here is apparent right. Move on. It was

three weeks ago. This is the party that spent more than two years and held

dozens of hearings on the four Americans killed in Benghazi. When it comes

to five Americans killed including a police officer, when it comes to

police officers beaten with American flags during the worst attack on the

Capitol since the British in the war of 1812 while members coward inside

fearing for lives, it`s three weeks. Get over it.

And remember, we still don`t know everything about what happened. Not even

close. Today, the Washington Post broke the news, the commander of the D.C.

National Guards said the Pentagon restricted his authority ahead of the

riot, requiring higher level sign off to respond that cost time as events

that day spiraled out of control. Hopefully, we`ll learn more about why it

took so long to act.

Meanwhile, more arrests day by day. Among them, a New York man who wore his

high school varsity jacket to the capital siege, complete with his name,

with the name of his high school and his former football jersey number

which certainly made the Feds job easier.

A judge ruled earlier this week another man known as zip tie guy to remain

in custody, no bail, after the FBI revealed they`d found a safe full of

guns at his home, including assault rifles and hundreds of rounds of

ammunition. And there`s the arrest of the man who is now charged with

making terrifying threats to the family of my next guest, Congressman

Hakeem Jeffries of New York, chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

Great to have you on, Congressman. Just tell me what you know and what

you`re willing to say. Obviously, there`s some security concerns here about

the threats this individual directed at family members of yours on January


REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NY): Well, good evening, Chris. Thanks for having

me on. And I just want to express my thanks and deep gratitude to the FBI,

the NYPD, the Capitol Police, as well as all of the law enforcement

authorities who clearly have taken this threat and all of the threats that

have been directed at members of Congress and others seriously in a moment

where we saw a violent attack on the Capitol incited and encouraged by

Donald Trump.

This is something that unfolded on January 6th, directed at a family member

of mine. This individual apparently had secured a phone number, secured an

address, made it appear as though they were prepared to proceed violently

either at the address of my family member and or my own home address at the

same time that the Capitol was being attacked.

The most important thing here, Chris, is that what was -- what was chilling

in the message that was received is that this individual said, stop telling

lies. Biden did not win. He will not be president. And so, he was

radicalized by the big lie that Donald Trump told and that has been

supported by so many Republicans in the House in the Senate.

HAYES: I just want to be clear here on the details because I read through

some of the unsealed complaint in the Southern District. And I want to, you

know, protect the identity of folks here, so I`ll just refer to a family

member. But just -- I mean, it`s one thing -- you know, obviously you`re a

congressman, right? And I can imagine that your cell phone number probably

circulates among various people. And if you got a threat like that, it

would spook you and you would report it.

But for a family member of yours who had their cell phone number, someone

say, you go talk to your brother or we`re coming for you, and also intimate

that they were outside, possibly at the residents or knew where the

residents of this family member was when this is unfolding on national

television. That is really unnerving.

JEFFRIES: It certainly was unnerving. And this is something that actually

unfolded at the same moment that we had been evacuated, the mob is

violently attacking the Capitol, those images were being broadcast to

family members of -- members of Congress all across the country who are

uncertain as to what was happening to us. And at the same time

communicating on a cell phone that is not publicly available, and sending

images of the neighborhood where this family member reside.

And so, it was clearly designed to instill terror. And I`m just thankful

that law enforcement officials have apprehended this individual and will

allow the process to play itself out. But we can`t allow the radicalization

of these individuals to go without consequence. And the former president of

the United States is responsible for this type of activity. He`s the person

who has perpetrated the big lie that he actually won the election and that

the presidency was stolen by Joe Biden and Democrats in the House and other

individuals like Mike Pence.

That`s why there were people who violently attacked the Capitol, who were

there to assassinate Nancy Pelosi, hang Mike Pence, and hunt down members

of Congress. And now you`ve got Senate Republicans who want to whitewash

the whole thing.

Well, we`re not going to allow them to whitewash anything. The House

impeachment managers are going to proceed and they`re going to present a

compelling case. And I`m hopeful that we can find 12 additional Senate

Republicans prepared to do the right thing and convict Donald Trump.

HAYES: Yes. What goes through your head when you hear Nikki Haley say, I

mean, come on, move on. I mean, give the guy a break.

JEFFRIES: Yes. I mean, it`s such an outrageous statement and shows how

people who I previously had respect for have just been corrupted with this

sycophantic behavior in connection with Donald Trump for whatever the

reason. It`s really a sickness that seems to have infected the Republican

Party. And hopefully, they`ll figure out how to extricate themselves from


Nikki, we are not moving on from insurrection. We`re not moving on from

sedition. We`re not moving on from a violent assault on the Capitol no

matter what you might think of our effort to hold this president


HAYES: You mentioned that you hold the president at least partly

responsible for what happened that day, even for this individual that

threatened a family member of yours, right. That he said, stop lying about

the election, right. He believes what the President told him and what

various right-wing media told him, and various enablers told him for weeks.

Adam Serwer of the Atlantic, I thought, had a very cutting observation. And

he said -- he said, we`re going to go with the Abu Ghraib model of justice

with the Capitol riot, which is that the small fries involved get time and

the elites who enabled them get to pretend it wasn`t their fault.

And of course, if you remember, the people involved in those horrendous

photos were of course prosecuted. But there was very little accountability

up the chain, particularly not for Donald Rumsfeld who even refuse to

resign at the time. And how important is accountability for those in power

for what happened on January 6th.

JEFFRIES: It`s incredibly important. And we`re going to start with the

organized crime boss who formerly occupied 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and

then we have to work our way down from there and deal with some of the

underbosses like Josh Hawley, and Ted Cruz, and Kevin McCarthy, who

continues to support this QAnon caucus, conspiracy caucus, and crackpot

caucus members who`ve taken over the House Republican conference.

But let`s start with the President of the United States, the former, twice

impeached president, I should say, and then proceed from there. And the

House impeachment managers, they`re going to conduct themselves in a solemn

and serious and substantive fashion. And I remain hopeful and optimistic

that the senators will follow the facts, apply the law, be guided by the

Constitution, and let the chips fall where they may regardless of party


HAYES: All right, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, I hope your family members

are all safe and sound and in good shape. And thank you for your time


JEFFRIES: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: I want to turn now to two reporters who have been closely following

the arrest made after January 6th at the Capitol, Tina Nguyen of Politico

and Ryan Reilly of Huffpo.

Ryan, you`ve become this kind of police blotter for me in the -- you know,

as these cases roll through. And let`s talk about our -- the individual

with the varsity jacket of his high school and his football jersey. How is

he identified and apprehended?


very distinguishing jacket. And people saw that jacket on the news as

someone who was going into the Capitol, that actually the police chief for

the -- for the town called up the FBI. There was a number of tips from

former classmates who sort of made that connection.

So, that`s what we`ve seen a lot of honestly, as there`s this trend in a

lot of these stories for some of these lower-level cases, sort of the layup

cases where it`s like an easy charge to bring, because there`s so much

evidence they`ve read on social media, that a lot of former classmates have

been bringing these.

So, it`s sort of like, you know, the worst person you knew in high school,

you`re extracting near, revenge on them down the line. The person you`ve

been watching sort of go through this process of being radicalized online

and on Facebook, now they`re able to pull the trigger. So, there are these

cases we`ve seen in many instances where family members are making hard

decisions. But there`s a lot of cases where the people who are turning

these people into the FBI really seem to be enjoying it, honestly.

HAYES: Yes. And Tina, there`s the -- Ryan mentioned family members. There`s

just one case of son tipping off the FBI about his father who was charged

in the Capitol riot. There`s been other cases as well and the court filings

and it`s sort of part of this larger phenomenon, I think, that you`ve

reported on and witnessed of family members watching loved ones essentially

fall down this hole, right, this cult essentially. They get cut off from

all mainstream kind of information and become radicalized as they watch it


TINA NGUYEN, REPORTER, POLITICO: Absolutely. There`s actually -- there`s a

big phenomenon of QAnon family member -- family members of the QAnon

supporters kind of banding together and realizing that they`re not the only

one whose families -- whose loved ones have fallen down this rabbit hole.

So, it kind of encouraged them to stand up and say, hey, look, our own

family members haven`t gone. Like, yes, they did something horrific. It

seems like a societal phenomenon too, so we want to do our part to help

pull them back from that.

And that`s honestly, why you`re seeing a lot of family members, not just

turning their own family members, but also be public about it.

HAYES: There`s another individual, Kenny Grayson, Ryan, who he had a tweet,

"Can he get the hell out of there? It`s a federal offense to be in there.

Kenny, they`re in the Senate chamber. Can you take -- get in anywhere? Take

photos!! Take documents!!" This is I think from his Facebook page, but he

deleted it, but the feds got it anyway.

REILLY: Yes. These were messages that were being sent as he was sort of

actively, you know, in the Senate. So, you can see, on the one hand, he`s

getting these competing -- he`s getting competing messages. On the one

hand, he`s getting, hey, keep going. You`re doing great. On the other hand,

he`s getting people going in there saying, what are you doing? It`s a

federal offense. Get out of there.

So, you have these sort of competing thing. And I mean, a lot of this is a

huge social media thing, as we`ve seen -- as we`ve seen it play out.

People, you know, are doing it for the likes, doing it for, you know, for

feedback and getting that positive sort of feedback in any instances is

what`s fueling them to do more of this.

HAYES: Yes. And there`s sort of different categories here, I think, sort of

concentric circles. People who were there and sort of went in, those who

plan for this ahead of time, those were posting and those who weren`t. The

Wall Street Journal did a real breakdown, Tina, of some of this and just

showing how much the Proud Boys were instigators, were sort of the avant-

garde of this. They were pushing. They were breaking windows and a key part

of this. And in some ways, doing less of the sort of, you know, self-

posting as they were doing it.

NGUYEN: Well, the Proud Boys have been organized for years, and they`ve

known how to navigate around law enforcement. They have this -- they have a

strategic method of attacking people, attacking counter-protesters, dealing

with the police. I was personally at the Capitol outside right before the

riots happened.

And I did talk to a Proud Boy who was dressed in black and I was like, why

aren`t you wearing your normal black and yellow colors? And he said, it`s

because right now we`re trying to blend in. I`m providing security for this

event, but there is a plan underfoot. And he was super coy about exactly

what that meant. But they are well organized. They do know how to cause the

most chaos.

And if there is no chaos that is coming from an external force such as,

say, Antifa -- they love getting into fights with Antifa to prove them

violent. If there is no outside force attacking them, they will go out of

their way to try to instigate some sort of attack or make it look like

there`s some sort of chaos. That`s the sort of way that they thrive and

that`s unfortunately how it played out on January 6th.

HAYES: Well, and this is my concern, Ryan, about where we are right now,

right. So, you`re getting people -- I mean, these people are being

apprehended, and that`s I think good that there`s some accountability here

for folks that were -- broke the law and were part of this riot. But you

wonder, like, the people that weren`t doing all the self-incriminating

activity, the one I keep coming down is whoever planted those pipe bombs.

I mean, those pipe bombs were planted outside the RNC and DNC. We know that

they were not hoaxes and not pranks. They were real. And that individual is

still at large, which I find striking.

REILLY: Yes. And I mean, that is -- that is a concern here, right, because

some of these easy cases, though people who publicly bragged about it on

social media are a little bit distracting from these more serious cases.

And you know, you think of Brian -- Officer Brian Sicknick, whose killer

still hasn`t been brought to justice yet.

And in fact, we don`t really know a ton about what is going on with that

case. We got a little bit of a hint today that there`s some ongoing action

that the Feds can`t really talk about, but they haven`t really put out

anything and said like, this is the person we`re looking for, this is the

person who did it, which makes you think there`s a lot going on behind the

scenes because this is obviously a high priority for the FBI.

HAYES: In 20 years of being a reporter and reporting on law enforcement,

protests against them, shootings in which police are targeted or in which

police pulled the trigger, I have never ever, ever, ever seen a police

department be so reticent with information about the death of one of their

own. I mean, it is usually the opposite.

They are out there. They`re talking about it all the time. They are giving

you updates. They`re giving you details. They`re telling you who suspects

are. I`ve never seen anything like this in the 20 years I`ve been a

reporter. Tina Nguyen and Ryan Reilly, thank you so much for sharing your

reporting with us. I appreciate it.

Next up, Republicans signal they have no plans to course-correct after the

last four years. The party of Trump is not going anywhere. What that means

for the Biden agenda, after this.


HAYES: All right, put it aside all the moral considerations for a moment.

Just ask yourself this question. What if every Republican who wanted to be

president in say 2020, particularly those in the Senate, came together to

convict Donald Trump and then vote to bar him from for further office?

You would think that would be in their best interest, right? Their one shot

to remove the competition. But instead, it`s hard to figure out what

they`re thinking. The strategy right now, as far as I can tell, seems to be

step one, slavishly support Trump no matter what, further feeding the

pathological cult-like connection between him and GOP primary voters. Steps

two, I don`t know, hope for the best. Step three, then somehow defeat Trump

or one of his kids in the primary. Good luck with that.

Someone who`s seen firsthand how Republicans can be when it comes to Trump

is Tim Miller, former communications director for Jeb Bush`s 2016 campaign,

and writer-at-large for The Bulwark and he joins me now.

Again, I want to just put aside like moral considerations, constitutional

consideration, just like pure coldhearted calculation of political self-

interest. I just don`t get anyone, Rubio, Hawley, Cruz, Nikki Haley, all

these people like, what do you think is going to happen in 2024? Either

he`s going to run or one of his kids are going to run, and in what universe

are you going to be able to be the one to beat him as the inheritor of the

Trump legacy?


explain it for you. I lived through this in 2016, as you know, and we did

exactly that strategy you just laid out, right? I mean, Ted Cruz executed

this strategy. Marco Rubio tried to execute this strategy. Be nice to

Trump, be nice to Trump, be nice to Trump. Wait until you have him in a one

on one, beat Trump.

That was kind of logical in 2016, right, because this had worked in 2012

against Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain, and some of these crazies. But

now after you live through all this, all these guys know that`s not going

to work. So, when you ask what their strategy is, Chris, they`ve decided

that the trade with Trump is worth it. That`s it.

Like, they decided what Trump brings into the party, the fact that all

these people show up to their rallies now, the fact that they were able to

get all these judges through, that`s a trade that they`ve decided was worth

it. And they don`t give it in if Trump is going to try to overthrow the

democracy or, you know, side with white nationalists or anything else.

HAYES: Oh, yes. I mean, I also -- I think some of them are on board with

the agenda. Like, I think actually that like, Hawley actually opposes,

like, majority rule as currently constituted. And I mean, I really mean

that. Like, I think like, the that will keep -- the stand he took was about

that. I mean, this idea that like, the most charitable thing to say about

these peoples are cowards. That`s the most charitable thing to say which is

that they`re making some calculation.

I think the evidence is clear that a lot of them just like are on board

with the Trumpist project. It`s not that they`re afraid of crossing him.

It`s like, when you -- like Ron Johnson, I think, likes Donald Trump and

thinks Donald Trump is a good president. And I think a lot of them think

that way.

MILLER: For sure. Ron Johnson looking the Bulwark, we had one of the former

Republican chairs, county chairs in Wisconsin write about this. Ron Johnson

told him that he thinks that the people that go to Trump rallies that storm

the capital of America, and the people that go to Bernie rallies don`t love


So, yes, some of these guys are on board with the project. Others of them

and I disagree with you on this actually. I think the cowards are worse.

Others of them like Marco Rubio saw this clearly. In 2016, he said, if we

nominate somebody like Donald Trump who keeps inciting this kind of

violence, uses his violent talks, then eventually somebody is going to take

him seriously. And that would be a disaster for this country.

That`s what Marco Rubio said in 2016. Now he`s on board with it. Now he`s

like, that`s great. You know, that`s great. I want more. I want four more

years of Donald Trump. So, I think that`s far worse to me actually than the

Ron Johnson calculation. But that`s what these guys have made.

And they`ve had this opportunity so many times now. They had an after the

Access Hollywood Tape, they had it at the first impeachment, and now he`s

not even in office. He can`t even hate tweet them anymore. Twitter has

banned him, and still they are rolling over for him because it`s what their

voters want. They like the popularity that he brings. And as you said, some

of them like the whole -- the whole anti-democratic project.

HAYES: Yes. It`s wild to just because like having covered politics, right?

You never get a vote to disqualify your opponent. Like, when does that

happen in politics -- someone gets -- you`re going to have a vote. And if

you vote the right way, that guy can`t ever run against you. No one ever

gets that. There is no universe. And here, the Democrats just coming up to

the Republicans on a silver platter saying this is right morally, it`s

correct constitutionally, but also they would do this thing and they`re

like, not interested. We want Donald Trump.

MILLER: No, thanks. Well, this is the thing. And not only that, Donald

Trump is the clear favorite. They`re taking out their best -- their best,

you know, challenger, right? I mean, he wants to run in 2024 and he`s an

overwhelming favorite, Hawley, he said he`d support him. So, look, you

know, Chris, that`s what I`m saying. We`ve all made this calculation. And

none of them are up for this fight. And they`re worried -- I think that

they`re worried, frankly, that if they did it, what -- they would end up

losing to somebody even stupider than Donald, right?


MILLER: Marjorie Taylor Green or a Fox News host would beat them.

HAYES: It`s such a great point.

MILLER: Right? So --

HAYES: It is such a great point. It`s so true. It`s absolutely true.


HAYES: The void left would be like -- it`d be like, you know, right. That

is a very good point. Tim Miller, well, that was depressing, but thank you

for making time tonight.

MILLER: That`s what I`m here for, Chris.

HAYES: Ahead, to understand the scope of the catastrophic failures made by

our government in this pandemic response, we need to have an investigation

and a formal accounting of what went wrong. I`ll explain next.


HAYES: The first large scale disaster that Donald Trump bungled was

Hurricane Maria in the fall of 2017. And it had all the contours of what

would later happen with the Coronavirus from the president denying the

deaths that were very clearly happening, to assuring everyone everything

was fine.

The death toll mounted; the crisis unfolded in front of our eyes. Everyone

could literally see how bad it was. But no, Trump went down to Puerto Rico,

casually tossed some paper towels around, and just flat out lied about the

severity of the situation.



happened here with really a storm that was just totally overbearing. Nobody

has ever seen anything like this. What is your -- what is your death count

as of this moment, 17?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 16 certified.

TRUMP: 16 people certified. 16 people versus in the thousands. You can be

very proud of all of your people, all of our people working together. 16

versus literally thousands of people.


HAYES: 16 certified. Pretty soon, the cases will go down to zero. Sound

familiar? Well, nearly a year later, a study from George Washington

University found that the real death toll from Hurricane Maria was closer

to 3,000 deaths, not 16, 3,000. And we kept saying on this show, as we`ve

covered that report and others, there needed to be a comprehensive

commission about what went wrong with Hurricane Maria to find out why the

federal response was so slow and prevent future disasters on the island and

elsewhere and there was nothing.

There was no official report from the U.S. government on how thousands of

American citizens were allowed to die. Now, the U.S. is averaging more than

3,000 COVID deaths every single day. The reason for that is when the

Coronavirus came, all the same pathologies as a response to Hurricane Maria

played out on a more terrible scale.

The U.S. had one of the worst responses in the world to the virus. Hundreds

of thousands of people in this country are now dead. And Donald Trump spent

nearly a year saying it would get better while doing next to nothing to

help. While there`s a temptation to just focus all efforts now on riding

the ship, something we absolutely need to do, we must also look back and

get a comprehensive report on exactly what happened that led to this

disaster we didn`t do with Hurricane Maria and we are paying for it now.

It has been more than a year since the first case -- reported case in this

country. And we are still learning about the misdeeds of the Trump

administration. For example, just last night on this program, former White

House Coronavirus Task Force member Olivia Troye revealed that she was

positioned to spy on the head of the task force, Dr. Deborah Birx.



coming into a no-win situation even more so than I think she even realized,

because I was told that I was to watch her, that she was not to be trusted

because she was a Matt Pottinger hire.


HAYES: There needs to be a full investigation. Now, right now,

Congressional Democrats are attempting to revive American democracy by

impeaching a seditious president so that insurrection doesn`t happen again.

And likewise, we need some formalized process of getting the bottom of what

happened with COVID, so we never go through this kind of disaster again.


HAYES: Big announcement from the Biden administration. Today, they say they

have purchased 200 million additional vaccine doses, which will be

delivered over the summer, providing us with enough doses to vaccinate a

total of 300 million Americans. The new administration also announced they

are increasing the number of doses going out to the states from about eight

and a half million a week to a minimum of 10 million per week. That is a

much-needed boost to supply aimed at getting more shots in arms faster as

the vaccine rollout has so far varied levels of success across the country.

Some states known for generally good governance and robust health care

systems like Massachusetts and California are lagging behind distributing

just about half of their available doses. Only 5.5 and 5.2 percent of their

populations respectively have received at least one shot. Others like North

Dakota where the virus was rampant, right, in West Virginia, which ranks

among the worst in the country for healthcare have been success stories.

North Dakota has given out 87 percent of their available doses, the highest

rate in the country with 7.6 percent of residents receiving at least one

dose. In West Virginia, 76 percent of doses have been distributed and 9.4

percent of the population has had at least one shot.

Elaine Kamarck is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, founding

director of the Center for Effective Public Management where she has been

researching what is causing those discrepancies between the state`s vaccine

rollout, and she joins me now. It`s great to have you on.


HAYES: What is -- what is -- it is striking to me the variance between

state performance on this question and how it doesn`t track with a lot of

categories that if you`d asked me a month ago to predict, I would have


KAMARCK: You`re exactly right. I mean -- and that`s what has made a lot of

us who do research in government functioning curious about this. Let me

give you a little bit of way to think about this. The top five states in

terms of getting vaccines into people`s arms have given out over 60 percent

of the vaccines that were given to them. The bottom five states have given

-- have given out less than 50 percent of the vaccine. So, the top

performers seem to be going right through the categories rather quickly.

Now, we don`t really know what`s going on. There`s a little evidence in

Connecticut for instance, that`s in one of the top five, that in fact, they

got to their health care workers really quickly, they got to their nursing

homes quickly and we`re able to get on to the next categories. But we don`t

-- we don`t really know that for sure.

The other theory around which I think we can do some more research on is

simply the number of vaccination sites. So, let me give you an example.

Burley County in North Dakota, the second most populated county in a very

sparsely populated state, they have 54 locations for vaccines for a county

of 95,000 people, whereas the entire state of Massachusetts today, with 6.9

million people, has only 65 locations.

HAYES: Oh, wow.

KAMARCK: Yes. So, clearly, just the ease of getting to a place and the

number of places seems to maybe be one of the explanations for these

disparities you pointed out.

HAYES: Yes, we just -- you were talking about Connecticut. And this is just

one example of the sort of -- you know, Rhode Island versus Connecticut, of

course, similar in many different ways, near each other regionally. They--

you know, the politics in terms of governance, very big differences there

in terms of what they`ve been able to get done.

The West Virginia story to me is really striking. The New York Times wrote

this piece about West Virginia. Early on, the state got a significant head

start because it initially opted out of the federal program to vaccinate

people and nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Instead, West

Virginia created a network of pharmacies in the state pairing them with

about 200 long term care facilities. As a result, West Virginia finished

its first round of vaccinations at nursing homes last month, while many

states were just getting started. It`s pretty striking.

KAMARCK: It`s pretty striking. Now, it`s not clear that getting in or out

of the federal program is -- really makes a difference. Obviously, as my

colleague Bill Galston said, in a PC wrote on the Brookings` Web site, in

West Virginia, what happened was, these pharmacies were very local.

HAYES: Right.

KAMARCK: And because they were local, people trusted them. And so, people

who work narrowly would not -- would maybe be a little leery of the

vaccine, knew their pharmacist and the pharmacist said, yes, hey, get this.

This is OK. So, that may be an element of social trust that was working in

West Virginia.

We don`t really know what`s happened in a lot of these other states. But as

you said in your earlier piece, that`s one of the reasons we need a COVID-

19 commission. We need to figure out what happened throughout this entire


HAYES: Right. Elaine Kamarck who has been doing great work on this, thank

you so much for making time for us tonight.

KAMARCK: Thanks so much.

HAYES: Ahead, Senator Cory Booker on President Biden and the Democrats`

plan to prevent two years of obstruction at the hands of Minority Leader

Mitch McConnell. He joins me next.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This nation and this government

need to change their whole approach to the issue of racial equity. Yes, we

need criminal justice reform, but that isn`t nearly enough. We need to open

the promise of America to every American. And that means we need to make

the issue of racial equity not just an issue for any one department of

government, it has to be the business of the whole of government.


HAYES: As part of his plan for racial equity, President Biden signed four

new executive orders today, including orders to end federal contracts with

for profit prisons, but that does not include detention facilities for

immigrants. He also signed one to combat discriminatory housing practices.

And he`s already signed over three dozen executive orders and proclamations

since taking office last week.

But of course, executive orders can be undone. Much of what he`s doing is

undoing Trump. Legislation tends to endure for much longer, but legislation

is a lot harder to get done. Yesterday, Senate Democrats finally managed to

break an impasse with now Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on how to run the

Senate chamber. The question now is will the majority, slim majority as it

is, use their power. And the fate of the country lies in the answer.

Democratic Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey has fought for racial equity

for years, and he joins me tonight. And first, I wanted to get your

thoughts on some of the orders signed today particularly having to do with

housing discrimination which is something that you`ve been quite focused


SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): Yes. I mean, we`ve seen four years of the Trump

administration dismantling efforts to apply what was one of the great

pillars of the civil rights movement, the Fair Housing Act. And we know

that we are a nation that has up until the 70s had overtly racist policies

from mortgage discrimination to redlining.

And so, for Joe Biden to come and say enough is enough, we`re rolling back

the toxic Trump rules and implementing a really full analysis of housing

discrimination -- and I loved what Susan Rice said when she announced it.

She said this isn`t just about getting justice and equality for African

Americans. She talked about the big gap between black and white

homeownership, and the trillions of dollars it would bring to the U.S.

economy if we were able to begin to close those gaps that exists.

So, I`m really proud of our president and his willingness to step up, call

it like it is, and show America that we`re all in this together, and just

end things. I mean, the reality that people profiting off of the

incarceration of other human beings has echoes of the darker streams of our

-- of our past.

So, there`s a lot to celebrate today in this administration doing what they

said they were going to do, and I`m just really, really grateful.

HAYES: Yesterday was -- well, I guess today was the first day that the

organizing resolution was operative in the -- in the legislative chamber in

which you serve. It was a weird standoff. I didn`t quite -- it was bizarre.

Anyway, it`s over now. But basically, Mitch McConnell did this whole

routine today about if you Democrats ever get rid of the filibuster, I will

make your life terrible. It will be a nightmare.

Nightmare was a word to use. What do you make of that? What is the

sentiment in the caucus about how Democrats should proceed with this very

slim majority?

BOOKER: Look, Mitch McConnell was willing to roll back Senate rules and

Senate standards to pack the court. So, when he got rid of what`s called

the blue slip, which gave more oversight over Circuit Court judges, we

didn`t -- he didn`t lecture about the importance of that. He rolled back

the 50 -- the 60-vote threshold on Supreme Court nominees and Circuit Court

nominees. So, when it fit him, he eroded the Senate rules to achieve what

is one of his top aims. And that, to me is just unfortunate.

And so, at a time that senate democrats represent 41 million more people

than Senate Republicans, where we have a president that was elected by more

than seven million votes, were overwhelmingly on everything from minimum

wage which Democrats, Republicans, Independents want to see happen,

stimulus checks. I could go through all the things that are wildly popular

in both sides of the aisle. For him to obstruct that and to threaten us to

use the tools to get around it, I think is really unfortunate.

HAYES: Well, I mean, I agree, it`s unfortunate. But then the question

becomes like, OK, well, then what, right? So -- I mean, so, two questions

here. One is like, I know that you can`t betray confidences, and we`re on

national television, so you`ll tell me what you can. But, you know, just --

look, it`s the thinnest possible majority you can have, right, 50 plus one,

the vice president breaks a tie. It means every vote is the deciding vote.

It means you hang together, or in the words of Benjamin Franklin, you shall

surely all hang separately. Does everyone understand that? Like, is

everyone on board here or are you worried that we`re going to watch this

sort of like attempt for some centrist compromises that never happened, and

next thing you know, we`re in March.

BOOKER: So, I think that -- first of all, to be candid, these are

conversations we`re having in our caucus. And there is an understanding

that if we want to hold this majority for more than two years, we have to

make sure the American public sees what happens when Democrats are in



BOOKER: The things that really affect their lives. If they don`t feel that

change, it will grow cynicism, less enthusiasm, less turnout. We have one

shot. Sorry to sound like Eminem, but we`ve got one shot here to show the

American public we`re serious and we`re going to go big and bold.

And I don`t think that`s a conservative Democrat versus progressive

Democrat. I mean, I look around the country from Arizona to Georgia, two

Senate seats we have to win again in two years. And the people in those

states want to see that we can bring real, substantive, meaningful change.

HAYES: So, here -- you`re -- obviously, you are not -- I mean, Rachel

talked to Senate Majority Chuck Schumer last night, and I think, you know,

he`ll be negotiating some of these sort of like strategic questions about

the caucus. But I guess my question is, is it crazy for me to think that

you could just break things up and call votes on stuff? Like, OK, $1,400

checks for everyone. Who we got, up or down?

And I mean, I don`t know if that would get 60 votes? I think it probably

wouldn`t. But it does seem to me like that might be a useful thing to do at

some point. I know that there`s this sort of idea that you want the package

together, you want to start breaking it up because you sacrifice things,

but it just seems like I`m just worried about each day that goes by with

negotiations behind closed doors.

BOOKER: Right. Well, I am very well aware before I got here as a mayor of a

large city. And I watched how much Democrats worked on the Affordable Care

Act, how much they work on the bailout package in 2009 when cities like

mine were in crisis. They made compromises to try to get Republican votes.

And how many Republican votes did they actually get?

So, I just want you to understand that I`m a guy that believes in working

across the aisle and building coalitions. But if we are going to bend and

not pick up their votes, I would rather put a package through

reconciliation that will meet the crisis of a pandemic, meat the crisis of

an economic downturn that is -- has in some measures, is worse as a great

depression, and let Americans feel that we are serious in our business.

They did that with a toxic Trump tax cut, didn`t get one of us to vote for

it. They heralded it as his biggest accomplishment. Not only did they blow

trillion-dollar deficits, but that most of that, the overwhelming majority

of those tax breaks, went to the wealthiest amongst us and corporations.

And so, I`m sorry. We are in a crisis. People are hurting. Get on board,

come to the table, work with us, or I think we should be using the measures

we have to get this done for the American people, and meet the urgency at

the moment.

HAYES: Senator Cory Booker of the state of New Jersey, thank you so much

for your time tonight.

BOOKER: Thank you so much. I appreciate it.

HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Tuesday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW"

starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.




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