Tiger Woods was involved in a single-vehicle rollover collision
around 7:00 a.m. and was extracted from the wreck and taken to the
hospital. The Senate held public accounting on the security preparations
and failures during the Capitol attack. Republicans push the conspiracy
theory that the Capitol attackers were not Trump supporters. AOC and Beto
O`Rourke raised millions of dollars for Texans. CPAC organizers canceled
the participation of rapper Young Pharaoh after posting anti-Semitic views.
The Biden administration is trying to undo the damage of former President
Trump`s handling of the COVID pandemic.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Thank you so much. I really appreciate your time this
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you.
REID: And one more reminder to all of you to join us -- thank you -- on
Friday at 7:00 p.m. for a special edition of the REIDOUT. I will be joined
by Dr. Anthony Fauci and members of the Congressional Black Caucus to
discuss racial disparities in the COVID crisis. Go to msnbc.com/townhall to
be part of our virtual audience and to submit questions.
That is tonight`s REIDOUT. We`ll be back here tomorrow at 7:00 p.m. with
special guest Ron Klain, President Biden`s Chief of Staff. "ALL IN WITH
CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice over): Tonight on ALL IN.
STEVEN SUND, FORMER CHIEF, UNITED STATES CAPITOL POLICE: I witness
insurgents beating police officers with fists, pipes, sticks, bats, metal
barricades, and flag poles. These criminals came prepared for war.
HAYES: America`s first real security hearing on the plot to attack our
democracy includes a voyage to fantasy land.
SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): Plainclothes militants, agents provocateurs, fake
Trump protesters, and undisciplined uniform column of attackers.
HAYES: Tonight, what we learned at the hearing with Senator Jeff Merkley.
Then, how the Republican gun fetish is a staple of anti-government
Plus, Beto O`Rourke on the ongoing nightmare in Texas and what we now are
learning about the condition of Tiger Woods after a horrible car accident
this morning when ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. From most
of today, as you might imagine, we`ve been falling one breaking news story,
the serious car accident involving golf legend Tiger Woods. According to
officials, Woods was involved in a single-vehicle rollover collision around
7:00 a.m. Pacific Time. He was extracted from the wreck and taken to the
At a press conference a little while ago, the Los Angeles County Sheriff
said Woods was conscious when rescue workers arrived and there is no
evidence of impairment at this time. He said, Woods may have been going at
a greater speed than normal. There were no skid marks. The vehicle travels
several 100 feet making contact with center median, went across opposing
lanes, hit the curb, hit a tree, and the vehicle rolled over several times.
It was his agent who said he suffered multiple leg injuries and was
undergoing surgery. We are waiting word on exactly how this happened.
Obviously, we will keep you updated with any new details.
The other major story today comes to us from Washington D.C where 48 days
since the insurrectionist attack on the Capitol that led to the death of
three police officers. We had our first public accounting of the security
preparations and failures and one of the most significant historical dates
in modern American history.
Until this point, we had heard nothing from the people responsible for
defending the Capitol on that day. But today, the Acting Chief the
Metropolitan Police Department, former U.S. Capitol Police Chief, the
former Senate Sergeant Arms and the former House Sergeant at Arms all
testified before a joint Senate committee hearing. Those last three men all
resigned following the attack.
Coming into this hearing, we did not have consensus on the timeline events
during the attack and we do not have one still. We still do not know
exactly what happened. Steven Sund who was the U.S. Capitol Police Chief
during the attack blamed former House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving and
former Senate Sergeant at Arms Michael Stenger, for the sluggish response.
"I notified the two Sergeant at Arms by 1:09 p.m. I urgently needed support
and ask them to declare a state of emergency and authorize a National
Guard, Sund said. I was advised by Mr. Irving that he needed to run it up
the chain of command."
Now, Irving pushed back against Sund`s account, saying he did not recall
speaking to him at that time, had no record of any phone calls, or text
messages from Sund and never said he had to run Sund`s request up the chain
of command. Instead of reaching an agreement about what went wrong, so we
can stop something like this from happening again, those men were
apparently quite focused on saving what is left of their reputations after
this catastrophic failure we all watch on national television.
And speaking of reputation savings, Senator Ted Cruz, fresh off that now
notorious and probably not that relaxing trip to Cancun, who led the push
in the Senate to overturn Joe Biden`s election, to deny him the sitting of
electors and voted to do that even after the attack, had since -- had this
to say about preventable behavior.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX): This hearing is nonetheless productive for analyzing
the security decisions and law enforcement decisions that were made real-
time and for learning from them, what can be done differently to ensure
that an attack like that never again occurs.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Yes, Senator, we all trying to figure out who is responsible for
this so it never happens again. His colleague, Josh Hawley, who was the
first sitting senator to announce formally that he would object to
certifying the electoral college votes, therefore making that day a big day
a point of interest, right, the last possible stamp the Trumpist. The
senator who infamously raised his fist and salute to the crowd the day they
stormed the Capitol. He was outraged today when a reporter asked that
perhaps he was complicit in this attack.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Senator, what do you say to your fellow senators and
to Americans who believe that you were complicit in this attack?
SEN. JOSH HAWLEY (R-UT): That`s outrageous. I would say, that`s absolutely
outrageous and an utter lie. And no one I think who knows any of the facts
alleges any such thing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: I mean, actually I`m one of the people who knows the facts, a lot of
people who know the facts do allege precisely that, senator. In fact, the
idea that either of those men, Cruz and Hawley, who not only pushed the big
lie the election was illegitimate but actively acted to overturn the
election democratic process who made January 6th the big showdown day where
they could do it, where they could stop Joe Biden from becoming president.
The fact they were allowed to participate in the hearing is what strikes
many as truly outrageous.
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson did vote to certify Biden`s election but he
has also been one of the chief spreaders of conspiracy theories around the
election and attack on the Capitol. He did not hold back today, my word,
reading a fact-free right-wing blog entry into the Congressional record.
JOHNSON: A very few didn`t share the jovial friendly earnest demeanor of
the great majority. Some obviously didn`t fit in. And he describes four
different types of people, plainclothes militants, agents provocateurs,
fake Trump protesters, and undisciplined uniform column of attackers. I
think these are the people that probably plan this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Fake Trump protesters. Senator Johnson says agents provocateurs and
fake Trump protesters among others are responsible for the attack. After
all the evidence we have seen in the literally hundreds of charging
Someone should Sen. Johnson the charging document of, for instance, this
alleged insurrectionist, Jose Pia, who was charged with felony counts of
obstruction of law enforcement and assault on a law enforcement officer
with a deadly or dangerous weapon and who allegedly wrote on Facebook
"There`s a lot of memes and posts flying around saying the people who are
fighting last night were Antifa provocateurs, etcetera. I just want to say
that as a first-hand observer of every point of last night that it was not
Antifa. They were patriots who were trying to restore the republic after
being attacked by the cops who struck first. Even those who broke the
windows next to the doorway to the Capitol were patriots trying to find a
way to turn the flanks of the cops."
This is a consistent theme. Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol are
really angry because Republican politicians and conservative media who are
supposed to be supporting Trump and his righteous cause are giving credit
for all their hard work to Antifa. The lie that Trump and his supporters
are not responsible for the attack, it`s already canon in much of the GOP.
You see it in the polling.
I mean, get this Trump himself tried this lie out as the attack was
happening in a phone call with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy as the
Republican Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler recalled. "When McCarthy
finally reached the president on January 6th and asked him to publicly and
forcefully call off the riot, the president initially repeated the
falsehood that it was Antifa that have breached the Capitol. McCarthy
refuted that and told the president, these were Trump supporters. That`s
when, according to McCarthy, the president said well, Kevin, I guess these
people are more upset about the election than you are."
He goes right from they`re not my people to well, maybe you should listen
to them. You know, in 1951, political philosopher Hannah Arendt wrote in
her now-famous book, The Origins of Totalitarianism "In an ever-changing
incomprehensible world, the masses had reached the point where they would
at the same time believe everything and nothing, think that everything was
possible and that nothing was true.
And the profoundness of the cynicism is sort of the point of the
totalitarian subject. Oh it`s Antifa, no it`s patriots, no it`s Antifa, who
knows? But for a Trump supporter to look at a sea of people in MAGA gear
and Trump hats and be like yes, that`s Antifa, that`s concerning. But to
have a U.S. senator who is on the committee charged with overseeing the
security of the Capitol pushing that lie while two others who were part and
parcel of why that day happened, act shocked they could be accused of such
things, that is illustrative of the broader state of one of the two major
parties in this country.
Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley participated in today`s hearing on the
January 6th interaction and he joins me now. No cutaway cameras at this
committee hearing, but what is it like as a fellow senator to read into the
record this nonsense, this lie about who is responsible when everyone who
was around knows who did it?
SEN. JEFF MERKLEY (D-): Chris, you know, we had this powerful opportunity
to finally hear from some of the key managers of Capitol security, the
chief of police, the sergeant at arms of the Senate and the House, and then
have these colleagues try to turn this hearing into let`s perpetuate the
big myth, the big myth that this had nothing to do with interrupting the
vote to prevent Trump from failing to become president of the United
States, to make sure that Joe Biden didn`t become president.
It just -- it was -- it`s astounding. And it shows the challenge we have in
America where social media and cable television can get stories out in kind
of the Trump bubble, media bubble that is so hard to break into.
HAYES: Have Josh Hawley or Ted Cruz ever apologized for what they did on
MERKLEY: Absolutely not. Not to my knowledge. If they`ve whispered an
apology in anyone`s ears, it certainly isn`t something shared in the Senate
community. What is it like to have them there as these sort of ostensibly
disinterested, you know, I don`t know, judges in a hearing or investigators
as it were, when you know, that date became that date.
It became the site of this, you know, largely because of Trump but partly
because those senators announced they were going to make it a contest. They
were going to have -- they were going to force these votes, they were going
to draw it out, and they were going to fight. And that`s what the crowd
wanted them to do.
MERKLEY: You know, I had echoes of the impeachment trial because there we
had the Senate as jurors, but some of the jurors were folks who had
perpetuated the big lie, led the effort to have other senators join them
in. And there they were today in the -- in the same hearing room kind of
continuing to provide the cover story as if they had no involvement or
engagement and it`s just kind of this is like a asteroid arriving from
outer space rather than something that they had participated in trying to
prevent the peaceful transition of power to a duly elected president.
So it`s a very strange and haunting moment. I could never have imagined as,
you know, growing up in Oregon and thinking about how the different
branches of government work to make checks and balances on each other and
people of integrity and competency proceeding. I could never have imagined
this happening here. We just have to keep pushing back in trying to put
adults back in charge.
HAYES: I felt somewhat frustrated by today`s hearing because i feel like I
don`t actually have that much clearer picture. There`s obviously a fair
amount of blame-shifting and score-settling and it`s a complicated
situation and, you know, I`m not really in a great position to sort of
second-guess the judgments of these individuals. It`s not my area of
expertise. But did you have the same feeling that we didn`t actually -- we
left with not a ton of clarity.
MERKLEY: No, absolutely. The basic message that the group of them were
presenting was this was an intelligence failure. We were not -- we were
thinking this would be like the million MAGA a march in November and the
second one in December and we didn`t have any indication to be any
different. And those didn`t become violence when they were in front of the
Supreme Court, so why would this one become violent.
And second of all that when they reached out to get approval from the
Pentagon to send the National Guard, the Pentagon slow-walked it. And so,
those were the two main messages that they were conveying. But here`s the
thing. There was an FBI report the day before reporting on far-right
extremists saying this is the moment to stop Joe Biden from being elected
and ensure Trump will be elected, that we will fight to the death to make
that happen, that there will be blood on the ground, that we must smash
windows and smash doors.
And that intelligence, when I asked the chief of the Capitol Police, did
that get into your hands, he said no, it was delivered to a sergeant, who
delivered it to our intelligence unit, but it never got to me. You would
think a manager, the head of the team would say, I`m supposed to make sure
that the channels of communication for important facts get to me so we can
make strategic decisions, and that didn`t happen and that`s on me because I
was in charge.
But there was no sense of any of these individuals saying, yes, I should
have done better. We should have drilled. We should on different strategies
where we didn`t drill. We should have had more training. We should have
equipment at a previous point in time. Very little uh sense that any of
these individuals were accepting responsibility for mistakes.
HAYES: And also points to my mind the need for some larger commission of
inquiry because the timeline of the Pentagon and the National Guard is
still unclear. We have reports about several officers who`ve been suspended
for possible actions that had that day -- again, none of this is in one
place with information that we know and I think we all need to see it.
Senator Jeff Merkley, who is on that committee and in that hearing today,
thank you very much.
MERKLEY: Thank you.
HAYES: All right, did you happen to see this the other day, this image?
This is what it looked like when freshman Republican Congresswoman Lauren
Boebert just zoomed into committee hearing the other day. That is not a
standard Zoom background behind her. That`s custom-made. That`s actually
Do you notice something different in the bookshelves? Not just a stockpile
of weapons sitting behind her. There is a deeper meaning to this image an
implicit threat too. I`ll explain right after this. Stick around.
HAYES: It`s been unclear for some time what exactly it is that Donald Trump
Jr. does. But like his father, he does love to make content. This week he
posted a video of himself ranting about teachers unions while pointedly
standing in a front of a wall of guns. The whole thing had a, here are my
thoughts from my bunker vibe.
But as weird as this image is, it`s kind of becoming a trend on the right.
Republican congresswoman Lauren Boebert, owner of Shooter`s Grill in Rifle,
Colorado where guns are welcome and seemingly encouraged on the premises,
has built her political identity around guns.
Boebert to carry a Glock around dc and on Capitol Hill. She released a
video to make sure that we all knew it. Last Thursday, she zoomed into a
virtual congressional hearing with just a mess of guns piled on the
bookshelf behind her, AR-15 style rifles, a handgun just laying across a
bunch of books. Boebert who is raising four young boys later tweeted that
the guns are not in storage but are "ready for use." Apparently, she just
leaves them out because she fears she may need to fire multiple rounds of
ammo into someone who comes into her den.
You know, lots of people immediately noted that the use of guns in that way
as props and the implicit threat that comes with them has a, you know, long
not necessarily great history among various movements around the globe.
Osama bin Laden, for one, liked to pose in front of a bookshelf with a gun
The Irish Republican Army would display guns in its propaganda posters and
its murals. Cuban revolutionaries, they posed with guns all the time too.
And no single side of the spectrum has a monopoly on this aesthetic. I
mean, you can see it you know all over the world. It is unquestionably the
aesthetic of armed struggle of revolution or insurrection.
A movement or faction that puts images of guns as the celebration of guns
front and center in its political aesthetic is a movement that`s engaging
in something other than what we might call the normal rhetoric of elected
democratic politics. You can`t escape the meaning of it. It communicates
that they`re committed to or at the very least open the possibility of
violent overthrow of the government or the existing order.
And now, the Republican Party, it seems like it`s becoming common and
unremarkable. You`ll remember Marjorie Taylor Greene posed with this gun in
her campaign ads next Democratic members of Congress. She wears a mask
reading Molon Labe which is ancient Greek for come and take them in the
halls of Congress.
And that`s been used for bunch of reasons, but in her case the implied
message seems to be, if you try to take away our guns, we`ll start
shooting. Over decades, the right has built up this entire ideology around
the Second Amendment rooted in frankly the ridiculous idea that the U.S.
government itself denied itself a monopoly on legitimate use of force
because the founders had gone through evolution themselves.
And the history just doesn`t bear that out. It`s not true. Not now and not
during for instance the Whiskey Rebellion way back in 1794 when President
George Washington got into his old uniform and got on a horse and sent in
troops to violently suppress a violent tax protest.
Many Republicans are now signaling they retain the right to use violence to
overthrow the government at any time, that that`s actually the core of part
of their political principles in the Second Amendment. And they are willing
to brandish that claim as a threat in pursuit of their political aims.
And it`s not some academic thing, right? I mean, right now the threat of
violence and menace hangs over our collective political life. From the
armed protests in the Michigan State House last spring which included men
who the FBI says plotted to kidnap and kill the Democratic governor, to the
violent insurrectionists on January 6th. Some of whom vowed to kill any
lawmakers who wouldn`t do their bidding.
It`s become increasingly standard for the most hardcore devotees of Trump
and his faction to at the very least wink at the notion that they`re ready
to hurt anyone who gets in their way. And sometimes, the threat is all too
real. Here`s one example. Last year, an anti-feminist attorney who
described himself as a Trump volunteer, murdered the son of a federal
judge, Esther Salas, nearly killed her husband using a gun. Salas was the
target. The killer has also been tracking Supreme Court Justice Sonia
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ESTHER SALAS, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE: You know, we were screaming, Daniel,
hold on and don`t leave us. And then I just -- as I think about that day, I
just -- I realized i was watching my only child fade away.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Shannon Watts is the founder of Mom`s Demand Action for gun sense in
America, staunch critic to the way some Republicans use guns for political
gain. With me is David Jolly. He used to be a Republican member of Congress
in Florida, and he left the party back in 2018.
Shannon, you know, politicians will often through my life as a political
reporter pose with guns in different ways. John Kerry and a duck blind and
Joe Manchin shooting a bill and, you know, there there`s a certain -- you
know, a lot of Americans really like guns. They cherish owning them for
sport. There seems to be a different thing happening in that Lauren Boebert
pose that says something different. It`s communicating something different.
What do you think it`s doing?
SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER, MOMS DEMAND ACTION: You know, it`s intimidation
pure and simple, right? I mean, that`s the point of having these guns
behind them. They`re not saying, you know, we are here to demonstrate our
freedom. They are there to threaten our freedom. And that`s particularly
alarming given that just a month ago, we had arms insurrectionists stormed
the Capitol and they had enough live ammunition to shoot every member of
the House and Senate five times.
So, this has nothing to do with self-defense. You know, this is a dangerous
trend that really started on the internet years ago. I mean, you may
remember, you had Moms Demand Action volunteers on your show in 2014 who
were having lunch and these armed men in Texas pulled guns out of their
cars and sort of tried to intimidate them while they were having lunch and
it was an international story.
And now that behavior has become mainstream in in many ways because of the
NRA. You know, it is at worst about owning the libs and it is becoming more
and more about causing a second civil war. And really that`s why passing
stronger gun laws has never been more important.
HAYES: Yes. The sort of semiotics of it, the symbolism, the meaning of it,
David, to me is just really inescapable. It`s like I think the people who
are really into guns are like, well, this is just a thing that I love,
right? This is my hobby or this is this object that I think is super cool.
And so, you know, it`s protected by the First Amendment. It`s expression by
But it`s like, if you show up my kids` little league game and you just
happen to be sporting the gun you really like, we`re all freaking out. I
mean, you can`t separate the two.
DAVID JOLLY, FORMER REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN: Look, I`d say it`s more dire
than even that. The danger that we`re seeing among today`s Republicans, the
examples you just gave, is the direct correlation between the imagery and a
target. Donald Trump Jr. talking about teachers unions. Marjorie Taylor-
Greene with her imagery of the squad as she`s holding the automatic weapon.
With Lauren Boebert, it`s this defense against the big government.
And January 6th, we saw a willingness to tackle that government. That`s
where the danger of the Republican Party moving from a party of less
government to one willing to undermine and kneecap and tackle the
government while leaders of the Republican Party are embracing this imagery
of the Second Amendment.
That`s where it`s so dangerous because that gets us to a world in which the
Oklahoma City bombing happened. And Chris, there`s two major deceits that
Republicans practice. The first is they conflate fundamental rights with
Laura Boebert did that in her rant before the Natural Resources Committee.
She suggested that owning guns and taking them into the Capitol is an
absolute right. That`s not the case. All of our fundamental rights have
certain restrictions including the Second Amendment, including the first
with speech religion and so forth.
The second deceit Republicans practice is they know that there`s no
legislation that would pass the house and be signed by President Biden that
would take away gun ownership from law-abiding rightful citizens their
ability to own guns.
And so, they reframe it around this issue of freedom, that Democrats want
to take your freedom. And that is a powerful drug that they`re peddling in
this imagery that they`re presenting.
HAYES: Right. And then there`s this -- there`s a sort of ideology there too
which we saw in the Michigan -- we saw it in Richmond, right? Richmond to
me was part of the beginning of this. That`s when thousands and thousands
of gun owners converge in the capitol with their guns, right. And again,
it`s like, it`s a protest and it`s non-violent. But when thousands of
people with guns converge in capitol, that sends a certain message.
And Shannon, that -- you know, it feels to me like it`s gone from like we
like guns because we`re into hunting or target practice, to I need it for
self-defense, to no I actually want to retain the right to overthrow the
government violently. And that seems like a more and more mainstream idea
at the core here.
WATTS: Absolutely. You know, it is the logical outcome of allowing gun
lobbyists to write our nation gun laws for decades. Again, Moms Demand
Action has been sounding the alarm on this. We would have marches and
rallies and go to restaurants or stores and see people open carrying which
is largely unregulated in over 40 states in this country. And again, years
ago when I started doing this, the NRA called open carry down-right weird.
And then they changed their mind and they started to support it.
And really, the NRA has led us to this moment, right? They never miss a
moment to say the sky is falling and the only way to stay safe is to shoot
at it. And because at the end of the day, this is again not about self-
defense, this is about enriching gun manufacturers and gun lobbyists. And
for too long they have had so much sway over our lawmakers and our laws.
HAYES: David, there`s a polling that shows uh 39 of Republicans considering
that political violence can be justified. Now, of course, context for that,
you know, you can argue that there are some circumstances, the Warsaw
Ghetto for instance where it`s justified. But that`s a pretty high number.
And, you know, we`re also just living in the aftermath of like, a big act
of political violence in the Capitol to try to stop the peaceful transfer
JOLLY: Chris, this is the real life danger of where the Republican Party is
today. The first step in justifying violence is delegitimizing your victim.
And by Republicans suggesting that the government is not legitimate, that
the elections are not legitimate, it more easily justifies violence by
people who would consider taking this into their own hands through the use
of firearms. That is the danger with which Republicans are flirting.
HAYES: Shannon Watts and David Jolly, that was a great discussion. Thank
you both for your time.
JOLLY: Thank you.
HAYES: All right -- all right, coming up, in the face of a statewide
emergency, you might remember, Texas Senator Ted Cruz hopped on a plane to
Mexico. Beto O`Rourke on the other hand got to work. And Beto joins me
HAYES: Just one week after the Texas electrical grid known as ERCOT failed
and left millions of Texans without power during freezing winter storm, a
full third of ERCOT`s board handed in their resignations. Not one of them
actually lives in Texas, by the way. And while people literally froze to
death in the dark last week, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton traveled to
Utah to talk about an anti-trust lawsuit against Google. Senator Ted Cruz
dipped to Cancun with his family before being shamed into cutting his trip
short, he flew back on Thursday.
As he flew back on Thursday, New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-
Cortez launched a fundraising drive for Texas. Within two hours of
announcing her fundraising effort, she pulled in $325,000 in donations.
Days later, she was on the ground in Houston volunteering with some of her
Texas colleagues in the House and ultimately raising $5 million.
Former Texas Congressman Beto O`Rourke has also been stepping up to help
his fellow Texans. His organization Powered By People has raised over $1
million. He`s been going door to door checking in on folks, helping connect
them to various resources. And Beto O`Rourke joins me now.
First, I just wanted to get a sense from you of how things are there. I
know the weather got a lot warmer, power came back, a bunch of people still
with water issues or water damage. What`s it look like there?
BETO O`ROURKE, FORMER DEMOCRATIC TEXAS REPRESENTATIVE: So, Chris, tonight,
I`m in the Rio Grande Valley. And I was in an unincorporated community
called Hargill. It`s about a thousand residents there. They lost power for
four days. Luckily they have that back on now, but they`re still under a
boil water notice which means they cannot drink what comes out of the tap.
So, along with other volunteers, we were distributing water there.
Folks are recovering. They`re getting their back -- their lives back to
normal but they are deeply frustrated as are millions of Texans across the
state. We`ve been to San Antonio, Austin, up to the rural part of North
Texas, in Rains County where it`s eight days and counting now where some
communities still do not have water.
And I think everyone understands this is not a natural disaster, it is a
man-made one. And the men who made it are still in power and have yet to be
held accountable for it. And folks want answers.
HAYES: Yes. You could feel, you know, in my conversations with Texans
through last week, this kind of dual sense of I got to bear down and get
through this and figure out a way to not have my pipes explode all over my
house and make sure my elders are, you know, warm. But like a rising rage
coming up in everyone`s throats really across a political spectrum of like
how in God`s name is this the situation in Texas.
O`ROURKE: It`s interesting. We were in a small community called Point,
Texas in Rains County in the northern part of the state yesterday. And I
think it`s you know pretty reliably red. In fact, one of the people who
volunteered with us had a Trump make America great again mask on as we were
But it`s interesting, his dad lives on a property that doesn`t have running
water anymore because of the power outage and the failure of the local
water utility, and they`re drawing water from the pond on their property to
drink. And he said I used to be concerned about COVID. Now, I`m concerned
And this is happening in the 21st century in the wealthiest country on the
face of the planet, in the energy capital of North America, a government
has completely failed us. More than 10 years of deregulation, decisions
made not to weatherize or provide for excess capacity or connect us to the
rest of the electrical grid has left people out and on their own.
And it has accounted for at least 30 deaths just in the greater Houston
area. And as you know, an 11-year-old boy who died in his trailer home, an
eight-year-old girl who died next to her mother of carbon monoxide
poisoning, and many other deaths. And probably many more than we will ever
know about, and none of them -- but none of them had to happen.
And as you said at the introduction, you know, folks want to blame ERCOT or
think that if the board members resign, then this issue is over. It is not.
The folks who made these decisions are still in power and we need to make
new decisions and potentially have new people in those positions of public
trust to make them if we`re not going to have this again, especially
considering that weather events like this because of climate change are
going to become more frequent, more severe, and unfortunately, they`re
going to be deadlier going forward. We have to change course.
HAYES: What do you see as the fallout politically? I mean, you`re saying
there`s anger and that this isn`t just about ERCOT. There are policy
decisions made at the state level. What does that look like and how do you
ensure that this isn`t one of those things where people kind of quickly
forget about it and move on to other things?
O`ROURKE: I think because of the great reporting that you`re seeing in
Texas and by national outlets such as yourself, folks are connecting the
dots. They recognize that Governor Abbott appoints to the public utility
commission that has the regulatory oversight responsibility and power when
it comes to ERCOT.
They realize that every member of the Texas Railroad Commission which
regulates not railroads but the oil and gas and energy industry in Texas
have responsibility for the development and transmission of our energy
resources that were completely stalled out over the course of this storm.
And people want answers and they want accountability and they want to know
that this is not going to happen to them again.
You know, the worst part about this, of course, has been the loss of life.
But you mentioned the broken pipes which have been produced, you know,
flooding in people`s homes, mold on their drywall that has to be pulled
out, so far, the most expensive storm in Texas history.
And then to add insult to injury, you have rate payers who signed up for
variable pricing electricity plan who got bills for $17,000, a school
teacher with a $10,000 one month electricity bill that is in no way her
fault. And she should not have to pay.
O`ROURKE: That`s up to the state government that failed her.
HAYES: Well, that seems like a layup for Texas politicians of any
ideological stripe. We should note the President is going down to Houston
on Friday to survey the aftermath. Former Texas Congressman Beto O`Rourke
in the Rio Grande Valley, thanks for making some time for us tonight.
O`ROURKE: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Ahead the cancel culture wars are so important to Republicans it is
the theme of this year`s CPAC, America Uncanceled, so it sure would be a
shame if they had to cancel a speaker after uncovering some old tweets
wouldn`t it? Yes, that`s next.
HAYES: As half a million Americans dead from the pandemic and millions
still out of work and hungry, conservatives have focused in on the biggest
problem facing America, cancel culture.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We understand it. We
understand their cancer culture. We`re not letting them cancel culture us
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): Do you have a functioning first amendment when the
canceled culture only allows one side to talk?
JOHNSON: We`re witnessing the cancel culture purge being kicked into
REP. MARJORIE TAYLOR-GREENE (R-GA): Cancel culture is a real thing. It is
JORDAN: This cancel culture is so dangerous and we have to push back. This
is the number one issue for the country to address today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: The number one issue for the country to address today. He said that
like a week ago. The menace of cancel culture is so important it`s felt so
intensely that the whole theme of this year`s conservative CPAC conference,
the premier event for American conservatism is America Uncanceled.
Of course, the definition of cancel culture has always been really
slippery. I mean, almost every workplace, organization, political party, or
even conference of conservative activists has some lines about what kinds
of speech it thinks are acceptable and what kind is just aren`t.
Mostly conservatives are mad that non-conservatives are drawing lines that
they just don`t agree with. You can probably see where this is going. How
long do you think it took the America Uncanceled conference to themselves
CPAC posted this tweet at 4 18 p.m. yesterday. "We have just learned that
someone we invited to CPAC has expressed reprehensible views that have no
home with our conference or our organization. The individual will not be
participating at our conference."
And with the canceled speaker going unnamed there, that could have referred
to well, any number of CPAC speakers who have expressed reprehensible
views. That`s sort of the whole point of CPAC. It turns out the America
Uncanceled organizers canceled a rapper named Young Pharaoh. This is him on
the archived version of CPAC`s page pushing to his social media which
contains posts saying Judaism is not real, along with anti-Semitic views.
Young Pharaoh had been scheduled to speak on Sunday afternoon just one hour
before CPAC`s keynote speaker, a man who was canceled by the voters of
America who reportedly said he would only appear if his former vice
president didn`t. Young Pharaoh`s comments were too reprehensible for CPAC,
but the man who helped -- whose words helped incite an insurrection to the
Capitol, he gets the keynote.
When we come back, as we pass 500,000 lives lost to the pandemic, a look at
how many might still be with us if it weren`t for the failures of President
Trump. That`s next.
HAYES: Tonight, Congressional leaders gathered on steps at the Capitol to
commemorate the half-million Americans who have now died from COVID-19.
Even though cases are now trending down, we`re still losing over 1,000
people per day on a weekly average, 2,000 just recorded today. And it`s
always worth remembering, important to remember, it did not have to be this
To choose two examples, the U.S. and South Korea, for example, both
recorded their first official COVID cases on the same day at the end of
January last year. South Korea immediately rolled out large-scale testing
and contact tracing and strong messaging en mass, the U.S. did not.
Here`s a chart showing new deaths attributed to COVID since the pandemic
began. The blue line is the United States. Deaths soaring, peaking
throughout the year. And the pink line in the bottom is South Korea. If the
U.S. had followed the same trajectory as South Korea, if we had the same
number of deaths per capita, we would have lost about 10,000 Americans
instead of 500,000.
And while it was impossible to truly know how many Americans would have
been saved if the previous administration had taken the pandemic seriously,
it`s pretty clear their actions caused irreparable harm.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS
DISEASES: The people who wanted to deny that this is something that was
serious when you get a signal from above that it might not be, then you
don`t do the kinds of things you need to do. I mean, I still have flashing
in my mind those scenes of when we were trying to tell people to really be
careful and avoid congregate settings.
And I used to see on television at night people crowded at bars inside, no
masks. I mean, that was just asking for trouble. And in fact, that`s what
we got, a lot of trouble.
HAYES: Now, President Joe Biden of course trying to undo the damage, to
bring the pandemic to a close by vaccinating the population, but just
basically doing everything the last administration didn`t, like you know
setting example and wearing a mask, asking Americans to social distance,
not listening to junk science.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think there`s a growing
awareness that, you know, injecting bleach into your system doesn`t do it
for you. I being -- you know, I mean, think about all the -- all the
ridiculous things. And there is online still, there are those who are the,
you know, the vaccine --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Deniers.
BIDEN: -- deniers.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
BIDEN: And telling all these stories about what`s -- that aren`t true.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: It`s going to take a lot to change the trajectory that has unfolded
in America over the past year. Hear talk about what went so wrong, what
needs to be done to make it right, one of the members of Joe Biden`s
transition COVID-19 advisory board, president executive director of the
Global Health Council Loyce Pace. It`s great to have you.
You know, we talked about -- talked about South Korea in the intro, but
South Korea was a A-plus student, right? They did what -- they had one of
the best responses in the world. And in fact, throughout the pacific,
across governments and with different forums and institutions, Vietnam,
Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New
Zealand, they all did a really good job.
LOYCE PACE, PRESIDENT AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, GLOBAL HEALTH COUNCIL: That`s
But even if you -- if you compare us to the European Union or Canada, where
do we stack up? Where is the U.S. in our response if you -- if you just
look at these sort of Atlantic countries?
PACE: Yes, you know, Chris, I can appreciate the laundry list of countries
that really are were ahead of us in their own response. And I think it`s
important to step back and not just look at the 500 -- the milestone that
we hit yesterday with 500,000 deaths which is just heartbreaking and
infuriating. But even just think about what that means in the scope of the
rest of the world, right, the U.S. actually is taking up or accounting for
20 percent of global deaths and 25 percent of cases that makes no sense
given we aren`t even five of the world`s population.
And so in addition to the countries you mentioned, you know, you do have a
host of others that have demonstrated frankly that leadership matters,
right, and that it`s critically important that no matter what you know, you
have to do right by the people you`re serving. And that`s frankly what we
didn`t see in this past year with this pandemic.
HAYES: How much should we think about this -- I mean, there`s a few things
that make America exceptional, distinct here, right? So, one is Donald
Trump was president. Then there`s the nature of America`s general baseline
health and particularly health inequities that were there before Donald
Trump. And then there`s the degree to which America`s public health
infrastructure is not that good.
Like, where do you apportion those different points of blame?
PACE: Yes, you know, I wonder if we spread the blame sort of equally across
each of those because this certainly was a problem uh before 2020 when the
pandemic was upon us. We know that health disparities were a thing
regardless of what happened in the past year.
And so, you`re absolutely right. Our solution has to be focused not only on
correcting the mistakes or placing any blame, we have to really go back and
really dig deeply into the roots of this very problem and understand how it
turned out, how we ended up with rates of hospitalization and deaths two
and three times than in certain communities particularly in Black, Brown,
and indigenous communities.
That`s unconscionable and we see that trend actually worldwide where Black
and Brown folk are suffering and struggling with the impact of this.
HAYES: Well, I just want to ask you though. Is that -- is that a
sociological factor? Is that -- is that a policy leadership fact, right?
Like, when --
PACE: I think it`s absolutely tied to policy. We know that public health is
of course scientifically based on its own in its own right, but we are
powerless without the policy and without political leadership.
HAYES: I guess, I mean, do you think it`s policy specific to the U.S. COVID
response or broader -- I mean, you know what I mean? Like, it`s -- I agree
with you. It`s clearly policy, right? We make choices to have racial
inequities in this country. We make them every day. But those racial
inequities and the fact that they put people on the front line in so many
ways whether it was the work they had to do or the comorbidities that were
produced by the environments in which they lived and the access to health
care they had before or if it was like the guy at the top was saying
injecting bleach was the solution and telling people to get out there like
they were warriors.
PACE: Yes. And I -- and I think it`s both and not either or. It`s really
hard to choose one or the other. And the leadership or the lack thereof was
not helpful. Let`s be clear, right? We really needed our government, people
from the very top on down to step up. And I`m grateful, frankly, for the
career staff and others who really held the line, who really ensured that
people still had correct information because myths and misinformation are a
variable thing that we`re fighting against now. And it`s harder to catch up
when all of that is out there.
It`s also critical that now there`s a plan for not just vaccine
distribution right, but testing and tracing. This is what other countries
did right as well. You had, even the U.K. which struggled in its response
frankly, when these variants emerged, the fact that they were actually able
to identify them and address them is critical.
And that -- those are the types of systems we didn`t already have in place
before now and we`re just playing catch-up.
HAYES: Right. And those systems, I mean, I think that we`re going to
hopefully get to a point where we have vaccination suppression, you know,
at some point this summer. But we know it`s seasonal and there will be, you
know, next fall and winter. There`ll be ways in which we have to battle it,
and we`re going to need those systems in place then particularly.
PACE: Absolutely. And I would even say, you know, we don`t really quite
understand the virus fully to know that we have even that long to wait.
HAYES: Right. Yes, that`s a good point.
PACE: And so that`s why we`re still saying it`s critically important to
practice those public health measures regardless of where we are in the
calendar or even in our trajectory with vaccines because we -- it`s
changing before our eyes. And particularly, until we can catch up, it`s
going to continue to beat us.
HAYES: Yes, that`s an important point. And I don`t want to -- like, we got
to just hold on. It`s like -- it`s at the end of a car ride where you`ve
been fine for the nine hours and now the last 10, 15, 20 minutes just seem
unbearable. And I think a lot of people in that mental state, but with just
a certain amount of consistent messaging and discipline we all need.
PACE: Yes, I know. And I understand that people are tired too, right? I
mean, I do this for a living and I am exhausted not just because of getting
up every day trying to fight this thing but because i too miss my friends
and family, and I too wish this were all over and it just isn`t. And
unfortunately, we do have ways to go.
I have faith that we can continue to stand strong and understand that we`ve
made it through tough times before frankly as a country. I think we pride
ourselves on that. And I know it sounds rather cliche but that`s what I`m
HAYES: We can do it. All right, hang in there. Loyce Pace, thank you so
much for making time. Come on back. That is ALL IN for this evening. "THE
RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
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