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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 12/2

Guests: Rebecca Traister, Yamiche Alcindor, Anthony Fauci, Ben Mathis- Lilley


Conservative politicians are fighting hard to gut abortion rights in the U.S. in the name of the sanctity of life but took small, tangible, concrete steps to band together to choose life and protect people from the pandemic. Former President Trump and his administration covered up his positive test days before the debate and knowingly exposed people as he hosted events. Experts are urging vaccinations, boosters, and testing in the face of the new COVID variant, Omicron. Former President Trump tries to make Ohio Senate race about himself.


DAVID HOGG, ACTIVIST: The movement is not broken. It is our government that`s broken. And that`s why we need every single liberal, every single person in this country regardless of political affiliation to be calling out Biden to do what is right right now.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Yes. That is all true. David Hogg, thank you so much. It`s always great to see you and to talk to you. Thank you.

That is tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voiceover): Tonight on ALL IN.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The state has an important and legitimate interest in protecting the potentiality of human life.

HAYES: Why one political movement in America chooses life over women`s rights and death when it comes to a historic pandemic.

DAN PATRICK, LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR, TEXAS: What I said when I was with you that night, there are more important things than living.

HAYES: Then, even more stunning revelations about Donald Trump`s COVID deception and why the man who broke the news is trying to save face.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What is the story here?

MARK MEADOWS, FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Well, the President is right. It`s fake news.

HAYES: Plus, Dr. Anthony Fauci on the Biden team`s winter COVID plan and what he knew about the former President`s positive test.

And why that blogger from Mar-a-Lago is throwing a tantrum over the MAGA primary in Ohio.

JD VANCE, CONSERVATIVE POLITICIAN: I might have to hold my nose and vote for Hillary Clinton. I didn`t vote for Trump because I can`t stomach Trump. I think that he`s noxious.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. For as long as I`ve been working the world of American national politics, covering politics there have been two ways of thinking about opponents of abortion at least from progressives. those who support abortion rights./

One is that the opponents of abortion, people call themselves pro-life, are sincere in their belief, well-intentioned, but just wrong. And the other is that they`re being fundamentally kind of dishonest, that they`re fighting against abortion actually as a means to control women`s bodies, to preserve traditional gender roles and patriarchy and it`s not really about the sanctity of life.

I have to say, I`ve always been much more sympathetic to that first view, you know, well-intentioned but wrong. And I think it`s partly because I was raised Catholic. I`ve been around people my whole life including loved ones, my beloved grandparents who went to the March for Life every year, who really sincerely opposed abortion.

And I`ve known the kinds of people who really believed in what the Pope once called the seamless garment who opposed wars like the Iraq war and the death penalty, and visited people in prisons and also opposed abortion. And I think that experience has made me feel a little defensive about the notion that the anti-abortion movement, what calls itself the pro-life movement, is actually all about controlling women and their bodies.

And people in that movement really do use life as this kind of beacon. They use that word life, sanctuary life, pro-life. And it`s been interesting to me how effective it was that branding, how the right took the word life and gave it this very specific partisan ideological meaning. It`s really kind of brilliant. I mean who could be against life? If you`re pro-life, who`s on the other side? Everyone loves life. No one is anti-life.

Now, over the past year, we`ve essentially run an experiment that tests these two theories. Is the anti-abortion movement born out of a cynical desire to control women and enforce patriarchy and traditional gender roles or is it sincerely held belief in the sanctity, the holiness of this precious thing we call human life?

And after nearly eight hundred thousand COVID deaths, I got to say, I think we have a pretty good answer. Since the very beginning of the pandemic last march, we have watched the spectacle of the conservative anti-abortion movement praising life of the unborn, and in the same breath essentially shrugging their shoulders about deaths from the virus.

I mean, Lieutenant Governor of Texas, Dan Patrick, almost literally did that on Tucker Carlson`s show last April.


PATRICK: In Texas, we have 29 million people. We`ve lost 495. Every life is valuable. But 500 people out of 29 million and we`re locked down. There are more important things than living and that`s saving this country for my children my grandchildren and saving this country for all of us.


HAYES: That`s a good pro-life slogan, there are more important things in living. We heard the same apathy about the people dying of COVID from Bill O`Reilly. Remember him? You may not remember him but he used to be on television. He spent years promoting the so-called pro-life movement when he was on TV on Fox News.


BILL O`REILLY, FORMER HOST, FOX NEWS: Many people who are dying both here and around the world were on their last legs anyway and I don`t want to sound callous about that.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST FOX NEWS: You`re going to get -- hold on. You`re going to get hammered for that.

O`REILLY: Well, I don`t care. I mean, a simple man tells the truth.


HAYES: Yes, on their last legs. Who cares if they die, they`re on their last legs. That`s a good pro-life sentiment. That`s a good -- that clearly is the articulation of a person who believes fundamentally in the sanctity of life. And just look at the dangerous anti-vaccine nonsense just coming endlessly from the entire universe of the Christian broadcasting industrial complex. People like Marcus Lamb who of course preached virulently against abortion and advocated for Roe v Wade to be overturned.


MARCUS LAMB, CO-FOUNDER, DAYSTAR TELEVISION NETWORK: The COVID shot, some call it a vaccine, it`s not really a vaccine. People are dying from the so- called vaccine and we want to warn you. We want to help you. We want to give you an alternative.

You say what can we do? We can pray. We can get Ivermectin and budesonide, and hydroxychloroquine.


HAYES: On Tuesday, Marcus Lamb died of COVID at the age of 64. He was unvaccinated. His life was lost. The Republican Governor of Mississippi Tate Reeves laid bare the thinking from some I think honestly on the religious right. This summer at a fundraiser, here`s what Reeves said. I`m often asked by some of my friends on the other side of the eye about COVID, and why does it seem like folks in Mississippi and maybe in the mid-south are a little less scared, shall we say. When you believe in eternal life, when you believe that living on this earth is but a blip on the screen, you don`t have to be so scared of things."

That`s interesting. So, if you have that religious worldview, you don`t think life is that important. If you die of COVID, you go to heaven. Remember, the abortion law now in front of the Supreme Court looking to ban most abortions after 15 weeks comes from Mississippi with the support of Governor Tate Reeves.

So, this is the state that`s in court, in court this week, arguing self- righteously sanctimoniously about the sanctity of life at the same time is basically saying the many preventable deaths from COVID in that state are just a sped-up reunion with the heavenly father.

Or look at Missouri, one of the states that has a trigger law in the books. That means the state is prepared to immediately ban all abortions if Mississippi wins that Supreme Court case and Roe is overturned. And in that same state, the Republican-controlled state government withheld data showing mask mandates prevented COVID cases and deaths, information that could have kept more of its citizens healthy and alive. Choose life.

Sharing that impression would have been promoting life, choosing life. And this hypocrisy about life is laid out perhaps most clearly in these two tweets from the Republican National Committee. This is one from yesterday afternoon called life is precious. Republicans will always stand for the sanctity of life. And this came just a few hours later. No Biden vaccine mandate.

We ran the experiment. We tested the theories. The only thing we could conclude from all the evidence is that we`ve been handed a pretty definitive account of what at least the leadership, not everyone in this country -- there`s millions of people -- the leadership the anti-abortion movement has always really been about. Because we had a once in a century pandemic, one of the biggest mass casualty events in this country`s history that continues to this day. Thousands dying a day and the political movement that goes around screaming at you through bull horns as pro-life reacted with a collective whatever or that was actually the best of it.

In many cases, what they did was actively take steps in policy and in rhetoric day after day to get more people killed. That`s not hyperbole. Those are just the plain facts. The perfect example is the event we mentioned yesterday, the celebration of the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett at Supreme Court last September. This was the moment that the pro-life movement knew they had won. We did it.

Amy Coney Barrett who they knew opposed abortion was going to be the vote they needed to overturn the landmark abortion case Roe v Wade. And here they are celebrating that victory for life indoors in an enclosed space in the midst of a pandemic killing people left and right. And we now know that Donald Trump tested positive for COVID later that same day.

Lord knows how many people Trump got sick or if anyone actually died from COVID transmission chains that started with that single reckless super spreader event. Chris Christie ended up in the ICU. But this is the whole story in one picture. If you need a bigger refutation that this was all about life, look at these people mingling indoors, celebrating without masks, with a man who as it turned out was definitely spreading the virus as thousands of people were dying every day. All that as they celebrated their victory for life.

What has been laid bare by living through this pandemic, the most devastating mass casualty event in our lifetime, is that the side that cloaked themselves in the sanctity of life that put up choose life billboards around the country for decades, when it came to act on that belief to take small tangible concrete steps to band together to choose life to keep people healthy and here among the living, they didn`t do it. They chose death instead. They are still choosing death now.


Rebecca Traister is a writer for New York Magazine. Her latest piece is titled The Betrayal of Roe, and she joins me now. Rebecca, I think that you are probably always -- well, I know this. You have always held the sort of theory two about the nature of the movement. I have to say, I don`t want to catch everyone in this because like I said, there are tens of millions of people who hold this belief and I think my upbringing had a lot to do with it.

But man, it`s hard, it is hard to seed any good faith at least to the leadership of this vanguard when you look at what we`ve been through.

REBECCA TRAISTER, WRITER, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: So, for you, it became clear the experiment you ran and just walked us through very capably was around COVID and the language of life versus the treatment of life when it came to COVID. I think for me and my own political coming to consciousness.

The experiment began when I first began to notice that that the party that fought tooth and nail against access to safe legal affordable abortion care in the name of life and also a kind of fetishistic moralizing around the value of fetal life babies maternity, family, right, was also the party that was fighting tooth and nail to gut welfare and snap programs against affordable housing, against paid leave, against subsidized child care, affordable access to all kinds of health care. All the kinds of policies that would in fact create stable, loving, thriving homes and families and support life for the most vulnerable Americans, right?

And so, that is where the experiment began and ended for me in terms of my realization about is this sort of heartfelt belief in life and the sanctity of family and family values or is it a cynical ploy to gain power and actually to keep people vulnerable populations at the margin. That`s where the experiment was for me.

And I would also note that I watched that language of life and morality and family being taken by an anti-abortion right-wing and I watched the Democratic Party see that language and that framework and not fight -- point out that all the policies that they were supposed to be supporting, right, and often were not were actually policies that better supported thriving families, you know, and economic and familial community security.

HAYES: Yes. And it`s also so clarifying in terms of the -- you know, there is something about the advocacy on behalf of the unborn that it doesn`t ask anything of you. You don`t -- like, you don`t have to do anything. You just have to make sure some other people have like are banned from an abortion. But then we got this test where it was like, we all got to do something here. Like, all of us, they got to give a little.

We can`t go on trips, can`t get indoors during Thanksgiving, can`t have a reception in the White House even though it`s a big happy day. That`s a thing you got to give up. You got to go get a shot in the arm. And it was like, oh, literally over our dead bodies. Like, as soon as it required a thing, as soon as it required some sort of -- you got to pay a little bit of something, forget it.

TRAISTER: So, I think one of the things that it`s worth pointing out is that so many of the people -- and you differentiated between the people who are in power, right, and tend to come from relatively elite climbs and are insulated from all kinds of vulnerability and hardship.

When it comes to this question of abortion, of course, fighting against access to abortion does require a lot from millions of people who you know are --

HAYES: Yes, that`s true.

TRAISTER: -- and families and the tolls on their families` well-being and economy on bodies, on relationships are steep. But the people who are in power who are fighting against access to that care, no, nothing is required of them because frankly they have always -- they will always have access to abortion care regardless of whether or not they win their fight to make it illegal. Because those with money and means will always and have always been able to access the abortion care that they needed.

So, in that regard, it asked nothing from them at the top. It certainly asks a lot from millions who do not have that kind of access.

HAYES: We have about a minute left, but I`m going to ask you a big question, so just -- what is the next step here? Like, I think people feel enraged rightly and frustrated and maybe a little impotent. Everyone is waiting on what`s going to happen in the court. How do you think about activating, you know, proactively in this next phase?


TRAISTER: I think it`s digging in for a very long fight and abandoned, I think it is, forcing the centrality of all kinds of these issues, right, abortion and the kinds of issues that -- and policies that I was talking about earlier. I think it requires making people who we`ve left on the margins central to the fight forward.

And I think it requires digging in and understanding that there is not a quick fix to this at this point. There were all kinds of ways where those on the left could have strategized differently and perhaps held this off and been smarter, but those did -- that didn`t happen. We are now in for a fight that is going to extend well beyond our lifetimes. But that doesn`t mean we`re allowed to not participate in it.

We have to put our heads down and get ready for something that is going to be generations to undo. And we have to commit to that knowing that there`s not going to be any quick satisfaction.

HAYES: Rebecca Traister, happy Hanukkah. It`s great to see you. Thank you very much.

After former President Trump was hospitalized from the coronavirus, I remember a lot of cagey explanations about the exact timeline of the events. Do you remember this bizarre exchange during a town hall with Savannah Guthrie?


SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Did you take a test though on the day of the debate.

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You know, if you ask the doctor, they`ll give you a perfect answer. But they take a test and I leave and I go about my business.

GUTHRIE: So, did you take a test on the day of the debate, I guess, it`s the bottom line.

TRUMP: I probably did. And I took a test the day before and the day before and I was always in great shape.


HAYES: I mean, it clearly raised some red flags at the time. But now, thanks to Donald Trump`s former chief of staff, we know why it was a cover- up. It kind of explains everything. But then now, Mark Meadows is trying to walk back. So, why is he calling his own book fake news? That`s next.



HAYES: Mark Meadow has a problem. Donald Trump`s former chief of staff is coming up with a new book and he needed to generate early buzz to juice sales to make that money. So, like, any good tell-all, he included information the public did not previously know. That`s the promise when you get that advance.

And in the book, Meadows reportedly admits that Trump first tested positive for COVID nearly a week before he publicly disclosed his diagnosis. Meadows then claims Trump got a second test which came back negative. It`s a little unclear how that happened, but put that aside for a second. And that second negative test is why they just pretended like nothing was wrong, you know, one positive, one negative. Let`s go with the negative. That was the latter one. And they let the President hold maskless events including the first debate with then-candidate Joe Biden.

But here`s the problem. Donald Trump was not happy with this revelation so he put out a statement calling the Meadows` book fake news. And then Mark Meadows retweeted Donald Trump`s statement calling it fake news and then he went on TV to make sure the boss saw it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want to start off with the COVID story. The media is going nuts with the story. I believe the president says it`s fake news. What is the story here?

MEADOWS: Well, the President is right. It`s fake news. If you -- if you actually read the book, the context of it, that story outlined a false positive.


HAYES: Yes, false positive. My book is fake news. And that`s because he understands the game he`s playing here. First of all, let`s take this seriously for a second. The idea the president falsely testing positive before the debate is not exactly the kind of shocking revelation that sells books. But more importantly, the false positive timeline makes no sense.

According to the book, Trump first tested positive on September 26th. As his advisor Chris Christie now admits, six of the seven people doing debate prep with Trump over the next few days indoors and without masks subsequently tested positive as well. And when Trump finally did announce his diagnosis in the middle of the night October 2nd, he was hospitalized later that day.

It usually takes about seven days to get hospitalized from onset of symptoms. It means he had already been sick. But again, don`t just take my word for it. In his own fake news book, Meadows describes what sounds like a symptomatic president.

As the Guardian reports, "On debate day, 29th of September, Meadows says Trump looks slightly better -- emphasis on the word slightly -- his face for the most part at least have regained its usual light bronze hue and the gravel in his voice was gone but the dark circles under his eyes had deepened. As we walked into the venue around 5:00 in the evening, I could tell he was moving more slowly than usual. He walked like he was carrying a little extra weight on his back."

Oh, maybe because his lungs weren`t working because they were being invaded by a virus. Is that quote from the book also fake news, Mark? Finally, as Maggie Haberman points out on Twitter, and this is insane to be believed, but the second negative test on the 26 appears to have been an antibody test.

That test coming back negative means nothing. It does not mean that Trump did not have COVID, it just means he was not producing antibodies at that point. Taking the antibody test when you first got COVID is meaningless. So, all of the evidence points to Trump having COVID, knowing he had COVID, and spending a week spreading it around while covering it up and refusing to admit he`s sick. But Meadows is willing to undercut his own book in order to pretend that`s not true.

Yamiche Alcindor had a front-row seat to the week leading up to Trump`s hospitalization as well as the rest of this chaotic presidency as the White House Correspondent for PBS NewsHour. She`s also anchor and moderator of Washington Week on PBS and she joins me now.

Yamiche, I know you were there covering this at the time. And I got to imagine for the folks that covered this, this reporting makes a lot of things that didn`t make sense or seem very, very sketchy make some sense.

YAMICHE ALCINDOR, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, PBS NEWSHOUR: Absolutely. And it`s also in some ways this gut feeling of not being surprised. This was a president who was downplaying the virus saying it was going to disappear. He of course downplayed how sick he got. He never told people that he got vaccinated. So, this in some ways goes hand in hand with the way that former President Trump really approached the virus from the very first stage to the last day that he was in office.

The other thing to note is when you look at this timeline, as you said, this timeline, it simply doesn`t make sense because yes maybe it was a false positive or he was actually positive. And when you look at the rest of the week, there was this Rose Garden event that now I distinctly remember, president -- former President Trump was speaking at one lectern and then everyone else that was at the Rose Garden, all the other officials, they were at a separate lectern.

That is very, very rare. That is not the way that things are done. Of course, the debate is the next day on Tuesday. Then after that, I think this is really crucial, then he goes to a fundraiser in Minnesota, then he goes to New Jersey, in Bedminster. That`s a lot of people that are being exposed to the President.

And I should tell you one I think -- having a front row to the Trump presidency during that time meant that a lot of us reporters, we were going to urgent care and saying hey, we may have had close contact. And when they asked us who we were having close contact with, we had to say the President of the United States.

HAYES: Yes. And -- this is remarkable. I mean, there`s also the fact that they were just -- I remember the time, and you were there, we were all covering it, they just were so sketchy about when he last tested negative. This is a very simple question. It`s like, when did you last test negative and it was always like, I get tested all the time.

Here`s McEnany on October 4th just basically trying to evade this simple question. Take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Was he tested on Tuesday before he went to the debate? And then, was he tested on Thursday morning before he went to New Jersey fundraiser?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, FORMER WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Yes, I`m not going to give you a detailed readout with time stamps of every time the president is tested. He`s tested regularly. And the first positive test he received was after his return from Bedminster.

Again, I`m not giving a detailed readout of his testing, but it`s safe to say his first positive test was upon return or at least after Bedminster, that trip.


HAYES: That`s a lie. I mean, we now know that`s a lie. That clip there is a lie. But at the time, it was so clear that they wouldn`t answer -- I`m not going to give you back and forth about when he tested. It really was like the sort of squirreliness around this was hard to ignore.

ALCINDOR: It is. It was very, very hard to ignore. And when I watched that, and I watched Kayleigh live there, it just reminds me of all the different times that she lied so many times from the podium, from the White House lawn, from the stakeout location where she is in that -- in that clip.

It really just underscores that this was an administration that was never really playing it straight with the American people. They never really were playing it straight with answering questions about the President`s diagnosis. And in some ways, it goes back to this idea that we in some ways in real-time understood that the president was not being very clear and the administration was not being very clear about how the president got COVID.

I remember also asking where do you think the president got COVID? Who do you think he got it from? I never got answers to those questions. And of course, they`re critical questions because he`s the President of the United States. And you would think that they would be able to tell you well, here`s where we think he got exposed. But they never wanted to be clear about that either.

HAYES: That`s the other crazy thing about this. There`s a sort of remarkably reckless narcissistic selfishness of doing this and then going for instance the next day to meet indoors unmasked with the surviving members of fallen service -- surviving family members of fallen service members. So, there`s that.

But also, just from like, your job is to protect the president when you work in the White House, and you really failed to do that, it could -- like, everyone here kind of got lucky in the end about the way the dice came back on this, but it could have been much, much worse.

ALCINDOR: It could have been much, much worse. But we have to also remember that there were reports that Secret Service Agents were getting sick --


ALCINDOR: -- and they are the people who had to be as close to the president as possible. So, there were all these people around the president. Let`s remember that Kayleigh herself as well as a number of press people in that office, they all got sick. Stephen Miller got sick. So many people that were walking around the White House, making fun of reporters like me who had masks on, who were looking like astronauts at the White House because I was so covered in all of the different protections, they were making fun of us. And then they were exposing people, people that were trying to in some ways keep the president safe not only from the virus but also just from any sort of other dangers. Those people got sick.

So, while it`s true that in some ways this could have been a lot worse, I think what happened was one -- downplaying of the virus that led to a lot of people being sick, people that I`ve interviewed, people who told me that they lost family members they think because the president downplayed the virus. And then, you also have the idea that the structure inside the White House -- this was a White House that itself became a super spreader area. And that to me is remarkable when I think back to those days.

HAYES: Yamiche Alcindor, thank you so much. It was great.

Coming up, President Biden announces free at home tests as part of the White House`s new efforts to battle surging coronavirus rates this winter. I`ll talk to the man who has worked side by side with the president of a pandemic response after this.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Also, continuing to give me advice on developments as they occur. I`ve seen more -- with Dr. Fauci that I have my wife, we kid each other, but they -- look, who`s president, Fauci? But all kidding aside, I sincerely mean it.




HAYES: Just to pull back the curtain here, there are some days on this show where you have a big interview lined up like the one I`m about to hold with Dr. Anthony Fauci, just feels like there`s an avalanche of topics to get through.

There`s the new winter guidance from the White House looking to blunt another potentially catastrophic COVID surge especially amid all the unknown questions about the Omicron variant which has the entire global public health world on edge. There`s the new revelation that former president Trump first tested positive for COVID nearly a week earlier than he let on.

The aforementioned Dr. Anthony Fauci is the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases as well as a Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden. And he joins me now. Dr. Fauci, great to have you. First, I just want to start on that. As someone who worked in that White House who was trying to send messages to the public about the best way to deal with the pandemic, just your reaction to what appears to have been confirmed in the reporting that the President got a positive test a week before letting all of us know and then just doing a ton of events with people.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISOR TO THE PRESIDENT: Well, that is something that obviously should not have been done, Chris, but that goes beyond just the president or any other individual. It`s just a very broad applicable to anybody public health practice that when you are positive, that you need to quarantine yourself and seclude yourself so that you don`t infect anybody else. I mean that`s just the general rule. It doesn`t matter really who you are.


HAYES: I want to play for you something else. You -- I mean, I know that you want to talk about Omicron and I want to talk about Omicron and I want to talk about the winter. But I feel like I`m talking to you and you`ve become this character in the imagination of tens of millions of people in this country because they think that you are -- you represent some tyrannical plot to keep the boot of COVID restrictions on the neck of a free people.

And Lara Logan who has some streaming show somewhere had this to say about you in this comparison. I want to play it for you because I want to give you a chance to respond for yourself and then we`ll move on. Take a listen.


LARA LOGAN, HOST, LARA LOGAN HAS NO AGENDA: There`s no justification for putting people out of their jobs or forcing vaccine mandates for a disease that ultimately is very treatable, it`s cheap to treat, medicines are available all over the world, and it has death rates that compare very much to seasonal flu.

And so, in that moment what you see on Dr. Fauci -- this is what people say to me, that he doesn`t represent science to them. He represents Josef Mengele. Dr. Josef Mengele, the doc -- the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the Second World War and in the concentration camps. And I am talking about people all across the world are saying this.


HAYES: I just wonder how you respond to that.

FAUCI: Well, Chris, I think the response is with so many people throughout the country in the world are responding to that absolutely preposterous and disgusting comparison that she make, it`s an insult to all of the people who suffered and died under the Nazi regime in the concentration camps. I mean it`s unconscionable what she said.

Forget about the fact that she was being totally slanderous to me, and as usual, had no idea what she was talking about, saying that it`s as benign as flu. When did ever influenza kill 770,000 Americans. So, not only is she being slanderous and disrespectful to so many people who were killed in the concentration camps by Dr. Mengele, but she absolutely has no idea what she`s talking about. She`s completely incorrect in everything she says.

What I find striking, Chris, is how she gets no discipline whatsoever from the Fox Network, how they can let her say that with no comment and no disciplinary action. I`m astounded by that.

HAYES: There is a lot of concern right now about Omicron. I want to get to that, but first I want to just talk about -- let`s say, Omicron doesn`t exist and we`re still dealing with Delta, because we still got a lot of people getting sick and hospitalized, we`re seeing cases and hospitalizations going up. Forget Omicron. We`ve got a fire to put out now.

It`s the same basic tools, get a booster, get vaccinated, mask in indoor public spaces. But the big thing today was the free -- was trying to get to free testing but it`s not free, it`s reimbursable by the insurance company. And I wonder if you think is that enough to get these tests out in people`s hands so they could use them regularly?

FAUCI: You know, I think so, Chris. It`s a good start. I mean, the President made that announcement in this five-part plan to address what we`re going to be facing this winter. And one of them that we spoken about and will happen is to really flood the system with tests including free tests.

And in fact, what people are not aware of is that there`s an investment of billions of dollars to make anywhere from 200 million to 500 million tests available per month. So, we really want to flood the system with testing and make it free. And that`s exactly what the goal is.

HAYES: Yes, I just want to say, personally, you know, I`m lucky enough to have the resources to pay the 10 bucks per test when we can get them. My family and I have used -- when my kids got a cold, I had a cold this week, I was out on Monday actually because I had a cold. We used a bunch of tests this week to make sure test and test again that this is not COVID, we`re not exposing people, negative after negative -- after negative. But this should really be a central tool in the toolkit, right, for folks this winter to when in doubt test that they can get their hands on those tests, right?

FAUCI: I totally agree with you, Chris. And that`s what I`ve been saying actually for quite a while now. And I`ve used the terminology flooding the system with tests so they can do just what you said, that you could test frequently not only to just alleviate a concern that you might have, but actually to pick up the possibility that you might be positive which would get you to quarantine yourself and protect those around you from getting infected.

It`s critical to the program that we`re doing which is one of the reasons why one of the five pillars of the president`s program that he announced today at the NIH, at my place at the NIH is testing, clearly a very important part of the program.

HAYES: OK, quickly, final question here. I know we don`t know enough about Omicron to say anything definitive in one way or the other. We need more data. What is the timeline for knowing? Like, when can I have you back on the program or anyone back on the program and say like OK, here`s our read on this. Is that three days, is that ten days, is that three weeks? What`s your sense of that?

FAUCI: My estimate, Chris, is that it`s probably going to be about two weeks, three weeks at the most, but probably two weeks because right now, you`re going to see cases cropping up throughout the country. We should be prepared as an American public not to panic with that because literally every day you`re going to hear another state or another city has cases.

Understanding the level of transmissibility, the evasion of protection or not from the vaccine, and the severity of the disease. We`re going to get that information not only here as we get more cases, but from places like South Africa which has a lot of cases thus far. And we`re in very, very close contact with our South African colleagues.

HAYES: Yes. And shout out to the public health officials in South Africa who first identified this strain and have been doing very important work on this. Dr. Anthony Fauci, thank you very much.

FAUCI: Good to be with you, Chris. Thank you for having me.

HAYES: Coming up, the Trump era immigration policy that is going back into effect all thanks to one Trump-appointed judge. I`ll explain next. Plus, the humiliating lengths one Senate candidate will go to please a Republican Party`s chief narcissist and why it`s backfired in just ahead.



HAYES: Today, the big headline went like this. Biden administration to restart Trump era remain in Mexico policy. And it got a lot of attention as it should because the Trump administration`s remain in Mexico program was a moral stain on American immigration policy. It didn`t attract quite the same level of attention as child separation but there`s an argument being made that it was every bit as traumatizing.

It basically meant that people with asylum claims were not out -- allowed to actually enter the United States to pursue their claim and instead ended up in what essentially became refugee camps on the Mexican side of the border where they were constantly preyed upon by kidnappers and drug gangs and human traffickers.

According to interviews conducted by human rights watch in November 2019 and January 2020, parents said that while waiting in Mexico, they or their children were beaten, harassed, sexually assaulted, or abducted. Some said Mexican police had harassed or extorted money from them. Most said they were constantly fearful and easily identified as targets for violence.

Trump`s remain in Mexico policy also amounted to a suspension of the asylum rights enshrined in U.S. law. Joe Biden campaigned on reversing it, got into office and delivered on that promise which is why today`s headline was a little misleading.

It was not Joe Biden or Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas or anyone in the Biden administration or the Democratic Party who wanted to do this. No, it was a young right-wing federalist society district judge, that guy right there named Matt Kaczmarek. Remember that name.

Oh yes, he was appointed by Donald Trump. And in an act of some of the most breathtaking judicial activism, I have to say, I have seen in my lifetime, that judge told the duly elected government it had to restart a program it had ended with another sovereign nation. That`s not just legislating from the bench, that`s American foreign policy from the bench.

This district judge ordered the U.S. to engage in foreign policy because he wanted it to. The order was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court. Lo and behold, the Republican justices there left it in place in one of their late-night single page orders, and so now, here we are.

But if you saw this news today, you saw those on the right taking a victory lap saying things the effect of oh, Biden is doing the same thing as Trump. People left criticizing Democrats. Biden is doing the same thing as Trump.

Just to be very clear here. This is an abhorrent policy put into place by Donald Trump, advocated by the Republican Party pursued in lawsuit by two right-wing attorneys general in Texas and the famous border state Missouri, a policy that was restarted by a right-wing federalist society judge in a decision upheld by his federalist society buddies up on the Supreme Court. That is who is causing this immense human suffering right now.

And this was always the plan. The reason they focused on judges was so that Trumpism and all this cruelty would outlive Donald Trump.



HAYES: It`s crazy to have a narcissistic sociopath who lost in the last election running an entire political party, but that`s how it is right now for Republicans. And so, they will fall all over themselves to lick ex- President Trump`s boots. One particularly pathetic example of this, a guy named JD Vance who`s vying for the Republican Senate Nomination in Ohio.

He`s the author of Hillbilly Elegy which later became a big movie. In order to win, Vance is now giving one of the most cringe-inducing performances I`ve ever seen of what he thinks Trump voters want. All this from the perch of his venture capital firm and his Hollywood deal and his Yale law pedigree.

And so exposing Vance as a fraud is very easy to do which is exactly what the right-wing group club for growth did in this ad.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: J.D. Vance in his own words --

VANCE: I`m a never-Trump guy. I never liked him. As somebody who doesn`t like Trump, I might have to hold my nose and vote for Hillary Clinton. I didn`t vote for Trump because I can`t stomach Trump. I think that he`s noxious. Him being really outrageous and offensive.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: On Twitter, Vance called Trump "reprehensible, an idiot, and Vance loves Mitt Romney.

VANCE: I`m a never-Trump guy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That`s the real JD Vance.


HAYES: The group that paid for that ad that criticizes Vance for not being sufficiently loyal to Trump has endorsed another candidate. His name is Josh Mandel. And since Trump has yet to endorse the race, Mandel is also working hard to win the Trump primary, so much so he attended an event last night at Mar-a-Lago where he was photographed by progressive activist Lauren Windsor.

You know who hated the Ohio Senate at the most and complained to the club for growth about it, Donald Trump. Because even if the ad exposes JD Vance as a fraud, it is still someone saying mean stuff about Trump and that stings.


VANCE: I`m a never-Trump guy. I never liked him. As somebody who doesn`t like Trump. I didn`t vote for trump because I can`t stomach Trump. I think that he`s noxious, him being really outrageous and offensive.


HAYES: I love that replay there. According to Politico, last month, Trump called the president of Club for Growth to complain about the ads and asked him to take them down worrying that people see that ad, it will actually be bad for him in Ohio.

The head of the group responded by saying, he would look into the matter. They reportedly sent Trump`s political team a polling memo to show him the ad blitz had no bearing on his standing in Ohio. The group continued airing the $1 million TV ad buy and yesterday they put another $500,000 behind the effort. And that Ohio Senate Race is just a little window of what it`s like to run the Republican Party right now.

Ben Mathis-Lilley is a senior writer for Slate who`s been tracking the Ohio Senate Race. His most recent piece of the race is titled, A guide to the crazy pants Ohio Republican Senate Primary and its most recent crazy pants debate.

Ben, you know, what`s so strange here is that even when you`re running in a primary where you have a smaller group of voters, the idea is to appeal to a bunch of different people. But this has now been inverted where the entire race is one person. It`s like, interviewing for a job for one person as opposed to like going out and persuading people to like you.


BEN MATHIS-LILLEY, SENIOR WRITER, SLATE: Yes. That`s the really strange thing about it. I was just looking at the Twitter feed about Josh Mandel`s Twitter feed and it`s -- it is entirely about the whatever issue of the last five minutes might appeal to Donald Trump. Not really about Ohio at all, not really about the national scene in the United States even, but you know, it`s just -- it`s you know, about Steve Bannon, getting Steve Bannon out of legal trouble attacking LeBron James.

It`s really focused and that`s exactly what Vance has done as well. He kind of jumped in by getting upset about Dr. Seuss, if you remember that era of American politics. And that`s what really the competition is between these guys.

HAYES: Yes. And it`s broader than that, right? I mean, this is a sort of -- the kind of Trump primary which is the shorthand. It`s like it`s a real thing. And it means that you`re not running for office from the voters, you`re -- I mean, in some ways, there`s like something fundamentally like offensive to my small D democratic sensibilities, which is that like the whole point of elected bureaucracy is that they answer to the voters. They don`t answer to one person up there. That`s like royalty. And yet, that`s exactly the modus operandi here.

MATHIS-LILLEY: Yes. I mean, and that -- I mean, that speaks to exactly what Vance is doing which you know, which you referred to in the intro. I mean, Vance doesn`t seem to have much personal involvement or personal stake in any of the kind of issues he`s talking about now. He`s never really had -- he`s had a long -- fairly long public career and he`s never really talked about this kind of stuff, this kind of you know, really aggressive culture wars stuff.

But it`s clear that he sees this as a one-person audition. And so,. that`s what he`s doing. He`s apparently made the choice that he wants to win this race and that`s how he`s going to do it. So,. It really -- I mean, like it`s kind of absurd how little -- and the discussion in this race actually involves Ohio, the state of Ohio, you know. You know, the most important things that happened, happened in Mar-a-Lago as you alluded to.

HAYES: Yes. And the only time they invoke Ohio when they`re fighting with each other is to slam Ohio`s own LeBron James who like started a school and brought the championship to the Cleveland Cavaliers. That`s the only Ohio- level commentary you get from them.

MATHIS-LILLEY: Absolutely. It`s to slam LeBron James, it`s to slam Mike DeWine, it`s to slam Anthony Gonzalez who is a respected Republican Congressman from Ohio because he voted to impeach Donald Trump after January 6. Yes, it`s -- that`s -- it`s -- and in the debate that I watched from a couple weeks ago, another big one was slamming Rob Portman, a senator who won a re-election in Ohio by a fairly wide margin.

It`s really the degree to which Ohio Republican politics has done a 180 just in the last few years is remarkable.

HAYES: Yes. And we see it in other places too. So, this is -- Stacey Abrams is getting into the -- you know, Stacy is getting into the race in Georgia and Brian Kemp of course the incumbent governor who narrowly defeated her in 2018. It`s going to be a rematch. And here`s Trump yesterday on that.

I beat her single-handedly -- which is not true. I mean, it wasn`t him -- without much of a candidate in 2018. I`ll beat her again but it`ll be hard to do with Brian Kemp because the MAGA base will just not vote for him after what he did with respect to election integrity in two horribly run elections for President and then two Senate seats. But some good Republican will run and some good Republican will get my endorsement and some good Republican will win.

Here there`s not even an active primary, he`s just basically declaring there should be one because Brian Kemp was insufficiently motivated to pull off the coup.

MATHIS-LILLEY: Yes, exactly. And I think that gets to something that`s bizarre about all this is that Georgia is the place that you saw Donald Trump have the most destructive effect on the Republican Party electoral chances, you know, in the Senate race. You could -- you could argue that he lost those Senate races for Republicans, and he`s now going back to try to do it again basically.

HAYES: Yes. The only reason that there`s -- I mean, you know, after that Election Day in November, it seemed wildly improbable. Everyone said, like, we are headed towards a Mitch McConnell Senate, a Democratic House with a narrow majority in the Joe Biden Presidency, and then Donald Trump went to work on Georgia, spinning up lies, and then we got the trifecta. And now, here he is at it again and there there`s nothing they can do about it in the Republican Party.

MATHIS-LILLEY: Yes. I mean, you know -- I mean we saw what Mitch McConnell tried to do. Like, we saw -- we saw what, you know, some of the critics in the party tried to do, Anthony Gonzalez with the impeachment, but it just did not reach that tipping point to push him out of power. And now, they`re back to the, you know, the same thing.

And I think something that`s kind of a remarkable about the next election is it`s a perfect experiment in how much economic circumstances and the kind of natural tendency for political backlash against the president`s party, you know, these kinds of historical factors in midterms can be affected by one person`s extreme unpopularity, and that`s Donald Trump. And he`s really doing his best to make this kind of an epic political science experiment.

HAYES: Ben Mathis-Lilley, thank you. That is ALL IN for this Thursday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.