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Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, November 23, 2020

Guests: Michelle Goldberg, Robert Gibbs, Tom Perez, Tom Colicchio


After weeks of stalling, Trump's General Services Administration has now informed President-Elect Joe Biden that indeed the administration is ready to begin the formal transition process. According to the former FDA commissioner, President Trump missed the window to mass-produce Regeneron. Sen. Ted Cruz mocks safety warnings as the pandemic rages. Restaurants around the country are in dire straits as COVID cases surge.


JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: I won't try to pin you down on that. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, thank you so much for being here. People have talked about you being in there as well. Thank you so much. That is tonight's REIDOUT. "ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.


CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice over): Tonight on ALL IN. America is moving on. The Trump scheme in Michigan is over and the formal transition has finally begun. Tonight, what may be the closest thing to a concession you may ever get from Donald Trump.

President-Elect Biden makes major announcements about his new cabinet while President Trump's embarrassing legal team is falling apart.

Then, Ben Carson recovers from COVID thanks to that special life-saving COVID therapy which seems only available to Trump's pals. Laurie Garrett is here to discuss why it's not an option to the rest of us yet.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president because I feel great.

And as U.S. Senators play culture warrior on Twitter, Top Chef Tom Colicchio on the national emergency for American restaurants and everyone who works in them when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES (on camera): Good evening from New York. I'm Chris Hayes. The presidential election has been over for a while now, but now it is over, if that makes sense. Even more over, over again. After weeks of stalling, Trump's General Services Administration, a fairly obscure but quite powerful federal agency, has now informed President-Elect Joe Biden that indeed the administration is ready to begin the formal transition process as prescribed by law.

Trump himself seemed to imply some sort of concession in a tweet saying the GSA decision was his idea. "In the best interest of our country, I am recommending that GSA head Emily Murphy and her team do what needs to be done with regards to initial protocols and have told my team to do the same." The orchestra even before that moment is clearly starting to play Donald Trump off the stage.

This weekend a federal judge aggressively shot down the Trump campaigns flailing attempt to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania, another court loss in an impressively long series of abject legal failures for the Trump campaign. Failures that were so embarrassing they had to start distancing themselves from their own crackpot lawyers.

Both Georgia and the state of Michigan have certified their election results in Joe Biden's favor. Republican senators including Lamar Alexander and Rob Portman and Shelley Moore Capito has said the transition to Biden should begin. More than 100 Republican national security experts urged Congressional Republicans to demand Trump concede the election.

Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman, one of Trump's biggest backers, also saying it's time to move on. General Motors said it will no longer back Trump's emissions plans knowing that well, Trump is on his way out. And with this acknowledgement by the GSA, the Biden transition can fully begin to actually build the Biden administration.

You know, from the very beginning of his candidacy, in very crowded Democratic primary field, the core of Joe Biden's campaign was basically a promise to restore competence, experience, decency, public service to the highest office in the land. He was explicitly not the candidate of revolutionary change. He was not the candidate of overthrowing the establishment. He was a candidate of experience, lots of experience.

I mean, here's a guy who literally spent more than 40 years in Washington as a senator. As the vice president, he has been working in politics, well, since he was 29 years old and got elected the Senate. And ultimately, that message of competence won the day, both in the primary and the general election. Probably not totally separated from the backdrop of one of the worst calamities to befall the nation 100 years with a presidential administration that has just been utterly incapable of handling.

According to the COVID Tracking Project, there were 151,000 new cases today. That's a Monday, which is a low reporting day. And nearly 1000 deaths today, which is twice what it was just a week ago on Monday. We also have 85,000 people hospitalized with COVID, a new record for the 14th consecutive day in a row.

You know, the first person that President-Elect Biden announced as part of his new administration was his incoming Chief of Staff Ron Klain, you seen him on this program, who probably has as much relevant pandemic response experience as any non-public health or medical person in government after serving explicitly as President Obama's Ebola czar during that outbreak.

The Wall Street Journal first reported this afternoon that Biden plans named former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen as the nation's first female treasury secretary. The Biden transition team also announced a slate of experienced professionals to help key national security and foreign policy positions, including longtime Biden aide Tony Blinken as Secretary of State. He previously served as Deputy Secretary of State.

Alejandro Mayorkas to be Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, and who previously served as deputy DHS secretary. Avril Haines will be nominated to be Director of National Intelligence. She previously served as Deputy Director of CIA, Deputy National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan as National Security Advisor. He was previously Biden's top national security aide while he was vice president. And 35-year Foreign Service veteran Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be nominated as U.N. Ambassador. And former senator and Secretary of State John Kerry is a Special Presidential Envoy on climate.

Now, that's a list with not a ton of surprises. These are this is the tried and true establishment leadership of the Democratic Party. It is exactly the promise that Joe Biden ran on, to be the opposite of the Trump administration. Tonight, Joe Biden and his team can formally start working to actually take power away from Donald Trump.

Michelle Goldberg is an opinion columnist in New York Times, has been following the transition of power very closely. Robert Gibbs is a former senior advisor for the Obama-Biden transition in the White House under President Barack Obama.

Michelle, let's just start with the news. I mean, there was a growing sense. We went into today, our A block tonight was going to be like, all right, let's wrap it up here, time to go, they're playing you off. And then, you know, an hour -- an hour before, you finally get this ascertainment, although it's not clear she actually doing that from the GSA. This does seem like a big deal to me, and also a tragedy that it had to be a big deal.

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, OPINION COLUMNIST, NEW YORK TIMES: Right. Yes. I mean, the majority of Americans who voted against Donald Trump don't deserve to be held in weeks and weeks of suspense about whether or not the administration is going to agree to a peaceful transfer of power. And you know, right before the news broke, I had been working on a column about how Emily Murphy should be held in contempt. You know, I killed that column. It's no longer necessary.

But one thing I learned while I was talking to people for it, is really how much damage this delay was doing. I spoke to someone today who's been advising the Biden transition on COVID, and was really struck by the amount of just like key information that you need to develop a COVID vaccine distribution plan that is being kept from them.

You know, I sort of expected to hear something like we have a lot of back channels, you know, we can -- we can do this. And that was really not what I was hearing. So this didn't come a moment too soon.

HAYES: You know, Robert, when I -- I remember when I first got a job in primetime, that I felt like when you get into a batting cage, and someone puts the speed up like 70 miles an hour, and you're like, whoa, that really got on me fast. Like, every day felt like that in the beginning. Like, eight 8:00 already. And I feel like that's the experience most new administrations have, I mean, of getting in that way. I was like, whoa, this is -- things are happening very fast.

I got to imagine that's doubly true here with less time. But also, you have a lot of people who really know their way around.

ROBERT GIBBS, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, Chris, imagine that you just stepped into that batting box, you put your quarters in, and five pitches came at you at the same time all going really, really fast. Because I think that's exactly what this administration is facing. As you said in your intro, we haven't had an administration facing this level of challenge in probably 100 years.

We didn't have background checks happening. We didn't have security clearances happening. And to Michelle's point, we didn't have basic information sharing that was going on that's necessary to ensure that the things that are going to happen in both administrations, right, how do we get out of this economic downturn, how do we distribute this vaccine, that has to be shared. And that knowledge has to be gained by the incoming team in order to make sure that this continues to go smoothly.

So, you know, again, to Michelle's point, today marked a little more than a fifth of the transition already having expired with nothing actually having had happened from a legal standpoint.

HAYES: You know, it's so striking what Robert just said, Michelle. It's so striking to me. And I've been thinking about this throughout this year that, you know, it was 12 years ago, covering the last Republican administration on its way out the door, leaving the country in wreckage, in crisis, you know, in a multi-decade once in a century calamity, the financial crisis.

GOLDBERG: We thought it was a once in a century calamity.

HAYES: We thought, exactly, we thought. And then being like -- again, everyone says that the Bush administration was really, really went above and beyond the transition and everyone in the Obama world says that. But the objective conditions of the country was like, OK, here you guys go. And it is just remarkable to me. Remarkable, 12 years later, and here we are again.

GOLDBERG: Right, and I mean, I just hope that some lesson is learned about the wages of Republican administrations and the wages specifically of administration's that have contempt for government, right? This it wasn't just a fluke the first time around. You try this and this is how it ends up.

And now you have the same people coming in, the same people who already have experience trying to clean up after one calamitous Republican presidency coming to clean up after arguably a more calamitous Republican presidency.

HAYES: Well, Robert, you -- I mean, so you were there from day one, right, in that first time around. And my experience with Obama world folks such as yourself is that you're thoughtful but proud people who don't like to say like, yes, we screwed that up. There's a lot of like, well, you have to understand, it was really hard and there's so much -- which again, stipulated. But it does seem to me like there's some lessons that the whole crew of establishment folks who are at the highest levels of sort of the Democratic world of policy and governing, having learned from the last time. Like, what are those lessons? What's the lesson this time that you learn from going through this something similar 12 years ago?

GIBBS: Well, look, I think there's probably an enormous number of lessons. I think one of the lessons is -- this is less a lesson but I think something that the Biden people are going to learn, and that is, when you make an investment in the workings of government, you probably inherit something that actually works pretty well.

My hunch is that when they open up the closet and really look inside, they're going to see a very hollowed out government, a bureaucracy that is just missing. And I think, you know, one of the lessons that I think they're going to learn is that regardless of what we inherited from George W. Bush, I think there was a belief in a structure in that government that operated. It may not have operated the way we wanted it to, or the values that we wanted it to operate on, but my real hunch is that they're going to look into some of these departments and find morale is super low.

I can't imagine what Tony is going to walk into to the State Department. Or, you know, imagine how much the CDC has been beaten back during all of this COVID pandemic and not being allowed to speak their minds, not being allowed to say what was really going on. So, I think in some ways, they're going to have to breathe real life back into this bureaucracy in a way that allows it to function at a level that we're going to need it to in order to meet all these challenges.

HAYES: It's a really good point. And you know, Michelle, I was struck today there's always kind of personnel is policy fights around staffing administrations. We've -- I've seen it in Republican and Democrat. And the two things I thought stood out to me, Anthony -- Tony Blinken getting the nod, longtime Biden confidant advisor, and Matt Duss who is Bernie Sanders' sort of chief foreign policy guy. A guy I really respect, I think he's very, very smart. He's says, "This is a good choice. Tony has the strong confidence for the President-Elect, and the knowledge and experience for the important work of rebuilding us democracy. There'll be a new great thing to have a top diplomat who was regularly engaged with progressive grassroots."

And then Ali Mayorkas, who would be the first Latino to run the Department of Homeland Security, Representative Pramila Jayapal, also a Sanders backer, very progressive, comes from an immigration activism background, says "It's a very strong, smart choice. Mayorkas knows personally what it is to be an immigrant like me and tens of millions across our country. He led the effort to make DACA real. He will help us pass humane immigration reform, restore humanity to DHS as Secretary. #Forward."

Those struck me as, you know, part of Biden's positioning in the primary, I think, has been like he is not the Sanders left, but he is also not like, out of his way hostile to it. And I think that has -- that has served him well, and interesting to see those responses here.

GOLDBERG: Right. And this -- that's what really struck me too is that these were consensus choices, not necessarily a consensus between the center and the rights, although they'll probably be acceptable to at least a couple of Republicans, but really a consensus choices within the Democratic Party, right. People who are certainly members of the establishment, members of the Obama White House, but people who are broadly acceptable to most of the left, right?

You don't have kind of Rahm Emanuel or Bruce Reed or other people that the left-wing would regard as really, you know, a kick in the face, right? This is -- these are all people that if not the people -- certainly not the people that Bernie Sanders would have chosen, but not -- but all people that most of the left-wing of the party can feel comfortable with.

HAYES: Yes. And Kerry also -- last thing for you, Robert Gibbs. Kerry is interesting to me because so much of governing is prioritization. You know, when you talk about the five baseballs coming at the same time, you guys had to prioritize rescue attempt. And then the big -- the big first domestic thing was healthcare. And I think there is lots of signals being sent from Biden that climate is the place where the big priority pushes are going to be. And Kerry to me sends that signal. I wonder what you think.

GIBBS: Absolutely. And I think it's interesting too that Secretary Kerry is going to be a staffer at the National Security Council inside of the White House. I think that's remarkably important because that puts the center of that climate action inside the main building of our government. And from that can emanate all that has to be done in each department to make progress on government.

Look, I think you can't have anybody as passionate as somebody like John Kerry, but also somebody who has the understanding of what it's going to do to take the -- bring the world back together to this cause, right. Bring folks back to the table because quite frankly, when the U.S. left that table, the Chinese occupied it. And now we're going to have to reestablish ourselves, reassert ourselves, and really make progress to bring other nations along.

HAYES: Yes. He, of course, oversaw the Paris Accord that the administration left. It's funny you said National Security Council. You know, the one thing I learned from being around the White House, reporting on it, my wife working there, is like 85 percent of the White House is the National Security Council. It's basically like a national security operation. Everything else is a rounding area.

Like you guys -- you guys go talk to the press and you guys maybe do some of this, like that is so central, the nervous system of that place. Michelle Goldberg and Robert Gibbs, thank you so much both for making time.

GOLDBERG: Thank you.

GIBBS: Thank you.

HAYES: Tonight, now that Donald Trump has all but conceded to Joe Biden, what does this mean for his campaign's continued faltering legal challenges? DNC Chair Tom Perez on that and the White House transition next.


HAYES: 20 days after the election, it seems President Trump may finally be accepting the results, sort of, grudgingly. Just a short time ago, as we said, the General Services administrator Emily Murphy sent a letter to President-Elect Joe Biden offering access to transition resources, officially beginning that transition process. And it comes just hours after the State of Michigan certified Joe Biden's winning that state with one of the board of canvassers, two Republicans, joining the Democrats.


AARON VAN LANGEVELDE, BOARD OF CANVASSER, MICHIGAN: This board must respect the authority entrusted to it and follow the law as written. We have a clear legal duty to certify the results of the election as shown by the return that was given to us.


HAYES: In Pennsylvania, some counties missed today's certification deadline. The delays are minor. They are not expected to change anything about Biden's win there. Georgia certified its election last Friday, Nevada is expected to certify tomorrow, and Trump's battles in those legal -- in those swing states are coming up just completely empty.

His big marquee legal fight in Pennsylvania, remember the one headed up by Rudy Giuliani, that was tossed by a federal judge over the weekend in a scathing 37-page decision. That Sidney Powell, the lawyer who spouted some truly outlandish conspiracy theories about Hugo Chavez's Venezuela pulling the strings behind all this, she's now gone from the Trump legal team.

One of the people responsible for tracking and responding to Donald Trump and his futile attempts to overturn the people's will, Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee, and he joins me now.

Well, let's start here, Tom. You know, I think there is going to be an interesting debate as this goes -- as we go forward, and I think as now it's clear that, you know, the show is over. Like, on one hand, like, see, the system work. It held. The judges ruled under the law, the canvassing board-certified, the secretaries of state of both parties do their job. And the other pole of the debate is going to be like, that was close. And that was a stress test that showed some real points of weakness. Where are you right now on that?

TOM PEREZ, CHAIRMAN, DNC: Well, this election ended on November 7th, Saturday, November 7th. And over the last two weeks, we've seen a series of baseless lawsuits. This wasn't a legal strategy, Chris, as much as it was a political strategy, which is no surprise. 35 lawsuits lost by this president. And frankly, they weren't even close.

You mentioned Pennsylvania, that was a lifelong Republican who was the judge in that particular case. Michigan has now certified, Georgia certified last week. This election ended, again, over two weeks ago. And we are a nation in crisis. We've got to get to work. And that's what needs to be done.

HAYES: Right. But -- so my question for you, though, is if the election ended two weeks ago, which I agree, three weeks ago, right, what does it say to you about the institutional vibrancy of American democracy that we had this process play out where people felt a certain amount of uncertainty? I think you can go both ways. You can say that the courts ruled the way they should have and people did the right thing in the end. But also like, I don't know, if it was 3,000 votes in one state, Pennsylvania. You think they wouldn't have tried to just get in there and steal it?

PEREZ: Yes. Well, I mean, what we know about this President is he has no respect for democracy or democratic institutions. I mean, we go around the world monitoring elections because we are the world's greatest democracy. This has not been the finest hour of the world's greatest democracy because of Donald Trump. This is unconscionable what took place.

And at the same time, Chris, I think it's really important to take a step back. Joe Biden won with record turnout. He's now over 80 million votes. We're going to be closer to 160 million people turning out than 150 million people turning out. We had heroic people across America, administering elections in the middle of a pandemic. That's what I hope we reflect on was the heroism day in and day out of people across America, who were making sure that folks were able to cast their vote.

And the other lesson we should take away from this, Chris, is when we give voters options. And that's what we did this election. You could vote early, you could vote by mail, you could in-person early vote, you could vote the day of the election. When you give people options, more people vote. That's a good thing. The difference between us and them is they don't like it when more people vote.

HAYES: And it's -- you know, it's very striking. I mean, some of them have come out and said that, right? Lindsey Graham has basically said, look, we gave people too many options, and there was too much voting, and we got to shut this down. And I think you're already seeing this move to take the sort of really insane, insidious, outlandish conspiracy theorizing about fraud and turn it into a predicate for restricting voter access by Republicans.

You have this new bill in Texas that's being proposed that would block Texas counties from sending mail ballot applications. You're hearing about like, you know, Lindsey Graham wants to have hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Like, do you see this -- because I think we look at this election and think like, wow, it worked. Give people options, very high turnout. I'm not sure that's the way this is being felt on the other side.

PEREZ: Well, and it's incumbent on us. And the Biden team is well aware of this. And that is why the transition is working on an array of things in the voting space. I mean you look at vote by mail, Chris. There is bipartisan support across the country. Utah is increasingly a vote by mail state. You know, that bastion of for Democrats, it's a vote by mail state, Arizona, Florida.

I mean, vote by mail is here to stay. We had democracy in a remarkable way. People turned out. And yes, we have to guard against efforts by Republicans to make it harder for people to vote. That's nothing new. Republicans have been saying for 40 years, I don't want more people to vote. Our leverage in elections, quite frankly, goes up as the voting populace goes down. That's what they say. That's what they have been saying literally for 40 and 50 years.

I believe that when we have more people voting, that is great for our democracy. And that's what we're going to continue to do as Democrats, make sure people have options. And we're going to make sure that they have all of the options that were available, because you should never have to choose between your safety and your sacred right to vote.

And that's what Republicans try people do in places like Wisconsin in April of this year. That's what they're going to start to try to make people do in the year ahead. I have no doubt that they're going to use all of the bogus litigation that took place over the last two weeks as their factual predicate for suppressing the vote. We won't let that happen.

That's why elections matter. That's why having Joe Biden in the White House matters. That's why having 24 Democratic governors now instead of 15 three or four years ago matters because these Democrats will veto those measures. That's why having eight state legislative chambers flipped over the last four years matters because Democrats won't let that happen.

HAYES: Tom Perez, chair of the DNC, thank you so much for time tonight, sir.

PEREZ: Pleasure to be with you.

HAYES: Ahead, the coronavirus treatment given to the president and his pals. What is it and when will it be available to the public? Laurie Garrett explains next.



TRUMP: I went in and I wasn't feeling so hot. And within a very short period of time, they gave me Regeneron. It's called Regeneron. And other things, too, but I think this was the key. But they gave me Regeneron. And it was like unbelievable. I felt good immediately.

If you're in the hospital and you're feeling really bad, I think we're going to work it so that you get them and you're going to get them free. I view these and now they call them therapeutic, but to me it wasn't therapeutic. It just made me better, OK. I call that a cure. I want everybody to be given the same treatment as your president because I feel great.


HAYES: Do you remember when Donald Trump got COVID, got very sick, was taking a Walter Reed, and came out of it and cut that like infomercial for the antibody treatment Regeneron, saying, this is the cure. I feel 30 years younger. It's so great. I mean, you guys should all have it.

Well, where are we on that? I've been asking myself that. The last few weeks, I've been making a note. Like, where do we end up on Regeneron? Does everyone have access to it? And then I saw the Ben Carson, HUD Secretary, who also tested positive for COVID, got quite sick with COVID, and he's now emerged from the hospital saying he was very ill, but he also got Regeneron because the President was personally monitoring his condition and personally authorized its use, which would make me think that we don't have it generally available.

And in fact, former FDA head under Trump, Scott Gottlieb, was on the Sunday shows this weekend explaining that no, you can't get Regeneron unless the president like, hook you up. Take a listen.


SCOTT GOTTLIEB, FORMER COMMISSIONER, FDA: We would have needed to take different steps in April and May to ramp up manufacturing capacity to have the drug available in larger quantities right now. It's too late for this year. I think we could still take steps to do it for 2021, but we're stuck with the doses we have.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So, when the President promises to make this available for all, you're saying, he had the chance but the administration missed the window.

GOTTLIEB: Well, we definitely missed the window.


HAYES: That was -- that was Scott Gottlieb back in October talking about missing the window for Regeneron. As we have 85,000 people hospitalized now, it would be good to have therapeutics widely available for them. But we don't apparently.

Joining me now, someone who's been tracking treatment developments, therapeutics very closely, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Laurie Garrett. She's a columnist for foreign policy magazine, author of The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance.

So, Laurie, there was this very clear pivot that happened, I think, partly because of Scott Atlas, partly because the President got COVID and got over it and I think kind of came out of it thinking like, not so bad, that they were not going to -- you know, the White House wasn't going to work on suppressing the virus really anymore. It was going to be therapeutics in the vaccine.

And I guess the question is like, where are we on therapeutics? Is Regeneron effective? And do people have access to it?

LAURIE GARRETT, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, there's so many pieces to take apart there. Let's start with, first of all, the best treatment, so far, if you're actually hospitalized and you really sick is Dexamethasone, which is cheap, generic, readily available, a steroid. And of course, that was probably what made the President feel so terrific.

Remember him coming out, Chris, and saying I feel like Superman?

HAYES: Right.

GARRETT: That was dexamethasone.

HAYES: Right.

GARRETT: Now, Regeneron is one of three front runners right now in a category called monoclonal antibodies. Merck and Eli Lilly both have products coming right down the chute right behind Regeneron. This is not for hospitalized patients. For all those 85,000 people you mentioned who are in hospital right now, the Regeneron product is not for you.

HAYES: Right.

GARRETT: This is for people who are pre-hospitalization. They take it in an outpatient setting, their doctor's office or the side clinic. It's a one-hour long infusion in which you're getting infused into your bloodstream two antibodies that were derived from screening thousands through genetically modified mice and from human convalescent serum to finally identify what they think are the two best neutralizing antibodies to attack that little stock protein that sticks up on the outside of the virus. And in this way, give you a fighting chance so that you don't actually end up hospitalized.

Now, what the CEO of the Regeneron company told us this week is that he has 80,000 doses on hand, 80,000, which is a drop in the bucket compared to the numbers of hundreds of thousands of Americans out there who are infected and may or may not meet qualifications to go into before hospitalization infusion.

HAYES: Right. Wait -- well, let me just stop you there and run the math. 80,000 doses. I mean, we're posting -- today, we pose 150,000 cases. We'll get up to 200,000 this week. We're doing 1.2 to 1.4 million Americans a week. There's probably around three million Americans walking around right now who are COVID positive. 80,000 doses is not going to cut it for any kind of like, mass application of this treatment.

GARRETT: Right. So, what they did was Regeneron formed a deal with the Hoffmann La Roche company, which has far larger production capacities. And supposedly with them, they will get up to about 300,000 doses sometime in early spring of 2021, and something in the neighborhood of a billion doses by the summer.

Now, the problem with all of this, the bottom line is, how are they going to decide who should have access? And what exactly are the clinical indications for yes, you should go to the doctor, put your arm out for an hour and get an infusion with this medication? And it's -- I mean, the demand will be huge. And of course, every single doctor is going to want to give this to their patients.

It is not -- as I said, not indicated for hospitalized patients, but the temptation is going to be enormous. I mean, the fact that Ben Carson took it after he was already quite sick and was hospitalized, and claims that it's what brought him back, you know, that actually contradicts the company's own recommendations and would not be indicated in the emergency use authorization.

HAYES: I mean, that is fascinating in and of itself. But there's also just this -- what sort of maddening big picture here, right, is that like, the whole idea was we're going to let people get this thing, we're going to focus on therapeutics and a vaccine. And on the vaccine front, there's been incredible, incredible developments in the vaccine front. You know, very fast, fast as ever we got.

GARRETT: There's more to come.

HAYES: More to come, right? So -- but we're now in it now. And we got months of this winter. And the idea was that therapeutics were going to be this bridge to get us from point A to point B. And what I'm hearing from you is like, yes, we've gotten better treatment, yes, this generic steroid is working, but it's just not the case that there's some mass availability of really effective treatments that's going to help us through this winter.

GARRETT: No, there's not. What is clear is that doctors are getting much, much better at treating this disease. Obviously, back when we were slammed here in New York in March, nobody knew what they were dealing with. They were throwing the kitchen sink at it. They were an absolute desperation.

And as soon as individuals started having any kind of breathing issues, right, the temptation was to immediately put them on a ventilator. Now, we know a ventilator is a last resort. You don't want to do that. You want to take a number of other steps before you get to that, and one that has definitely been helpful is dexamethasone.

So, I think what people need to understand is, each one of these new announcements, new approvals eventually by the FDA, is an increment getting us somewhere a little better. But these are not home runs. These are not cures. And frankly, if you have a loved one who's in the hospital, this is not about them.

HAYES: Yes, and it's just striking, you know, that we have a very multi-tiered healthcare system already in the United States, but to watch this sort of President talk about the special access drug that everyone's going to have and then Chris Christie who also had access to it and Ben Carson who's in the cabinet and people getting you know -- and we want obviously these people to get better and get treatment but it's like that's not -- that's not for the -- you know, that's not for just your grandmother and she's in the hospital.

GARRETT: Well, let's -- and let's do some math here. That infusion that takes an hour, the drug itself is $3,000. And that's before whatever markup the institution puts up on it. Now, if you don't have health insurance, not only is that going to slam you, but you also going to have to pay the doctor for putting you in this clinical setting. Lord knows what they'll charge you for that.

And in some insurance policies, they are already beginning to waver. Are we covering just the drug? Are we covering the actual infusion setting and the nurse attendant and the doctor and all the people around you? So, you see -- you can see that this is already out of cost availability for the average person, at least under Trump policies. I can assume that a Biden administration would come in and try to figure out how to make this more affordable and more accessible to a broader range of Americans.

HAYES: You would hope that's a priority. Laurie Garrett, as always, thank you so much for explaining that.

GARRETT: Thank you, Chris.

HAYES: Still to come, with rising Coronavirus rates and dropping temperatures, restaurants are facing an impossible winter. I'll talk to Tom Colicchio about what it'll take to save them just ahead.


HAYES: As we head into our first and hopefully last pandemic Thanksgiving this week, here are some headlines from local newspapers in areas that are right now being pummeled by the virus. In North Carolina, people need to know it's real. In Indiana, a rude awakening for business owners attacked by anti-masters as COVID-19 health pleas go ignored. In Lufkin, Texas, a simple declarative statement, it's real.

The people who run these newspapers understand they are battling a potent and insidious disinformation campaign. One that tells people that COVID is a hoax. It's not that bad. Go ahead and get together for Thanksgiving. Everything is fine. And look, the country is quite polarized politically. But there are plenty of things that unite us, right? For instance, we are all, all of us, really super tired of living in the pandemic. All of us really miss the people that we love. We would all like to have a Thanksgiving with them and get together.

And I also think the vast majority of Americans don't want to do things that will hurt the people they love, which is what makes some of the leadership on display right now all the more irresponsible and outrageous. I mean, here's what Texas Senator Ted Cruz posted this weekend, come and take it with a picture of a turkey.

You get it it's a defiant slogan that Texans borrowed from the Spartans back in 1835. Except it's Turkey, the Thanksgiving resistance instead of a cannon which is what's usually on that image. And you know, if you're -- let's say you're a 13-year-old libertarian nephew from Texas made that image, you might think kind of clever before rolling your eyes.

But this is a United States senator in a state that has already lost more than 21,000 people to Coronavirus. And the people of Texas and every other state needs sober-minded leaders doing their best to educate people about risk. They need their leaders to be working day and night to deliver the actual monetary federal relief they need instead of trolling like a teenager.

And if Ted Cruz actually wants to help the people of Texas, there's a lot to be done. This is a line of cars in Arlington, Texas. These are Ted Cruz's constituents waiting in line for free food because they can't afford to buy it themselves. They could probably use some help staffing that. Or if Senator Cruz really wants to get his Ivy League hands dirty, he can head down to El Paso where they've pressed inmates from the county detention facility to service loading the dead bodies of people from Texas into refrigerated mobile born trucks for $2 an hour. Perhaps the senator could pitch in there.

This is not some lark or some joke or some dumb partisan point-scoring enterprise. This is as real as it gets. And it is truly one of the most shocking developments in this entire story episode to watch the leadership of an entire political faction just joyfully truculently encouraging actions that are going to get their own supporters sick or kill them.

And obviously, there's more to this than just symbolism or rhetoric, although getting that right is really important. But also, as I said before, right now, local leaders around the country are facing this agonizing choice. Do they allow a bunch of businesses that have managed somehow to survive so far to stay open or do they shutter them in the interest of public health, knowing that that might be the death blow for those businesses.

And the only way out of this torturous decision is more help from the federal government where Ted Cruz serves. We're going to talk to Tom Colicchio about the desperate need for some kind of restaurant rescue right after this.


HAYES: The other day, I saw this image from the Atlantic writer James Hamlin of an outdoor dining situation here in New York that kind of embodies where we are with the pandemic right now, right? The whole idea is being indoors around other people is not really safe. And so indoor dining is a bad idea. So, we have outdoor dining we have ventilation.

The problem is it's cold in much of the country. So, now we're watching everyone try to like solve this problem. Well, how can we be outdoors and eating that's safe? Well, what if we enclose the outdoors, and then it's warmer, but then you just have indoors?

There is no way to think our way out of the problem. Certain activities, nightclubs, restaurants, bars, indoor activities with lots of people around each other, theaters, concerts, they're not going to be safe until we have a vaccine. But we cannot tell those entire industries and everyone works them to just jump off a bridge. And that's what we're doing right now.

Tom Colicchio knows the restaurant industry from the inside out. He's a celebrated chef and owner of the restaurant Crafted Hospitality, the head judge of Bravo's Top Chef, a founding member of the Independent Restaurant Coalition.

Tom, it's great to have you on. I just -- I feel like we're watching everyone try to circle this impossible square that's just not a solvable problem. Where our restaurants, independent restaurants right now at this point in the pandemic financially?

TOM COLICCHIO, FOUNDING MEMBER, INDEPENDENT RESTAURANT COALITION: Yes, we're desperate, Chris. You know, we've been hanging on this summer. You know, it was kind of fine when you had some outdoor dining. Even then we weren't -- we weren't really making it. We're all just kind of hanging on.

And right now, in the middle of what is our best court, this is -- this is where restaurants actually, if they make money for the year, this is where we eke it out at our fourth quarter. And we're being forced to close. And, you know, in the spirit of keeping people safe especially in New York City, you know, we understand that.

But it's a hard pill to swallow because we've been decimated. We've been forced to close once before. It's going to happen again. And if we don't get help, 65 to 80 percent of all independent restaurants across this country will close their doors.

HAYES: Really? Where is that number -- is that numbers you guys have run in your organization?

COLICCHIO: It's a combination. The National Restaurant Association run those numbers and the James Beard Foundation run those numbers.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, it makes sense to me. I mean, even now, when you see restaurants that are open for indoor dining, right, like they're not packed in the way they normally be, which is good. They shouldn't be packed. But again, you know, at least -- and I have a friend who's a restaurateur. We did an interview with him on my podcast. You know, at least in the summer, there's PPP.

So, there was some kind of federalized program. It wasn't great for restaurants for a bunch of reasons. But there was something. I mean, there's just nothing now, right? Like, what a restaurant supposed to do?

COLICCHIO: Yes. PPP was a short-term problem to a long term -- short term fix to a long term problem. Right now, I'm doing in New York about 30 percent of the business I usually do. I can't -- I can't cut it on that. Luckily, my landlord is working with me a little bit. But we're looking at an extinction event.

And what's at stake here, independent restaurants employ 11 million people. If we factor fishermen and farmers and winemakers and, you know, even -- let's drill down, you know, past that. Let's get down to the plumbers who service my restaurants and electricians and people like that, the linen companies. These are the companies that are at stake too. It's not just restaurants. Its entire ecosystem is really about to shut down. And not shut down because of COVID, but shut down because we need a bridge to get to the other side of COVID.

And the reason we need that bridge is because after we're done, these jobs will take a long time to come back. If restaurants are kept intact, all those jobs come back. The biggest problem I have right now is making that decision between keeping my employees employed, the ones that are still employed, you know, trying to pay their bills I could pay, and at the same time knowing that this pandemic is just getting worse and worse.

And so, we're expecting any day in New York to be shut down. Keep in mind, L.A. has never reopened indoor dining, Chicago has closed, Minneapolis has closed. I know I'm leaving out a bunch of other cities, but major cities are already shutting down. And every single day, we're hearing from either our members of the Independent Restaurant Coalition or friends of ours that are shutting they're -- shutting their doors for good. And these are restaurants in some cases that have an open 20 or even 30 years. And they're never going to see the other side of this.

HAYES: Yes. I mean, L.A. County just shut outdoor dining as well. And we should say like, again, the evidence we have from the CDC and others continued to show that like, when people are inside either eating, they can't really mask. People tend to, you know, speak loudly. And like it is -- you know, indoor dining is particularly fairly high risk as these things go.

The maddening thing is, I was talking to a friend the other day. We're talking about like, imagining New York City or Chicago or Los Angeles or Austin or San Francisco or Boston, the summer after the vaccine, right? Like, imagine the world when people are vaccinated. And it's like, let's do it. Let's go to concerts. It's got a theater. Let's go to restaurants. It's like, let's just keep them alive until we get there. We have --

COLICCHIO: Exactly. You're exactly right. Just keeps us going. And here's what's really frustrating. The Restaurant Act, OK, we've managed -- in six months, we've managed to get our bill written in the House and the Senate. OK. We have a Congressman Blumenauer from the Portland Oregon area wrote it in the House, Roger Wicker, Senator Roger Wicker, a Republican wrote it in the Senate. We have 49 co-sponsors in the Senate, including John Cornyn and Elizabeth Warren. When was the last time they both sponsored a bill? In the House, we have 203 co-sponsors.

We have bipartisan support for this. If this actually were regular order, you know, like that Schoolhouse Rock you tell us about, this would pass easily, easily. And we would have you know, our bill that's going to help so many people. It's there. It's all there. It's all there. We just need it to pass.

HAYES: We need -- I mean, that's the other thing. You know, this is not -- it's like, there's restaurants in every state in the union in conservative areas and liberal areas. Like, Mississippi has got restaurant. Like, it just shouldn't be -- and we -- and we can borrow essentially nothing right now. It just seems like such a no brainer.

If anyone who's in Congress is watching this, like, let's just -- let's get this done and save -- because the other thing is, it will pay for itself public health-wise. Like, getting -- like allowing people to make these choices, allowing local policymakers to say, you know what, we're going to have to shut down dining and not be trying to thread the needle is also going to pay health dividends.

COLICCHIO Right. I'll make a third argument here too. When restaurants, especially when the lights are on, communities are safe. And we stay open late. And if we close, number one, I think streets are going to get a little more dangerous. Also, commercial real estate is going to take a huge hit.


COLICCHIO So there's a lot of business reasons why. You know, I can -- I can appeal to both Democrats and Republicans here. There's a whole lot of good reasons to keep crime down, to support small businesses, the backbone. Again, there are more independent restaurant, over half a million independent restaurants in this country employing 11 million people. If they're -- if we're not worth saving, who is? Who is?

HAYES: I love restaurants so I -- but it just, the logic here just seems inescapable. Tom Colicchio, thanks for coming on and make the case. I really appreciate it.

COLICCHIO: Thank you, Chris. Have a great Thanksgiving.

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


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