Two California Trump supporters Ian Rogers and Jarrod Copeland are charged with plotting to blow up the Democratic headquarters. One day after Senator Joe Manchin met with the Texas Democrats, Manchin went to Texas for a fundraiser hosted by several GOP donors. The White House singled out Facebook for not doing enough to stop the spread of lies about COVID and vaccines.
TIFFANY CROSS, MSNBC HOST: It was amazing. So, check it out. Thank you so much Dean Obeidallah and Versha Sharma. And that`s tonight`s REIDOUT. Don`t you worry because Joy will be back on Monday.
So, be sure to tune in to me tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. Eastern for the "CROSS CONNECTION." My guests include 1968 Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith. I`m so excited. And one of my favorite actors, John Leguizamo, will also join me to talk about the new Smithsonian Latino museum.
And don`t go anywhere because "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): Tonight, on ALL IN. Radicalized by the president. Six months after the Trump insurrection, two Trump supporters charged with plotting to blow up the Democratic headquarters in California.
Then, Ed Yong of the COVID nightmare Missouri as the President speaks plainly on misinformation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On COVID misinformation, What`s your message the platforms like Facebook?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They`re killing people.
HAYES: Plus, a day after meeting Texas Democrats in D.C., why is Joe Manchin going to raise money with Republicans in Texas?
And as the mega-drought continues in the West, why the Biden administration just rolled back a ridiculous Trump-era regulation.
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: When I take a shower, I can have water hit my hair instead of drop. It`s hard enough my hair without that.
HAYES: When ALL IN starts right now.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES (on camera): Good evening from Chicago. I`m Chris Hayes. January 6 was of course a truly horrible day for a country. But what`s getting more and more clear day by day by day is that it all could have been so much worse. We just learned the country dodged another metaphorical bullet through a federal indictment of two California Trump supporters Ian Rogers and Jarrod Copeland.
According to the indictment, "Prompted by the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, Rogers and Copeland began to plan an attack against a target or targets they associated with Democrats. By November 29 2020 that identify the Democratic headquarters in Sacramento, California as their first target and made plans to attack it using incendiary devices. Rogers and Copeland believed the attacks would start what they called a movement."
But here`s the thing. These guys were not just idly fantasizing. According to the indictment, again, Copeland told Rogers he had contacted an anti- government militia group to attempt to gather support for their movement. On January 11, 2021, five days after the attack on the Capitol, Rogers told Copeland, I want to blow up a Democrat building bad. Rogers said, let`s see what happens after the 20th, of course, the day of President Biden`s inauguration, we go to war.
According to his criminal complaint, Rogers added, "I hope 45, Donald Trump, goes to war. If he doesn`t, I will." If Donald Trump does not go to war, I will. Law enforcement officers searched Rogers` home and business and seize between, get this, 45 and 50 firearms, including at least three fully automatic weapons, which are illegal, thousands of rounds of ammunition, and five pipe bombs.
Law enforcement officers said those pipe bombs that you see right there were fully operational and could "cause great bodily harm or injury." And if case you`re wondering what kind of guns they had, this is the itemized list of all the firearms listed in the indictment, just you know, totally normal stuff that everyone has lying around.
We`re going to talk more about who these guys were what they were planning in a second with one of the reporters on the story. But if the allegations are true, and again, this is just a charging document, innocent till proven guilty. If it`s true, however, these men are domestic terrorists who are planning a domestic terrorist attack inspired by Donald Trump. That`s not hyperbole.
Remember, this is not the first unsuccessful attempt to do mass damage. One of the great unsolved mysteries to this day of January 6, one of the most haunting, is this person, whoever he or she is, who planted the pipe bombs by the RNC and DNC the night before the insurrection which were luckily discovered before they went off, another metaphorical bullet we dodged.
We don`t know who that person is who set out of those bombs. We do know there`s a huge cadre of people who are radicalized by the president, whipped up into a frenzy, and aimed like a loaded gun at the Capitol. And we`ve got even more reporting now on this obvious truth that Trump enjoyed watching the insurrection that he rebuffed multiple attempts to stop it.
In their new book, Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, reported that Trump was glued to the TV. And while we should be skeptical of any claims coming for anyone worked in that White House, Rucker and Leonnig reports, Ivanka Trump "spent several hours walking back and forth to the Oval trying to persuade the president to be stronger in telling his supporters he stood with law enforcement and ordering them to disperse."
Hundreds of people have been arrested since that day, but there are millions more who still fervently support Donald Trump. In the article adapted from his new book, Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender provides a window into the dangerous most cultish devotion to Trump. The folks that follow him from rally to rally called Front Row Joes. One of them Randall Tom, a 60-year-old ex-marine with a long gray mustache fell severely ill with a high fever and debilitating congestion, he refused to go to the hospital. This is during COVID I should note.
He was a heavy smoker who is significantly overweight and knew he faced an increased risk of severe effects from COVID-19. Still, he refused to take a Coronavirus test, and potentially increased the caseload on Trump`s watch. I`m not going to add to the numbers, he told me.
He knew he could die, but he didn`t get tested, so it wouldn`t hurt Trump`s COVID numbers. That man actually lived through that ordeal, but then tragically died months later driving home from a Trump boat parade. Bender also spoke to a Trump supporter from Michigan who participated in the January 6 riot, was very, very clear-eyed about why those folks were there.
Listen to this. It just looks so neat, she said. We weren`t there to steal things. We weren`t there to do damage. We were just there to overthrow the government. They were just there to overthrow the government, which is the obvious truth of the matter.
Again, the only silver lining in all this is that it didn`t work. The pipe bombs didn`t go off. These two guys who were going to attack the DNC in California were apprehended with their massive arsenal. The overthrow the government didn`t go off. The transition of power ended up happening. But here`s the thing, and I don`t think this is sufficiently appreciated in Washington. There`s still a bit of complacency, I fear, because there`s a difference between process and outcomes.
It`s a distinction that every good coach in every sport makes between process and outcomes. For instance, in basketball, you can take a bad shot that happens to go in and take a really good shot that you should take and just misses. Good coaches understand that over the course of a large set of repetitive games where you`re doing the same thing over and over, you need to focus on the process and not the outcomes. You have to encourage the good shots, discouraged the bad ones.
This story is about the process, not the outcome. The outcome could have been much worse, but it wasn`t. But the process that led to the insurrection, the institutions, how they function, they are still there. And we just got lucky.
Sam Stanton has been covering the unrest of California as reporter for the Sacramento Bee. And he joins me now. Sam, what can you tell us about how law enforcement managed to interrupt this?
SAM STANTON, REPORTER, SACRAMENTO BEE: Well, this all started in January when the FBI and Napa County Sheriff`s officials went to the home and business of Ian Rodgers who owns an auto repair place in Napa for high end British automobiles. And they executed a search warrant and discovered the 50 weapons we`re talking about, the five pipe bombs, machine guns. They had been monitoring their communications through these encrypted apps apparently and had been following them because there were -- there were indications that they had this militia movement. Rogers apparently had a Three Percenter sticker on one of his vehicles.
And so, once they arrested him, Copeland allegedly deleted all of the text messages that spelled out, theire supposed plans. But of course, they were still in Rogers phone. And so, a lot of them are spelled out in the charging documents. And they detail more than just discussion of packing the democratic headquarters. They talk about attacks on Facebook, Twitter, the governor`s mansion here in Sacramento, things of that nature, George Soros.
HAYES: Yes, I want to read one exchange because the timing of it seems important to me. This is from November 25 of 2020. Again, this is the aftermath of the election. This is after the AP has called it for Donald Trump and while Donald Trump is saying, you know, that it`s all -- that it`s been stolen, that there`s massive fraud.
Rogers, OK, bro, we need to hit the enemy in the mouth. Copeland, yes, so we punched Soros. Rogers, I think right now we attack Democrats. Roger, their offices, etcetera, Molotov cocktails, and gasoline. Copeland, we need more people bro. Copeland, going to be hard.
The timing laid out in the charging -- the charging document is such that it`s clear that it`s -- this is all in reaction to the election, the false idea it was stolen and trying to sort of avenge Trump.
STANTON: Yes. The documents indicate that they thought some kind of violent actions, domestic terror as the documents referred to it, would spark a movement nationwide, and that fellow Trump supporters would, you know, join their cause if they could, you know, do something that would get enough attention. They talked about getting national network news attention on an attack in Sacramento and how that would help bolster things.
So, that was, you know, that was going to be the start of it from their standpoint, according to the feds.
HAYES: There`s also this document that that was apprehended. I`ve actually seen other folks sort of in the far-right with this, the white privilege card, which was found in Ian Rogers House that says -- it says Trump is everything, the card number 45, 45, 45, sort of sardonic, but gives you a little insight into their politics.
STANTON: Yes. Yes.
HAYES: What is the -- what`s the sort of process from here? I mean, this is -- this is a federal charge, right? You`ve got U.S. attorneys on this. These gentlemen, I imagine, are being held right now.
STANTON: Well, Rogers is being held in Napa County. He was arrested there on state and federal charges. They were both indicted July 7th. The indictment was unsealed earlier this week. Mr. Copeland was arrested here in Sacramento. He had moved here recently. He is described as an army deserter and steroid abuser who is living in an apartment here in Sacramento when he was arrested.
He was in our jail briefly, and he is being taken to San Francisco for a detention hearing on Tuesday, at which a federal judge will decide whether or not he can be released. Prosecutors are urging the judge not to allow him out citing these alleged activities and plans.
HAYES: Do we have a sense of how close this came to fruition?
STANTON: Well, they had a lot of weapons, apparently. And they had these bombs, and they had discussions about details of where that Democratic headquarters building is in downtown Sacramento. For instance, they allegedly noted in their conversations that it was across the street from a California Highway Patrol building and had discussions of whether they would have to do a quiet fire or some kind of explosive device that wouldn`t tip off the CHP.
So, it`s hard to say, you know, whether this was just bar talk. You know, one of the lawyers described their client as mouthy drunk when they first appeared in court in Napa. So, they -- you know, they pleaded not guilty and, you know, we`ll see what, what comes of it. But they certainly had as you can see from your screen, quite a few weapons.
HAYES: All right, Sam stem is covering this at the Sacramento Bee, thank you so much.
STANTON: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland served as the lead impeachment manager for Trump`s second impeachment over the January 6 insurrection, also a member of the House Select Committee to investigate January 6, and he joins me now.
I want to I want to return to that question of process versus outcomes, because I do think there`s a little bit of complacency because of the outcomes. And every time that we learn more about what happened in the run- up and on that day, and vis-a-vis the U.S. military, it seems to me that you have less faith that this was a for ordained possibility and more that we kind of got lucky. Where are you on that?
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): Well, we got very lucky with Mike Pence. I mean, the way I see it, Chris, is we had a huge demonstration organized by the President. And inside that was another ring which was a violent insurrection and with the Three Percenters and the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers. And inside that was the coup that Donald Trump was trying to orchestrate targeting Mike Pence.
And all they wanted Pence to do was to rebuffed the electrons coming in from Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, lowering Biden`s total below 270, kicking the presidential contest into a contingent election. And they are - - they wanted it because we vote not one member one vote, but one state one vote.
And if they`d been able to do that, which would not have been really that much if you look at the different things Mike Pence did over the prior four years for Trump, they would have won it with 27 states to 22 for the Democrats and one tie. And at that point, he probably would have followed the advice of Michael Flynn and imposed martial law in the state of siege.
And this would have been the Reichstag moment of basically declaring, look, the Democrats can`t control all of the chaos and the insurrection that Trump had unleashed against us. So, the way I see it, Chris, is January 6 was not the end of something, unfortunately. It was the beginning of something. And we have to get very serious about domestic violent extremism and their friends in the Republican Party.
HAYES: So, I don`t want to escape past what you just said, because you have articulated precisely the alternate history that I find most awful to contemplate. And I almost don`t say it out loud, because I don`t want to call it into being or plant the idea in anyone`s head. But since you said it, there`s no -- if Pence had gotten up there that day and say I`m rejecting them, there`s no recourse. They would just steal it.
I mean, that`s the craziest thing, and I don`t want to give Michael Pence who`s, you know, debase himself in a million ways too much credit here. But like, that`s what I`m hearing from you, and that`s my understanding as well, which is a kind of stomach-dropping realization to come to.
RASKIN: It`s an extraordinary thing. And nobody has yet been able to explain why exactly Vice President Pence did the right thing in upholding the constitutional order on that day. But it was the very thin thread that we were resting on. And we really would have devolved into complete chaos at that point.
Obviously, the House would have voted to object and sustain an objection about what the vice president had done. But had he gone with Trump`s plan, he would have unilaterally asserted and unreviewable power just to reject those electors. And it`s constitutionally absurd, but there would have been enough of a patent of a legitimate argument that they could have said that was within the realm of normal discourse.
And meantime, he`s unleashed the mob and all of these storm troopers against Congress. People would have been fleeing and it would have been a complete nightmare. And I think that we do need to follow through on precisely what you`re suggesting which is what would have happened had Kevin McCarthy and Donald Trump and Jim Jordan gotten their way that day. They obviously have no respect for the real requirements of our constitutional order.
And that`s why, you know, you have -- whatever else you think about the politics of Liz Cheney and John Katko, and the seven Republicans in the Senate who voted to convict, those people have stood up as constitutional patriots and for the electoral process as we understand it.
HAYES: This to me has to be in some ways almost kind of one of the focal points of this commission, or you`re working the committee. And I don`t -- I mean, it seems weird to be like, you know, we`re facing existential threat. Let`s talk about the, you know, electoral count act it`s a product of the 1870s. But there are some technical -- legal technical fixes that have to happen.
I mean, independent of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, the For the People Act, just this -- the basic blocking and tackling of how the votes of the United States people are transmuted into the presidency, we had this whole system exposed as extremely wobbly. And I don`t hear anyone talking about how to reinforce that. Am I crazy?
RASKIN: No. The problem is that the Electoral College is antiquated and obsolete. And there are all these moments of weakness where there are different booby traps that can be installed by hostile actors. And up until now, there`s been a basic agreement between the two parties to accept what the popular vote in the various states says.
And now all of a sudden, you`ve got a Republican Party which has a philosophy that I call rule or ruin. Either we`re going to rule or we`re just going to ruin the whole constitutional order. Well, they`re saying, if we don`t win the popular vote, we will recount until we win the popular vote. We`ll put the right people in place to count the right way. And if none of that works, we`ll get the state legislature just to overthrow the popular vote and install the electors loyal to Trump or whatever, Trumpified successor they anoint. And if none of that works, then they`ll do it within Congress by using, again, whatever weakness they can perceive in the Electoral College structure.
So, look, I`ve been an opponent of the Electoral College for a long time. The very first bill I introduced as a state senator in Maryland was the national popular vote interstate compact. And so, we actually picked up tremendous momentum there. Unfortunately, the Republicans are blocking that too in the States, but we are more than halfway there. But we have to precisely have that conversation.
And I`m with you. To a certain extent, you don`t want to talk about it, because you don`t want to convert into being. But on the other hand, it`s too dangerous not to talk about it. We have to bring this to light. And I do think of that as part of my role on the select committee. I want us to talk about the ways in which the Electoral College invited that kind of aggression against America on that day.
HAYES: All right, Congressman Jamie Raskin, we will keep watching as that develops. I appreciate it.
RASKIN: My pleasure.
HAYES: It made big headlines yesterday. We reported on this program when Joe Manchin, one of the key holdouts on federal voting protections, or at least ending the filibuster to pass them, met with Texas democrats who fled the state to stop a voter restriction law. A bunch of cameras, lots of questions, could these upstart lawmakers risking their career of the cause of voting rights convinced Joe Manchin that something must be done.
Well, just one day later, there were far fewer cameras when Joe Manchin made his own voyage to Texas for a big fundraiser hosted by several big Republican donors. That story is next.
HAYES: One day after Senator Joe Manchin met with the Texas Democrats who fled their state to block the voter suppression bill in Texas being proposed by Republicans, the ones who are begging Congress to act, we have some action. Joe Manchin apparently headed to Texas, not for the whole voting rights thing. Instead, the Texas Tribune reported today that Senator Joe Manchin, key Democratic holdout on federal voting protections, or at least ending the filibuster to get them, is coming to Texas for a fundraiser hosted by several GOP donors.
Joining me now, the former mayor of San Antonio who also served in the Obama administration as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro. Obviously, politicians have to raise a lot of money. They go to a lot of places to raise money. But there`s something a little ironic about this. What`s your reaction?
JULIAN CASTRO, FORMER HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT SECRETARY: I mean, Chris, this is like one of those things that you just shake your head. And I mean, why in the world is Joe Manchin coming to Texas when he has Texas democrats up there in D.C. begging him, asking him to put more effort into finding a solution whether it`s on the filibuster or some sort of voting rights legislation, and he`s the holdout right now preventing the protection of voting rights, especially for communities of color.
If you`re going to come to Texas, I wish that you were coming to Texas to listen to so many people who either have been or will be impacted by these types of voter suppression bills that Republicans are putting through because there`s so many stories to hear. Instead of that, he`s going to be at a high price fundraiser by a whole bunch of oil and gas executives. It`s a terrible look for Joe Manchin. I think it sends the wrong signal not only to those Texas Democrats who are fighting hard for federal legislation and to stop the Texas legislation. It sends the wrong message about what Democrats should be about.
HAYES: Yes, we should -- we should note -- you just said something also important here I think substantively. Right now, we`ve got this huge reconciliation package, the infrastructure bill. There`s a big question about how aggressive that will be in the climate aspects. And here you have, what would be the 50th vote for this. As the Texas Tribune reports, the host committee includes titans of the Texas oil and gas industry, many of whom donate almost exclusively to Republicans. Some of these donors make occasional contributions to Democrats who either moderate or serve on committees with oversight of the energy sector. It give you a little window into what the sort of climate hawk forces are up against.
CASTRO: Oh, it does. And I mean, Manchin is there cheering the Energy and Natural Resources Committee in the Senate. The letter that went out, the fundraising letter said that Joe Manchin has been a good friend of the industry since he was governor of West Virginia. And I`m sure it`s going to get a lot of buy-in from oil and gas executives.
And the way that this ties into the voting rights part of it is I bet what they`re telling Joe Manchin at this high price fundraiser is, hey, look, Senator, you really are the reasonable guy here in the Senate. You`re the only thing holding back the world from AOC and the socialists and X, Y and Z. They`re going to butter him up and make him think, hey, you got to hold the line.
And politicians tend to over listen to people that are giving them thousands and thousands of dollars. We all know that we`ve seen that a million times. And so this couldn`t come at a worse time for those who care about having substantive legislation that addresses climate change, or legislation that protects voting rights.
HAYES: Where -- it also sort of points to the difficulty that the Democrats have, right? Because the Senate is in the current geographical demographic configuration of the Democratic coalition. The Senate tilts towards Republicans. Joe Manchin is a bit of a unicorn in that he`s able to get reelected in the state that Donald Trump won by 30 points. There`s no way around being dependent on senators who are going to be representing states whose median voter is well to the right of the center of the Democratic Caucus.
CASTRO: No, that`s true. Look, I mean, you also have to give Joe Manchin the credit that he deserves on a lot of votes that have -- that take place day in and day out where he does side with Democrats. And would we rather have Joe Manchin there than a Republican who`s going to be voting with all of the Republicans, of course. At the same time, the danger especially when it comes to the issue of voting rights is if you allow this voter suppression, this point-shaving out there in state after state, including my home state of Texas, then the Joe Manchins are not going to be there anymore. And not only that, you`re going to lose places like Georgia and Arizona that were hard-fought and barely won.
HAYES: Final question for you on some late-breaking news today. A federal judge district judge in your state of Texas, appointee of George W. Bush, has essentially ruled that the DACA protections issued by the Obama administration all the way back I believe in 2012, are essentially unlawful. He has not suspended DACA per se but he`s issued, I understand, injunction for any further applications.
This is for people who are brought to United States as children, as minors, who can apply for a sort of protected status. It`s not full citizenship, but it does give them a sort of path to citizenship. I got to imagine this is brutal for all the folks subject to this because it just creates more tension, pressure, and uncertainty. Your reaction to that ruling.
CASTRO: It`s a gut punch. It just creates that uncertainty, that feeling in the stomach for so many families out there who have somebody who is on DACA. As you said, it doesn`t affect people who are currently on DACA, but it does put a pause on new applications being approved.
And just to give you a sense, Chris, since January, 50,000 people have applied for DACA, so this is not a small number. On top of that, you know, the Biden administration is entering very deep and treacherous political waters on immigration. This is a president that came in saying we`re not going to make the mistake of the past of 2009. We`re actually going to get something done on immigration. And so far, mostly what he has done is not been Donald Trump. But when it comes to something like relatively low- hanging fruit, even DACA, there`s not a permanent solution. They need to change that. And this is a powerful reminder of that.
HAYES: We should note that some half of the citizenship is currently included in the big reconciliation package. We`ll see if that continues, but that was striking to me that that was in there. That`s something to keep your eyes on. Julian Castro, thanks for joining us tonight.
CASTRO: Thank you.
HAYES: Ahead, really stark language from the president calling out the vaccine lies and misinformation spreading on social media.
And Pulitzer Prize winner Ed Yong reports on what may be the worst outbreak in the entire country right now, next.
HAYES: Right-wing media outlets like Fox News have been pushing an anti- vaccine narrative for months now. It`s been getting less attention as they keep pushing for alternative and experimental remedies for the virus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LAURA INGRAHAM, FOX NEWS CHANNEL HOST: We know that we have therapeutics such as inhaled steroids, azithromycin, simple over-the-counter meds like vitamin D3 and zinc that also boosts our immune systems.
And we know that our FDA has in many ways failed us by not allowing for the use of ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine, both of which are used around the world to reduce COVID hospitalizations and deaths.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: So, just to be clear, there`s really zero clinical evidence that hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug that all the folks of Fox News and the president were obsessed with, has any benefit whatsoever.
But I want to highlight one of the other drugs that Laura Ingraham touted, they`re called ivermectin. She`s had guests come on our show and promote the drugs as an effective treatment of COVID even though the FDA has warned against its use.
And again, you know, the FDA sometimes makes mistakes, but if you`re promoting a treatment, you got to be very careful. I mean, at least I feel like I do with my responsibility in this job.
Well, yesterday, a study supporting ivermectin as a treatment for COVID with withdrawn over "ethical concerns". Well, the website that hosted the study and not exactly identify its concerns with it, The Guardian reported the introduction section of the paper appeared to have been almost entirely plagiarized.
That is just one example of the vast ocean of dodgy information out there. There is a lot and its part of the huge problem that we`ve been living with for months over a year.
Yesterday, the White House singled out Facebook for not doing enough to stop the spread of lies about COVID and vaccines.
Today, President Biden took a step further.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On COVID misinformation, what`s your message to platforms like Facebook?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: They`re killing people. I mean, they`re really -- look, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated. And that`s killing people.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: Facebook responded with a statement saying, "We will not be distracted by accusations which aren`t supported by the facts. The fact is that more than two billion people have viewed authoritative information about COVID-19 of vaccines on Facebook, which is more than any other place in the internet. More than 3.3 million Americans have used our vaccine finder tool to find out where and how to get a vaccine. The facts show Facebook is helping save lives. Period."
3.3 million Americans out of hundreds of millions of shots is maybe not great. It`s also not clear exactly how many people saw the COVID lies on Facebook. It`s a big platform. They`re seeing a lot of stuff.
But the company has removed more than 18 million misleading posts from Facebook and Instagram since the start of the pandemic.
When it comes to the dangers of not getting a vaccine, well, President Biden is absolutely indisputably correct on that. But right now, the only pandemic we have is among the unvaccinated.
And a new piece in The Atlantic about the recent surge of COVID cases in Missouri. Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter Ed Yong writes, "Almost every COVID-19 patient in Springfield`s hospitals is unvaccinated. And the dozen or so exceptions are all either elderly or immunocompromised people. The vaccines are working as intended, but the number of people refuse to get their shots is crushing morale."
And Yong who`s a Pulitzer Prize-winning staff writer of The Atlantic joins me now.
Ed, this piece was -- it was tough reading but important. Tell us just a little bit about where this area is and what you heard from the healthcare workers who are working there.
ED YONG, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: So, Springfield is the -- is a city in the southwestern Missouri. It`s currently the epicenter of the state`s massive COVID outbreak.
One of the major hospitals there has acquired as many patients in the last five weeks as it did in five months last year, a testament to how quickly the Delta variant can spread among unvaccinated people.
The vast majority of people who are coming -- fallen sick with COVID in Springfield are unvaccinated. And unlike last year, a lot of them are younger, they`re in their 20s 30s 40s. And people who these doctors and nurses are seeing in their 30s this year in their ICUs seem to be much sicker than that same age group last year.
HAYES: We should note that either it`s a little unclear right now, in terms of our understanding the evidence of Delta. We know quite certainly it`s more transmissible.
It`s unclear whether it gets people sicker but what you`re reporting indicates just from this sort of anecdotal experience of the people working in these hospitals, they feel like that`s what they`re seeing. Is that a correct characterization?
YONG: Yes, there`s definitely controversy around whether delta is deadlier. But all I`ve -- all I`ve heard consistently from doctors and nurses is that people seem to be not only younger, but also sicker this year, and there might be various reasons for that.
But the ultimate result is that healthcare workers are struggling, they`re really exhausted. They`re overwhelmed again, and they`re just indignant that at a time when we have vaccines, plural, that are incredibly effective. They`re having to go through all of this again, they`re having to work ridiculous shifts, they`re having to, you know, zip-up, many body bags a day. They`re losing patience, and they shouldn`t be.
They`re outraged and then just sad and frustrated that this is where we are, it shouldn`t be that way. You know, 1-1/2 years on.
HAYES: You report one nurse being spat at by a patient when she communicated that he was COVID positive. There`s a lot of skepticism among folks coming in that the thing is real or that they actually have it.
YONG: Yes, a lot of people seem to be resistant to the reality of the pandemic and the usefulness of the vaccines, even to the quite literally bitter end.
A lot of others change their minds. And people suddenly realize that the mistakes they`ve made or the misinformation they`ve listened to, but often it`s too late.
Like if you all get at the point where you`re sick enough to warrant hospitalization, to enter an ICU. There`s not a lot doctors can do, they can provide basic medical care, but the treatments available, contrary to what Fox News might say, are just not very good.
So, the best chance of surviving isn`t to not even get infected in the first place. And the best way of doing that at the moment is to get vaccinated.
But in Springfield, in that county, about only 40 percent of people have been vaccinated. And in some of the surrounding counties, it`s in -- it`s in the teens.
And this is what happens when you have a largely unvaccinated population that has Delta ripping through it. You`re going to overwhelm hospitals, and you`re going to wear out the healthcare workers who work so lauded as heroes last year, they`re burning out now.
HAYES: The only small hope I have in all of this is that we saw in a previous iteration of the outbreak, even places that were resistant to sort of masking or social distancing like Arizona last summer, when the numbers start to go up, people do change their behavior. They do, they start stop being less mobile. We see it in cell phone data, driving data.
Jeff Zients had this to say saying that states with the highest case rates are seeing their vaccination rates go up.
In fact, in the past week, the five states with the highest case rates Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Nevada had a higher rate of people getting newly vaccinated than national average. One wonders or at least hopes that maybe this will change some incentives and behavior.
YONG: Indeed, some of the public health workers who I spoke to in Springfield, who by the way are doing an admirable job with very few resources and not enough staff are a little optimistic cautiously so that they`ve seen signs of change and their attempts to talk to the communities and go through churches and so on are, you know, bearing fruit. But building trust with people is slow, Delta is really fast.
HAYES: That`s the problem. Ed Yong, as always, great reporting, and thanks for sharing with us this evening.
YONG: Thanks, Chris.
HAYES: Remember, when Donald Trump used to get on stage at campaign rallies and complain he couldn`t flush his toilet? Well, he turned his own personal bathroom issues into real government policy that was truly terrible for the environment. I`ll tell you how it`s being undone, next.
HAYES: Donald Trump was so obsessed with his hair, he was willing to destroy the planet for.
Last December, basically in the final moments of his presidency, Trump managed to get rid of regulations for showerheads and washing machines, allowing them to basically use unlimited amounts of water.
His focus wasn`t on protecting the country from a once in a century pandemic that was killing thousands of Americans a day. The man was obsessed with low flow toilets, which didn`t work for him on the first flush.
His focus was on deregulating common household appliances in order to get healthier, shinier hair.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So, showerheads, you take a shower, the water doesn`t come out. You want to wash your hands; the water doesn`t come out. So, what do you do? You just stand there longer, you take a shower longer. Because my hair, I don`t know about you, but it has to be perfect.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
HAYES: We would play the toilet bit but there was like a hundred different examples and we`d be here all night.
Now, that guy was our president, a man we got rid of. And he got rid of regulations that had been in place since the 1990s that practically no one was asking to change.
So today, seven months later, the Biden administration is getting rid of Trump`s rule that would have allowed showers to rain down up to 10 gallons of water every minute. Something so blatantly climate blind that consumer and conservation groups call it silly, unnecessary and wasteful, especially the West bakes through a historic two-decade-long, megadrought.
The drought is so bad in the American West right now, reservoirs are drying up. Lake Mead near Las Vegas is at its lowest level since it was filled after the construction of the Hoover Dam in the 30s.
To get an idea of what the low water level looks like up close, this is an image from the Los Angeles Times of the bathtub ring on the rocks around Lake Mead. It`s a place that supplies water to Arizona and Nevada and California. Right now, it`s at 35 percent of its total capacity.
It`s a lifeline for tens of millions of Americans. We keep seeing images like this and others that show the climate emergency facing this country and the rest of the planet, it is not something in the dark, abstract future that`s going to affect our children and our children`s children. It`s going to affect us. It`s here right now, it is affecting us.
So, what do we do about it now? That`s we`re going to talk about right after this.
HAYES: The other day, New York Times columnist and guest on this program, Ezra Klein, wrote a column and said this, it seems odd that we would just let the world burn.
I like that phrasing because it does seem odd. It seems odd every day. And yet, it feels like that`s kind of what we`re doing.
That column comes the same week that we got this headline out of the Amazon. Amazon rain forest now emitting more carbon dioxide than it absorbs. It`s reached a tipping point thanks to deforestation and burning to make room for agriculture. That means that we are getting more carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere than what that massive sink is taking up.
Now, that comes the same week. We`re seeing extreme weather across the globe, both here in the U.S., in the Mountain West like we showed you with Lake Mead, the Pacific Northwest a few weeks ago and in Germany and Belgium where there has been absolutely astounding record flooding. There are a death toll of 150 with hundreds and hundreds of more missing.
Adam McKay the filmmaker is very passionate about climate change. Someone who once spent an entire dinner haranguing me for not covering it enough.
Although, fair Adam tweeted this, which I also thought sort of represented the way that I feel about this, saying this on Twitter is a little bit like yelling into a bucket but screw it. We need a Manhattan Project style carbon capture program immediately. And we need to be switching over to solar wind hydro now. Where is the leadership?
It`s a good question. Joining me now Hannah Safford, a researcher at UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy Environment and the Economy, who served for two years as a fellow in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under the Obama administration. And David Wallace-Wells, the author of The Uninhabitable Earth, editor-at-large in New York Magazine, where his latest piece explores how to live in a climate permanent emergency.
Hannah, let me -- let me start with you because I think there`s -- I should note that there`s like two really great promising climate policy happening right now in Washington in the reconciliation deal. We talked about the clean electricity standard last night.
HAYES: But there also seems a mismatch between the degree to which the wolf is at the door and the timeline for what we`re planning to do about it. And I wonder if as someone who`s an expert on this, you feel the same way?
HANNAH SAFFORD, RESEARCHER, UC DAVIS POLICY INSTITUTE FOR ENERGY ENVIRONMENT AND THE ECONOMY: Yes, I but I think we can`t focus on that mismatch, because that`s what`s caused the paralysis that we`ve seen on climate action over the past decades. And that paralysis keeps going.
You know, they say that the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, and certainly the best time to take climate action would have been several decades ago. But the second-best time is now. To be honest, we can start with planting trees.
HAYES: Yes, though that`s a great point. But here`s their here -- I completely agree with that. And I don`t want to give it. I mean, we did this yesterday on the clean electricity standard, because I`m very aware that I want people to understand that, like, it is a solvable problem, we can do something here.
But the way that I think it affects the way I`m thinking about it, David is in these -- in a few areas. One is, is mitigation, which we`re just going to have to start doing a lot of investing in. Like making sure places have enough water, for instance, in the American West, and places along the coast and figuring out how that`s going to work.
And also, what Adam said there, and which I feel like there maybe hasn`t been enough focus on is we`re going to have to suck some carbon out of the air, we`re going to have to get really good at that technology somehow. And I don`t know where that is right now. Where is it?
DAVID WALLACE-WELLS, EDITOR-AT-LARGE, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: Well, the technology exists to do it with machines, it`s pretty expensive, it`s a lot more expensive to put carbon to -- it`s cheaper to avoid putting carbon in the atmosphere than it`s taken out once it`s out there. And many natural solutions like tree planting and other forestation projects. Other forms of natural carbon capture or carbon removal are much cheaper.
But I think ultimately looking there as a solution to our large carbon problem is a bit of a mistake, we definitely need it, especially to deal with parts of the carbon economy that are going to be really hard to get all the way to zero emissions.
But a big study that came out about a year ago suggested that just to deal with the hardest to decarbonize sectors, you know, the heaviest industries, the airline fuels, if we wanted to do that through natural solutions, we`d have to be planting trees and something like two or three times the size of land -- two or three times the size of Texas. And if we wanted to do it using machines, we`d have to be using something like half of today`s total global electricity just to be running those machines.
So, if we`re looking to carbon capture or carbon removal as a cure all, I think it`s -- you know, I think we`re not going to get all the way there. It`s a hugely important part of the puzzle. And we should be investing in it and making it cheaper, but we can`t let that be a reason to move any more slowly on the decarbonization of the power sector, which we know how to do it right now.
HAYES: Yes, that`s a -- that`s a great point. I saw some interesting stuff about cement -- carbon cement -- carbon-free cement startups, because that`s a very carbon-intensive industry. There`s some interesting, promising tech there.
David talked about the grid. That`s where in some ways the most promising stuffs happening because we really do have the tech there, but there is this storage problem.
And Hannah, I want to ask you about this. This is an MIT Technology Review article that piqued my interest. Basically, about the fact that when you get a lot of solar on the grid, it generate lots of electricity in the middle of sunny days, frequently more than what`s required, which drives down prices, sometimes into negative territory, it become -- could become difficult to convince developers and investors to continue building ever more solar plants if they stand to make less money or even lose it.
This feels like a problem we should be able to solve if it`s just a money issue, given the stakes.
SAFFORD: Yes, I think it`s a -- it`s a problem that we can solve. And this is where the paralysis comes as we focus so much. I know we can never get carbon neutral, we can never get carbon negative, because we can`t do it right now.
But humans can do amazing things when they`re pressed. And I -- to be having lived through the pandemic, and seeing how quickly we can develop vaccines, when the motivation is there, I`m confident that we can develop cheap, large capacity storage enough that we need if the motivation is there.
And then also, we don`t have to think about just big stationary batteries. That`s not the only way to do it. Like one thing that a lot of cities and communities are working on right now is how do you integrate the grid with storage in electric vehicles.
So, electric vehicles, obviously, they run on batteries, you know, Tesla`s batteries that they use for solar panels is the same battery that they put in cars.
So, you can be driving your car, you can have the battery that`s partly depleted, there`s excess storage, you can have your car plugged in, take power back, excess power back. And then when there`s peak demand, (INAUDIBLE) car back in, pay that power back and get paid for it.
HAYES: The final point, David, here is just that the tech is -- a lot of the tech is there and the problem is money and it just seems like we should be able to just solve that with by spending the money we need.
WALLACE-WELLS: I think one of the lessons of the events of the last week is that we do need to be spending a lot more money on adaptation as well. People on the climate community I think have focused for a long time on the carbonization which is critical. But we`re already -- we`re sort of already unable to live in the world that we have today, and things are only going to get worse over the next decades.
HAYES: Hannah Safford, David Wallace-Wells, thank you so much for your time tonight. That is ALL IN for this week. "THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now with Ali Velshi in for Rachel. Good evening, Ali.