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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 3/18/21

Guests: Tammy Duckworth, Ted Lieu, Adam McKay, Katie Porter


The FBI releases new videos of January 6th rioters attacking police officers. A dozen of House Republicans vote against awarding Congressional Gold Medal to Capitol and D.C. Police. The House held its first hearing on anti-Asian hate in 30 years. A new documentary on HBO looks into the QAnon Movement. Sen. Rand Paul and Dr. Anthony Fauci had a heated conversation over masking during a hearing. The administration has already sent out 90 million stimulus checks totaling more than $242 billion to help Americans recover from the economic effects of the pandemic.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: The best one is when you get. Get what you can especially if you`re in Maryland. Good luck. Thank you, Dr. Kavita Patel. Thank you very much. That is tonight`s REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN. New footage of the brutal attack at the Capitol. The FBI asking for help even as Republicans try to play down the violence.

Tonight, Senator Tammy Duckworth on the excuses for the insurrectionists and the excuses for the shooter who gunned down eight people of Asian spas in Georgia as calls intensified to charge him with a hate crime.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Our investigation is looking at everything, so nothing is off the table for our investigation.

HAYES: Then, new concerns over rising COVID cases while Rand Paul spreads misinformation on Capitol Hill.

SEN. RAND PAUL (R-KY): If we`re not spreading the infection, isn`t it just theater?


PAUL: You got the vaccine and you wearing two masks. Isn`t that theater?

FAUCI: No, it`s not. Here we go again with the theater. Let`s get down to the facts.

HAYES: Plus, Congresswoman Katie Porter on COVID relief. And Adam McKay on his new documentary deep dive into the origins of QAnon.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump put this photo on Twitter. So, you can see, if you trace the thumbs, they make a Q.

HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Tonight, we are learning more about some of the eight victims of that horrific shooting spree in the Atlanta area on Tuesday. Delaina Ashley Yaun was 33 years old, a wife and mother to two children. She and her husband Mario were at Young`s Asian massage on Tuesday for a relaxing spa day, just to get a little time to themselves.

When the shooting began, they were in two different rooms. Mario was able to lock himself inside one of those rooms and escape uninjured. Family members described Delaina as their rock who always welcome people into her home and threw the best birthday and holiday parties.

Paul Andre Michels, age 52, was a veteran from the U.S. Army infantry. Described by his brother as a hard-working local business owner. He was working as a handyman at the Acworth Spa, building shelves there on Tuesday afternoon when the shooting took place. Michels leaves behind his wife of more than 20 years.

49-year-old Xiaojie Tan was the owner of Young`s Asian massage and at least one other Spa in the area. She was a licensed massage therapist herself. She emigrated from China many years ago, her friend told USA Today. Tan who went by Emily, had a daughter who recently graduated from the University of Georgia. The friend described her as "the sweetest person you`d ever meet."

The first 24 hours after the shootings, the humanity of those victims was largely obscured while the shooters was on full display. Police portrayed him as a struggling sex addict having a "bad day."


JAY BAKER, CAPTAIN, CHEROKEE COUNTY SHERIFF`S OFFICE: He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction and sees these locations as something that allows him to go to these places and it`s a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate. He was pretty much fed up and kind of at the end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him, and this is what he did.


HAYES: That officer Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff`s Office has faced, as you`ve probably seen, a lot of criticism for those remarks. And perhaps even more since it was revealed that he posted a Facebook -- a photo on Facebook last year showing a racist T-shirt referring to COVID-19 as an imported virus from China. It seems like a reference to the former president.

That is what an officer investigating the murder of Asian-American women thinks. That`s what he chose to post publicly because he thought it was funny. It puts into stark relief this question that we`ve been facing a lot recently, frankly, which kinds of perpetrators and suspects are seen as full human subjects, people who you can model the internal states of, someone who got out of control or did something unruly or had a bad day. And which perpetrators and suspects are just savages, and animals and thugs and violent criminals.

Republican Senator Ron Johnson said it loud and clear after the attack on the Capitol.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): I`m also criticized because I`ve made the comment that on January 6, I never felt threatened, because I didn`t. And mainly because I knew that even though those thousands of people that are -- that were marching the Capitol we`re trying to pressure people like me to vote the way they wanted me to vote, I knew those are people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break a law. And so, I wasn`t concerned.

Now, had the tables been turned, Joe, this could mean trouble. Had the tables been turned and President Trump won the election and those were tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned.


HAYES: It`s all right there right, in what Ron Johnson said, all of it. It`s who you can relate to who`s law-abiding, respectful, who you don`t have to be scared of and who you do. This has been a defining theme apparent in the wake of January 6th, the inability of so many of those on the right and maybe some of the police officers involved to conceive of the rioters who attacked the Capitol is people who could be violent, because of who they were and what they looked like. The failure to prepare for that violence and the effort of people like Ron Johnson to extend to them the maximum amount of empathy, just like officer Baker did the gunman in Atlanta.

But keep in mind, January 6th was one of the worst days of injuries for U.S. law enforcement since 9/11. At least 138 officers wounded and nearly every single day brings more evidence about just how brutal the attack was.

Today, the FBI released new footage of 10 suspects. These are people who have not yet been apprehended, who they say committed some of the most violent attacks on officers protecting the Capitol that day. And I want to warn you, video is disturbing.




HAYES: That is just a small portion of what the FBI posted today, that gentleman there who yes, is a full human subject to the interior life and all kinds of complicating factors, but who appears in that video to be beating the crap out of police officers of what looks like a bat. The FBI is looking for information about these suspects. You can go to to see more footage like this clip showing the rioter spraying what appears to be a fire extinguisher down in the crowd of officers.

NBC News Reporter in Washington also obtained this video today similar to that previous video from the FBI where you see the rioters attacking officers with what looks like baseball bats. And all this is on top of what we already know happened on January 6th. And rioters trapped this officer in a door leaving him crying out in pain.

They threw a fire extinguisher at a group of police. They tried to steal officers weapons yelling "kill him with his own gun," stolen the officer badge and then buried it in the backyard after he`s beaten, discharged bear spray in the faces of multiple officers including one officer who sustained scars under her eyes and Officer Brian Sicknick who later died.

By the way, the rioters didn`t those things while flying the thin blue line flags. Remember the rioters were even police officers themselves. We know at least nine members of law enforcement there and have been charged. And after all this, the House held a vote on a resolution yesterday to work Congressional Gold Medals to the police who protected them on January 6th. That measure passed. But 12 republicans voted against it. They voted against honoring the officers who saved their lives that day because they objected the certain language in the resolution like the term insurrectionists.

It`s obviously not about the words. They just don`t want to talk about the violent reality of what happened, who did it. There`s a lot of that going around right now.

Senator Tammy Duckworth will soon vote on that measure and she joins me now. Senator, it does seem like a fairly uncontroversial and pro forma resolution. I think it was surprising to people it got 12 no-votes in the House. What do you make of it?

SEN. TAMMY DUCKWORTH (D-IL): Well, I`m flabbergasted that there would be those no votes. But unfortunately, in this day and age, I`m not surprised. It`s sickening. You know, our Capitol Police officers and the District of Columbia Police and the National Guardsmen who came to the rescue deserve all of our respect. And I think this is really -- it`s incredible that they would vote against it. And I hope that no Republicans in the Senate vote against it. But I suspect, unfortunately, that there will be some.

HAYES: You do? You think there`ll be no-votes in the Senate?

DUCKWORTH: I think there`ll be some no votes in the Senate, yes. And I don`t know how you can -- how you can, you know, vote against honoring these courageous men and women who protected us that day.

HAYES: I think I struggled myself a little bit with how -- where that day fits in the national imagination. And I`m going to talk to you in a moment about what happened at Atlanta. But I do think there`s a little bit of a through-line of like, the stories that we tell, the stories that people tell about who the perpetrators of violence are and who are its victims, and who should be feared and who should not. And there`s this kind of desire, I think, by a lot of Republicans, conservatives to just kind of never talk about that again, and kind of push it out of everyone`s minds.

DUCKWORTH: Well, they would like that to happen. Remember the number of veterans who were part of the insurrection as crowd as well. And in fact, I`ve had many conversations with Secretary Austin and other members of the Biden administration at DOD about how we absolutely need to look at any type of white supremacists that are still members of the military, and how they`re being targeted for recruitment by white supremacist groups, and we need to weed this out.

HAYES: There was a domestic extremism report from the Director of National Intelligence which said that racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists, militia violent extremists present the most lethal threats, extremists who promote the superior to the white race, the domestic violent extremist actors with the most persistent and concerning transnational connections.

It does seem like there`s a kind of belated acknowledgment of the centrality of this in terms of whatever threats there may be for the American people.

DUCKWORTH: Oh, absolutely. And, you know, I think this whole idea of a police officer -- police officer violence with those officers who have been turned by white extremists is really scary to me. And I know it`s got to be scary for the other police officers as well to look out and now, you know, the Capitol Police, for example, to look out and realize that, hey, these were their brothers in blue, some of whom who actively serving brothers in blue who attack them that day.

HAYES: You had a tweet in response to the news about the sheriff from Cherokee County selling those t-shirts, or at least tweeting about them. "Not only should this racist be fired, we need an independent investigation to find out if his racism influences his performance on the job to protect and serve all of Cherokee County. Action must be taken. The only way we root out racism is to stop it at the source." Why were you so upset about that?

DUCKWORTH: Well, I`m so upset about it because crimes against Asian- Americans, hate crimes against Asian-Americans is an underrepresented crime group in this country. Asian-Americans are often the victims of violence based on race, but it doesn`t get reported as that. It gets reported, as you know, it`s mugging or something else when it was really a hate crime based on race, time and time again.

And this especially happens to Asian women. You saw what happened there in Atlanta. You know, there`s an over-sexualization of Asian women, and then this whole pervasive viewing of them as being more submissive and weaker. And so, they become the victims of crimes much more often along with elderly Asians.

And so, when you have law enforcement officers, the people you`re supposed to return to for help who are belittling you know the severity of these crimes, then you have a situation where these crimes just don`t get reported. In fact, I`ve issued -- I sent two letters today, one to the FBI Director, Mr. Wray and one to Attorney General Garland asking to please conduct formal investigations into the underreporting of crimes against Asian-Americans that are hate crimes in this country.

HAYES: You represent a state that has a large Asian-American, Pacific Islander population. And I`ve lived in that state myself. And I wonder what you`re hearing from your constituents. I know, I`ve just been hearing from a lot of people. There is really a lot of fear and anxiety and anger not -- before what happened in Atlanta, but particularly in the aftermath of that atrocity.

DUCKWORTH: There`s a lot of fear. I`ve heard from so many Asian-Americans across the country, not just in my home state and not just in the city of Chicago. We know that crimes against Asian Americans that are hate crimes rose by over 150 percent in America`s major cities just this past year. 3,800 crimes were reported this past year, and we know those are underrepresented numbers.

I`m so grateful that our Mayor Lightfoot in Chicago has stepped up and said that she`s going to beef up protection and patrols in among Asian-American areas. You know, in Chicago, we`re a city of neighborhoods, right. So, you know where Chinatown is. You know, where Little Saigon is just as in, you know, L.A. you know where, you know, a Korean town is.

And so, Asian Americans are easily targeted and easily attacked in these communities. And there`s just a lot of fear right now.

HAYES: Senator Tammy Duckworth who testified today at a house hearing that we`re going to cover in a moment, a senator from Illinois. Thank you so much for taking some time with us tonight.

DUCKWORTH: And thanks for having me on, Chris.

HAYES: It really was an incredible day on Capitol Hill today at the hearing to address rising violence against Asian-Americans. One Republican congressman used it as his own death soapbox.


REP. CHIP ROY (R-TX): And that`s the reality of what I tend to refer to as the chi-coms. And I`m not going to be ashamed of saying I oppose the chi- coms. I oppose the Chinese Communist Party.


HAYES: Chi-coms, OK. You`re going to want to hear the responses to that including from Congressman Ted Lieu who joins me next. Don`t go anywhere.


REP. TED LIEU (D-CA): You can say whatever you want on the First Amendment. You can say racist stupid stuff if you want. But I`m asking you to please stop using racist terms like Kung Flu, Wuhan virus, or other ethnic identifiers describing this virus. I am not a virus. And when you say things like that, it hurts Asian-American community.


HAYES: Today`s House Judiciary hearing on the disturbing rise in anti-Asian violence and discrimination since the start of the pandemic was scheduled before a gunman murdered eight people, including six Asian women at three Atlanta area spas. Of course, just a day after that happened, the attack looms large as Democratic lawmakers appealed to Republicans from Donald Trump on down to stop using the kinds of language that people have long warned would inevitably increase anti-Asian hatred and bigotry.

Republican Congressman Chip Roy of Texas largely dismissed those concerns to the consternation of Democrats on the committee.


ROY: My concern about this hearing is that it seems to want to venture into the policing of rhetoric in a free society, free speech, and away from the rule of law and taking out bad guys. I think the Chinese Communist Party running the country in China, I think they`re the bad guys.

REP. GRACE MENG (D-NY): I want to go back to something that Mr. Roy said earlier. Your president and your party and your colleagues can talk about issues with any other country that you want. But you don`t have to do it by putting a bull`s eye on the back of Asian-Americans across this country, on our grandparents on our kids. This hearing was to address the hurt and pain of our community and to find solutions. And we will not let you take our voice away from us.


HAYES: I`m joined now but one of the lawmakers you heard at the hearing, Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu of California, along with former prosecutor and MSNBC Legal Contributor Katie Phang who wrote it in the Atlanta shootings will test Georgia`s new hate crimes law.

Congressman, let me start with you. And I thought both that was Congresswoman Grace Meng of Queens, if I`m not mistaken, and your -- the things that you said to your colleagues. You know, one thing that was striking at the hearing today and that I`ve been hearing is just, you know, people expressing a lot of years of hurt and trauma of the firsthand bigotry they`ve experienced and seeing the cost of that. And I thought that really was -- I found that very effective and moving today at the -- at the hearing. I`m wondering how you felt just watching it unfold.

LIEU: Thank you, Chris, for your question. There has actually been a long history of discrimination against Asian-Americans. In the past when America felt threatened, sometimes you would have discrimination gets at the groups. So, we had the whole yellow peril hysteria, followed by the Chinese Exclusion Act.

You have the internment of over 120,000 Japanese Americans with the rise of Japan in 1980s, and fears of that. You had Vincent Shen who was murdered. And now you have this pandemic causing a surge in Asian-American hate crimes. And many in the community have experienced this and they were expressing it nationally at this hearing. And that was a good thing for people to understand.

HAYES: You know, Katie, I want to -- I want to talk a little bit about the hate crime question because I think it`s a -- it`s a category people have a hard time actually getting their arms around. There`s an intuitive sense, right, that someone who commits a criminal act of hatred of a certain ethnic group is committing it.

I want to play you what the Atlanta PD said today, and then get your thoughts about what actually we`re dealing with legally statutorily. So, this is what the Atlanta police had to say today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The investigation into a possible hate crime, is that still on the table?

CHARLES HAMPTON JR., DEPUTY POLICE CHIEF, ATLANTA POLICE DEPARTMENT: Our investigation is looking at everything, so nothing is off the table for our investigation.


HAYES: You wrote today for us about the sort of difficulty of these prosecutions. What is your sense of where this investigation sits and what that bar is to clear?

KATIE PHANG, MSNBC LEGAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, the spokesperson for the Atlanta P.D., Chris, did the right thing versus what we heard yesterday during that press conference with the Cherokee County Sheriff`s Department where they basically dehumanize the victims, humanize the shooter, and basically parroted what could potentially be a false narrative from the shooter in this case.

But, Chris, it`s really important for everybody to understand that hate crimes are notoriously difficult to prosecute. You know, you think if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it must be a duck, and we get it. We have eight victims of murder, six of whom are Asian and women. And the good news about the Georgia hate crime statute, which by the way, was only enacted last year.

Last year, Georgia was one of only four states in the United States that did not have a hate crime statute on its books. And effective July 1st of 2020, spurred in part because of the Ahmaud Arbery murder that happened in February of last year, Georgia finally got its hate crime statute back on the books.

They have one before, it was declared unconstitutional and struck down in 2004. But that hate crime statute actually doesn`t just cover race and religion and national origin, it covers gender. So, for the Cherokee County Sheriff`s Department to say, you know what, race wasn`t a factor according to the shooter. Well, boy, that`s a convenient thing for the shooter to say.

And maybe the evidence will play out to be the case, Chris, at the end of the day, that it is not a race-driven crime, but maybe it was gender- driven. And that is why it`s important for the investigation to unfold for a deep dive to happen in the guy`s social media. We know that he has a history. Well, what is that history? Let`s not race to figure out that this wasn`t racially motivated until we actually look at all the evidence.

HAYES: And Congressman, obviously, there`s a sort of larger here -- issue here, it`s it strikes me, about A, this sort of rhetorical environment that has been created in the country, particularly over the last year over the pandemic, particularly as people like Congressman Roy want to rail against the ruling party of China, but also just the data and getting a sense of what exactly we are seeing. What do you see is the challenges at least in terms of federal policy?

LIEU: At the hearing today, the expert witnesses testified that their research shows there is a clear link between rhetoric and hate crimes. And when you have the former President of the United States saying racist phrases like Kung Flu, you can see that there was also a surge in hate crimes against the Asian American community.

In fact, the data shows that in the 16 largest cities in America, it was nearly 150 percent increase in hate crimes in 2020. So, I just call on my Republican legislators to please stop using ethnic identifiers in describing a virus. I am not a virus, so stop using these ethnic identifiers because you`re harming the Asian-American community.

HAYES: Katie, there -- when you talked about the hate crime statute and the sort of necessity of intent, I mean, part of it too, right, is that, you know, we had -- you have a First Amendment. We don`t want to have viewpoint discrimination in terms of how we -- how we deal with people and the crimes they commit. It also seems in this case, this is an individual who`s going to get a lot of time no matter what, right?

PHANG: Yes. So, Georgia has murder statutes. Georgia still has the death penalty. I mean, if the purpose of the hate crime statute is a deterrent, Georgia statute really is a weak sauce one. It only adds an additional two years if you`re convicted of a felony, and only an additional 12 months in jail if you`re convicted of one of five enumerated misdemeanors.

But the idea is, you know, hate crimes, you not only have to prove the murder, but you have to prove that the defendant intentionally targeted a protected class of person. And that`s why that`s going to be the challenge, not only in this case, but in many cases. But the other important component of this hate crime statute in Georgia, is that it also forces law enforcement to have to report these hate crimes.

We`ve heard time and time again, that the failure to report is what the problem is. And that`s why hate crimes really need to be classified appropriately. Maybe it wasn`t just a battery. Maybe it was an aggravated battery because of the hate component of it. And that`s why that`s a crucial part of the statute.

But as Congressman Lieu says, you know, the words matter, rhetoric matters, and that is what is emboldening a lot of the people that we`re seeing that are attacking Asians now.

HAYES: Congressman Ted Lieu and Katie Phang, thank you so much for being with me. I really appreciate it. Next, how did some bizarre meaningless posts on a somewhat obscure online message board turned into one of the most influential conspiracy theories of our time. Oscar-winning filmmaker Adam McKay tackles that question in his latest documentary series, and he`s here to talk about it next


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you know about the Q Movement? Are you familiar with what that is?

REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): I am familiar with that.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you think Q is a bad thing or is it just sort of -- I mean, what`s your opinion?

BOEBERT: No, honestly, everything that I`ve heard of Q, I hope that -- I hope that this is real because it only means America`s getting stronger and better.


HAYES: Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert seems opened the QAnon conspiracy theory that Donald Trump was recruited as president to take on a cabal of Satan-worshipping Democrats who molest children, and all of whom are going to be rounded up and either sent to Gitmo or executed.

A few days ago, when asked about accountability for lawless government officials, Boebert casually talked about going after a "target" while name dropping a far-right newspaper that has helped spread QAnon conspiracy theories in the past, telling the crowd "I heard someone who is in very close contact with President Trump talk to the owner of the Epoch Times they said don`t change anything, you`re right over the target."

While Boebert seems to sympathize at least with the thrust of the QAnon conspiracy theory, she has stopped short of calling herself an actual follower of Q unlike many of the people who forced their way into the Capitol on January 6th believing they would receive further instructions from Trump.

QAnon, as we`ve covered on the show, has become some kind of super conspiracy theory that borders on sort of almost millennialnist (PA) cult with millions of followers on Facebook. And this Sunday, the HBO Documentary Series Q: Into the Storm, takes an extended look at what it`s all about.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: QProofs, evidence that Q is close to Trump or close to somebody who is close to Trump. Photos, random codes, sometimes data references inspire the player to research online to connect whatever dots they may find and then make theories.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Trump put this photo on Twitter. So, you can see, if you trace the thumbs, they make a Q.


HAYS: Adam McKay, the executive producer of that docu-series, and he joins me now. Adam, it`s great to have you on. I got to watch a few of these episodes and I really loved it and I found it fascinating. How did this project come together?

ADAM MCKAY, FILM DIRECTOR: You know, it was sort of out of left field. We were contacted by Cullen Hoback, a filmmaker has done a lot of great documentaries. And he presented this footage to us that he had been inside the rise of 8chan with the owners and creators of that site starting three years ago when Q was a pretty small little fringe conspiracy theory.

And he stayed inside of it and had a view on the growth of Q that I think very few people have achieved. And we were absolutely blown away by the footage he was showing us.

HAYES: Yes, one of the things I found sort of compelling and humanizing about it is you sort of watch people go down the road of it and it -- from something that`s casual to something that feels both cultish and sort of overwhelming and takes over their life.

MCKAY: Yes. I think what people don`t fully understand about it is that the more it doesn`t fit into the elites framework of how the world should work, the more powerful it makes the movement. And these are people that have lived through, you know, the idea that the economist told us that if we give up our factories, that it`s going to be good for everyone.

They saw Colin Powell, the most trusted man in America, tell us that you know, Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. They saw the Obama administration say that there were no bankers worth prosecuting. And I think at a certain point, what you saw was a large group of people decide to go into another reality, a reality that not necessarily was based on logic, but one that was their own. And that`s precisely what`s so powerful about it.

HAYES: But there`s also something about it that seems, in some ways, almost divorced from any particularities in so far as there`s like this very deep human desire to make connections. I`m reminded of like, the first time someone tried to pull me aside at a party when I was a teenager and like, tell me about the Illuminati and show me the dollar bill on the pyramid and like, spin out this whole thing, you know.

And it`s just this has this -- this has this political valence as well, right. Like, it`s that -- it`s all of the kind of allure of putting together some puzzle other people don`t see, but it`s in service of this very intense political movement.

MCKAY: Yes. I think what`s interesting about it is it really relates -- you could look at gamer or GameStop, as kind of the same idea, or you could look at Bitcoin where you have these groups of people that have had enough with kind of the consensus elite reality and are just creating their own reality because the other one isn`t working for them. They lost their factories, you know, bankers weren`t prosecuted, the Iraq war.

Now, I don`t mean to justify what they`re doing. What they`re doing is very dangerous and a lot of times nosedives into white nationalism and some pretty frightening theories about dehumanizing large groups of people. But I think we have to acknowledge that there`s a lack of a prevailing narrative from science and the elites.

And in that vacuum, you`re going to see things like Q, and you`re going to see things like GameStop fill this void. I mean, back in the day, it was the Tea Party. And we know the Tea Party was really orchestrated by the Koch network, but it didn`t matter. These people had a place to belong. They had a place to channel their anger, which is the reason you can`t entirely dismiss it despite the fact that on its surface, it really is unhinged that they`re against pedophiles, yet somehow Trump, who is a friend of Epstein`s is their champion.

HAYES: Right.

MCKAY: Even though Trump has praised Epstein for years. None of it makes sense, but that`s also part of the power of it.

HAYES: Look, there are some people I think who saw the trailer and were a little nervous about the -- how you balance looking at this and not sort of glorifying it or sort of essentially, acting as a kind of vector for the -- you know, for the spread of this really pretty unhinged and really violent fantasy.

MCKAY: Yes. I think when you see this series, you realize there`s no risk of that. I mean, the people behind this are very fringy sketchy people. I mean, they`re based out of Manila. The one guy Jim Watkins has previously hosted pornography sites. The whole idea for 8chan was created from Fred Brennan while he was on a mushroom trip. It`s kind of breathtakingly fringy and ad hoc.


MCKAY: So the idea of it ever coming off cool, I don`t think we`re in any danger of it, feeling like you`re watching Goodfellas.

HAYES: Adam McKay who has got this HBO documentary series Q: Into the Storm premieres this Sunday, March 21st on HBO and HBO Max. He also has a new podcast I just started bingeing called Death of the Wing, about basketball and politics in the 1980s. That debuts March 31st, but I`ve been listening to some of the episodes which are like right in my wheelhouse of interest, so people should check that out. Thank you both -- for both, Adam.

MCKAY: My pleasure, Chris. And thank you for everything you do.

HAYES: I appreciate it. All right, don`t go anywhere. Next, Dr. Fauci gives it right back to Rand Paul -- Rand Paul in the Senate today in a testy exchange. And Congresswoman Katie Porter is here to talk about all the different ways you can benefit from the American Rescue Plan ahead.


HAYES: Today, the top medical professionals in the Biden ministration testified about the current state of COVID-19 his country. And despite the fact that we`re still about 55,000 new cases and over 1,000 deaths from this disease every day, some Republicans like Kentucky Senator Rand Paul are still doing everything they can to well, rush through and undermine any kind of long-term suppression of the virus in this country, suggesting that telling people to wear masks is just a political game.


PAUL: What studies do you have that people that have had the vaccine or have had the infection are spreading the infection? If we`re not spreading the infection, isn`t it just theater?

FAUCI: No, it`s not.

PAUL: You got vaccine and you wearing two masks. Isn`t that theater?

FAUCI: No, that`s not -- here we go again with the theater. Let`s get down to the facts. When you talk about reinfection, and you don`t keep in the concept of variants, that`s an entirely different ballgame. That`s a good reason for a mask.

In the South African study conducted by J&J, they found that people who were infected with wild type and were exposed to the variant in South Africa, the 351, it was as if they had never been infected before. They had no protection.

Let me just state for the record that masks are not theater. Masks are protective. And we have --

PAUL: If you have immunity, they`re theater. If you already have immunity, you`re wearing a mask to give comfort to others, you`re not wearing a mask because of any sign.



FAUCI: I totally disagree with you.


HAYES: Now, I don`t actually think Rand Paul`s instinct here is completely nuts. I mean, I really want to get to the point, hopefully, where we have both enough data and enough people vaccinated, have suppressed the virus, that masks for folks who have, for instance, been vaccinated aren`t necessary.

But Fauci`s point is that we`re not there yet in terms of what we know. Even if you`ve had COVID, even if you`ve gotten the vaccine, we are not sure enough right now that you can`t transmit the virus, particularly variants of the virus that are emerging. You need to wear masks in public because we just don`t know how dangerous some of these new strains of COVID can be.

Earlier today, former Trump advisor Scott Atlas, an infamous individual who advocated for more people to get COVID to speed up herd immunity and advise Donald Trump during the most destructive deadly portion of his COVID policy.

That same Scott Atlas, a man whose reputation should probably be tarnished forever and it`s amazing he shows his face in public, participated in a panel with -- along some other contrarians with Republican Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. He falsely claimed that masks do not work. And they also claim that lockdowns do more harm than good.

This is more or less a consensus view among a big portion of Republican governors. It lines up with messages that Republican governors in Texas and Mississippi who have completely opened businesses in the state and removed all mask mandates. Dr. Fauci addressed those decisions before his hearing.


FAUCI: I think it`s pretty clear that there are some states now that are pulling back, I believe, a bit more prematurely than they should, on the public health measures. We`ve been talking about this now for a couple of weeks. The very sharp decline that we had, which was really good news, is now over the last few weeks plateaued at around 50, 55,000 new cases per day. That`s much too high to be declaring victory.


HAYES: We have spent a lot of time recently talking about how things could be normal soon. But we`re not there yet. And one thing, I can`t stress enough, we`ve seen this over the past year, we`ve been through this a bunch of times, that the virus is either growing or shrinking. It doesn`t just sit still.

And that for a long time are shrinking, right now, there are signs it is growing again in places like Michigan and Massachusetts and others. That said, there is still so much good news out there. I mean, there were 2.7 million vaccine doses administered across the country today. That`s a record for Thursday, close to the overall single-day record.

The European Medicines Agency says AstraZeneca vaccine is safe to use while the Biden administration plans to start sharing millions of doses of the vaccine which are just sitting around since it hasn`t yet been approved in the states to help speed up vaccinations in Mexico and Canada.

The administration has already sent out 90 million stimulus checks totaling more than $242 billion to help Americans recover from the economic effects of the pandemic. I`m going to talk to Congresswoman Katie Porter about that in just a few minutes.

So, again, things are beginning to turn around. We`ve got a lot of folks vaccinated. They should be getting even better very soon, but we just can`t let folks like Rand Paul and Ron DeSantis push us to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: This is a time for optimism, but it`s not a time for relaxation. I need all Americans -- I need all of you to do your part. Wash your hands, stay socially distance, keep masking up as recommended by the CDC, and get vaccinated when it`s your turn.

Now`s not the time to let down our guard. In the last week, we`ve seen increases in the number of cases in several states. Scientists have made clear that things may get worse as new variants of this virus spread.


HAYES: I know it`s hard to say well, it`s getting better but hold on a little bit more. But that`s really where we are right now, right? And one thing I will say, it`s getting warmer across the country, even in the northeast, even the cold parts. So, look, if your governor says restaurants are open or gyms are open, movie theaters are open, or that you don`t need to wear a mask, use your own judgment. Listen to public health professionals. They know what they`re talking about.

Remember, as it gets warmer, do stuff outside so we can ease into a more normal summer instead of a fourth wave of COVID.


HAYES: For nearly a week now, the government has been sending out $1,400 stimulus checks across the country at a record pace. Already, the Treasury says it has made 90 million payments. That puts an estimated $242 billion in American pockets.

Joining me now to talk about the first wave of this COVID relief is Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter of California. Congresswoman, are you happy or disappointed with the scale and speed so far of the implementation of this piece of legislation?

REP. KATIE PORTER (D-CA): I`m delighted that we`re moving quickly to get the checks out. But of course, I`m disappointed that we waited through March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December, all the way until we got a new president to be able to deliver this.

HAYES: Right.

PORTER: I think there`s a parallel to what we`re seeing with vaccine distribution. We waited way too long under President Trump, and now under President Biden and people are just counting the minutes until they get the help that they waited for months and months.

HAYES: There are some concerns about debt collectors and about garnishment of wages. There`s been some back and forth. There`s a little bit of talk of this in one Senate committee hearing today. There weren`t statutory protections put into this bill. But I wonder as someone who has, you know, had a lot to say about how predatory financial institutions can be, if you have thoughts on that.

PORTER: Yes, I mean, the point of these checks in their very name, that they are survival checks, that they are disaster relief checks, they are here to help people make ends meet. And in our country right now, two in five households are saying they are struggling to put food on the table.

And so, yes, I wish Congress had acted to make it crystal clear that debt collectors are not to take this money. But to be clear, nobody forces debt collectors to take your garnishment.

HAYES: Right.

PORTER: They can see that this is the government`s money intended to help the American people not to pad their profits.

HAYES: You have been -- you`ve been very outspoken about domestic violence, violence against women in the Violence Against Women Act. You had this tweet yesterday. "Each year, millions suffered domestic abuse and silence because they`re financially dependent on their partners. I`m proud of my measure to integrate economic abuse as a form of domestic violence is included in the Violence Against Women Act, which the House voted to renew today." Explained to me that provision.

PORTER: Yes. So, the reality here is that when people are in an abusive, intimate partner relationship, that financial abuse is present most of the time in more than three and four instances. And this can take a variety of forms, everything from restricting the person`s access to cash for basic necessities, to coercing them into signing for debts that ruin their credit.

And so, we know this is a prevalent phenomenon. And it`s important to make clear that any kind of abuse toward an intimate relationship is wrong. And economic abuse is a really key part of why people stay with their abusers and are not able to leave.

HAYES: How do you -- how do you have the law handle that? I know that, you know, the area of domestic abuse, and particularly what`s happened in the last 20 years, right, is that there has been a lot more legislation, a lot more targeted efforts to give women protection, and then also concerns from a lot of folks that it has exacerbated mass incarceration or has put police in situations where they`re not the best people to be. How do you balance those as you think about sort of policy solutions?

PORTER: What this provision would do is allow a judge after hearing evidence of economic abuse to enter appropriate orders to make sure that both parties including the victim have the ability to support themselves after leaving their abuser. So, it can issue for example, injunctions to repair ruined credit and can take actions like that.

HAYES: You were on the Financial Services Committee and that made a lot of sense because you had studied those issues. You`ve been a scholar in those issues. You`d written about them publicly. You`re no longer on the Financial Services Committee, and there`s been some reporting and some questions about what happened. And I just want to ask you in person, what happened?

PORTER: Yes, I love serving on the Financial Services Committee. I also love serving on the Oversight Committee. And because of how the committees are structured, I was the most junior person on oversight. I was at risk of losing that seat, so I asked to make oversight my primary committee. I then asked for a waiver to stay on Financial Services. There were eight or nine spots. There were 10 or 11 of us who applied. I didn`t get it.

HAYES: Do you know why?

PORTER: I don`t know why. Those decisions come from a recommendation of this hearing and Policy Committee, and I don`t have any insight into it. But I`m obviously not going to let anyone, party leaders in either party, stop me from working on these issues, stop me from bringing what I know about how hard it is for Americans to make ends meet to our Congress.

I`m going to keep making policies that help address the needs of American families whatever committee I`m assigned to.

HAYES: There are a lot of people who have pointed to the American Rescue Plan as a kind of turning point, right. That the politics surrounding austerity, surrounding you know, what was derisively called for many years welfare, right. That if you give people money, they`re not going to work, that you`ll take away their incentive, that there`s something definitive and a break with that that was embodied in the American Rescue Plan because of the way that it so frontally attacks child poverty, the fact that you have these checks in there and all the long list of provisions. And as someone who sort of studied this and written about this, I wonder what you think.

PORTER: I think it`s wonderful that at long last Congress is actually doing something that makes perfect sense. We are drying on the research and the research is crystal clear. When you give low-income or struggling families additional money, what they spend it on is food, more food, and more nutritious food. That is the first thing they put it toward.

This bill is literally going to keep kids from going to school hungry. It`s going to keep parents from having to start to decide whether to feed a child they`re caring for or a parent. So, it`s absolutely correct that this bill represents a break. But it`s not a break from reality, it`s Congress recognizing that reality, which is additional money to low-income families helps them meet their basic needs and that benefits our entire workforce and our entire economy.

HAYES: Congresswoman Katie Porter of California, thank you so much for your time tonight.

PORTER: Thank you.

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