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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 1/29/21

Guest: Ruben Gallego, Jeannie Suk Gersen, Dalton Bennett, Ashish Jha, Jon Favreau, Michelle Goldberg


President Joe Biden signals that he will pass a COVID relief bill without support from GOP if necessary. An Arizona Republican state representative introduced a bill that would give the Arizona legislature the authority to override the Secretary of State certification of its electoral votes. Today, the FBI announced they are increasing the reward for information leading to the pipe bomber the DNC and RNC office to $100,000. President Biden`s approval rating is at 54 percent, higher than President Trump at any time.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes. Well, we hope that your daughter does get that opportunity to end it. The Biden administration will take a second look at this case. Billie Winner-Davis, Malcolm Nance, thank you both very much. And that is tonight`s REIDOUT. Thank you all for watching. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN.

REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR GREENE (R-GA): And once it`s gone, freedom doesn`t come back by itself. The only way you get your freedoms back is that it`s earned with the price of blood.

HAYES: The Republican Party radicalizing against democracy, from inciting an insurrection to the unprecedented congressional attempt to overturn an electoral loss, to a new bill in Arizona that would let the State House toss out election results.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It absolutely 100 percent, under any circumstances, allows a legislature to undermine the will of the voters.

HAYES: Then, new video of the suspected pipe bomber still on the loose after targeting the RNC and DNC. Plus, the race to vaccinate as the Coronavirus mutates.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: As long as there`s a lot of virus circulating in the community, they will be the evolution of mutants because that`s what viruses do.

HAYES: And the new polling on the popularity of the Biden agenda, and the big push to get it done when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. The Biden administration is attempting to govern in the aftermath of this essentially seditious conspiracy to end his presidency before it even started. And the President today was very clear that while he was looking for partners and bipartisanship to help his agenda, the agenda is what he is focused on.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I support passing COVID relief with support from Republicans if we can get it, but the COVID has to pass. There`s no ifs, ands, or buts.


HAYES: The president is trying to pass legislation in a Congress with slim Democratic majorities in both chambers. But remember, the majority of the Republican members who serve in Congress right now voted not to certify his election. I can`t say that enough. The majority of Congressional Republicans do not think that your vote should have counted.

We all saw Trump -- the Trump mob trying to use physical force to intimidation to overturn a democratic election. And the details of that violence are horrific. Five people killed in the attack including a police officer, two other officers who have since taken their own lives. The Capitol Police Union says 140 officers were injured. And tonight, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Officer Brian Sicknick who was killed in the attack will lie in honor in the Capitol rotunda.

And remember, the mob had partners in that effort. Democrats have tried multiple times to have some kind of reckoning for the Republicans who aggressively incited the attack like freshmen Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene who has a long and well-documented history of violent racist, anti- Semitic beliefs, including just for one example, that the 2018 camp wildfire, remember that, in California, was started by a secret Jewish Rothschild space laser. A1nd who as a recently unearthed video shows, literally called for blood -- for bloodshed a week before the election.

TAYLOR GREENE: If this generation doesn`t stand up and defend freedom, it`s gone.


TAYLOR GREENE: And once it`s gone, freedom doesn`t come back by itself. The only way you get your freedoms back is that it`s earned with the price of blood.


HAYES: Earned over the price of blood. She was saying -- this is before the election -- that this is the last chance to get -- to preserve your freedom, and then it`s gone. And then, the only way to get it back is earned with the price of blood. Several Democrats have said they support expelling Greene from Congress, and Congressman Jimmy Gomez, who I spoke to last night on this program, has filed a resolution calling for just that.

Because of the details of the attempted insurrection of the capital and the complicity of many congressional Republicans, a lot of our attention has been focused on the violence rightly so. But here`s the thing that I want to remind everyone of. If the mob had never showed up, if there had been no event on January 6th, no violence whatsoever, what happened inside Congress on January 6th was an unprecedented bit of anti-democratic action by American politicians.

147 congressional Republicans, the majority of the caucus, voted against seating Biden`s electors. They voted to overturn the election functionally. The precedent they set was this, that Americans can have a president presidential election, one that goes on longer than almost anywhere else in the Western world, with billions of dollars, hundreds of millions of people voting. And then after all that`s happened, Congress will decide whether they accept what the American people have decided. Maybe they just override it. Maybe they just think you know what, you guys chose wrong. We`re going to choose the other guy.

And if any of you thought that was a one-time thing, think again. Earlier this week, an Arizona Republican state representative introduced a bill that would give the Arizona legislature the authority to override the Secretary of State certification of its electoral votes. Get this. They do not even need a reason, OK. If this sort of become a state law, the people of Arizona -- again, they could vote for whoever they want to be president, but they don`t get to choose the legislator. They`ll come in and decide who gets the electoral votes.

This is not an isolated situation. We`ve already seen similar movements not quite as, frankly anti-democratic as this, but Republicans looking to gain the system of other states. And Wisconsin Republicans interest a bill to reallocate the state`s electoral votes by congressional district. That`s something that two states already do. And if they`ve done that, that would have made Donald Trump the winner of the majority of Wisconsin electoral votes if it had been placed in the last election.

The Guardian reports Republicans across the country are considering more than 100 bills to restrict voting rights, because the lesson they learned after losing the presidential election and also the Senate, is not to broaden their appeal or to shun Donald Trump and the things he stood for or to turn out the vote. The lesson they`ve learned is that if lots of people vote, and they choose your opponent, you should just figure out how to stop people from voting. And if that fails, just come up with a way to veto their votes altogether.

I want to bring in Democratic Congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona. Your state is at the center, I think, right now of a lot of things happening in politics in America. This bill, how seriously should we take it?

REP. RUBEN GALLEGO (D-AZ): That`s right. Well, I think we do have to take it seriously. Look, Arizona was one of the only states that pass a birther initiative asking the president for his birth certificate back in 2011. So, these types of actions are -- should not be surprising at all.

The Republican Party in Arizona has and is totally imploding. They have not been able to win many races, especially statewide races, and they know that the future is looking very grim. So instead of trying to win the argument of the future, they`re trying to just stop the elections of the future. And this is one of those actions.

HAYES: You said this in a tweet. You said, referendums are expensive, but I will raise the money to kill this democracy killing bill. Follow this bill. If it passes, we will have 90 days after to sign the law to collect the necessary signatures to get it on the ballot and then defeat it. And when I saw that, I thought, oh, my Lord, is this going to -- does this have a chance in that legislature? Is that -- what is your read on that?

GALLEGO: Oh, absolutely. Look, you know, if you look at the history of Arizona, and the state legislature, Debbie Lesko and Andy Biggs, two of the people that led the attempts to overthrow the election came from that legislature. And so, you cannot trust anything in Arizona when the legislature is in town.

We used to have a joke that when the legislature is in town, you force your money, and now your right to vote is in trouble.

HAYES: You just mentioned Debbie Lesko, Andy Biggs, and also Paul Gosar who tweeted about, you know, don`t make me come over there somewhat menacingly to Joe Biden. Those are all folks that are in your State Congressional Caucus. What do you think about the way they voted? What do you think about the aftermath of the way they voted to -- and if I`m not mistaken, specifically, on not seating Arizona`s state electors?

GALLEGO: Well, it`s embarrassing. They know that this state has been trending blue. They know that Donald Trump was a very toxic candidate in Arizona. It nearly costs the State House and a bunch of other seats. But instead of actually dealing with the reality that they need to have a more appealing message and a more appealing messenger, they`re trying to change the rules.

Let`s be clear, in Arizona, ever since we have been -- I think since 1960`s, we`ve been considered a red state. There was never any attempt to overturn elections. There was never any attempt to take away power certification from the Secretary of State. It only happened when two things occurred. Number one, when Latinos started voting at a higher percentage than they have in the past and start taking more political power. Number two, Democrats started winning.

It`s not a coincidence. It`s a game they`ve been playing for a long time. And now, they are trying to do it in earnest because they know they`re going to again, lose the future.

HAYES: What do you think the proper course of action is for Congress as regards the members that voted not to seat the electors? You know, at one level, it was just a vote. In the context of a vote they were allowed to take, you know, they didn`t do anything illegal in voting that way. They`re colleagues of yours. People vote in different ways on different motions at different times.

At the other level, what they were voting for is fundamentally kind of a threat to American democracy as we understand it. And so, what is the correct appropriate reaction to that from the Democratic majority and Congress or Congress more broadly?

GALLEGO: Well, I think we certainly have to make examples of some of these members of Congress. You know, it`s hard to hold a whole 130 other members responsible because we do -- still have to have a functioning Congress. But we need these -- had to have a couple things.

Number one, we need to admit that this election was a free and fair election and that -- and that Donald Trump lost in a free and fair election. That`s the first thing we need to hear. And number two, we need to hear at least some level of, you know, contrition that you even attempted to do this.

Those two things, I think, is very important for some of our friends to come back into the fold. But then some of these ringleaders, some of these conspiracy theorists, some of these outright racist like Mo Brooks from Alabama, we really should censure them and, if possible, remove them from Congress.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, I guess the question is, how are you -- do you think there is -- what the sentiment of the caucus is in terms of taking those kinds of actions? I had Jimmy Gomez last Night talking about Marjorie Taylor Greene. You just -- you just mentioned Mo Brooks. There`s others. there`s sort of some new reporting revelations about the degree to which the White House was involved with some of the stop the steel organizers.

Is there a sort of factfinding enterprise you`d like to see first, just to actually get to the bottom of what exactly happened at the Capitol, and who was involved, and who might have been involved ahead of time?

GALLEGO: Well, we definitely need to know what happened, who did it, and why it happened. I do trust that is going to happen. And then we have to go in and institute some level of accountability for these members. And look, everyone else is going to have to answer in different -- in different ways.

I, for example, it just feel very different right now about a lot of members. I sit on some very important subcommittees. I`m the chairman of one subcommittee. And if you`re one of the insurrectionists, it`s going to be very difficult for you to get a hearing in my subcommittee. So, you know, I think you`re going to have to explain to your constituents and to your friends why, you know, you`re not getting any of your bills heard.

I think there`s going to be a lot of members that feel that way. It`ll be on a case by case basis. There`s some members, I`m sure, that will find a way to forgive. But other ones, they`re just going to have to figure out a way to get -- to get through a decision too, but they certainly are going to -- coming through my subcommittee. And I think there`ll be other people that think the same way.

HAYES: All right, Congressman Ruben Gallego of Arizona, thank you so much for talking to us tonight.

GALLEGO: Thank you.

HAYES: In the aftermath of January 6th and what`s happened since, we`ve all been trying to figure out what the right name is for what we saw. What is it? What`s the thing? And in a piece in The New Yorker, Harvard law professor Jeannie Suk Gersen argues that this was, in fact, treason in the founders imagining of the concept, and she joins me now.

I really enjoyed the piece you wrote, because I think everyone has been struggling to say what is the thing that we saw? What is treason as the Founders understood it, and why do you think it applies here?

JEANNIE SUK GERSEN, PROFESSOR, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL: Well, so there are two ways that one can commit treason. And the Constitution defines treason as one of two specific acts. One, is levying war against the United States. The second is adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. So, it`s an either-or. So, either you love the war against the United States, or you adhere to their enemies, giving aid and comfort.

Now, the founders had a specific idea of what levying war against the United States meant. And that was basically getting some people who are armed to go and basically march on the seat of government. That`s the kind of thing that the Founders exactly had in mind when they were thinking about treason in the sense of levying war.

So, that is what happened on January 6th, that the insurrection of January 6th was people gathering with guns and in a kind of warlike formation, marching on the seat of government. And so, I would have to say that if we think that levying war, that phrase means anything today, then we`d have to look at what happened on January 6th and say, why in the world would that not be treason?

HAYES: So, the argument on the other side -- I mean, there`s two sides of it. One is that look, this was a mob. It was a riot. It wasn`t -- it didn`t rise to levying war. It was violent. It was horrific. These were people, you know, beating people and pushing their way in, but that levying war and treason are such serious, such grave offenses. The bar for that is so high, that there`s something, you know, dangerous to American rhetoric or to where we are politically to use that as the concept we use for these people and what happened. What`s your response to that?

GERSEN: I think the Founders were very concerned about abusing treason to basically persecute political rivals, people you just don`t like. And it is a very serious crime. It`s possibly the highest events in our legal system. And it`s something that carries a maximum penalty of death and a minimum payment penalty of five years. And so -- in our federal system.

And so it is -- I very much your point that it`s something you want to be really careful about. If this was an insurrection that, you know, in some versions, it was kind of this spontaneous mob that went out of control, not very much planning involved, who knows what the purpose was exactly other than to kind of disrupt the election, counting of votes in Congress. OK, if that`s the case, then that would not rise so much treason.

But it was a planned event when -- and I think the evidence that is emerging, is starting to paint a picture of an event that was planned in advance -- it means, basically, people agreed with each other that they would do it, and that the intent may have been to basically incapacitate Congress by doing harm, bodily harm to members of Congress and to the vice president.

And so, when you think of it like that, how is that different from an act of levying war? It was not just a random combustion of events. It was a planned event. People went in violently intending to do violence. They did not succeed in actually harming members of Congress or the Vice President, but other people did die as a result of the violence that was present at that scene.

And so that -- in terms of levying war, I do think that it`s -- it was -- it would be an event that the framers would recognize as exactly what they had in mind. I think Americans today, we haven`t been really thinking about treason in relation to this so much, and we`ll throw around the term treason a lot. But with respect to this event, people haven`t been talking about treason, and the reason is that the other part of the treason clause, which is about giving aid and comfort to the enemy, that`s the phrase that people know.

And so they think about, you were turncoat in a war. You think about Benedict Arnold who tried to aid the British during the Revolutionary War. And so those -- or during World War II, people who might have given aid and comfort to our enemies in that war. But this is a different part of the treason clause. It`s an either or. The levying war provision hasn`t really been used very much.

We had some uses in the 18th century. And then, a century ago, we had a couple, but it`s kind of dropped out of people`s imagination because we really think about treason as involving an enemy that we`re at war with. Well, there`s another way to commit treason, which is levying war against the United States internally to the United States.

HAYES: It`s a really good piece of The New Yorker by Jeannie Suk Gersen. I recommend you check it out. Thank you so much for sharing that with us.

GERSEN: Thank you. Next, three weeks after the attack on the Capitol, and authorities are still searching for the person who planted the pipe bombs. Tonight, there`s new video of that suspect. We`re going to show you that next.


HAYES: This is a picture of a woman named Dawn Bancroft. She was arrested in Pennsylvania today on charges related to storming the Capitol on January 6th when she recorded a selfie video after entering the building. HuffPost Ryan Reilly who has been doing an indispensable reporting on this, first report of the contents of a criminal complaint.

According to the FBI, bankrupt is heard saying on the video, "We broke into the Capitol. We got inside. We did our part. We were looking for Nancy to shoot her in the frigging brain, but we didn`t find her."

FBI says they received a tip of the video and they note that Bancroft sent it to her kids before asking them to delete it. She now faces multiple charges including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds.

Meanwhile, the person responsible for placing pipe bombs in Washington D.C. ahead of the attack on the Capitol still at large more than three weeks later. Today, the FBI announced they are increasing the reward for information leading to that person or persons to $100,000. The Washington Post has an excellent work piecing together what we know about the planning of these two pipe bombs near the headquarters of the Republican and Democratic National Committee just blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

They uncovered this video captured by security cameras in the area showing a suspect in the alley behind RNC headquarters on January 5th the night before the attack. FBI says this same person is suspected of planting the other bomb found near DNC headquarters just a few blocks away.

Dalton Bennett is investigative reporter at the Washington Post where he was part of the team that uncovered the video and broke this story and he joins me now. How important, Dalton, is this video and getting a sense of who the -- who this suspect is?

DALTON BENNETT, INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, THE WASHINGTON POST: Well, for us, Chris, we felt that the events that unfolded at the Capitol really overshadowed this particular incident the fact that two pipe bombs were found here in Washington D.C. And for us, what we aim to do and set out to do was to try to reconstruct a timeline to gather up as much information as possible in order for us to understand who could be responsible for the placement of these bombs that were found on the night -- that were placed on the night of January 5th and discovered on January 6th at both the RNC or nearby the RNC and the DNC.

I mean, for us, what we`re aiming to do is that we`re trying to bring attention to the story and just get a better understanding how this event unfolded.

HAYES: The timing here, I think, is important and I want to talk about the actual devices. But, you know, the night of January 5th, there were people that were clearly, you know, working towards plotting something on the sixth, you know, in the works as opposed to something spontaneous.

BENNETT: I mean, certainly from you know, our work reporting on this particular incident and looking at the suspect, from the footage that we were able to gather and from speaking to local residents, businesses in the area, it would suggest that this person that was responsible for placing the bombs had some type of knowledge of the area.

What we see in the surveillance material that we gathered from an area that was behind the RNC in an alleyway, the bomb was actually placed in a section of the alleyway that isn`t directly visible from the street. What we see in the surveillance material is that the suspect approaches the area at a rough -- seems to have a general familiarity of the location.

And what we understand on the material that we gathered that one of the video shows the moments before that the suspect is believed to place the bomb, which was filmed around 8:15 p.m. I mean, certainly, you know, in the process of piecing out this timeline and getting a better sense of where the suspect had been throughout the evening, their movements, it was really revealing that to us, you know, throughout the reporting process, it appeared that this person had a pretty good knowledge, an intimate knowledge of the area.

HAYES: So, these ---the devices themselves, tell me about them. They were - - I mean, there was -- I think, when we heard about them, there was a question of like, well, these were just meant to spook or these are hoaxes, but these were operational devices, correct?

BENNETT: Yes. As far as we understand, they were both operational devices. I mean, we spoke with the ATF. They confirm that the -- and described the devices as alive. And in addition to that, we went a step further, so we gathered publicly available images of the devices, images that we had gathered to the reporting process and shared it with a former FBI bomb technician, a gentleman by the name of Barry Black who worked on the Oklahoma City bombing investigation, really an expert in his field.

And he said, you know, looking at the devices, they appeared to are fairly of a simple construction. They are made from everyday household items that you could find, at the hardware store, for example. And that just by judging at the pictures of the two devices, Barry Black suggests that the person that constructed them or the group of individuals that constructed the device followed similar plans. We also see now in the latest --

HAYES: How was -- how was it that the device was captured or found, particularly the one behind the RNC? Because it`s very close to people`s houses.

BENNETT: And that`s the thing about this area. I mean, most people might -- you know, haven`t spent time in Washington D.C. might think that the RNC and the DNC are located in areas where nobody lives, right. It`s a big office complex where, you know, nine to five and that`s it. That is not the case.

What we know about the location of where the device was found at the RNC, the story behind it and the way it was discovered is purely by coincidence. I mean, it was a complete moment of chance. A woman that had -- that lives on C Street had actually walked out to do her laundry and had stepped out into the alleyway. And this was around 12:40.

And, you know, when she had gone out to do her laundry, she looked over to her left and right there, she discovered the device that happened to be in between a rat trap and a line of recycling bins. At first, you know, according to her telling, she wasn`t exactly sure what it was, but she was immediately suspicious of it, loomed over, looked at the device, and realized immediately that it was a pipe bomb, or some type of explosive, noted that on the device that there was a timer and that timer was pointed to 20 minutes.

HAYES: Oh, my God.

BENNETT: She immediately there ran over to a guard booth that is located in that alleyway and notified a guard that, hey, I`ve discovered this device that I think is a bomb. And there, the guard ran over, verified that it was a bomb, and immediately called law enforcement.

The thing that is important to emphasize is that this bomb was discovered in an alleyway that there are homes that are incredibly close to that area. There are people that live on C Street, in Rumsey Court which is the alleyway where we see the suspect actually walking through to place the bomb in the surveillance material. There are homes there. There are people that live feet away from where this device was placed.

HAYES: And did they then figure out after that to go check around the DNC?

BENNETT: So, from what our understanding is that the device at the RNC was initially discovered by the woman who had gone to do her laundry at around 12:40 but authorities were aware of the device by 12:45 that it was -- that an explosive device was present.

From there on, what our reporting indicates, is that by 1:15, 30 minutes later, that a separate device had been discovered by the DNC and that device, what our reporting shows, was found next to a park bench that was right on the corner of the street that`s just outside of the DNC.

HAYES: Wow. All right, Dalton Bennett who`s doing great work around this, thank you so much for sharing your reporting with us. I appreciate it.

BENNETT: Thank you.

HAYES: Next, Ashish Jha is here to sort through fact and fiction around vaccines, whether the new mutant virus strains will change the game. Stick around.


HAYES: 10 days into the Biden administration, there is good news on the vaccine front. The White House says an average of 1.2 million Americans are getting a shot every single day. And there are two more very promising vaccine candidates on the horizon. You got Johnson and Johnson which crucially is a single dose and is 66 percent effective, and Novavax which claims to be 90 percent effective.

And now, of course, the race is on to vaccinate as many Americans as possible before the Coronavirus mutates even more. There appears to be at least four mutant versions of the Coronavirus in the U.S. right now, three that originated abroad in the U.K., South Africa, and Brazil, one that seems to be homegrown in Los Angeles. Today, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that mutation should be a wake-up call.


FAUCI: Getting people vaccinated as quickly and as efficiently as you possibly can will always be the best way to prevent the further evolution of any mutant because when you do that, you prevent replication and replication is essential for mutation.

You can be almost certain that as long as there`s a lot of virus circulating in the community, they will be the evolution of mutants because that`s what viruses do, particularly RNA viruses. You`re giving the virus an opportunity to adapt.


HAYES: I want to bring in Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of Brown University School of Public Health. And I want to ask you about sort of what Dr. Fauci said there related to something that you were -- you were writing about, which is the relationship between using the vaccine or other tools to suppress the virus and further mutation.

So, you said this. Heard of the SARS COVID variant from Japan? No. How about the one from South Korea? No. Surely variants from New Zealand and Vietnam? Of course not. Because these places haven`t given rise to scary variants. But what places have has big implications for ending the pandemic. What are you getting at there?

ASHISH JHA, DEAN, BROWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH: Yes, so Chris, thanks for having me on. A really simple point here which is when we let diseases -- when we let the infection run wild, we`re essentially giving the virus more chances to mutate to create more variants. And if we want to end the nightmare of more and more variants, some of which might escape our vaccines, we`ve got to bring the pandemic to a close everywhere, not just in the United States.

HAYES: That clause you said there, more and more variants come up, some of which might escape our vaccines. That`s the kind of doomsday scenario I think people are very obsessed with right now, and understandably because more or less, as I`ve covered this pandemic now for a year, betting on the worst-case scenario has often proven right.

So, what is your assessment of A, what the data show about vaccine efficacy on new variants, and B, the specter of a variant escaping our vaccine -- ability to vaccinate against it?

JHA: Yes. So, right now, if I had to like look at all of the vaccines and where we are, I still feel pretty confident that the vaccines we have are going to provide a high degree of protection against all of the variants, even the South Africa variant which is I think the one that concerns us the most. But there`s also a little bit of an element of like, how lucky do we feel and how much do we want to push our luck?

HAYES: Right.

JHA: And I guess, I feel that lucky after 2020 and I don`t want to push our luck. And I would like to bring this pandemic to a close or at least to get it under control, so we can move on from it and get our lives back.

HAYES: The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is very promising and very exciting because it`s single dose. I also think -- my understanding is that it`s easier in terms of its storage and supply chain. But the 66 percent number really jumped out because we`re -- we`ve seen efficacy north of 90 percent in others. How should we think about it?

JHA: Yes. I know everybody`s focused on the 66 percent. I`m going to be honest with you, I`m pretty excited about this vaccine. Like, I loved the numbers. The hardline number of 66 percent, I wish it was a little bit higher. That would have been great. But what was really impressive was that if you look at severe disease, it was at least 85 percent effective. And the longer you waited, at some point it seemed to prevent severe disease in almost everybody.

And so, if what I care about is hospitalizations and deaths, this is a very effective vaccine. It`s one dose, no refrigerate -- no freezing, just refrigeration. It`s a big step forward.

HAYES: Yes, that`s an interesting point, right? That the reason this thing has been so horrible, the reason we -- again, today, I think we posted or recorded 3,500 deaths, just an in comprehensible onslaught of human loss is because it can be so severe and, you know, there`s this crazy variance between people who feel a little under the weather and people who were in the hospital and, you know, close to death a week later.

If you have a vaccine that`s cutting off the tail of that distribution, and people get really sick, that`s a huge deal from a public health perspective.

JHA: Yes, massive, right, because all of a sudden, it changes the calculus. If I told you that there was a disease, where there was a five or 10 percent chance that you might get horribly sick, a one percent chance that you might die, that changes your behavior and it should. But if I told you there was a disease that yes, with this vaccine, you may not feel great, you may even have some fevers and feel a little shorter breath, but you`re not going to end up in a hospital, you`re not going to end up dying, that is huge. And that`s what the Johnson Johnson vaccine seems to show.

Now, look, we haven`t seen the full data. I want to see the full data. I don`t want to overstate what we know. But I am feeling very optimistic based on what I`ve seen so far.

HAYES: The last question for you which I think we have been very focused on the U.S., understandably. This is where we live. And you know, we want to get back to life. We want to save the people we love. Your point though about -- for global public health perspective, like the more this thing`s kicking around, the more threat it poses to all of us. How do things look at a global scale for getting the world vaccinated?

JHA: Yes. This is a place where I think -- I mean, of all the things that the Trump administration got wrong, this may be the most wrong they were, this idea that you could live in a kind of an isolationist world. It doesn`t work. We are way far away from being able to vaccinate the world. And here`s the problem, Chris.

The bottom line is imagine a world where like America is vaccinated, but there are large outbreaks happening elsewhere. We can see the rise of variants that will escape our vaccines and make our entire population vulnerable again. And we would have to lock down again, we`d have to build new vaccines and we vaccinate people, and we have this sort of endless pandemic.

And I think we all want to avoid that. And the best way to avoid it is to focus on vaccinating everybody around the world.

HAYES: Yes. This is such an important point. And we got to keep sort of -- I`m pledging that we`re going to keep our focus globally as well as locally. We`ve been trying to do both, but there`s a natural inclination, if you like, one of my parents getting vaccinated. But, you know, this really is we`re all in this together situation. Dr. Ashish Jha, thank you so much.

JHA: Thank you.

HAYES: Ahead, President Biden`s approval ratings are higher than Donald Trump`s ever were. His agenda is quite popular, but will Democrats capitalize on that momentum? How they can go big, coming up.


HAYES: For most of my adult life covering politics, battles within the Democratic caucus have tended to happen between two different camps. First, there`s the progressive wing, which is normally a lot of senators in safe blue states or members of Congress in very safe Democratic districts who are pushing for big progressive reforms and legislation. And then the other camp are people who often stymie those goals and Democrats who represent swing districts or swing states who are worried about their electoral prospects, sometimes not wrongly, you know, about being tagged as far leftist or socialist and then putting their reelection at risk.

Now, that`s an oversimplification, but generally that`s how it goes. Right now we have a situation where you might expect that dynamic to play out once again. Democrats are looking to pass President Biden`s $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill, which includes among many other things, $1,400 checks that would give people a total of $2,000 if you count the $600 checks passed in December.

Republicans are saying the price tag is too high for the bill. Democrats are now indicating they`re willing to go it alone and use the reconciliation process in the Senate, which means it can`t be filibustered if Republicans won`t cooperate. And all that is good news. What really caught my eye is which democrats are pushing for quick fall through.

The Washington Post reports that on a call with the White House yesterday, both Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock, two the newest Democratic senators who just won narrow victories in the most hotly contested swing state in America, Georgia, pushed for fast action on new stimulus checks, arguing that they won an election in part because they promised to get people the money they need.

Remember, those senators, along with President Biden himself, spent the last week before the election campaigning on direct cash relief.


SEN. JON OSSOFF (D-GA): When you send me and Reverend Warnock to the Senate, we will pass those $2,000 stimulus checks that the people need, that families need to stay on their feet and in their homes.


HAYES: And then Ossoff and Warnock won somewhat improbably, actually. And they went to Washington and they said, hey, guys, we`re swing-state senators whose political futures are on the line here. And we`re telling you, we need to get this big thing done. Not just because it`s the right thing to do, but because it`s good politics for swing members like ourselves. I think they`re absolutely right. There`s new polling that shows it. That`s next.


HAYES: President Joe Biden`s approval rating right now is higher than Donald Trump`s has ever been. Biden now sits just over 54 percent approval. Trump never came close to these numbers. And it`s not just job approval, but support for his agenda. A poll released yesterday by Crooked Media found that nearly 70 percent of Americans support Biden`s $1.9 trillion COVID relief package.

When it comes to pushing through that package without bipartisan support, there`s more division, but nearly half the country prefers getting as much relief as possible without Republican votes, a reminder that the Democratic majority is on the right side of public opinion as well as the policy merits.

I`m joined now by one of the people behind that poll, Jon Favreau, founder of Crooked Media, co-hosts the pod Save America. I`m also joined by New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg whose latest piece titled "The first post-Reagan Presidency makes the case that Joe Biden could be a transformative leader."

Jon, the 70 percent number was striking to me -- not that surprising because, you know, given the state of things. But if you`re going to lead with anything domestically and have a big fight legislatively, a 70-30 issue seems like a good one.

JON FAVREAU, CO-FOUNDER, CROOKED MEDIA: Also, the way that we asked the question, we gave the price tag in the question too. So, he said it`s a $1.9 trillion package that would provide vaccines $1,400 checks, expanded unemployment. And not only was it 70 percent approval overall, four intense Trump supporters supported Joe Biden`s plan.

In the same poll, only seven percent of Trump voters believe that Joe Biden won the election. So 40 percent liked his plan even though a lot of them didn`t believe he actually won. It`s pretty popular.

HAYES: This is actually --- you know, it`s funny you say that because I`ve been -- I`ve been working on a piece of writing on precisely this topic, Michelle, is that it sort of -- that actually kind of captures one of the weirdest things about the modern Republican Party, which is that they`re radicalizing against democracy. They know who they hate and who they don`t want to be in charge.

But their policy commitments are like, not that clear or -- and they`re all over the place. And so when you ask about policy, it`s like, yes, send us checks. And Joe Biden is, you know, a secret member of a child-eating cabal.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Well, right. I mean -- and that`s what I wrote about the Reagan consensus collapsing and why I think Biden has such an opportunity. Not necessarily because somebody like Josh Hawley who won`t even admit that Biden won the election is going to be a governing partner for an assertive administration, but just because the entire Republican rationale, the whole structure of assumptions that have governed our politics since Ronald Reagan, which is that big government is a threat. You know, that kind of overreaching, will always lead to backlash that voters care about -- intensely care about process and bipartisanship and deficits more than they care about direct services.

All of that has been exploded. And there`s now an opportunity to create something new. And I think that there`s a lot of people in this administration who understand that. They`re smart enough not just to not listen to Twitter, but not listen to a lot of dumb conventional wisdom in D.C. about, you know, why aren`t you doing more to reach out to Republicans as opposed to why aren`t you doing more to help people?

HAYES: Yes. I mean, the polling here in terms of like, favoring the ending the filibuster is 49 to 40 favor it, but even more interesting is the federal minimum wage, which voters support increasing it to $15.00 an hour at 55 to 42. And I think, you know, Jon, it was so striking to hear that reporting on Ossoff and Warnock because it was such an inversion of the way this normally goes, which is like, the Democrats want to do this big thing, and then people that are -- you know, have these constituencies are worried about it. Like, let`s maybe we don`t do anything, and maybe we`ll be fine - - I can get reelected. And it`s the opposite imperative politically here. I think that this lesson has really sunk in with much more of the Democratic caucus than it did back in say, 2009.

FAVREAU: Oh, yes, we`re in much better shape than we were in -- back when I was in the Obama White House, we were trying to pass the Recovery Act in terms of sort of cohesiveness in the Democratic Caucus. Like, I think that they`re going to move forward on reconciliation, which only requires 51 votes. I think that the Republican opposition to this has been, you know, they haven`t offered an alternative. They haven`t talked about what they don`t like in the plan.

And it`s clear from the polling that there is a groundswell of support for action. We asked people what their top priorities for the new administration was. It was COVID relief, it was vaccinations, and it was stopping the virus, and that was Democrat, Republican, Independent. So I think what Ossoff and Warnock saw on the ground in Georgia is what`s happening all across the country, which is people want action. They want the government to act fast. They want it to go big, and they want it to happen now.

HAYES: Yes. And these -- I want to play Todd Yong, you know, complaining -- a Republican complaining about, you know, this process stuff, which I always think like, if you`re doing a process, then you`re probably losing argument. Take a listen.

Oh, it`s a false screen, so I`ll read it. He says, "The Democrats, if they go the bipartisan route, then they`re going to send a signal to America and to Republicans throughout Congress that this President`s message of unity was rhetoric as opposed to substance." I mean, like, whatever he has to do that, that`s like how they -- you know, this is their talking point right now.

But I do think it is sunk in, Michelle. And even with Joe Biden again, who`s like a creature of the old Senate, that no one cares about process and they care about results, so do whatever you got to do to get it done.

GOLDBERG: And I mean, imagine the audacity of complaining about a lack of bipartisanship by members of the Republican Party, right? I mean, I guess you have, you know, in some sense, appreciate the shamelessness. I also think that, you know, there`s a version of unity, which means helping everyone.

You know, part of what Trump did, it wasn`t just that they steamrolled Democrats, it`s that they specifically tried to target government programs only to aid his supporters and to punish the parts of the country that didn`t vote for him, right? I mean, part of the unity here is that Joe Biden is trying to help the entire country.

HAYES: Right, exactly. And that was part of, Jon, that`s the sort of testable thesis here, right? Like, are there political benefits to doing the right thing and helping people?

FAVREAU: Yes, there are political benefits. And you saw that too today. Like, you know, Andy Slavitt who was their COVID advisor was talking about like -- he was congratulating a bunch of red states for, you know, vaccinating more than 10 percent of their population.

And it`s like, yes, the administration is going to do things for red states and blue states. They`re going to take care of Trump voters and Biden voters, that unity is actually being a president for the whole country and making sure that we solve the crisis together. And I think that`s Joe Biden`s definition of unity and that`s probably the American people`s definition of unity too.

HAYES: Yes. The Republicans are complaining about bipartisanship. I`m like, you guys threw a COVID party for Amy Coney Barrett before Ruth Bader Ginsberg was in the ground. What are we talking about? Jon Favreau and Michelle Goldberg, thank you for making time tonight.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

HAYES: That is ALL IN on this Friday evening. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.