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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 3/19/21

Guests: Katie Benner, London Lamar, Dr. Anthony Fauci


Federal Prosecutors unseal conspiracy charges against four Proud Boys for role on January 6th insurrection at the Capitol. President Biden and Vice President Harris met with state and local leaders from the Asian- American Pacific Islander Community in Atlanta in the wake of the spa shooting. Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee called for the bust to be removed, citing the brutal crimes that Nathan Bedford Forrest committed against African Americans. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for schools, particularly how far apart students need to be and how to open in communities with high rates of coronavirus spread. All data from the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services has shown that hospitalizations have risen by 45 percent from the state`s recent low on February 25th.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s a scary situation. And I got to tell you, hopefully, the good folks at Palm Beach County will do what they have to do, social distance, because we`re on the brink of turning this thing around thanks to Biden and the Democrats. So, hopefully Mar-a-Lago does what they got to do.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: And stay off the beaches, for God`s sake, down there in Florida. Fernand Amandi and Sousa del Persio, hair commercials for both of you. I hope you both get national campaigns. That is the REIDOUT tonight. You can catch me again tomorrow morning on "THE CROSS CONNECTION" with Tiffany Cross that begins at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.


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

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White supremacist and white -- Proud Boys.

TRUMP: Proud Boys, stand back and stand by.

HAYES: Four leaders of the Proud Boys indicted on conspiracy charges for their coordinated efforts at the Capitol. And why does Roger Stone`s name keep surfacing and charging documents for the rioters. Then --

KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Racism is real in America and it has always been. Xenophobia is real in America and always has been, sexism too.

HAYES: A solemn day in Georgia as we learn more about the victims of the attack of three Asian spas. Plus --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In our culture today, there`s a desire it seems to cancel, the history of cancel culture.

HAYES: The fight to keep a confederate war criminal and founder of the KKK in the Tennessee State House. And the fight against COVID stalls even as vaccination soar. Dr. Fauci joins me live on what we need to do to stop a fourth wave when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Some fascinating revealing new federal filings unsealed today that shed new light on the January 6th insurrection. You know, two and a half months after a mob guided by Donald Trump, in fact, invited to the Capitol and violently attacked the U.S. Capitol, it`s becoming more and more clear that for many of the insurrectionists, this was more than a moment of passion. This was a plan.

Officials estimate several hundred people actually enter the Capitol. And so far, there have been more than 300 arrests. In fact, it`s hard to keep track of more and more and more every day. There`s no question if you look at the video that we all have access to or some of these arrest records that some of the people kind of made a spur of the moment decision to follow the crowd inside. But there are people there who had that plan from the beginning.

And so today, federal prosecutors unsealed conspiracy charges against former leaders of the Proud Boys for their alleged role in planning the attack. You remember the Proud Boys, of course. They`re the group that Donald Trump specifically refused to condemn at the first debate.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you want to call them? Give me a name. Give me a name. Go ahead. Who would you like me to condemn.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: White supremacist, and white -- Proud Boys.

TRUMP: Proud Boys, stand back and stand by. But I`ll tell you what, I`ll tell you what, somebody`s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not a right-wing problem. This is left-wing -- this is a left-wing problem.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: His own -- his own FBI Director said --


HAYES: Remember that? The Proud Boys who were told by the president to stand by took the president at his word and they did, at least according the indictment. The conspiracy began as early as November 3rd, Election Day and included, encouraging members of the Proud Boys and others to attend the Stop the Steel Protest, obtaining paramilitary gear and supplies including concealed tactical vests, protective equipment and radio equipment for the January 6th attack, scheming to evade detection by law enforcement on January 6th, by dressing incognito, and engaging in meetings and encrypted communications in Washington D.C. on the days leading up to January 6th, and on the morning of January 6th to engage in planning for the January attack.

They plan the attack, the attack to stop the peaceful transfer of power. And they spent a lot of time and money doing it. And they are not the only ones. Other new court filings on the prosecution of the members of a far- right militia organization known as The Oath Keepers are also shedding light on what prosecutors say was an organized conspiracy on their part to "corruptly obstruct, influence, and impede an official proceeding. That is Congress` certification of the electoral college vote." In other words, to interrupt the peaceful transfer of power in this country, to overturn a democratic election through force and mob violence.

But in an attempt to prove he was there for more legitimate reasons, lawyers for Oath Keeper Donovan Crowl who prosecutors say forcibly enter the Capitol Building, claim the only reason Crowl was in D.C. was to act as private security for wait, what`s that, longtime Trump fixer, Roger Stone. Interesting.

Another filing by prosecutors includes a photo of two charged Oath Keepers apparently standing next to Stone in the book event back in December. Stone, of course, the guy in the middle with the suspenders.

It wasn`t just the president gave the speech in which he told people to go to the Capitol or that he spent a month or more creating the conditions for a violent mob to attempt to stop the peaceful transfer of power, it`s at the people of the core of this conspiracy as revealed day after day in more and more charging documents are all like one node away from the President or his circle.

I mean, look at this picture to see who the Oath Keepers were with the day before this happened. Look at that. It`s Roger Stone. And Roger Stone, let`s be clear here, Roger Stone is not some ancillary figure in Trump world. Remember, Roger Stone was Donald Trump`s first political adviser. He was the guy there at the beginning when Trump launched his campaign in 2015.

According to federal prosecutors and just Stone himself, Stone played an instrumental role back-channeling with WikiLeaks in 2016, right? WikiLeaks who, of course, was publishing the hacked and stolen documents taken by the Russian government. And Stone played a role in communicating with WikiLeaks as part of the first effort to cheat and create an uneven playing field for Trump`s victory.

It was, you know, successful, at least in the Electoral College. And then subsequent to that, let`s remember that Roger Stone lied about it to Congress in order to apparently cover up whatever he was up to in 2016. And he was convicted for those -- indicted and convicted for those lies by a jury of his peers.

And then what happened? Well, he went away to prison, but the president intervened first by pushing the Department of Justice to reduce the sentence, and then by first computing Stone`s sentence, and then by directly pardoning him.

There was no justification for it. I mean, Trump was just helping out a buddy, right? And it didn`t make much sense to commit that sentence in July. It was the summer he had to take a big political hit. But Roger Stone`s whole life is quite proudly, nothing but dirty checks. He is the guy with a Nixon tattoo on his back.

He is also the guy who claims credit for helping instigate the infamous Brooke Brothers riot back in 2000. That, of course, would be the last time that an intimidating mob of right-wing activists invaded a government building in order to stop the orderly administration of the democratic process.

It`s not crazy to think that is why Roger Stone was sprung by the President, why he was fried before the election. We don`t know. Stone hasn`t said, Donald Trump hasn`t said, but you know, it`s not crazy to suppose the president didn`t want him on the bench. He wanted him in the game to do what he`s done his entire career.

Remember how the slogan around January 6th was Stop the Steal? That`s a Roger Stone phrase. Roger Stone coined that back in 2016. And so, is it surprising to see Roger Stone, again, longtime associate of President, the President`s henchmen, the guy who lied on behalf of the President who was then pardoned by the president to see him around D.C. around the insurrection, getting security from the people prosecutors say were part of the criminal conspiracy to stop Congress from doing its democratic duty.

I want to bring in Katie Benner who covers the Justice Department in the New York Times and who`s done great reporting on this. The just -- and reported the Justice Department was examining Roger Stone`s possible ties to the insurrectionists last month.

I want to talk about all of this, but just start with what we`re learning from the court filings about the Proud Boys, and then the Oath Keepers.

KATIE BENNER, JUSTICE REPORTER, THE NEW YORK TIMES: Sure. On the Proud Boy`s case, what we`re seeing is a lot more detail about how -- just how organized they were. So, as you mentioned, it shows that there are many people who decided they`re going to plan a trip to Washington D.C. for the day of the rally, not just to attend a rally, but to you know, impede Congress` ability to finalize this and certify Joe Biden`s win.

That was something they saw an encrypted signal communication. We saw that they were aware that the FBI was looking for them. They`re aware that (INAUDIBLE) with law enforcement. When one of their leaders Enrique Tarrio, was arrested, they nuked a whole chat room saying, OK, we got to get rid of this and start over again. They were aware they could be monitored. So that was really interesting to see.

And then also, we saw that they raised thousands of dollars to come. We saw that they were organized, they had equipment. And so you see prosecutor seating indictments with this information, because it gets shows that they`re very interested in not just in the people who are in the communications in the chat rooms, they`re interested in things like funding. They`re interested in who supported them.

HAYES: And one of the things that`s interesting when you look back at that video, and some of this comes up in the filing documents in which one of the Proud Boys have referred to as the tip of the spear is that, you know, there was a kind of Vanguard in that crowd, right.

There were the people that were pushing forward that were the most violent, who are the most aggressive, who seem the most intent on breaking through windows and going through. And one of the things that seems like federal prosecutors are starting to piece together is like, who were those people and how much they had planned this.

BENNER: Yes, absolutely. To show that for them, this was a mission and not just a group of people who got caught up in the frenzy as you mentioned before. That was the vast majority of the hundreds of people inside of the Capitol is the vast majority of the hundreds of people who`ve been charged.

But for, you know, what could be dozens of people, it was not a spontaneous event. It wasn`t the getting caught up. It was really something pre-planned for weeks, if not months.

HAYES: Who has -- I mean Merrick Garland is now at the Department of Justice. You cover that building and that institution. It has had a very wild last few years, I think it`s fair to say. I know a lot of people inside that building over at the Department of Justice. It has a very strong culture. There is a lot of anger and frustration and tension in that building with William Barr.

I mean, who is running point on this because this is both an incredibly important investigation and it`s also, you know, a fraught one.

BENNER: So, the person who has been running point on the investigation, Michael Sherman, he stepped down today. He`s going to go -- be going back as a line prosecutor in Miami, the office that he`d been working in until he was detailed to Washington during the Trump administration.

The current Acting U.S. Attorney, Channing Phillips, will ultimately be responsible for the investigation. He`s going to be the person signing those indictments. So, it will be Phillips who will be taking over. But because Merrick Garland is here, you`ll see the really difficult cases. You now have leadership that can be not only briefed on them, but they can weigh in.

So, things like seditious conspiracy, something like charging somebody as high profile as Roger Stone. It`s really important that the Attorney General be in place because that`s going to be a politically -- I won`t say will, because who knows what will happen. That could be a very politically charged step. You need somebody in the Attorney General`s seat.

HAYES: We keep seeing Roger Stone popping up at the edges of these documents, right? I mean, we saw the photos. We know that -- you know, you could draw those sorts of connections. But he`s showing up in these documents. I mean, what is your reporting indicate about where he sits in all this?

BENNER: So, we reported a few weeks ago, That stone is somebody prosecutors began to look at, and he`s somebody they probably wouldn`t have been able to look at, if not for the fact that some of the Oath Keepers who were with him were later seen inside of the Capitol and ultimately indicted.

It gave them, you know, sort of reasons to be able to better examine communications, looking for mention of Stone and to scrutinize stone himself because the other things that he did that day attending the rally, making speeches, standing outside the Capitol, those things are not illegal. And the FBI can`t just bust into somebody`s communications because they`re standing next to a building.

HAYES: Sure.

BENNER: And so that investigations ongoing, but again, as you mentioned, I think that the Julian Assange cases have great thing to be thinking about when looking at the -- this investigation to Roger Stone. It`s really difficult to charge somebody for doing the things that we were able to see him do.

In the Assange case, even the prosecutor suspected he conspired with Julian Assange. They ultimately were never able to get there. And instead, what they charged him with was lying. So, it is possible -- these are very difficult cases to make. It`s possible he won`t be charged. But what we know is he`s being looked at.

HAYES: Roger stone has been working in the shadows, I think, by his own admission for a very, very long time. He`s got a little tradecraft going. Katie Benner, thanks for sharing that great reporting.

Tonight, as the President and Vice President meet and mourn with the Asian- American community in Atlanta, NBC News is speaking exclusively to one of the families of the victims of that horrific shooting.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What`s your reaction to the way that they have handled the investigation into the shooting?

RANDY PARK, SON OF ATLANTA SHOOTING VICTIM: You can`t say that this isn`t racially motivated. You don`t kill eight people on a bad day, let alone one.


HAYES: More of what we`re learning and the President`s visit, that`s next.


HAYES: President Biden and Vice President Harris traveled to Atlanta today. It actually had been previously scheduled trip. They`re going to the Centers for Disease Control, which is of course down in Atlanta, to mark the 100 million vaccine doses administered since Biden`s inauguration. That`s about 40 days ahead of their target.

But of course, in the wake of the horrific shooting spree earlier this week at three Atlanta area spas, which left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent, Biden and Harris met with state and local leaders from the Asian-American Pacific Islander Community. They spoke afterwards about the reality of anti-Asian hate and bigotry in the country.


HARRIS: Racism is real in America and it has always been. Xenophobia is real in America, and always has been, sexism too. Ultimately, this is about who we are as a nation. This is about how we treat people with dignity and respect. Everyone has the right to go to work, to go to school, to walk down the street and be safe, and also the right to be recognized as an American not as the other, not as them.

JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Hate and violence often hide in plain sight. It`s often met with silence. That`s been the truth throughout our history. But that has to change because our silence is complicity. We cannot be complicit. We have to speak out. We have to act.


HAYES: We also learn the names of the remaining four victims today, the four Asian women are killed in two spots in northeast Atlanta. They`re Soon Chung Park, age 74. Suncha Kim age 69. Yong Ae Yue, age 63. And Hyun Jung Grant, age 51. Grant worked as an elementary school teacher in Korea before coming to the U.S. where she worked at the gold spa.

She was a single mother to two boys Eric and Randy. And she liked to take them to the aquarium, the mall, and Korean restaurants in her days off. The Family of three was close knit. Her son, Randy, described his mother, one of his best friends, devoted and supportive, everything you could ask for in a mom.

63-year-old Yue was a licensed massage therapist recently back to work after being laid off last year at the onset of the pandemic. She was excited about returning to the spa, according to her sons Elliot Robert who called her kind and deeply caring. They said Yue was always feeding friends with their Korean home cooking and looking out for others giving food or gifts or even cash to help pay the rent.

NBC News Correspondent Kathy Park interviewed the son of one of the victims today and Janell Ross is a Senior Correspondent for Time Magazine where she has been reporting on this tragedy and its impact on the Asian Community in Atlanta, and they both join me now.

Kathy, I want to start with you because you got to interview one of the sons, I think Hyun Jung Grant`s son today, and what was that conversation like and how is he doing?

KATHY PARK, MSNBC CORRESPONDENT: Chris, good evening to you. As you can imagine, he is just in shock and he is still processing this tragedy. He had a lot of requests to speak with the media and he was gracious to talk to us for a few minutes. He is grateful for the outpouring of support.

He put out a GoFundMe page because he is on his own now taking care of his younger brother and finances he realize was going to be tough moving forward. And believe it or not, Chris, I just checked it a few minutes ago. It is now climbed to 1.7 million in less than 24 hours.

This is something that is resonating all across the country. This is something that hits very close to home for the Asian American community. I mean, Randy, he was very thoughtful in his responses. He is looking forward to the future, just how he`s going to take care of his brother.

He said, when it comes to reflecting on his mom, she was almost like his best friend. I mean, he told me that she would say that he loved him all the time. She worked tirelessly. She is an immigrant from South Korea. And she worked weeks on end, sometimes without a break. She`s -- I mean, he said it wasn`t unusual for her to go several weeks working just around the clock at the spa before she finally came home and just took a couple of days to rest.

So, family was always first. I also asked him about the investigation. He`s a little bit more about what he told me.


K. PARK: What`s your reaction to the way that they have handled the investigation into the shooting.

R. PARK: You can`t say that this isn`t racially motivated. You don`t kill eight people on a bad day, let alone one. I need to focus on getting past this as fast as possible. So, I can at least basically try and live happy as soon as possible. Otherwise, she won`t be able to rest as easily.


K. PARK: Now, Chris, as a young man in the wake of this tragedy showed so much strength and poise during our conversation, despite this tragedy that now envelops his life. And this is something that he`s going to have to deal with. And you know, I`m here in the Duluth area. This is an area that is filled with a lot of Korean Americans.

I`m in a shopping center where a lot of these stores are owned by Koreans and they are all touched by this violence. I mean, I had a lot of conversations with people on the ground, people are holding back tears. They are in shock. They are in fear, and they`re on high alert, Chris.

HAYES: Jenell, you`ve been doing some reporting down there as well and sort of how this is reverberating. And the thing that I just found so piercing today about that interview that Kathy did, and just the sort of sheer relatability and familiarity of the stories of these folks who are immigrating to the country and then just absolutely working their tails off at, you know, hoping to have a better life for their kids. And how much that must strike people there who think they`re before the grace of God.

JANELL ROSS, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Absolutely. Georgia, like a lot of states has a pretty significant immigrant population, also pretty significantly sized native foreign Asian population. I think as you said, as I was listening to that interview, I was really moved because I was listening to someone who was talking about something that every human being is going to experience at some point, which is the feeling of being completely untethered from your parent who`s been there your entire life. And it`s really tragic, just truly tragic.

HAYES: I wonder, too, I mean, that sort of level of fear that Kathy was just talking about, Janell, like what you`ve heard from the folks you`ve been talking about. You know, there`s always that awful sense that this casts a shadow, that people think like this is not just an isolated incident and how people are processing that.

ROSS: I think we have to be honest ourselves and say this isn`t an isolated incident, right? Asian -- anti-Asian hate crime has been surging in this country. Hate Crimes over all have been rising or dead for four years straight. And I think that people rightfully have a sense that they have to adjust the way that they live, which is most unfortunate.

This is the evidence that people are living with a certain degree of fear and believe that they`re living with a certain degree of risk. People making decisions not to go certain places. I`ve certainly talked to people who`ve talked about trying to be particularly cautious, being aware of where exits are, being thoughtful about going places where they know that there will be many other Asians out of fear that that place might be targeted.

This is reality. This is the way that people are living. And this is certainly this incident in Atlanta has deepened those fears. I think without question, this is an extremely violent, extremely tragic. We`ve lost eight people here in Georgia. But there are people who had great fears and concerns as well before this event, people have horrible stories about being yelled at, spit on, screamed at, accused of being a vector of disease like in public places.

HAYES: Janell Ross and Kathy Park who are both there in the Atlanta area doing some fantastic reporting in the aftermath is awful, awful, unspeakable act. Thank you both.

Meanwhile, in Tennessee, can you complain about so-called canceled culture over the removal of a former KKK leader statue by trying to cancel the government commission that voted to remove the statue? A truly unbelievable story unfolding in Tennessee. You got to see it. That`s next.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My given name is Benjamin Buford blue, but people call me Bubba. Just like one of them old redneck boys. Can you believe that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: My name is Forrest Gump. People call me Forrest Gump.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (on camera): You probably know what movie that`s from, of course, the iconic movie Forrest Gump. But I wanted to show it to you because Forrest is a name that has long been common throughout the south, at least among white folks.

And in that movie, Forrest Gump says he explicitly, he was named after the Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, and a lot of very real people have been named after Nathan Bedford Forrest as well.

In the south, there have been Nathan Bedford Forrest highways and monuments and high schools and state holidays. He has been treated by many folks as an American hero.

But that is not who Nathan Bedford Forrest was. You may know the history, you may not. My sense is that a lot of people, may most people don`t really know the full story. So, here`s just a quick recap.

Nathan Bedford Forrest is not some kind of on the bubble figure, an edge case with a complicated legacy. He`s not someone the woke mob has suddenly decided to come for. He is probably one of the top 10 villains in American history. Just a vile, vile, evil man.

A plantation owner and slave trader. His most infamous act as a Confederate General came at the Battle of Fort Pillow in 1864. Four soldiers massacred a bunch of Union troops, many of them black, and many of whom were attempting to surrender when they were killed.

The Confederacy then abandoned the position that night, they didn`t even need to hold the Fort. It was an atrocity, and it was recognized as such at the time.

This is from the New York Herald on April 14th, 1864. Tails of a horrific massacre. The dead and wounded burned by Confederate forces reported massacre of the white and black troops.

It reverberated throughout the country as one of the most vile, despicable war crimes of the Civil War. The Nathan Bedford Forrest wasn`t done yet.

After the Confederacy was defeated, Forrest managed to escape justice. He was not imprisoned, nor executed. Now, he went back to civilian life and became an early member of an organization you`ve perhaps heard of the Ku Klux Klan.

In fact, Forrest was the first and most notorious Grand Wizard of the KKK, which of course devoted itself during the Reconstruction era in the following decades to reinstalling white supremacy throughout the south by any means necessary, including terrorist violence by targeting black people with violence and mayhem.

That`s the guy. That`s Nathan Bedford Forrest. There is currently a bust in his honor displayed in the Tennessee State Capitol.

Now, it does not stretch back all the way to the reconstruction years. No, no, no, it was installed in 1978. And it was put there in response to a bust of U.S. Civil War hero Admiral David Farragut.

The Forrest bust promptly attracted members of the Tennessee KKK, who held a press conference in front of it in 1980. Yes, that`s what you`re looking at. Those are Klansmen in Klan robes in the Tennessee State Capitol underneath the Forrest bust in case anyone is still wondering what this is all about.

A lot of folks have been trying to get rid of the Nathan Bedford Forrest bust for a very long time, as you might imagine.

Last year, to his credit, Tennessee Republican Governor Bill Lee called for the bust to be removed, citing the brutal crimes that Nathan Bedford Forrest committed against African-Americans.

And now, the Tennessee Historical Commission and Capitol Commission have voted to remove the bust. But because history has never gone and Confederate sympathies endure to this day, there is now a Republican backlash against that effort.

Here to tell us what`s going on, Tennessee State Representative London Lamar, a Democrat, who represents Memphis. And Representative, you are in the Capitol, I believe, right in front of the Bedford Forrest bust. You wanted to do this interview from that position, why?

REP. LONDON LAMAR (D-TN) (on camera): That is very important that this man who was the first Grand Wizard of the KKK, who massacred many black Union soldiers. I wanted to see that he sits right here in the most powerful building in the state of Tennessee, and between the most powerful chambers in our state, and that`s the House of Representatives and the Senate.

And every day I have to walk in to make legislation for all people of Tennessee. I have to walk past the Klansmen before I go into the people`s House and I think it`s important because many people don`t get the opportunity to visit the state Capitol, especially during a pandemic.

But you need to see that our state capitol is recognizing and supporting the first Grand Wizard of the KKK in a building that should be a building where all people can feel that we are entering these chambers to represent them and make their lives better.

HAYES: So, there was -- this is not a new controversy, it`s been the object of much public attention for a while. The Republican governor created this commission, the commission voted to remove it. There seems to be a kind of rebellion against that in which some of your Republican colleagues now want to cancel the commission because they canceled Nathan Bedford Forrest, what`s going on?

LAMAR: See, after decades of decades of protests, and we finally had a win last week, when the Historical Commission voted to remove this bust and place this bust in the State Museum, where it can be -- the story of Nathan Bedford Forrest can be told in more accurate context.

But because some of the Republicans do not agree with the removal of the Klansmen from the State Capitol, they are now trying to remove the commission in its entirety.

What the Republicans -- some of these Republicans are trying to do is stack the day and make it even harder. When they put something in place, they put this Historical Commission in place, but because it`s not working to their benefit, we want to change it again. We can`t keep stacking the deck when we are able to do what we need to do in a system that you put in place. And I don`t think it`s fair that we are trying to make it harder.

The Historical Commission made a decision, we need to respect it and allow this bust to be moved to the State Museum.

HAYES: Let me just make sure I understand this right. So, the Republicans control the government in your state, they have majorities in both Houses. If I`m not mistaken, there`s a Republican governor.

Under that Republican government, they created this commission, the Commission`s job was to research and figure out what to do with this bust. And I believe a building at a college that`s also named after him, if I`m not mistaken. They have now voted to remove the bus but the Republicans now -- some Republicans don`t like the decisions, they want to scrap that commission as kind of, I don`t know, retaliation?

LAMAR: Absolutely. This is a divided Republican Party on this bust. What it is, is they don`t (INAUDIBLE) to use their power and abusing the government to be able to get to what they want to do.

And it`s possible that if they pass this legislation to change the commission where the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the House, and the governor had to equally get appointments to this commission in order to stop this bust from being removed. It can in fact, be able to stay here.

So, we`re (INAUDIBLE) manipulating the laws in order to keep a Klansmen in the state capitol. And so, I support Governor Lee`s leadership and calling on his party to do the right thing.

If we truly want people to move at Tennessee, if we truly want to bring tax dollars down and want everybody to come here, then we don`t need to put up a bust of a man who killed black soldiers and made millions selling children -- black children, black mothers, black men on an auction block in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, and made millions of dollars and he gets a bust in the most prominent position in the state Capitol.

It`s ridiculous and we hope that the Republicans do not manipulate the laws to try to change them just because they can`t get their way.

HAYES: So, you also if I`m not mistaken, there is some kind of holiday for Nathan Bedford Forrest in the state of Tennessee. You, I believe, looked to abolish that. You`ve introduced some legislation that was sort of a let the governor I guess not sign the yearly Nathan Bedford Forrest proclamation. Any progress on that?

LAMAR: So, Governor Bill Lee and then myself had the same legislation to remove Nathan Bedford Forrest as a state holiday in the state of Tennessee. What the Republicans did was they did not like to the deal and what they did, they manipulate the law and changed it and where they are now able to vote as a legislature to decide to remove or keep state holidays.

I push this piece of legislation because in a state where everyone has to observe a state holiday, it`s important that we recognize those who made a positive impact on Tennessee`s history, but Nathan Bedford Forrest did not do that.

His legacy in Tennessee is about slavery and the mass murder of black people just miles at the Fort Pillow site above Memphis, Tennessee.

He also made millions of dollars as a human trafficker by selling young black girls to adult white men and made millions of dollars.

And I`m pretty sure me and my colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats don`t support human trafficking, which is something I advocate for all the time.

But if we don`t support human trafficking, then we don`t support Nathan Bedford Forrest. And that is exactly why I`m pushing the issue. We must change the culture here in this state if we want to continue to make this a state where all people can thrive. And the number one symbol in our state doesn`t need a man who fought against that very thing.

HAYES: Tennessee State Representative London Lamar who represents her city of Memphis, thank you so much for joining me tonight. I really appreciate it.

LAMAR: Thank you so much.

HAYES: Coming up, Dr. Anthony Fauci is here. We`ve got a lot to talk about, like, well, how worried we should be about a fourth wave, new school guidance and much more. Dr. Fauci joins me ahead. Don`t go anywhere.


HAYES: Today was a pretty important day for the parent of a school aged child in America and that`s because today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines for schools, particularly how far apart students need to be and how to open in communities with high rates of coronavirus spread.

Students who no longer need the plastic shields around their desk can be three feet apart rather than six that`s an even in communities with a high infection rates as long as teachers and students crucially continue masking.

It points to the fact that, you know, science doesn`t make policy on its own. Science can inform policy. Policies then made with tradeoffs between competing interests. I mean, science can tell us well, the best data we have says, x, and here are the costs in either direction. But then, policymakers got to figure out what to do with that. That`s been true throughout the pandemic.

When schools first closed in response to the virus, something needed to be done. And based on assumptions and data from previous pandemics, six feet both in schools and outside of it became a kind of rule of thumb.

But as an infectious disease expert at Boston University pointed out, there`s no magic threshold for any distance. There`s risk at six feet, there`s risk at three feet, there`s risk at nine feet, there`s always risk.

And again, that`s not unusual. I mean, with any limit or rule, there`s a degree of somewhat arbitrary decision making, like, you know, the speed limit being 55 miles per hour, rather than 57 or 53.

But what became clear is that whatever guidelines we have now will likely endure and fall. That`s even after we get all the adults who want it vaccinated, maybe we have herd immunity among adults, but children won`t be vaccinated most likely by late August.

And so, that`s when the old guidance of six feet distancing would have become a real problem, because if you`re looking at like, you know, the 10 biggest school systems in America, they do not have that kind of space for the number of students they serve.

So, if you`ve got six feet, and you want to adhere to the guidelines, you`re basically saying you can`t send everyone back to school. I mean, the math just doesn`t pencil out.

With the new CDC guidelines, districts have a lot more flexibility to reopen. And keep in mind, the White House has directed teachers, educators and staff members to be first in line for vaccines and to get vaccinated.

So, if schools are able to use money provided by the federal government to improve ventilation and install air filters, you`ve got the staff vaccinated. You know, one of the other things we could do is also renew -- reduce the amount of colds and flu viruses circulating around school buildings, which would be a nice added benefit. I mean, I got to say, as a parent of school, a shelter not having kids and teachers, and parents sick all winter long.

There are signs the vaccination effort in the Biden administration`s push to get schools open, right, safely, vaccinations of teachers, money for schools for ventilation, right? Coming together so we can get people back in school safely.

Today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that students will be able to opt in for in-person learning this year. They`re going to open another window which is huge news, particularly in my world.

But even with that news today, there are still big concerns about slowing the pandemic overall, big concerns about a potential fourth wave. There`s no human being right now more qualified to talk about exactly where we stand than Dr. Anthony Fauci. He joins me next. Don`t go anywhere.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We owe you a gigantic debt of gratitude. And we will for a long, long, long time. Because I hope this is the beginning of the end of not paying attention to what`s going to come again and again and again and again. We can build all the walls we want and we can have the most powerful armies in the world, we can -- but we cannot stop -- we cannot stop these viruses other than be aware where they are and move quickly on them when we find them.


HAYES: President Biden`s stop at the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control today, praised our leadership fight against the virus. He often -- also emphasized the importance of responding quickly and effectively at the first time of an outbreak which is a lesson we have learned the hard way.

The visit comes amid warning signs for COVID in the U.S., at least, in some places. They`ve got highly contagious variants that have become prevalent in states like Michigan. And for weeks, Michigan like the rest of the country, right, saw drops in both cases and hospitalizations, those trends are now going in the wrong direction. They`re going up.

All data from the CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services has shown that hospitalizations have risen by 45 percent from the state`s recent low on February 25th.

Joining me now to talk more about this, country`s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci. It`s great to have you back on the program, Dr. Fauci.

I feel like one of the things we`ve learned here, right, is there`s no stable equilibrium plateau, it seems like in a year of this pandemic, the things either growing or shrinking. And so, when you see it growing in a place, I start to get worried. How do you interpret the data out of places like Massachusetts and Michigan where we`re seeing some growth?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES (on camera): Well, you know, it`s predictable, Chris, because remember, we had the big peak, and then it came down at a really good rate. And then it started to plateau, which I said weeks ago is a bad sign, instead of continuing to go down at a sharp decrement, its plateaued.

Once it does that, there`s a high risk that you`re going to get another resurgence. We`ve seen that with previous surges. The other three that we`ve had in this country, Europe did the same thing. They tend to be three or four weeks ahead of us in the dynamics of the outbreak, and they went up, came down, plateaued, they pulled back on their mitigation methods, they stopped wearing masks, they opened up the bars, they did the things that we warned shouldn`t be done. And now, Europe is seeing in general a surge of 5-10 percent.

I hope that doesn`t happen here. But it looks like it`s starting to do that. It`s risky, which is the reason why we say don`t declare victory prematurely. We still have a ways to go.

Plateauing that 50,000 cases a day is not a good place to be and that`s where we are. We`ve got to keep pushing to get it down even further.

HAYES: I`m curious how you a year into this understand the nexus between behavior and policy on that regard. Because it does seem to me that a lot of this sort of -- we see this kind of thermostatic behavior, right, in the public.

So, even when policy isn`t reducing people`s mobility in a state like Arizona during the summer, we start to see people taking matters into their own hands. You know, they stop moving around, they stop congregating, they stop going out, and we see that, you know, break the back of the -- of the curve, but it works in the other direction, right?

I mean, what -- how much of this is policy and how much does people a year out of this, whenever they feel like they can come up for air, like, all right, I`m going out, I`m going to live more of my life.

FAUCI: You know, it`s a combination of both. I think there is such a strong feeling, Chris, that`s totally understandable when people have been is suppressed in what they can do in the normal way of living, that they just feel we`ve got to cut loose. That`s why you need the leadership, to keep encouraging them that we`re not going to be this way forever, we just have to hang in there a bit longer.

Because every day that goes by, you get two to three million people more vaccinated. And as we get out of March into April, in May, a lot more people will be vaccinated, which would make it a lot less likely that you`d see a surge.

What we don`t want to do now is to pull back, before we get that rather large proportion of people vaccinated. We have now about 23 percent of the country has at least one vaccine, about 12-13 percent are fully vaccinated. We got to get that up a bit higher before we start pulling back on some of these public health measures.

HAYES: How much is the lesson? I mean, something I keep thinking about? We`re in March now, right? In the north it`s -- in the northern parts of the country, it`s becoming spring and huge swaths of the country are already very warm. How much have people gotten the message about the difference between indoor and outdoor and the risk between the two? Because I feel like it hasn`t really gotten through.

But my understanding of the science, again, as just a journalist who consumes this, is that they`re just a huge difference. And anything that you can do outdoors instead of indoors is a -- is better.

FAUCI: You`re absolutely 100 percent, Chris. There`s no doubt about that. And that`s the reason why among the four or five things we keep saying over and over again, masking, physical distancing, avoiding congregate settings, and outdoors much more preferentially than indoors. You`re absolutely correct. It makes a big difference.

And now that the weather`s getting warmer in many parts, most parts of the country, then do whatever you need to do and do it outdoors.

HAYES: Yes, I think particularly when people are scratching that social itch, you know, in places that are warm. If you want to see someone wear a mask and see him outdoors, you know, at a -- you know, in a park or at a backyard, that is so much better than meeting for someone in a drink in a bar. It just -- it`s a completely different universe of risk. I`m not sure that`s gotten through to people. Let me --

FAUCI: Absolutely.

HAYES: Let me ask you this about the CDC guidance on the -- on the three feet versus six feet. I know the CDC is a sort of independent institution, they produce their guidance, you don`t work for the CDC.

But when people see that, if someone says, oh, man, they`re just sort of making this up as we go along. It was six feet, now it`s three feet, they`re pulling us out of thin air. Why should I listen to these people? What do you say to that?

FAUCI: That`s not correct. The CDC is a science and evidence based organization. They make their decisions first and foremost on evidence and on data. If they don`t have all of that, they do modeling and only when they have none of that, would they do expert opinion, namely, making a choice even though you don`t have all the data.

Right now, they went from six to three because they`ve accumulated a considerable amount of data that shows that really, if you wear a mask all the time, if the children wear a mask, they are just as safe at three feet, as they are six feet, the data shows that.

It took them a while to come to that conclusion, because it took that long to get the data to firmly convince them. They`re a data based organization. They don`t just decide out of nowhere about a policy or a guideline.

HAYES: Final question for you on the AstraZeneca vaccine which had some hiccups. It`s been resumed after E.U. regulators give it a green light. We`re sitting on a ton of doses. A plan announced today to start giving some to Canada, Mexico.

I know foreign policies outside your purview. But how important is it for us to be a part of the effort to vaccinate the world?

FAUCI: Oh, it`s critical. We have been historically global health leaders and that`s the reason why we`re all so pleased that we got back into WHO, we`re continuing with our obligations, we`ve joined COVAX, we`re giving $4 billion into COVAX, which is a consortium of organizations and countries to try and get vaccines to low and middle income countries.

So, what we did with Mexico and Canada is just another important step in that direction.

HAYES: We`re going to keep pushing for that on this show and getting some of the I.P. issues as well.

Before we go, my Italian American mother from the Bronx definitely instructed me to be sure to wish you a Happy St. Joseph`s Day, Dr. Fauci. So, Happy St. Joseph`s Day. And not just to you, for anyone else.

FAUCI: It`s (INAUDIBLE) San Giuseppe, right.

HAYES: Exactly. She said, you got to say Happy St. Joseph. All right, Happy St. Joseph, Dr. Fauci.

FAUCI: Thank you. Good to see you.

HAYES: That does it -- that does it for ALL IN this Friday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with Ali Velshi in for Rachel. Good evening, Ali.