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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 11/4/21

Guests: Ari Berman, Cornell Belcher, Marty Walsh, David Wallace-Wells


Donald Trump and his allies say elections are only illegitimate when Democrats win them. The Department of Justice announced it was suing Texas alleging that Senate Bill SB1 violates part of the voting rights act and civil rights act by imposing restrictions at polling locations and through absentee ballots. Today, the Washington Post reported the Manhattan District Attorney has convened this new grand jury to hear evidence about the organization`s financial practices and potentially vote on criminal charges. Workers at private companies in the U.S. with 100 or more employees are now required to get fully vaccinated by January 4th or face weekly testing.


JOY REID, MSNBC NEWS HOST: Be safe out there. That`s tonight`s REIDOUT -- I mean, that`s tonight`s absolute worst. And that`s also tonight`s READOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight on ALL IN. The DOJ sues Texas for voter suppression as Florida announces a new election police force.

GOV. RON DESANTIS (R-FL): We are going to create a separate office at the state level solely dedicated to investigating and prosecuting election crimes in the state of Florida.

HAYES: Tonight, the Republican effort to choke off democracy unless they win.

Then, a brand-new grand jury investigating the former President`s company and how Trump`s executive privilege claim had a bad day in court.

Plus, the predictable freak out as the Biden administration finally releases vaccine guidelines for private companies. And as the world meets on climate in Scotland, how a major solution may exist in a metal box in Iceland when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. On the night of the Virginia gubernatorial election, votes are coming in. The failed former President of the United States released a statement because he`s not allowed to tweet anymore. All eyes are on Fairfax. Why the delay?

Now, Trump was talking about Fairfax County, of course, the most populous county in the state of Virginia, and we know what he was doing there. He spent five years driving conspiracy theories about voter fraud and there have been very real-world consequences they play out day by day. From the sham audit in Arizona that while totally bogus and illegitimate, hilariously found Joe Biden actually won more votes initially believed, to the current Republican scheme in Pennsylvania to collect every voter in the state`s personal information in order to somehow prove non-existent fraud there as well.

There are the ways in which Trump is actively undermining democracy calling state and local election officials pressuring one of them to find the votes, he needs to overturn the results, or endorsing candidates for secretary of state in key swing states who support his entirely untrue claims of a stolen election. All of which is to say we know what Donald Trump means when he sends out one of his non-tweet statements on election night saying all eyes are on a heavily Democratic county.

He and his allies have been setting the groundwork for days. In fact, the day before the election, Trump said, "We must win bigger than the margin of fraud by flooding the polls with those that believe in America first. It`s a sentiment former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich echoed on Fox News.


SEAN HANNITY, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: What if it`s really tight?

NEWT GINGRICH, FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Now, if it`s real --if it`s -- first of all, it`s really tight, they`ll steal it. So, you can`t afford to have a really tight election. You have to win by big enough margin they can`t steal it.


HAYES: Just casual. Like, oh yes, if it`s really tight, they`ll steal. It didn`t stop there. During a Youngkin rally in Blacksburg, Virginia, country singer John Rich reportedly said, "why the hell is Stacy Abrams in Virginia right now? What is that? What is she doing up here? We know what she`s doing up here. She`s working on it. Do you really think California voted for Gavin Newsom again? I don`t think so. Stacy Abrams was probably out there too."

So, there was a lot of supposed concern in Trump world about "stealing the election leading up to it and then nothing. None of the alleged fraud ever materialized because of course Republican Glenn Youngkin won the race. And according to Trump and his allies, elections are only illegitimate when Democrats win them. It is the heads I win, tails you lose theory of American politics.

And there is an interesting angle to all this in Virginia which is a state that has a 45-day window of early voting including no excuse absentee ballots by mail, a policy which if you remember anything from the 2020 election was kind of a problem according to many Republicans. In fact, when Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri tried to overturn the results of our free and fair election to put the loser in over the winner against the will of the American people, he specifically cited mail-in ballots in states like Pennsylvania is a reason why.

But of course, Hawley is not concerned about that now because his guy won. Yes, obviously it`s a good thing the Republicans are not making bogus claims on election fraud but it is worth taking a moment to just think about what would have happened if the Democrat Terry McAuliffe had geeked out a win by a few thousand votes. Trump and his allies were transparently setting the groundwork to claim the election was rigged.

And if McAuliffe had narrowly won a close election, they would likely be whipping their supporters into a frenzy right now as I speak to you with protests outside the election headquarters like we saw after the 2020 election. Maybe Trump would even attempt to pressure Republican Glenn Youngkin to reject the results, something to his credit Youngkin previously pledged he would not do.


In fact, we`re seeing something like this play on a much smaller scale in New Jersey where the Democrat Phil Murphy did barely defeat his Republican challenger in an election that was much closer than anyone predicted. Some Republican talking heads including acting Trump Homeland Security official and former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli are pushing these very Trumpian conspiracies about the votes in New Jersey.

Now, we`re not seeing the full Trump effort to overturn the will of voters there I suspect because New Jersey is a very blue state, Republicans did not really expect to win there. There wasn`t this sense of like oh it was stolen from us. We were so revved up about it and he won anyway. But there`s still very much an effort by some of his allies to claim the election was rigged which they reflexively do every time a Republican loses.

And again, it would be easy to dismiss it as the whining and trolling of losers or paranoid delusional people, but the problem is, it comes from Trump on the way -- all the way down. It creates the unsustainable equilibrium that we have in our politics where when Democrats lose, they acknowledge defeat, everyone moves on. When Republicans lose, the Democrats cheated, the election was stolen, our entire Democratic process is illegitimate.

And there is of course ever since January 6 always the specter of a violent mass movement or most recently a full-fledged insurrection to overturn the results of a free and fair election just because the Republican candidate lost. And that`s part of a broader problem which is the conservative project as a whole essentially getting radicalized in its base against the very pillars of representative democracy.

One of those pillars until relatively recently was of course the voting rights act, one of the greatest achievements in the history of our democracy. It prohibited racially discriminating -- discriminatory voting laws which was only necessary because the amendment that had done that, the 15th amendment was just violated. It also dramatically increased Black voter participation in the South. It prohibited racially discriminated laws and as you see in the chart, it increased Black voter participation in the South.

Just look at this graph. The orange bars are Black voter registration before the VRA was passed. The blue bars represent registration after the VRA, almost instant. Look at that. The law has been slowly gutted by Chief Justice John Roberts from the Supreme Court over the last few years. And for some context in the not-so-distant past, reauthorizing the VRA used to always be a bipartisan non-controversial enterprise.

In 2006, none other than Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky whipped votes in favor of it. Republican President George W. Bush signed it into law. He had a whole big, you know, made a show of it. Well, now, Democrats are trying to restore the law to basically what it was before the Supreme Court of John Roberts got its hands on it. And the -- and what they`re proposing is called the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act named after the late congressman and civil rights hero who shed blood in the battle for equal participation for Black Americans in our democracy.

Democrats are trying to fill the holes the Supreme Court poked in voting rights through a number of voting rights bills. And now, Republicans want nothing to do with it. In fact, when the John Lewis Bill came up for a vote yesterday, the same Mitch McConnell once whipped votes for VRA reauthorization tried to argue the new law was tantamount to a partisan power grab.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Practically, every single week, Senate Democrats make another attempt at grabbing new power over America`s elections. Rather than Congressional Democrats trying to grab all the power for themselves, they`re instead trying to pull off the power grab on behalf of the Democratic Attorney General. Instead of watching Democrats in the legislative branch seizing power over elections in the country, it`ll be watching Democrats and the executive branch.


HAYES: I mean, of course, the problem that argument is it proves too much you could say the precisely the same thing about the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Maybe McConnell thinks that those criticisms of it were right too. Notice how McConnell does not engage with the actual merits of the bill. Instead, he just tries to reframe into come kind of scary takeover at local elections.

One Republican ultimately supported that legislation yesterday, one, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. There are 50 Republicans in the Senate. Only Senator Murkowski supported the most basic of voting rights protections.

The Republican Party is increasingly radicalizing against democracy to create a situation in which they can compete for elections and use the constitutional advantages they have in the Senate, the Electoral College which are significant and growing. And they use the control they have at the state level to make voting harder while also making people believe that voter fraud is rampant.

And we can see it play out all over the country. From North Carolina, Republicans are pushing an extreme gerrymander to squeeze out any Democratic opposition, to Florida where Republican Governor Ron DeSantis wants to set up an office of election crimes and security ostensibly to investigate these bonus -- bogus allegations of voter fraud, but also pretty transparently to intimidate people who might vote for Democrats.



DESANTIS: We are going to create a separate office at the state level solely dedicated to investigating and prosecuting election crimes in the state of Florida.

The first person that gets caught, no one is going to want to do it again after that because they know that there`s going to be enforcement.


HAYES: Aside from the fact that it`s clearly a mini-DeSantis for president campaign, most importantly, there is no widespread voter fraud in Florida or anywhere else in this country for that matter. What DeSantis is doing is flatly an attempt to intimidate and scare people into not voting.

Think of it. People may have a criminal record, maybe unsure about where or how to vote. And listen, I`m no lawyer, but it is worth noting that among the many provisions of the Voting Rights Act is an explicit ban on intimidating people who are attempting to vote.

Ari Berman is a senior reporter for Mother Jones, author Give Us The Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America. Cornell Belcher is a Democratic pollster and strategist who has insight into the future of the Democratic Party in the light of Tuesday`s ongoing election shenanigans. They join me now.

Ari, let me -- let me start with you on the -- on the DeSantis announcement which at one level is a stunt, but another level really strikes me as like essentially intimidation. Like, saying, we`re going to make an example of the first person caught, is saying we`re going to try to send a message to make people scared of voting.

ARI BERMAN, SENIOR REPORTER, MOTHER JONES: Exactly. And it`s just the further weaponization of the big lie. Remember, DeSantis already signed a sweeping voter suppression bill as an exclusive on "FOX AND FRIENDS," so they already made it harder to vote. And then now, he`s announcing a whole other unit that seems as you said, designed as propaganda but also could have a chilling effect on voter participation.

And remember, Chris, Republicans created the entire system of elections in Florida. So, they`re essentially railing against the system they created. They created drop boxes. They created no excuse absentee voting. They created all of the election laws that they`re now saying aren`t enforced. And so, it gets to what you`re saying earlier which is that if the voting system works for them, they`re for it. But if it doesn`t work for them, they`re suddenly against it and they`re saying the election is rigged.

But I think the clear through-line to all of this is that they choose to keep doubling down more and more on voter suppression even when it doesn`t seem to be in their political interest to do so.

HAYES: Yes. We should note, DeSantis said, I don`t even think we should have dropped boxes even though he signed the bill two years ago that first authorized their use in the state. I mean, they should talk to the people that created these rules which are of course, Florida Republicans.

There`s also the fact, Cornell -- and this is something I`ve been banging on about -- I don`t think if anyone listens to me but I`ll just say it again which is Republicans are -- well, you listen to me. Thank you, Cornell. You know, Republicans are fully capable of winning high turnout elections.

Like, this idea that you know having making it easier to vote means like Republicans are -- like, they just what in Virginia. It`s a state that did all this stuff of 45 days of no-excuse absentee voting, early voting. And they won there. It`s not like it has some crystal clear partisan advantage to make it easier for people to vote.

CORNELL BELCHER, DEMOCRATIC POLLSTER: Well, yes and no. I mean, there`s a couple things to unpack. One is that when you look at the targeted efforts that Republicans have been doing in some of these states, it does disproportionately impact voters especially in urban -- in urban areas. It does disproportionately impact voters quite frankly who are younger and vote -- and voters of color, people that they quite frankly is not -- to their benefit that is easy -- as it is in fact easy to vote.

And the other part about the big lie though and it`s about turnout sort of the -- sort of the high levels of -- the high levels of turnout is the big lie, they`re crazy like a fox. It is -- it is almost a perfect instrument for them because one, as we know, the big lie is an energizing a sort of Republican-based energizing tool. And we`ve seen it and they rev up and they get energized by it.

And one of the things that that you as a political party want to do is you want to have an enthusiastic and energized base of voters. The big lie is doing that and it`s perpetuating that you know, these people are still in your country, these people are taking your country, what are you going to do about it.

And as opposed to what I saw quite frankly when I was doing research after the Gore-Bush fight where I saw a lot of Democrats thinking well, my vote doesn`t matter because they`ll just steal it or take it away. Republicans are actually having the opposite impact on it. The ideal that something is being taken away from them is actually energizing them. That`s one.

Two, it is also it lays a predicate. And you see this as what DeSantis is doing. It lays down a predicate for the suppression efforts that they then want to build on top of. So, the big lie is powerful in -- on multiple fronts. And my question for Democrats would simply be this. If they can energize their voters around the ideal that -- around the ideal of the big lie and then use it as a predicate to take away our franchise, why the heck can`t we use it as a reason to energize Democrats for something bigger and say you know what -- you know what the next election is about, it`s about having democracy. It is literally about saving our democracy.

You know, can we energize our voters around that more so that we can energize them around the idea of what is good policy bridges and roads and broadband, but certainly not an energizing issue.


HAYES: That`s interesting. Yes, I mean the idea that this serves this purpose is I think spot-on and we see it in a bunch of states. I mean what you`ll hear -- in Georgia and Florida or in Texas which Ari, I want to ask you about in a moment, you know, when you ask Republicans, they say well, we need people to trust the system, right?

So, they create the distrust, they profit off of the distrust, and then they say, we have to pass these laws in terms of system. Today, the Department of Justice announced it was suing Texas alleging that Senate Bill SB1, which is that sort of similar to things happening in Georgia and Florida violates part of the voting rights act and civil rights act by imposing restrictions at polling locations and through absentee ballots. How important is this from the DOJ to Texas, Ari?

BERMAN: Well, I think it`s an important lawsuit. It`s important though to remember that it challenges only two parts of the Texas law. So, there`s about 20 parts of the Texas law that make it harder to vote. So, I`m still concerned about the 18 other provisions that the Justice Department decided for one reason or other not to challenge, whether they did also say that they are going to side with other private plaintiffs that are already challenging this law.

I think it`s very clear that we are not going to litigate our way out of this mess, that if you look at the courts this is going to go through, this is going to go to conservative district court judges, it`s going to go to the conservative 5th circuit, the most conservative circuit in the country, then it`s going to go to the Supreme Court that`s now gutted the Voting Rights Act twice.

And that`s why it`s so important to have federal legislation protecting voting rights. That`s why there`s such a big push for a new voting rights act and for the freedom to vote act because we both need federal protections we once had but we also need a new baseline of support for voting rights and protection of voting rights no matter where you live.

And that is going to be the way to solve this problem. Just like in 1965, the Justice Department wasn`t going to out-litigate poll taxes and literacy tests. It wasn`t going to out-organize poll taxes and literacy tests. It had to pass voter protection. It had to pass legislation to stop the problem of voter suppression. We`re in that same kind of moment now where there`s no substitute for congressional action on voting rights.

HAYES: All right, Ari Berman and Cornell Belcher, thank you both, gentlemen. I appreciate it.

Today, Donald Trump`s executive privilege claims have their day in court. Well, they have to start turning over evidence the January 6 committee. Plus, what to make the reporting that the probe into the trump work has a new grand jury. That`s next.



HAYES: There is now another grand jury hearing evidence about the Trump organization. Today, the Washington Post reported the Manhattan District Attorney has convened this new grand jury to hear evidence about the organization`s financial practices and potentially vote on criminal charges. That`s separate from the grand jury that was convened this past spring which we covered. That`s the one that handed down those felony indictments against two Trump companies as well as the Trump organization CFO Allen Weisselberg.

The posters reporting it`s unclear if that grand jury is still hearing evidence. And now, we`re learning of another. And that happens on a day that the lawyers for Donald Trump were busy fielding another legal battle in D.C.

The House Committee investigating January 6 is requesting documents from Donald Trump relating to the insurrection, well, from the National Archives. And he is arguing the material is protected by executive privilege. Mind you, Trump is not the executive in charge, President Joe Biden is. The White House has already said multiple times that privilege should not be invoked in this case.

Today, Trump had his day in court. And while we have not heard a ruling in the case yet, the district court judge did not seem particularly convinced by their arguments.

Glenn Kirchner is a former 30-year federal prosecutor who`s in that courtroom today. Years ago, he worked cases against the judge presiding over the case back when she was a public defender. And Joyce Vance is a professor at the University of Alabama school of law, also former U.S. attorney for the northern district of Alabama.

Glenn, let me start with you. Just lay out what`s at issue here and what the arguments that the Trump lawyers were making were.

GLENN KIRSCHNER, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Yes, so the Trump lawyers are desperately trying to find a reason to prevent the documents from going from the National Archives over to the House Select Committee. These are documents and phone logs and handwritten notes and talking points that will enlighten the House Select Committee about what Donald Trump was up to in connection with the attack on the Capitol on January 6th.

And I will say, I was in the courtroom for the argument and really argument after argument being made by Justin Clark, Donald Trump`s lawyer. It was just being shot down by Judge Tanya Chutkan. She was really having none of it. And one of the recurring themes that I found really interesting is when the defense attorney would try to suggest that this somehow involves a dispute between the other branches of government.

She corrected him and said, actually, this is what she referred to as a rare instance of harmony between the other branches of government because the executive branch as represented by President Biden said he will not invoke executive privilege. So, the executive branch wants the documents to go over and the legislative branch as represented by that the House Select Committee obviously wants the documents from the national archives, so they`re in agreement.

And she came back to this theme a couple of times saying it would actually be an improper interference by the third branch of government and the judiciary to interfere with what the other two branches have concluded.

HAYES: Yes. Let me read one section that lines up with that. Trump`s lawyer said the request for a wide range of documents is invalid because the committee doesn`t have unlimited power of investigation, can only seek material directly related to writing legislation. And she says, are you releasing the president`s notes talking points and records of telephone conversations on January 6 have no bearing on the investigation? That was her question which is I think a relevant one.

It`s also -- the next question here of course, Joyce, is about what happens, right? Because there`s the Merits and then there`s whether he can delay, right? So, you can rule in the merits that they`ve got no case here, but you still stay turning over the documents and then it goes to appeal. It`ll probably go to SCOTUS. And the question of how long that takes then becomes the point of the -- of all the litigation.


JOYCE VANCE, MSNBC LEGAL ANALYST: Well, that`s right. And when has delayed not been Trump`s strategy and his reason for using litigation and going to courts? But I think there`s at least a little bit of good news on that front. Judge Chutkan said that she would rule expeditiously. That`s how she closed the hearing.

There was a little bit of back and forth between her and DOJ`s lawyer Elizabeth Shapiro where Ms. Shapiro suggested that the judge had ample time to rule in order to facilitate the first release by the national archives which is scheduled around the middle of the month. Then, there are two more truncheons of documents that will be released two weeks later. The judge sort of laughed at that and made fun about how busy her schedule was.

But it was clear she plans to rule in a way that will permit the release of documents. And the only way that Trump could get delay after that would be if he could convince the court of appeals to stay the release of documents. That`s one of the reasons today`s argument substantively was so important.

HAYES: Right.

VANCE: The DOJ lawyers and the congressional lawyers did a great job of pointing out he would suffer no irreparable injury from the release because he has no personal interest in these documents. He`s no longer a sitting president. There`s every reason to believe that the court of appeals won`t issue any sort of stay and that the documents could well be released on schedule.

HAYES: That is a great point and I hadn`t quite thought of it in that way. I want to -- I want to ask you since I both have you hear about this new reporting about this new grand jury. Glenn, let me read from the Washington Post reporting. One person familiar with the matters, the grand jury was expected to examine how former President Trump`s company valued its assets that appears to be separate issue from the one described in indictments from the first grand jury. What do you make of this?

KIRSCHNER: So, you know, the big question, and we have to read the tea leaves here, Chris. Is this a procedural matter or is it a substantive matter? Sometimes one grand jury expires and we need to impanel a second one so we can keep the investigation going. But ordinarily, if it has to do with one unitary investigation, what we would do is extend the first grand jury so we could maintain some consistency.

So, this has the feel of a substantive matter where they need to empower a new grand jury. And sometimes the reason we do that is because evidence has been heard by the first grand jury that we don`t want to be used as part of the indictment decision-making process. So, we will present only what we want a second grand jury to hear before asking for an indictment.

HAYES: That`s clarifying. Joyce, your thoughts.

VANCE: Well, it`s possible that there`s a substantive reason for using a second grand jury. This looks to me more like it`s procedural. In the federal system, our grand juries last a lot longer and it`s easier to get an extension of your grand jury.

In the New York state system, the grand jury sit for a shorter period of time. It`s more difficult to re-up them. This may simply reflect that time has run out on the original grand jury that was impaneled. We were expecting it to run out at some point this month or early next month. So, I would be careful about reading too much into this.

HAYES: All right, well, we will -- we will see. We will find out. At some point it will be revealed. Glenn Kirschner, Joyce Vance, thank you both.

HAYES: Just ahead, if proof the vaccine requirements are working, look no further than the NYPD. They empty threats behind the right-wing freak out after this.



HAYES: When cities and counties across the country started mandating COVID vaccines for police officers and firefighters and healthcare workers and teachers, many of the people who would be forced to get vaccinated started openly threatening they were going to walk off the job.


ALEX VILLANUEVA, SHERIFF, LOS ANGELES COUNTY: I know my employees very well and I cannot afford to lose five to ten percent of my employees overnight who will react to someone trying to impose something.

ANDREW ANSBRO, PRESIDENT, FDNY FIREFIGHTER ASSOCIATION: Right now, 45 percent of New York City firefighters are unvaccinated. I don`t think many have actually gone to get vaccinated. I think what`s going to happen on November 1st is that they`re going to have to close down 30 to 40 of the firehouses in New York City.

JOHN CATANZARA, PRESIDENT, CHICAGO FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE: All I can tell you is if we suspect the numbers are true and we get a large number of our members to stand firm on their beliefs that this is an overreach and they`re not going to supply the information in the portal or submit the testing, then it`s safe to say the city of Chicago will have a police force at 50 percent or less for this weekend coming up.


HAYES: That last guy by the way is the one that compared the vaccine mandate to the Nazi gas chambers. Remember that? Those warnings sounded really bad but then the deadlines for those mandates came and went and it never really happened the way they said it would.

Look at New York City just to take one example. New York Times reports "In the 12 days from when the mandate was first announced and Monday`s deadline, the vaccination rate shot up at many city agencies. At the city`s emergency medical services which operates ambulances, the vaccination rate jumped to 87 percent from 61. The sanitation department`s vaccination rate jumped 20 points to 82 percent from 62. The adult vaccination rate across New York City is at 86 percent."

That`s a pretty good boost in less than two weeks. It brings those agencies basically in line with the overall vaccination rate in the city. In fact, across all the city agencies, about 9000 employees have been placed on unpaid leave. Now, leave, that may seem like a lot, but keep in mind the city has over 370,000 people on payroll. Those 9000 people make up less than two and a half percent of municipal employees.


What about the police? Well, fewer than three dozen uniformed officers out of about 35,000 were placed on unpaid leave on Monday when the deadline expired, less than three dozen. 34 New York cops were put on leave out of 35,000. About 0.09 percent. This has been the case in city after city where police union bosses have threatened that all their force will walk out, it`s going to be chaos on the streets. And then you know what happens? They don`t. They get the vaccine.

Like in Seattle, Washington where the police department warned that 27 of its officers had not yet submitted their vaccination records ahead of the city`s deadline. Well, once the mandate was in place, about 176 Seattle police officers and firefighters combined were unable to report to work. The city boasted 99 of its roughly 11,000 employees were in compliance with the mandate by the deadline.

That is how this appears to work every time. Once a mandate goes into place, guess what happens, an overwhelming majority of people actually get the shot. And those people left making all the noise about tyranny and refusing to comply are just a tiny minority of holdouts and Fox News hosts.

Today, the Biden administration announced new updates on how they`re going to make workplaces safer from covid going forward, and all the same people are calling that tyranny. Well, coming up next, we`ll talk to one of the tyrants. Don`t go away.



HAYES: Back in September, the Biden administration announced a plan to get millions more Americans vaccinated against COVID with new workplace safety rules mandating that all employers and more than 100 workers require them to be vaccinated or tested for the virus weekly which affects about 80 million Americans.

Today, the administration set January 4th as the deadline for that policy to be implemented as the New York Times points out. In a separate measure that will affect 17 million more workers, nursing homes, and other health care facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funds, must ensure all employees are vaccinated by January 4th with no option for testing.

It seems like a very good idea, sound policy, and also a huge undertaking. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh oversees the federal agency implementing these workplace rules and he joins me now. Secretary Walsh, first just describe how the federal government has the authority to do this for these employers with 100 or more workers.

MARTY WALSH, U.S. SECRETARY OF LABOR: Well, the law -- the law enacted in OSHA provides us the opportunity to put this law in place, this emergency temporary standard. You know, this is not done lightly. Lots of conversation, lots of dot on it. I heard your previous segment and I listened to folks concerned about being vaccinated. And quite honestly, what we want to do here -- I know you didn`t ask me this and we`ll get into it, but what we want to do here is provide a safe workplace for co-workers and for people going in for work.

And what this rule does, what this emergency standard does is pretty simple. It asks employers to have their employees vaccinated. And if their employees don`t want to get vaccinated, they get tested once a week and when they`re in work, they wear a mask.

HAYES: So, there has been obviously some rebellion to this. And I think it is worth noting that there is this testing option which we can get into. But, you know, you`re someone whose background is in the U.S. labor movement. And there are some who have tried to say this is anti-labor, an imposition from either the boss or the government on the worker`s rights to bodily autonomy. What do you say to that?

WALSH: Well, I wouldn`t call it anti-worker. I think this is pro-worker. This is pro -- making sure that workers have the opportunity to go into a workplace that`s safe, that they know is safe, that they`ll be able to look on a list to see not names of people but see how many people in the office are vaccinated and how many people are getting tested on a weekly basis.

And I think that as an employee, as a worker, you want to make sure that you come home safe to your family at night. And this is one of the ways that we`ll be able to ensure that workers get a chance to come home safe and not potentially be worrying about the virus at work.

Now, I can`t speak to being in this grocery store or walking down the street what have you, but again, the workplace is really important for us in this country to make sure that people have the opportunity to go to work and feel safe there.

HAYES: So, the scope of this is enormous. I mean, I think it`s 80 million workers estimated will be covered by this. I mean, obviously there`s a lot of employers who employ more than 100 people in this country. They have a lot of workers. Does the Department of Labor have the, you know, the capacity to enforce this to make sure this actually happens?

WALSH: Yes. I mean, the Department of Labor and OSHA particularly has done work like this over the last 50 years, so they certainly have the capacity. For the next couple of weeks, we`re going to be working with companies and getting the information.

Quite honestly, I think a lot of the companies already -- with 100 or more employees already have some type of vaccine program. And a lot of times, it`s a mandate. This isn`t a mandate. This is a vaccine or testing. And I think that that`s something that a lot of the people who are anti-vaccine and saying they don`t want it, I want you to take a deep breath and hear what I`m saying here because I think it`s really important to understand. It is about keeping people safe including folks that don`t want to get vaccinated to make sure that they`re safe.

HAYES: And so, they would have to test once a week and you said wear a mask indoor. So, it isn`t -- it does -- it is not -- it is a choice that is being offered.

WALSH: It is a choice. And you know, a lot of people -- I mean, we`ve heard some pushback from truckers today. And the ironic thing is most truckers aren`t covered by this because they`re driving a truck, they`re in a cab, they`re by themselves. They wouldn`t be covered by this. People are outside.


I heard some construction industries push back on this. A lot of construction is outside again in an open environment, a lot different. So, I would suggest that you know, as we think about this moving forward, you know, when the president announced this in September, you know, we were having high levels of Delta variant at that particular moment, lots of people were getting sick, you know, people were dying, and they still are every day today in America.

But he put this -- he suggest -- he recommended or ordered I guess whatever you want to call it that myself and OSHA, we came up with a standard. We did. A lot of work went into it. A lot of thought went into it. And I feel that you know -- I feel that it`s a -- it`s a good well-thought-out plan here and we`re going to -- we`re going to hopefully get some positive feedback, but more importantly some positive results from it.

HAYES: The governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis sued the federal government today over precisely this policy as issued by the Department of Labor through the OSHA law and has claimed the federal government has exceeded its authority. This is specifically on the federal contractors part of this which is a different part of the -- of the policy. Are you confident that all the different aspects of this policy from health care workers to employer of 100 to the federal contractors can pass judicial review?

WALSH: Yes, we feel confident about that. You know, like I said, that was well-written standard. A lot of thought went into it and I think it`s important. And I just want to say, you know, when this pandemic began, I spent a lot of time on MSNBC and other stations as a mayor of the city of Boston. And every afternoon, I`d get in front of the camera and I talked about all the people that got COVID-19 and I talked about all the people that died and we said a prayer for them.

And as time went on, that number in the United States of America has gone over 750,000 Americans have lost their life to COVID-19. 750,000 people have died. Every single day, people are getting infected with COVID-19. We saw people on ventilators. This is about keeping people safe. This is about helping people. This is not about a political stand in this -- and when I hear that, you know, I just kind of see myself -- I think to myself, I know I`m not a -- I`m not an elected official anymore, but I think back to my days as mayor.

My responsibility as mayor of Boston was to keep people safe and healthy and businesses safe and open and thriving. That`s what my job as mayor was. Now, my job as Secretary of Labor is to make sure we`re protecting American workers so that they can go to work and be safe and feel safe.

And again, I don`t believe we`re overstepping our bounds here. There`s options here for workers in this emergency temporary standard.

HAYES: All right, Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh, former Boston mayor, thank you very much.

WALSH: Thank you.

HAYES: Coming up, is the hot magma sitting under Iceland they key to stemming climate change? The brand new facility in Iceland taking steps to help cool the planet, right after this.



HAYES: As world leaders gather in Scotland to discuss solutions to the climate crisis, there`s a rare and encouraging bit of climate news, a working fully operational carbon capture plant that just came online. Right now, it is sucking carbon dioxide out of the air and turning it into rock.

The plant is in Iceland on a volcanic lava plain and here`s how it works. Those great big things that look like giant air conditioners you might see on the roof of a building, those are the Orca direct air capture devices.

Four units each with 12 large fans inside. They suck in the air and they filter out the carbon dioxide. The CO2 is then heated up, mixed with water, and pump deep underground where over time it cools down into stone.

Now, the whole plant is run by geothermal energy which is key. It doesn`t contribute to the problem it is attempting to solve. And it can remove 4000 tons of carbon dioxide from the year air per year by turning it into rock which is great.

But there`s an enormous catch as the New York Times points out. The problem is that Orca`s output equals just three seconds of humanity`s annual CO2 emissions which are closer to 40 billion metric tons. We would need many, many, many more carbon capture plants like this to start making any kind of dent in global emissions. But it`s a very promising development at a time we need every possible solution to the climate crisis to come online and deploy as soon as possible.

David Wallace-Wells is New York Magazine`s editor at large, author of the Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming and he joins me now. David, let me just -- I`m going to -- I`m just going to put this up again just to highlight the catch here, right, which is that we`re talking about 3.8 seconds worth of global CO2 emissions for this one -- this one plant. This is not -- I don`t want anyone to come away from this conversation being like we`ve got it, we`re solved.

But that said, the future is going to involve all kinds of ways to get carbon out of the air. And there`s something encouraging about seeing this thing that I`ve read about for a while up and operating.

DAVID WALLACE-WELLS, EDITOR AT LARGE, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: And it`s not even being done at an insane price point. It`s much more expensive than avoiding putting carbon in the atmosphere in the first place which means there are a lot of things we should be attacking by just decarbonizing rather than letting the carbon burn and taking it out but it`s close enough to an operational, you know, economic goal level that we can imagine a decade or 15 years from now with enough public support, with enough public investment, that could -- we could start scaling it up and seeing it operate at a, you know, at a climatologically significant level.

That`ll probably mean growing at a thousandfold or maybe even in a million- fold over the course of the next few decades. But the scientists I speak to say that is possible. It won`t solve the problem of fossil fuels. We need to get rid of them to start with. But once we`ve gotten rid of them, this will clean up what`s called the residual emissions, the really industrial stuff and maybe even on a century or century and a half time scale, to allow us to undo some of the damage that we`ve done to this point in inventing this climate crisis out of nothing.

HAYES: And for those screaming at the television set that there`s already a technology which does this which is called trees, you are correct, that is also true. And there`s -- there are other parts of the sort of carbon sequestering part of this. Again, there`s the emissions, right? There`s changing the rhythm, then there`s a carbon-sequestering part, which is both soil and trees, which is another huge part of the portfolio here of stuff that has to be done and deployed at scale.


WELLS: Yes, it`s exactly as you said at the top. We need everything we need a decarbonization programs so that our energy systems get to zero very quickly, then we have all-electric vehicles on the roads very quickly, we need to rethink our agricultural production, our industry, our infrastructure. We need to do all that on the decarbonization side, the cutting emissions side.

But probably given where we are today, we`re also going to have to take some carbon out of the atmosphere, because carbon hangs in the air for centuries, which means even if we get to zero, the planet will not get cooler, it`ll at best stay the same. And if we want to bring ourselves back to, you know, the climate niche that gave rise to human life in the first place and has enclosed all of humanity to this point, we`re going to have to actually remove quite a bit of carbon.

That`s hard to do. It`s expensive to do right now. This is -- this plant is sort of a pilot plant. But if you imagine 50 or 75 years, 100 years down the road, especially with a lot of public support, in theory, we could do that. We could restore the climate, not just stabilize it.

HAYES: The COP, the COP conference is happening in Glasgow. I know you`ve been -- you`ve been covering it. These are always -- they`re hard to follow because I mean, you -- if you think like legislating with a Democratic majority on funds is complicated, try getting all of the world`s countries to agree to stuff. But at the broadest level, what do you see is the main thing to look for in this conference?

WELLS: The thing that I`m most focused on is this issue of the Green Climate Fund, which was a money pot set up in Paris in 2015 to allow the rich nations of the world who are responsible for the overwhelming majority of climate pollution, and have brought us to this crisis point, most notably the U.S., which is done twice as much damage than any country in the world set up by those countries to sort of fund an adaptation and mitigation efforts in the developing world where people couldn`t afford it nearly as easily.

That fund was supposed to be $100 billion a year, that number has not been met to this point. The developing nations of the world, the global south are screaming about that. They`re actually screaming that we need to raise the level of philanthropy and support maybe as much as tenfold. And I`d like to see that happen.

I don`t think it`s very likely. I think the nations of the global north are looking away from the suffering that`s already happening in global south. And I think that`s a great injustice. But it`s what I would like to see come out of this, a real reckoning with a moral debt that the rich nations of the world owe to the poor who have done the least to engineer this crisis and are going to be suffering the most intense impacts in the decades ahead.

HAYES: Yes, you wrote a fantastic piece that I want people to read about climate reparations, and you write the growth has meant emissions, and emissions have meant growth. The climate crisis is a result of that history as is the wealth of nations.

And this connects to something else that I find maddening but also promising in a weird way which is the physics or unrelenting and unforgiveable. They are what they are. The molecules are in the air. The economics are more malleable. Like, there is money out there. Like, we could spend a lot more money than we are spending on this. There`s hopefully going to be a lot of money in this bill. But in some ways, they`re -- like, there are limits on them for political reasons. But we could. We do have the power to spend much more money on this than we are currently doing.

WELLS: I almost think it`s a mistake to think of it in terms of spending money. 90 percent of the world now lives in places where clean energy is cheaper than dirty energy, which means it`s not markets that are slowing us. It`s obstacles to markets that are slowing us. And so, if we really unleashed the logic of market power, in fact, we`d be heading towards a faster transition which almost every economics -- every economist in the world today will tell you wouldn`t bring us more prosperity and a more just equitable prosperity as soon as a decade or so from now if we undertook it now.

We don`t need -- it`s not a burden. Economists used to think it was a burden. It`s really an opportunity. It`s just one that we`re not letting ourselves undertake. And that`s one point I would connect back to the carbon removal is that all of these obstacles, all of these human political obstacles, not market obstacles, not technological obstacles, they`re the same ones that are standing in the way of a rapid rollout of renewables.

So, the same things -- you know, if you`re not happy with how fast we`re rolling out wind and solar, chances are we`re not going to be rolling out direct air capture or anything like this and we`re going to want either. We need to overcome those obstacles and not worry about economics or -- you know, or physics.

HAYES: Technology, yes. David Wallace-Wells who I always learn from on this topic, thank you very much.

WELLS: Thanks for having me.

HAYES: Before we go, a quick note about a very special week pod episode we just released this. I had a chance to talk to someone who has had a front- row seat to the ways that climate change impacts our everyday lives. The great Al Roker is my guest on the newest episode of my podcast Why is this Happening?

Now, I am -- I have been watching Al for basically my entire life. It was a genuine pleasure to talk to him to about lots of things, weather, climate, honestly to find out how he became the famous weatherman that he is. The episode is out now wherever you get your podcast.

That`s ALL IN on this Thursday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.