The Republicans are blocking once again Merrick Garland`s
confirmation. Sen. Ron Johnson forces the Senate to read aloud the entire
728-page COVID Bill to delay the process. The Capitol is still on lockdown
amid fears of another attack today. COVID precautions like social
distancing and mask mandate have prevented the flu from taking hold. The
United States is now averaging two million vaccines a day. Republicans are
laser-focused on defeating the bill that House Democrats passed last night,
the For The People Act, because it would basically set national standards
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Just be consistent with a message and say, hey, here we
are, get our opinion, included us. We`re part of the solution.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: It doesn`t seem like that is the plan, however. But
Dr. Bernard Ashby and Dr. Ivan Melendez, thank you both for being here. I
appreciate you both. I appreciate the passion. That is tonight`s REIDOUT.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN.
KAMALA HARRIS, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Vice President
votes in the affirmative and the motion to proceed is agreed to.
HAYES: The COVID rescue package moves forward in the Senate, and
Republicans keep their eye on the ball.
REP. ALEX MOONEY (R-WV): Let`s not attempt to steal knowledge of our
nation`s history from our children like the Grinch attempted to steal
HAYES: Tonight, the latest GOP stunt to keep Americans from getting relief.
Then why the man arrested after breaking into Nancy Pelosi his office was
just dragged kicking and screaming back to jail.
Plus, why the voting reform bill that just passed the House is crucial for
And as vaccination rates climb, Dr. Peter Hotez on why we may soon hit an
anti-vaxxer problem when ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. On January
6th of this year, shortly after noon, news leaks that Merrick Garland would
be getting a huge new job.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GEOFF BENNETT, NBC NEWS WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Two sources familiar to
my colleague Mike Memoli and me that President-Elect Joe Biden has selected
Judge Merrick Garland to serve as his attorney general. Merrick Garland is
someone who is widely viewed who can be a unifying force within the
Department of Justice trying to restore public faith in that institution
and restoring morale within it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Garland, of course, everyone knew, went through a historic snubbing
in 2016 after then-President Obama nominated him to fill Antonin Scalia`s
vacant seat on the Supreme Court. And for nearly a year, Senate Republicans
pulled an unprecedented stunt, never been done before in American history,
refusing to even meet with Garland, not to mention hold hearings or a vote
on his nomination.
But on January 6th, the redemption story began. He was going to be Joe
Biden`s choice for attorney general. And then, well, of course, just an
hour or two later, the rest of that day`s awful events unfolded,
overshadowing the potential new AG. And now, here we are nearly two months
later, Garland is still the nominee, still not confirmed, like deja vu, as
the Department of Justice remains in shambles, thanks to the Trump
ministration which desecrated it every chance it got.
And the reason the Merrick Garland is not yet the Attorney General, the
reasons that Republicans understand they have no real power right now,
except to delay and to troll and to make things difficult for the Biden
administration. There is no Republican governing agenda. They have no
affirmative goals to accomplish. They just want to hurt the new Democratic
president and the Democratic majority in Congress in any way they can.
So, enter Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas, unilaterally holding up Merrick
Garland`s nomination because he didn`t like Garland`s answers to his Fox
News style questions about immigration and guns and racial equality. That
leaves Merrick Garland stonewalled for the second time in five years by
truculent Republicans who are not actually interested in the business of
Unless you think this is the first time Tom Cotton has pulled this kind of
stunt, he has a history of this, including one of the most shameful
episodes of Republican obstruction in the entire Obama administration,
which is really, really saying something.
You see back in 2015, Tom Cotton blocked the nomination of Cassandra Butts
to be the United States Ambassador to the Bahamas. Butts was a friend and
advisor and associate of President Obama. The two of them met at Harvard
Law School. Full disclosure, I knew Cassandra as well. Cotton`s hold on
Cassandra Butts` nomination, it had nothing to do with her, absolutely
nothing, literally zero.
He even admitted as much telling Butts herself that blocking her was a way
to inflict special pain on the president. And well, Tom Cotton got his
wish. He blocked Cassandra Butts until she died. That`s right. She died
after a brief illness in May of 2016. She succumbed to acute leukemia while
still waiting to be confirmed more than two years, two years after her
So, congratulations, Tom Cotton. You did it. You did hurt President Obama.
I think that probably hurt when his friend and associate nominee died
before she could take over as ambassador to Bahamas. That was a win, I
guess, for Tom Cotton. He`s tried it before. That`s the model of governing
we are seeing from Republicans, temper tantrums, and destruction, and
nonsense, focusing on priorities like Mr. Potato Head and Dr. Seuss,
attacking Joe Biden for referring to lifting mass mandates as Neanderthal
We`re seeing a perfect example of that model on display tonight right now
as I speak to you, as the Senate moves towards a vote on the $1.9 trillion
pandemic relief bill. And Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is
making good on his promise to slow down that relief getting to Americans by
whatever ridiculous means necessary.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WI): I don`t want to sound like a leftist, but I`m
going to resist, OK. So, the first way I`m going to resist is I`m going to
go down and object to the waving of the reading of the bill. I will make
them read their 600 or 700-page bill.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Good for you, Senator. That`s right. In the midst of a pandemic
that`s killed 520,000 Americans, thousands every day, every day. We`re just
numb to it now. But every day continues, and it`s put millions out of work.
Ron Johnson wants to delay help getting out the American people by forcing
the Senate clerks to read aloud all 728 pages of the bill.
They have been at it for nearly five hours already. They`re expected to go
into the wee hours of the morning. Remember the last time that we had a
Democratic president in office? Remember that? Mitch McConnell said the
single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be
a one-term president. It was the overriding impulse that determined
Republicans behavior throughout the Obama administration, and we are almost
surely in for another round of that.
Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland serves on the Senate Budget
and Appropriations Committee. He joins me now. Senator, you know, I always
feel like when I`m talking to a member of the U.S. Senate, you have to
describe your strange culture, strange alien culture to me. So, let`s start
on the reading of the bill thing. What`s the deal there?
SEN. CHRIS VAN HOLLEN (D-MD): Well, the deal is under our rules, a senator
can object to proceeding and demand the reading of a bill. And so, that`s
why you have this pure obstruction going on as a result, and that`s why at
2:00 a.m. in the morning, you`ll see me sitting in that chair providing --
presiding over the Senate because Ron Johnson has just decided to drag this
process out and further delay relief to the American people.
HAYES: It does strike me however as -- unlike the Cotton hold on Merrick
Garland, which I`m going to get to in a second, this is essentially an
VAN HOLLEN: No doubt about it. This is just stomping his foot. This is
taking advantage of a rule that is available. It`s not used very much. But
it`s an example of the lengths to which, you know, people like Ron Johnson
will go simply to throw a throw this big hissy fit. We will -- we will
prevail. It`s just a matter of eating up the clock. But it is an example of
Republicans, you know, kicking around in the sandbox.
HAYES: I should note, I think that Senator Johnson is in the chamber, at
least, listening to the bill being read aloud. In the broader sense of
obstruction here, Mike Lee is talking about they`re going to go through
this vote-a-rama. They`re going to push it off. But this is in the case of
the COVID Bill, it seems to me delaying the inevitable.
It does seem this caucus united. There`s an understanding that you need
every member of the caucus with the tie breaking vote for Vice President
Harris, and that you`re going to get this done in the next few days. Is
VAN HOLLEN: That`s right. You just saw the vice president as the tie
breaking vote on what`s called the motion to proceed to the bill. So, now
we`re on the build, and we`ll go to vote-o-rama, and yes, Chris, we are
going to pass this relief as the vice -- as the President has always said
he would prefer to have Republican partners in this effort, but the
imperative is to get this done for the country.
HAYES: So, on the Tom Cotton hold, I`m always confused about like what you
can and can`t do in the Senate, what you can and can`t get away with. At
some level, everything goes by unanimous consent. But that means that if
people want to be real pains, they can make the whole Senate body do that.
Most people aren`t, but then it allows people to sort of pick up that
cudgel and wield it whenever they want to, as Cotton has done here with
Merrick Garland. Why can he do this?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, he can do it, Chris, because under our rules, if you`re
talking about an executive appointment at the cabinet level, that the
Senator can delay this up to 30 hours. So, again, Merrick Garland will be
confirmed as our attorney general. In fact, I believe we`re going to get to
this nomination next week.
But what Tom Cotton can do is drag out the time and of course, there`s all
sorts of other important business that we want to get to the United States
Senate, so this is a delaying tactic. My view is when it comes to the
fundamental rules that allow senators to delay, which is the filibuster, we
need to eliminate it or radically reform it, or at the very least for now,
put the burden on the obstructionists rather than on those who want to move
the process forward.
HAYES: But we were joking this morning. We were thinking, well, is Ron
Johnson going to make them read this thing and not actually show up, and
just like, you know, go to Fox News? And again, I think this is the
ridiculous stuff, but at least he`s sitting there, right? I mean, it`s
like, if you`re going to do this, well, then you got to go sit there and
listen to this thing. You got to waste your own time.
And a filibuster that did that would be a wholly different thing than from
what you have now, which is just a pro forma invocation of a 60 vote
threshold. I mean, you know, go sit there in the chamber.
VAN HOLLEN: Well, that`s exactly right. As I say, I think we should scrap
the filibuster rule altogether. But at the very least, you should have to
go down to the Senate floor and do what most Americans remember is an old
fashioned filibuster, rather than just threaten a filibuster, and then put
the burden on the majority that wants to move forward to first file a
cloture petition, and then move forward in that way.
If you want to be the obstructionist, you should have to have your 40
votes, not just Senator Johnson on the floor, but you should have to have
your 40 votes.
VAN HOLLEN: They are present on the Senate floor to have to block it rather
than just do it from, you know, the back door -- the back corner.
HAYES: Let`s talk about the substantive stakes here. I mean, I think the --
I haven`t actually heard, to be honest, a ton of arguments from Republicans
on this bill. It`s -- they`ve been talking about other things. To the
extent they`ve argued about it, they say, well, only some of it is really
COVID direct related and a lot of other Democratic priorities in there. And
also, we spent a lot of money so far. Like, what are you counting on for
this bill to deliver for the people that you represent in Maryland?
VAN HOLLEN: Well, we`re counting on a number of things. Number one, this is
essential to the continued production and distribution of the vaccines.
Number two, it`s essential to provide help to our schools, and educators.
We all want our kids back in school as soon as possible and as safe as
possible. It`s one thing just to say it, but we want to be able to do it.
And this bill will help with that.
And of course, it provides important relief to people who were still
unemployed through no fault of their own. It apply -- it provides rental
assistance, so we don`t have a tsunami of evictions when the moratorium
ends, food assistance, and, of course, the individual payments and other
very important provisions.
And finally, Chris, we know from the Congressional Budget Office and other
economists, if we don`t do something big like this, we`re going to live
with these higher levels of unemployment into the year 2025. That`s just
HAYES: That to me is, you know, the big lesson of the last time a
Democratic administration, along with a Democratic House and Democratic
Senate had to dig out of the catastrophe, generational catastrophe that the
previous Republican administration had turned over to them, which was just
12 years ago.
That was the big lesson. The floodgates didn`t open enough, and we
undershot. We undershot on the recovery, too many people were out of work
for too long. There was too much austerity. We were too tight with the
rains. Has that -- it seems to me like that lesson above all else has sunk
through at least among the President of the United States and the Democrats
in the Senate Caucus.
VAN HOLLEN: That`s exactly right. And that is the lesson to be learned. I
remember being in the House of Representatives at the time. I was screaming
because, you know, the Senate Democrats were negotiating with the Senate
Republicans, which was fine to start with. But then it went on and on, and
the overall amount of the relief got chipped away, that chipped away at.
And then when it finally came to the house, not a single Republican voted
for it even after all of that. And then, Chris, as you just mentioned,
Republicans spent the next five, six years talking about why the recovery
was too slow.
VAN HOLLEN: And it`s largely because they refused to provide that relief,
and that we allowed it to get negotiated down. That`s not going to happen
HAYES: This is one of these places, and I think I`ve seen this in hearing -
- speaking to members of both houses, as we do on this program every night.
The politics and the substance are aligned. Like, let`s get money into this
economy. Let`s support a rocket ship recovery. And it`s good for everybody.
It`s good for the Democrats, and it`s good for the American people if like
things are to quote Jared Kushner a year ago, rocking in this economy, you
know, five, six months from now.
VAN HOLLEN: That`s -- look, people are going to measure this by how it
impacts their lives. And that`s why you see majorities around the country,
large majority supporting the whole package and elements of it. And you
can`t measure bipartisanship by the fact that you don`t have Republican
senators that voting for it at this point when they want to be
obstructionist rather than listen to their own constituents back home.
HAYES: Senator Chris Van Hollen of the state of Maryland, thank you so much
for making little time with us tonight.
VAN HOLLEN: Good to be with you. Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: All right, one of the most famous insurrectionists, you probably
recognize him. It`s this guy. This image infamous instantly, right, seen
kicking back with his feet up on the desk in Nancy Pelosi`s office. Well,
today, he was dragged kicking and screaming out of court, very unhappy
about how he`s going to be spending the next few months. That`s next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How did you get it?
RICHARD BARNETT, CAPITOL INSURRECTIONIST: I didn`t steal it. I planned on
it. (INAUDIBLE) and I couldn`t (BLEEP) see. And so, I figured well, I`m in
her office. I got blood in her office. I`ll put a corner on her desk even
though she (BLEEP) worth it. And I left her a note on her desk that says
Nancy, Bigo was here, you (BLEEP).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: After starting the Capitol, Richard Barnett, that man, boasted on
camera that he`d taken an envelope from Speaker Pelosi`s office and left
her a note. This is him infamously inside Pelosi`s office that day with his
feet up on the desk and some kind of stun gun strapped to his hip.
Two days later, Barnett surrendered to the FBI in Northwestern Arkansas.
He`s been in jail ever since and faces several federal charges including
obstructing an official proceeding, disorderly conduct in a restricted
building, and theft of government property.
At a virtual court hearing today, Barnett found out he would remain in jail
until his next court date in May and he lost it. Yelling at the judge and
his own lawyers that it wasn`t fair that he was still in jail shouting,
they`re letting everybody else out.
Barnett is one of the roughly 250 people who`ve been federally charged in
connection with the Capitol riot. There`s an open question about the
reverberations of January 6th and whether the threats still persist.
This was the scene in Washington D.C. today where two months after the
attempted insurrection, the area around the Capitol is still on lockdown,
because of worries over postings on QAnon forums about a plot for another
violent attack today, March 4th. Thankfully, nothing happened.
Here to explain the significance of the date and where the movement stands,
Brandy Zadrozny and Ben Collins who cover the QAnon movement and online
extremism for NBC News. Great to have you both.
Brandy, maybe you can just start with what the concerns were about March
4th and why that date had any significance?
BRANDY ZADROZNY, MSNBC REPORTER: Yes, well, apparently, there were two
tiers of concerns. One was that there was some vague threat that the
Capitol Police had seen or found from QAnon forums. And the second one, and
this was from the federal law enforcement, found that there was some
aspirational threat based on QAnon forums. So, doesn`t that sound like a
great idea? We should do something like this on March 4th.
Now, March 4th is a weird one, so hang on with me. But -- and I will say
that media coverage of how silly this all is made it seemingly less
palatable for QAnon people over the last week. But basically, QAnon
believers and some general Trump supporters believed that this was the day
that Donald Trump would be sworn back into office.
This new date was on sort of loan from a different anti-government
conspiracy theory movement called the Sovereign Citizens Movement. And it`s
that`s full of people who believe that laws don`t apply to them. They don`t
have to have social security cards or pay taxes or whatever.
The QAnon people were saying that some law passed in the 1800s allegedly
made the United States a corporation instead of a government. The thinking
went no laws have been real since that time, so the presidential election
So, Trump could come and this was the day that he could save us all and
become the 19th president. Oh, and while he was at it, you know, execute a
bunch of Democrats and movie stars while he was at it.
This one also invoked the Pope and the Queen of England and Biden as a body
double. It`s a lot, Chris. It always is with these people. Luckily, they
stayed behind a computer.
HAYES: So, here`s my question, Ben, as we zoom out. There are two ways I
can imagine the trajectory of a lot of sort of right-wing extremism post-
Trump, right. One is that there`s an intensification of the tendency in
So, we remember, you know, I remember under Bill Clinton that that`s when
you had this very powerful militia movement. You of course, had Oklahoma
City bombing. Like, there was a way in which this Democratic power made
people feel, certain people, drove them to more extremism, and they -- and
then they radicalized against it.
The other way you can see this is that Donald Trump himself was this kind
of stoker and messianic figure who was kind of pumping this up the whole
time. And in his absence, while he`s silently golfing, the thing kind of
deflates a little bit. And I`m curious which of those two we`re seeing so
BEN COLLINS, MSNBC REPORTER: Yes, Chris, it`s both. You know, I think they
are less inclined to talk about this publicly, because a lot of these QAnon
followers really thought that they would -- they were going to be met --
you know, basically, I don`t want to say this phrase, but as liberators in
They thought that they were going to go in there and Donald Trump would
bring his military and they would just be the first wave of an insurgency.
They really did believe that. And they don`t believe that anymore. You
know, they do believe that the military is not on their side now. They do
understand that there -- you know, a lot of these people do understand
that, you know, the Biden administration does not want these people around,
that the military and the police are not with them. They are fighting
against them. They are insurgency again.
So, that`s one part of it, but it doesn`t go away. It doesn`t just end
because Donald Trump isn`t there anymore. It morphs. It evolves. You know,
the QAnon movement over the last few weeks has taken the branding off
itself, and embedded itself into different kinds of American culture.
You know, a big part of that is American churches. We`ve seen this over and
over again, all throughout the country. People are saying my church group
is going through this. You know, it`s sort of -- you know, my church group
succumb to this. My entire church succumbed to this. And I didn`t even know
it was QAnon until I went and look it up these names that, you know,
General Flynn was secretly controlling all this stuff.
So, it will evolve. In will -- it will sort of sink its talons into the
parts of culture that allow it to -- or allow for that to happen.
HAYES: There`s also an aspect to this, Brandy, which I think goes along
with a theme that I`ve seen on the right we`ve been discussing which is
like at a certain level, this almost becomes something more, for lack of a
better word, like religious than political in any recognizable sense that,
you know, this is -- I mean, compared to the Tea Party, right.
So, when the Tea Party happened in 2010, it was like, we must kill this
bill. The ACA is bad. We`re having rallies. And like, that was -- I thought
they were wrong. I thought they were unhinged. I thought it had all sorts
of extremist and like, crypto racist elements, but it was recognizably
political, OK. This does not -- this becomes harder and harder for me to
read in a recognizably ostensively political fashion. What do you think?
ZADROZNY: I think that that`s definitely true. You have a literal Messiah
complex with a lot of these people who are literally, you know, they`re
saying that Trump is their God. And that`s not just the QAnon and not just
the church and not just, you know, far-right Christian extremists, but
that`s just the regular MAGA people who are now, you know, rebranding
themselves as the Patriot party, even though specifically Trump said that
he didn`t want that.
I think what we saw in the last year has been a sort of cross-fertilization
of just the craziest conspiracy theories all mixed together with violent
extremists. So, you know, that`s QAnon, white supremacist, Proud Boys,
Boogaloo, etcetera, etcetera. So, you know, I think that what we`re
expecting at this point, like you said, is -- I`ve been talking to
extremist researchers a lot, and what we always say, and I hate to be so
glib about it, but you know, I`m a parent, I know you`re a parent, and the
times that we really, really worry is when everything gets quiet, right?
Like, that`s when that unsettling feeling comes in. And that`s what the
people that I talked to have now, you know. They`re expecting -- we can go
back to 2020. We`re going to see what we saw in 2020, which is, you know,
attacks, kidnappings, killings, planned in private spaces, as well as
Facebook and terrorism planned and executed on smaller scales. All eyes
were on the Capitol today, really, but that`s not the big worry from here
HAYES: Yes, that worry, Ben -- I mean, I think there are sort of diff
distinctions here in sort of the categories of folks we`re talking about.
But that worry, which again, is not -- I mean, we live -- I live through
Oklahoma City bombing and the militia movement and like, actual concerted
attacks by right-wing violent extremists in America.
That seems to be the real penetrating concern that you`re seeing among
various levels of government right now.
COLLINS: Yes, look, I don`t want to say we were -- it was easier to do this
job over the last few years because there was a direct funnel from the
president talking points about really -- they came from a central node, and
it`s kind of, you know, found their way out from there. The President
really centralized talking points, centralized worry. So did Fox News,
things like the caravan.
You know, that was a -- that was a way to create primary drivers of
agitation in those spaces. Right now, they`re regrouping. They`re trying to
find new spaces. They`re traveling the new talking points that work. And
they`re not -- frankly, these extremist spaces, they`re not talking about
the Dr. Seuss stuff that you`re hearing on Fox News. They`re not getting
riled up about that sort of thing. They need these big existential threats.
And when the next -- when the next one comes along, they`ll rally behind
that message. They`ll rally behind that next caravan. And that`s when you
start to get worried.
HAYES: Brandy Zadrozny, Ben Collins who as always, you`re doing great
reporting on these huge, wonderful colleagues and resources for us here at
NBC, thank you both.
Ahead, as more people who want to get the vaccine are able to get it, the
next battle becomes how to message the people who will refuse. Dr. Peter
Hotez on what needs to be done and coming up.
HAYES: By the end of last April, COVID-19 had already ravaged the New York
metropolitan area. The virus has still only been the United States for a
few months, and there were a lot of experts -- there was a lot experts did
CDC Director Robert Redfield told The Washington Post,"There`s a
possibility the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will
actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through. We`re
going to have the flu epidemic and the Coronavirus epidemic at the same
And it was a totally reasonable concern at the time, and for months after
that there were no experts publicly disagreeing with him. The CDC estimated
that the flu season that was just ending had been associated with "38
million illnesses, 18 million medical visits, 405,000 hospitalizations, and
The idea that a flu season like that would combine with the devastation
seen in a place like New York to create unimaginable misery was a real
threat. And because of COVID-19, well, Redfield was right. This past winter
was a nightmare all across the country, the worst and deadliest in our
But the flu had nothing to do with it because there was no flu in the U.S.
this winter basically. By this point last year, there were over 174,000
confirmed cases of flu. This flu season, look at that, has only 1,499
confirmed cases. That is less than one percent of the total this time last
year. The number of flu associated pediatric deaths usually ranges between
about 150 to 200 deaths per flu season. This year, that number is one.
There has been one confirmed pediatric death due to the flu this flu
Wild, right? I mean, think to yourself, how often have you gotten sick,
COVID aside? If you gotten a cold, gotten a flu, have gotten bugs over the
last year? Not a lot of it, right? It seems like there are least two things
we can learn from this. One is that definitively, and we know this already,
Coronavirus has not the flu no matter what certain people have said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: You got Ebola, that
was it. This one is different, much different. This is a flu. This is like
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. COVID is not like the flu. It is
much more transmissible, much more insidious. The lack of flu season proves
that. I mean, with social distancing of mass and other measures, we were
collectively able to complete -- almost completely suppressed the flu. No
flu. Not the Coronavirus though. Coronavirus, kicked our butts.
The second thing we can learn is that all these common-sense public health
practices that we can all recite by memory now that we`ve been told by
responsible leaders over and over to follow, that they really do reduce the
spread of infectious diseases.
I mean, despite the fact that people like the former president and people
on Fox News and all sorts of right-wing cranks have been lying to people
for a year, they don`t. Here it is in black and white. This is the
evidence. We`ve known this for like over a century. Germs travel in
predictable ways. When you take steps to make it harder for them travel to
person or person, guess what, you suppress infectious diseases.
And yet these folks have been lying to people about that for a year and
contributing directly to getting more people sick in the process.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TUCKER CARLSON, HOST, FOX NEWS CHANNEL: Here`s what you need to know and
what they`re not going to tell you. There is as of tonight, precisely no
evidence that the lockdowns in America save lives anywhere. In fact, it`s
possible that mass quarantines killed people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Just -- I mean nonsense. You could say, well, the trade-offs were
worth it, the cost. If people stop interacting with each other, they can`t
spread their germs to each other. And that reduces the vectors of infection
as we have seen with the flu.
So, maybe the way to respond to this is possible those measures save
countless lives. It basically allowed us to skip an entire flu season
during the pandemic. Keeping people apart stops viruses from spreading. Can
we all please agree on that now? Can we really just reach consensus on the
germ theory of disease here in 2021?
OK, so another thing we have learned, and again, all this is early,
provisional, but the COVID vaccines work, OK. Now, the big challenge is
getting as many shots into as many arms as quickly as possible, including
in the arms of people who`ve been fed lies about the virus for a year by
the right. How to manage that, next.
HAYES: All right, we are now averaging two million vaccinations a day, OK.
That`s a big deal. That`s double the amount of doses from a month and a
half ago, right, when the Joe Biden was sworn in. It puts us to the point
where 75 percent of the shots delivered to states are getting into people`s
arms, which again, that`s incredible.
That`s the first part of this story. It`s been the first part, supply and
logistics, getting manufacturers to make enough vaccine, shipping it
throughout the country, getting it to distribution sites. And because
that`s gotten really quite good really fast particularly in say a metro
area like here in New York, we are now going to enter phase two. We`re
going to start seeing a supply-demand tipping point.
The problem is going to switch from demand outstripping supply, more people
want the vaccine that can get it, to having the supply and not enough
demand. We`ve got vaccines sitting around and no one to give it to. That
problem, in a lot of ways is actually a trickier one to solve. It`s not a
logistics or manufacturing problem, it`s a human problem. It`s about human
beings, and trust, and society, and knowledge and belief. And the hardest
people to reach just might be supporters in the forum President.
Axios published a poll this week showing that nearly 60 percent of white
Republicans are unsure if they`ll get vaccinated. Trump getting vaccine in
public could have gotten a huge, huge, long way for dispelling some of the
doubts. But instead, he and the former first lady got their shots in secret
last month while still at the White House.
Someone with a lot of expertise in countering vaccine skeptics, Dr. Peter
Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College,
the co-director of the Texas Children`s Hospital Center for Vaccine
Development, the author of the brand new book, Preventing The Next
Pandemic: Vaccine Diplomacy in a Time of Anti-Science.
So, let`s start, Doctor, with this idea that we`re coming up on this sort
of tipping point. And I want to stress that this is very different in
different parts of the country. I know people who can`t get an appointment
for three week. Meanwhile, this is a tweet from a New York City vaccination
bots saying hundreds of slots are available. This was I think, just
yesterday. So, do you agree that we`re going to get to that point fairly
PETER HOTEZ, CO-DIRECTOR, TEXAS CHILDREN`S HOSPITAL CENTER FOR VACCINE
DEVELOPMENT: Well, not soon enough, Chris, because we still have this U.K.
variant to be 117 accelerating, and we still don`t have enough vaccine
supply. But the President assured us a couple of days ago that we may reach
that point starting in June, where we will have sufficient vaccine so that
any American wants to get vaccinated can get vaccinated.
So, that`s exciting. And it`s especially exciting because there`s new data
coming out of Israel now that was published in the New England Journal of
Medicine last week showing that two doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, I
think the others will do it as well, is actually dramatically reducing
Remember, we were always talking about it stopped symptomatic transmission.
Now, we know it stops asymptomatic transmission. So, that means potentially
we could vaccinate our way out of this epidemic later in the summer. So,
this is why it`s so important to get everybody vaccinated.
HAYES: But I`m seeing -- I`m -- we`re seeing in the data and I`m seeing
just in anecdotally a mismatch, right, which is that people with high
levels of social capital, high levels of sort of connections and facility
with booking appointments very driven to get the vaccine which is a certain
population are getting the vaccine even though, you know, in some places
like 40, 50 percent of the population might be eligible when you -- when
you look at the comorbidities.
My question is, before you get to people that are anti-vax or think it`s
bad, the middle chunk of folks that just wouldn`t get it but there`s too
much hassle, like, what do we do about that because I think that`s probably
tens of millions of Americans?
HOTEZ: Yes, I mean, one of the problems -- there was a few problems. One,
we`re just now expanding our vaccination sites. Remember, the way it was
initially constructed, it was going to rely exclusively on the pharmacy
chains and hospital chains. And it`s not that the pharmacy chains are doing
a bad job, it`s just that they don`t have the bandwidth needed, and same
with the hospital chain.
So, a big part of the first weeks of the Biden administration were to
dramatically expand vaccination hubs. And we did that here in Houston with
Mayor Turner and the county judge, Lina Hidalgo, creating a lot of sites
especially in some of the low-income neighborhoods which are pharmacy
deserts. So, that part is happening.
The other thing that had to happen, I personally felt that some of the
guidelines, the I-A, I-B, I-C guidelines were pretty fussy and difficult to
understand and follow in and complicated given the fact that we`ve learned
in 2020 that our health system cannot tolerate a lot of complexity. We have
to keep it very simple. And I think sometimes that confused a lot of people
HAYES: So, I saw this example the other day, an epidemiologist who`s
tweeting about in Philly. This is public health workers. He said, today,
Philly vaccinated 1000 people in my mom`s huge apartment building. Teams
went door to door to administer shots. Folks sat in halls outside their
apartments to wait. Do you envision us having to take even more proactive
steps and what we have now as we get further into this?
HOTEZ: Well, you know, we do have this terrible problem that some people
call vaccine hesitancy or vaccine refusal. And as you pointed out in what
you just said that there`s two major groups that we`ve identified, and we
did a study. I`m not a social scientist. I`m a vaccine scientist. We
partner with a group of social scientists at Texas led by a colleague Tim
Callahan. And what was interesting is the findings were almost identical to
what the Kaiser Family Foundation found in their study using different
And the two most vaccine-hesitant, vaccine refusing groups are the African
American community, African American populations. And number one was what
we call Trump voters, what they call Republicans. And you might say, well,
gee, that`s two very different diametrically different types of groups. And
they come for two very different reasons which we can discuss the origins
HAYES: Well, I guess, there`s been a lot of talk about penetrating African
American community and I know there`s a lot that`s being done on. That less
has been spoken about the other group, which when you look at the polling,
African American hesitancy has gone down over time, whereas white
Republicans has not. What is being -- like, how do you -- are there
strategies being devised for getting that group on board?
HOTEZ: Well, you know, I`ve been reaching out to conservative news outlets,
in the last few weeks have reached out to a number of conservative groups
to hear their concerns. But this actually was predicted and predictable
because Chris, what happened was the anti-vaccine movement which started
with vaccine -- alleging that vaccines cause autism, that`s never gone
And -- but I -- you know, I wrote this book Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel`s
Autism, about my daughter and that put made me public enemy number one with
the anti-vaccine group. And then, you know, Robert F. Kennedy started
publicly calling me on his Instagram, the O.G. Villain, which I had to look
up what that -- what that meant. So, you`re talking to the O.G. Villain
But then what happened in 2014, 2015, it took a pivot. It took a pivot to
the political extremism on the far-right linked with the tea party and they
formed political action committees, far-right-wing political action
committees like Texans for vaccine choice, Oklahomans for vaccine choice, a
lot of it down here where I live, and that`s what we`re seeing now.
Then, they started in 2020 glomming on protests against masks and social
distancing. So, it`s a full-on anti-science movement coming out of -- out
of the political right.
HAYES: Dr. Peter Hotez, as always, it`s great to hear your thoughts on
this. Thank you.
HOTEZ: Thank you.
HAYES: Next, while the Democrats have a slim majority in the House and the
slimmest possible majority of the Senate, Republicans have been hard at
work trying to stack the deck so it`ll be easier for them to win again. The
voting reforms just passed to stop that from happening after this.
HAYES: Republicans have been spending a lot of time talking about Dr. Seuss
and Mr. Potato Head instead of legislating, but they are laser-focused on
defeating the bill that House Democrats passed last night H.R.1 or the For
The People Act because it would basically set national standards for
democracy. Nothing threatens republicans quite like that.
You can see the reaction, just the sheer number of statewide bills that
would restrict voting access 253 restrictive bills as of late last month
according to the Brennan Center. And H.R.1 is such a threat that Donald
Trump who is not exactly in the weeds of legislative action painted a
target on it when he went before CPAC and got a huge raucous response.
And House Republican whip Steve Scalise who you remember, tried to overturn
the presidential election along with the majority of Republicans, tweeted
against the bill just after it passed. Republicans understand the stakes
here and Democrats also understand what`s at stake, preserving a level
playing field in free and fair elections.
Here to explain these stakes, Janai Nelson, Associate Director-Counsel of
NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Nse Ufot who is the founder of The New South
Super PAC and CEO of the New Georgia Project which works to register
Janai, I wonder -- you know, last night, I had Adam Schiff on and we talked
about the gerrymandering aspect of this, that H.R.1 would require these
sort of independent non-partisan gerrymandering commissions. What are the
other parts of this bill that matter, that have stakes for voter access?
JANAI NELSON, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR-COUNSEL, NAACP LEGAL DEFENSE FUND: Yes,
this is an incredibly comprehensive law. In addition to reining in
partisanship and our redistricting processes, as you mentioned, it
increases transparency in our campaign finance system. It sets stricter
standards for lobbyists.
But perhaps most important, it provides a wide range of uniform measures in
federal elections that will increase access to the ballot box. That
includes expanded voter registration opportunities like automatic voter
registration, same-day registration, online registration, and critically
important, the restoration of voting rights to formerly incarcerated
persons who we know are disproportionately black and Latin X.
It provides for expanded now in voting and two weeks of early voting. It
also has expanded election security measures like voter-verified paper
trail systems. And it addresses the issue of disinformation in our
elections. It prohibits the provision of false information about election
processes that might discourage voting and other deceptive voting
So, it`s incredibly comprehensive. It addresses many of the vulnerabilities
and weaknesses in our democracy that we`ve seen revealed over the past
decade or more through voter suppression efforts. And this is something
that is sorely needed in light of the attack that we see happening at the
state level on voting rights with the 253 pending bills that threaten to
shrink our access to the ballot.
HAYES: You know, Nse, elections in America are so federalized that it
didn`t even occur to me, I think, to think about how weird it is, right?
So, you know, in other countries, when France has an election, it`s not
like one region down the south of France, like they get to start voting on
this day, and then a few days later, they start voting -- like, it just
like the election. The election is basically playing by the same rules.
I mean, so, just the basic thing that Janai said, these minimum standards,
right. So, things on early voting, like we would set a minimum floor for
states that you have to do this. How would that affect your work in Georgia
where you`ve been working on, you know, these sort of push and pull fights
about voting access?
NSE UFOT, CEO, NEW GEORGIA PROJECT: Yes, I think it would have a
fundamental shift on how we do our work. The reason that the New Georgia
Project has registered half a million people of color to vote in all 159 of
George`s counties is because we don`t have measures like automatic voter
The reason that we do such intense voter education is because there`s a lot
of misinformation and disinformation based off of the partisan makeup of
the people who run our elections from county to county, right. Georgia,
surprisingly, enough, had no-fault absentee balloting and have been --
they`ve been voting this way. We`ve been voting this way for 15 years.
And now we are seeing these attacks on it because the Republicans were
embarrassed by the outcomes of the November general election, and by the
January runoff. And so, the idea is to take the partisan politics out of
it, that participation in our democracy is so important that we should have
federal standards for how people should have access to the franchise, and
how people should participate.
And so, I think that it would allow us to shift those resources because --
allows us use those resources to voter education, and tons of other things,
as opposed to just the basics of getting people registered, and making sure
that they stay on the voter rolls.
HAYES: Janai, there are arguments about federalism here which I think are
less pressing than the sort of tangible stakes about democracy. But people
have pointed out that look, the actual -- the weird, you know, balkanized
nature of American election administration meant that it`s hard -- it was
hard to sort of coordinate a steal, right? That like, individual states
have different rules, individual bodies, and they luckily stood up with
integrity against the President`s attempt to essentially overturn the
election. Do you have concerns about this sort of federalizing things this
UFOT: I think that there`s tons --
NELSON: I`m not -- I`m not concerned. I found that our most important
moments of safeguarding our democracy have occurred when there`s been
federal legislation, like the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which we`re
celebrating in the -- in the -- with the anniversary of Bloody Sunday
coming up this weekend, and the passage of the National Voter Registration
Act and the Help America Vote Act.
It has often taken federal legislation to rein in the excesses and efforts
to suppress the vote that happens at the state level. This is a regulation
that Congress has pure authority to engage in through the time, place, and
manners clause of the Constitution. And it allows Congress to set standards
for the time, place, and manner of elections of federal elections.
Now of course, we expect that states would, in all likelihood, adopt many
of these democracy expanding measures because they`re good, because they`re
good for our democracy and they`re healthy and they invite a more inclusive
electorate. And that is exactly what this federal legislation is pushing
for and what we hope states will eventually come around to accepting and
But federal -- it has no violation of state rights and it is perfectly
constitutional given the broad congressional authority that exists in the
Constitution to regulate federal elections.
HAYES: Janai Nelson and Nse Ufot, thank you both. That is ALL IN on this
Thursday night. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening,
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