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Transcript: The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, 1/27/2021

Guest: Alex Wagner, David Frum, Tom Malinowski�


New reporting shows that Marjorie Taylor Greene indicated support for executing prominent Democrats before she ran for Congress, including liking a Facebook comment that said, a bullet to the head would be quicker to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Patrick Toomey have both issued statements in support of impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: What do you -- what do you mean -- Rachel, what do you mean a week? Isn`t it, I don`t know, a month or -- I don`t know. You`re right. I don`t know what these words mean anymore. I don`t know what the word week or month -- so, how are you feeling after a week of the Biden presidency and no -- none of that other president?

RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOST, "TRMS": I can`t tell if I`m coming or going. I`m so confused. The fact that there are, like, press briefings at multiple departments of the government every day where they tell us, like, here`s what we think the challenges are. Here`s what we think we`re going to do and we`re going to take your questions.

I feel like what is -- what is -- what is this? I don`t even know how to cover normal news like this. It is a -- it is a radical adjustment, and it is very disorienting and I can`t tell if I`m coming or going.

O`DONNELL: The one word I have for it, Rachel, is welcome.


O`DONNELL: It is very welcome.

MADDOW: Fair enough. Yeah.

O`DONNELL: Thank you, Rachel.

MADDOW: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Well, yesterday, the Senate voted to proceed to the impeachment trial of Donald Trump without first debating whether it is constitutional to have an impeachment trial of a president who has already left office. That is actually what they voted on. They did not vote on whether or not to have a trial at all.

It never came to that point in the voting, never got even close to that. The Senate is going to have that debate about the constitutionality of impeaching a president after the president`s left office or having the impeachment trial.

But yesterday 55 senators, including five Republicans, voted to have that debate during the trial, not before the trial. That`s all that happened yesterday, the question of the timing of when to have that debate. It has been reported as something bigger than that, but that`s not what happened, simply about do we debate this now or do we debate it later?

Some of the 45 Republicans who voted to have that debate yesterday have actually made it clear that they don`t think there should be a Senate impeachment trial. Some of them are very, very clear about that already. But most of the Republicans who voted that way yesterday have not yet revealed a clear position that they themselves hold on whether this trial should be held or how they`re going to vote at the end of this trial.

For example, one of them, Rob Portman said that he would have preferred to have the constitutionality debate yesterday. And so that`s the way he voted yesterday. But he will now go into the Senate trial with an open mind on the constitutionality question and on the evidence of the case and on the guilt of the president and on what will be his final vote in the impeachment trial. His mind`s open on that.

And so, not every one of the 45 Republican votes in favor of having a debate yesterday can be counted as a sure vote to decide the case one way or the other. A few of the senators who voted in favor of debating the constitutionality yesterday have definitely declared that there just shouldn`t be an impeachment trial of Donald Trump. And they all say that there shouldn`t be an impeachment trial because it`ll be so divisive and that it will inflame more anger.

Republican Senator Mitt Romney who voted with the Democrats yesterday said to his fellow Republicans in the forum with the Economic Club of Chicago. I say, first of all, have you gone out publicly and said that there was not widespread voter fraud and that Joe Biden is the legitimate president of the United States? If you said that, then I`m happy to listen to you talk about other things that might inflame anger and divisiveness. But if you haven`t said that, that`s really what`s at the source of the anger right now.

And the anger is building in the House of Representatives right now against one of the new Republican members of the House who helped feed the anger of the mob that invaded the Capitol. New reporting shows that Marjorie Taylor Greene indicated support for executing -- killing -- prominent Democrats before she ran for Congress, including liking a Facebook comment that said, a bullet to the head would be quicker, to remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

And when a commenter asked Greene, now do we get to hang them, meaning Hillary and Obama and Hillary Clinton, Greene replied, stage is being set. Players are being put in place. We must be patient. This must be done perfectly, or liberal judges would let them off.

Does that sound like she was joking to you? What would the defense for that statement be?

Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader of the House, absolutely did not want Marjorie Taylor Greene to become a Republican member of the House of Representatives. He supported her opponent in the Republican primary, as did Congressman Steve Scalise, the House minority whip.

Quote, these comments are appalling, and Leader McCarthy has no tolerance for them said Drew Florio, a spokesman for Kevin McCarthy, back when she was a candidate.

Steve Scalise issued this when she was a candidate, the comments made by Ms. Greene are disgusting and don`t reflect the values of equality and decency that make our country great. I will be supporting Dr. Cowan.

And now both of them have nothing to say, nothing to say publicly about Marjorie Taylor Greene. "Axios" is reporting that Kevin McCarthy plans to talk privately with Marjorie Taylor Greene about her homicidal thoughts.

Tonight, Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said this in an interview with Chris Hayes here on MSNBC.


REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): When I hear that Representative McCarthy is going to pull a member aside who has made white supremacist sympathizing comments, the thing that I think is what is he going to tell them? Keep it up? Because there are no consequences in the Republican caucus for violence. There`s no consequences for racism, no consequences for misogyny, no consequences for insurrection.

And no consequences means that they condone it. It means that that silence is acceptance and they want it because they know that it is a core animating political energy for them. And this is extremely dangerous and extremely dangerous threshold that we have crossed because we are now away from acting out of fealty to their president that they had in the Oval Office. And now we are talking about fealty to white supremacist organizations as a political tool.


O`DONNELL: Leading off our discussion tonight, Claire McCaskill, former Democratic senator from Missouri, and an MSNBC political analyst. Also with us, Alex Wagner, co-host and executive and producer of Showtime`s "The Circus", and contributing writer at "The Atlantic".

And, Senator McCaskill, with your permission, I am going to adjust our seniority rule just for this once tonight to start with Alex Wagner because Alex has been spending a lot of time in Washington over the weeks of both the insurrection and as it moves into the impeachment trial.

And, Alex, I want to get your sense of what you`ve been reporting on and feeling and what Representative Ocasio-Cortez just said about the heat around the dangerous, the now demonstrably dangerous new members of the House of Representatives on the Republican side.

ALEX WAGNER, CONTRIBUTING WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: I`m in Washington now, Lawrence. There`s a sense of doom that settled over the city since the beginning of January. But I think what we`ve reached now is a real questioning on the part of Democrats about whether the Republican Party is a political party or a death cult. I mean, the frequency with which we have to talk about, the incitement to violence, hanging, murder, bludgeoning, sedition -- I mean, this is now part of our daily news coverage of the Republican Party.

We talk about the levers of power. The herd, the cowboys in the Republican Party no longer have control of the herd. That is what -- seems abundantly clear to me. I spent time in the fall interviewing members of a self- appointed paramilitary organization that was in support of President Trump, and they were incredibly persistent about their plans to seize power should the election be called for Joe Biden.

The Republican Party knew from its supporters, from social media, from any number of sources that this tidal wave was coming. They did nothing about it in advance and they`re doing nothing about it in the wake of all of it. And I think what we`re looking at really is the sort of fundamental break around the Republican Party now being an anti-democratic force in American politics. And for a two-party system, that has profound, profound implications for our government and for our society.

O`DONNELL: Senator McCaskill, you grew up with friends who were Republicans. You have friends who are Republicans to this day, Republican voters. I know you are friendly with several Republican members of the United States Senate who are working there right now tonight.

How did it get to this point? And did you feel it ramping up to this level of heat inside the building, which includes some members being physically afraid of the danger presented to them by other members of Congress?

CLAIRE MCCASKILL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: It got this way for, I can say two words that explain why we are at this point. And those two words are Donald Trump. This was his method. This was his marketing tool, to give the dog whistle sly eye to the lowest common denominator among us.

And my Republican friends in the Senate just kept hoping they would get through the four years and he would go away. And now they continue to vote that way. They want it all to go away.

But really when you think about it, Lawrence, think about Steve King and Todd Aiken. I mean, they seem quaint compared to these women. You know, it is unbelievable that a sitting member of Congress has advocating putting the bullet in the head of the speaker, and this is not wall-to-wall coverage with them having caucus meetings and immediately kicking her off committees.

And I do believe that she should be expelled from the House of Representatives for the opinion she has stated that embrace lawlessness and violence against elected officials in this country.

O`DONNELL: Congressman Jimmy Gomez of California has introduced a resolution tonight in the House, a resolution to expel Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress. This is the breaking news on this subject at this hour. In his statement on this, he said, such advocacy for extremism and sedition not only demands her immediate expulsion from Congress but also merits strong and clear condemnation from all of her Republican colleagues, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Her very presence in office represents a direct threat against the elected officials and staff who serve our government, and it is with their safety in mind as well as the security of institutions and public servants across our country that I call on my House colleagues to support my resolution to immediately remove Congressman Marjorie Taylor Greene from this legislative body.

And, Senator McCaskill, let me just go back to you on one point here which I think is so important and you rarely see in approaches to subjects like this, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell spreading that responsibility for this person being a member of the Republican Party in the Congress from not just Kevin McCarthy`s responsibility in this but Mitch McConnell`s.

MCCASKILL: Well, I do know this, that there will be reporters. As the senators get off the tram to come for votes in the coming days, there will be reporters with microphones in front of their mouths asking them if the QAnon lady in the House should be expelled for advocating a bullet in the brain of Nancy Pelosi. And it`ll be interesting to see if they try to say they haven`t read about it because that was always their response with Trump. Oh, I didn`t see that tweet. Oh, I haven`t read about that.

I think all of them should be put on the spot, every single one of them. Either they accept this in their party or they reject it. And they need to do it clearly.

O`DONNELL: Alex Wagner, you have experience trying to get people to respond to questions like this, Republicans in your coverage in your series on Showtime. My sense is Senator McCaskill has presented roughly what they`re going to say. First of all they`ll be shocked they`re being asked anything in the House of Representatives because they don`t see -- they don`t see that spread responsibility that Congressman Gomez sees, that reaches over into the Senate.

But how do you think they will react to what -- I`m sure the senator is right. They will be asked about this.

WAGNER: I mean, we`re talking about a rhetorical example versus the real world example of a seditionist coming -- trying to put bullets in the heads of lawmakers that they actually witnessed and they`re still not doing anything about it.

So, you know, as far as it concerns, as Marjorie Taylor Greene made on social media, I imagine they will obfuscate, deny and avoid to whatever degree they can. The fact of the matter is this is the Republican Party. We keep pretending like Marjorie Taylor Greene is an outlier, that President Trump is an outlier.

I would, you know, I would add an addendum to what Senator McCaskill said. I don`t think it began with Trump. I think Trump is the hot house flower that bloomed in the feted environment of conspiracy, of lies, of racism, of violence. I mean, this -- we remember the things that were said about President Obama when he was -- when he was in office.

Trump is an expression. He is the harvest of those seeds that were sewn nearly a decade ago. And now, this -- I mean, 85 to 91 percent of the Republican Party would pull the lever again for Donald Trump. And the outliers are the Mitt Romneys. I am not sure they have a place in the Republican Party anymore. The takeover, if you look at this moment, is complete.

O`DONNELL: Senator McCaskill, to that point of the Marjorie Taylor Greene phenomenon is not an outlier, it is an integral part of what makes up the Republican representation in Congress. And it`s an integral part of the voter base for Republicans nationwide.

WAGNER: It is. It is the majority of the Republican Party, and it is a huge problem they have. And I agree with Alex. It was always there. It`s just that Donald Trump gave them all permission to come out from behind the shadows and be as -- use the phrase proud Boys to March with Tiki torches without any hoods covering their faces.

So, it is a real problem for the Republican Party. And what they`re trying to do with this impeachment is they are trying to placate those folks so that they can keep their seats and not be defeated in a primary like Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise`s candidate was in that congressional seat by the QAnon lady.

And that`s their rationalization. That`s their justification that we need to stay here because we`re not crazy like Marjorie Taylor Greene, and therefore we`ve got to placate them and play to them so they don`t take us out and it becomes really everywhere in the Republican Party that you have people saying that Joe Biden is part of a cabal that wants to traffic children and eat them, because that`s part of what they believe.

O`DONNELL: Senator Claire McCaskill and Alex Wagner, thank you both for starting off our conversation tonight. We really appreciate it.

WAGNER: Thanks, Lawrence.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.


O`DONNELL: Up next, why Republicans have no plan -- no plan at all -- for repairing what they have broken. David Frum joins us next.


O`DONNELL: Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski and Patrick Toomey have both issued statements in support of impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.

Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who`s an Air National Guard pilot, is one of ten Republicans who voted to impeach Donald Trump in the House of Representatives. Asked if worried how that vote would affect his political career, congressman Kinzinger quoted a line from the HBO World War II series, "Band of Brothers", when he said: The only hope you have is to accept the fact that you`re already dead.

With a new poll showing 50 percent of Republicans currently thinking Donald Trump should play a major role in the party going forward, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is obediently going to Florida tomorrow to meet with Donald Trump n. A private call today with Republican house members, McCarthy urged his leagues to stop attacking each other.

According to "Politico", McCarthy said, quote, if you`re not focused on what you`re doing and what the Democrats are doing wrong and you`re focused on talking about one another, I`m not putting up with that anymore. If you continue to do that, there won`t be a place for you. It is not a way we`re going to win the majority.

Olivia Troye and Elizabeth Neumann quit their jobs in the Trump administration in protest. They`re now co-directors of the Republican Accountability Project. And in an op-ed in "USA Today", they wrote this about the next Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump.

Most Senate Republicans have yet to choose a side. They still have the opportunity to convict Trump and thereby disqualify him from ever holding office again. This is the only path to begin the process of repairing what they have helped to break.

Joining our discussion is David Frum, senior editor for "The Atlantic", and former speechwriter for George W. Bush. He is the author of "The New York Times" bestseller, "Trumpocalypse: Restoring American Democracy."

And, David, feel free to rain over anything we just discuss in the introduction here. But let me begin with one point about Kevin McCarthy with the call with the colleagues. They all know it`s a lie that he`s not going to tolerate them attacking other Republican members of the House when there were open attacks on Liz Cheney, for example, for saying that impeachment was warranted in this case and there were open attacks that were all but authorized by Kevin McCarthy and the leadership and the Americans who stood up to vote for impeachment in the House of Representatives.

DAVID FRUM, SENIOR EDITOR, THE ATLANTIC: I think a lot of Republicans are still having trouble processing what they and the country lived through January 6th. You know, we spent so much time over the past four years talking about the crimes and scandals of the Trump administration. They`re going to blur into the memory and people will be left with a general memory of corruption and authoritarianism and misconduct and big military (ph). But these attacks, they`re going to be in your grandchildren`s school books along with Neil Armstrong landing on the moon and the 9/11 attacks.

This is a signature moment in American history. And people who vote one way or another are going to be identified forever with where they were. And institutions that vote one way or another are going to be identified one way or another.

And at the beginning a lot of Republicans seemed to understand they found a reservoir of decency they hadn`t seen a while in those first few days, even Mitch McConnell, and then it failed them. We`re having now a night of the rubber knives where people are looking for ways to separate themselves but less and less and less. And what they don`t understand -- what Kevin McCarthy, who`s a normal politician doesn`t understand -- Trump is coming for him. Trump is coming for this party.

This is going to be the Trump party. And it`s going to -- if they don`t do something, it`s going to have consequences forever. I mean, for 50 years. And the way that Bull Conner had consequences forever, and it`s going to have consequences in 2022.

They are counting on a repeat of what happened in 2010 where the economy was slow to recover and they had a chance. But if things work and they are branded this way, it`s forever.

O`DONNELL: Isn`t Kevin McCarthy`s trip to Florida really just him going down there and beg -- begin his campaign of begging Donald Trump not to start a third party?

FRUM: They always think they can manage Donald Trump. They think they can somehow manipulate him or beg or plead with him. I think it was Mike Murphy, the Republican political consultant who said trying to get Trump to behave is like trying to teach Charles Manson to do the fox trot. Maybe he`ll do a step or two and then he`ll put a fork in your eye because he`s Charles Manson.

Trump is going to do what Trump is going to do. The harder play but the smarter play is McCarthy has to begin with a plan to excise Trump, separate him. It will be hard at first but not as hard as it will be later.

O`DONNELL: Dave, we`re going to have Donald Trump`s first defense is going to be in the Senate impeachment trial. It`s hard to believe that his numbers will go up because of a Senate impeachment trial where evidence is revealed and not countered in any real way about his incitement of insurrection.

He then faces a year -- the first year of his life where he could -- this primary occupation could end up being defendant, criminal defendant in federal and state proceedings, civil defendant he already is going to be and is already coming up.

So, when I see that number that says 50 percent of Republicans right now think Donald Trump should have a significant role in their politics, I look at it and think that`s only 50 percent. And what would ever make that go up?

FRUM: And it`s going to be through the next few years like the opening of the Soviet archives where one crime after another comes to light. It`s not going to be good.

You know, one of the things in politics, it is so hard to know what the smart play is. And people think they`re so clever but the future is so unpredictable. The smart play is the right play. Not because politicians are boy scouts. They`re not. But you can`t control the future. You don`t know what the right answer.

So, you don`t know what the correct answer is. You don`t know what the smart answer is. So, you do the morally correct thing and probably that will be the correct answer. And even if it`s not politically smart, you can live with yourself.

O`DONNELL: Well, you know why you did it and you will always be able to explain it. And if you have enough time electorally, there are voters who can be brought to your side because at least they believe that you did what you thought was right.

FRUM: And there`s another election. There`s an election after that. The Republicans do have -- they have a certain kind of first advantage because the game is rigged in their favor. But the numbers aren`t with them.

So, if you want to build for the 2030s a Republican Party that can compete, Biden`s going to do stuff and their people are not going to like it. And there are going to be opportunities. But you have to build a party for America and not for this extremist faction that has not Kevin McCarthy so unaccountably scared.

O`DONNELL: And Joe Biden is going to do things that people like. And so, you need policies to make an argument against the presidency that is doing things that people like.

David Frum, thank you very much for joining us. Really appreciate it.

FRUM: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

Our next guest has received death threats from QAnon believers, presumably Trump supporters. Congressman Tom Malinowski will join us next.


LAWRENCE O`DONNELL, MSNBC HOST: More than 400 potential suspects have now been identified by federal authorities who expect to bring sedition charges against some of those suspects linked to the January 6th attack and invasion of the U.S. Capitol. They expect to do this, quote, "very soon".

During the attack on the Capitol, and just as members of congress were being evacuated, Democratic Congressman Hakeem Jeffries` family received threatening text messages from a man who believed Donald Trump`s election lies.

Here is Congressman Jeffries last night with Chris Hayes.


REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-NJ): This individual apparently had secured a phone number, secured an address, made it appear as though they were prepared to proceed violently either at the address of my family member and/or my own home address at the same time that the Capitol was being attacked.

What was chilling in the message that was received is that this individual said, "Stop telling lies. Biden did not win. He will not be president."

And so he was radicalized by the big lie that Donald Trump told and that has been supported by so many Republicans in the House and the Senate.


O`DONNELL: According to the Department of Homeland Security, threats like the ones received by the family of Congressman Jeffries aren`t going to end any time soon.

Today the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning to the American people saying quote, "Ideologically motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives could continue to mobilize, to incite or commit violence."

Joining our discussion now is Democratic Congressman Tom Malinowski of New Jersey. He`s a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Congressman Malinowski, thank you very much for joining us tonight. I really appreciate it.

You actually introduced in Congress last year a resolution going after Qanon. What happened to you after that?

REP. TOM MALINOWSKI (D-NJ): Well, it was an early warning sign. I started getting death threats and it wasn`t just because I was going after Qanon, this is the interesting part. It was because of an ad that the Republican National Congressional Committee spent over a million dollars running against me in my race in New Jersey that was basically playing to the Qanon messaging -- the fear of the sex trafficking cabal in the government which they amazingly found some crazy way to link me and other candidates around the country too.

Qanon then picked up on that and I started getting death threats. So, this was an example of the Republicans` political arm feeding the beast that is now coming after them because actually it`s my Republican colleagues who are getting most of the death threats today.

O`DONNELL: So I mean, that is the, you know, evidentiary-wise, kind of the smoking gun in this discussion about to what extent is Qanon part of the Republican Party.

And what you`re telling us is the Republican Party, the Washington Republican Party, put out campaign ads against Democratic members of the house like you using Qanon messaging specifically in the ads in order to turn out their vote?

And oh, if that happened to lead to death threats for you, well, that`s just part of doing business as a Republican now?

MALINOWSKI: Yes. Well, I actually confronted Congressman Tom Emmer who`s the head of the NRCC on the house floor after this happened. And he said, you know, it`s not my business what people do with our ads.

So, they washed their hands of it. And -- but again, it`s now coming after them because as you pointed out, that mob, they were as angry if not more at the people they consider to be Republican traitors who voted to certify this election as they are at me or any other Democrat.

O`DONNELL: Congressman Jimmy Gomez has introduced a resolution to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene from the House of Representatives. Kevin McCarthy has said he will have a private conversation with her. What should be happening in this situation?

MALINOWSKI: We`re going to have two at least censure resolutions next week. I`m leading one of them against Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama who as Republican congressman who addressed the mob before they laid siege to the Capitol and told them that today is the day when American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass. And we can do it on the way to the Capitol building. So we`re going to do that.

And then yes there will be motions to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene. And what`s going to happen? Well, I think my resolution will pass fairly easily. As for expulsion, that`s up to the Republicans, right? Because it takes two-thirds. They`re going to have to tell us who they are, what kind of party they are.

And you know, I hear a lot from my Republican colleagues about, it`s time to move on, you know, don`t live in the past, we`ve got to unify. But, you know, again I think you pointed this out a few minutes ago, they`re not unifying and moving on when it comes to Liz Cheney or Adam Kinzinger. They`re not unifying and moving on when it comes to resolutions condemning Cindy McCain. And primary challenges against every single Republican who`s had the integrity to do the right thing.

So you know, their message is when it comes to an attack on our democracy, we forget about that. When it comes to Liz Cheney and people defending our democracy, they get cancelled. So, they`re going to have to figure out this stuff. I can`t figure it out for them. But they`ll have a chance.

O`DONNELL: Congressman Tom Malinowski, We will be watching them face that chance next week on the House floor when you bring up that censure resolution and when the expulsion resolution comes up. Thank you very much for joining us tonight. We really appreciate it.

MALINOWSKI: Thank you so much.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

Coming up the Biden administration took a new approach to the first of many coronavirus briefings today. Let the scientists speak, not the president. And let them tell the truth about the pandemic to the American people. And let them socially-distance properly while they`re doing that.

Dr. Vin Gupta joins us next.



JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: With our fight against COVID-19, we will listen to the science and protect the integrity of our federal response.


O`DONNELL: And that is why President Biden did not participate in the White House COVID-19 press briefing today, because he left it entirely to the experts who were free to speak their minds without fear of the president`s reaction.


ANDY SLAVITT, SENIOR ADVISOR, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 TEAM: So far this week we`ve been hitting our target of an average of one million vaccinations per day necessary to meet the president`s early commitment to administer 100 million shots in 100 days.

JEFF ZIENTS, WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 RESPONSE COORDINATOR: So, in order to get all Americans vaccinated, we need Congress to provide funds for vaccination.

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, CHIEF MEDICAL ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: You could diminish the vaccine-induced antibody efficacy by a few-fold and still be well within the protective range of the vaccine.

DR. MARCELLA MUNEZ-SMITH, CHAIR COVID-19 EQUITY TASK FORCE: Equity is absolutely a foundational component of our national plan. We cannot beat this virus without making sure we`re executing a plan that works for all communities.

DR. ROCHELLE WALENSKY, CDC DIRECTOR: If we continue on the current trajectory, the CDC most recent national ensemble forecast predicts that 479,000 to 514,000 COVID-19 deaths will be reported by February 20th, 2021.


O`DONNELL: As of tonight the United States has reported 25,660,545 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and the United States has suffered 429,650 deaths from coronavirus.

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are now declining but deaths remain high. More than 82,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 in just January so far, making this the pandemic`s most deadly month.

On inauguration day our next guest, Dr. Vin Gupta, captured this moment on his camera, as his coworkers in Seattle paused to take in what was happening that day.

On Sunday, Dr. Gupta had his first experience administering the COVID-19 life saving vaccine at a pop-up vaccination clinic in Seattle where 2,400 people received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Dr. Gupta wrote on Twitter then, "Going from the ICU bedside on Wednesday to being a COVID vaccinator on Sunday has me feeling such enormous gratitude to the scientists that made this possible to my fellow colleagues across the clinical spectrum and the Virginia Mason Health System and Amazon for an amazing event."

Joining us now, Dr. Vin Gupta, a critical care pulmonologist and affiliate assistant professor at the Institute for Health Metrics in Seattle. He is an MSNBC medical contributor.

And Dr. Gupta, let`s go back to this vaccination experience you had as a vaccinator. Why was this a pop up and what was Amazon`s involvement?

DR. VIN GUPTA, MSNBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Good evening Lawrence. As I understand it, I was just a vaccinator, as you point out, like a really small role. But the leaders in this, Governor Inslee, making sure that we had supply, making sure that we had the right policy in place so that people could sign up.

Those that are 50 in multigenerational house holds and older for example. Those who are 65 with pre-existing conditions, you name it. We needed the right leadership.

Virginia Mason making sure we had the right health care personnel where I practice clinically. Making sure that we had a sign up in place, the IT infrastructure in place.

And then Amazon providing the space and the logistics, Lawrence, to operationalize what I think and my colleagues think who were there on Sunday was a very, very effective proof of concept of public-private partnerships getting mass vaccination sites both up and running and successful. We actually exceeded the number of people we thought we would vaccinate after that day.

So, I mean it`s a credit to everybody, Governor Inslee`s team, to the health care assist and of course to Amazon as well.

O`DONNELL: I think anyone who hasn`t gotten the vaccine yet and doesn`t have an appointment yet has no idea when we will get the vaccine, how we will get the vaccine. Will we be getting it at a supermarket which is where a lot of it was scheduled to happen in Los Angeles, for example?

Will we be getting it at a hospital? We have reports of some people getting emails from hospitals where they had been patients in the past saying hey come on in. We noticed by your birth date that you qualify come on here. Here`s an appointment.

And we out here at the consumer end are just getting all sorts of random information and have no idea what it will be for us when that time comes. Do you at the practitioner level have any sense of when this is going to be clarified at the consumer level?

DR. GUPTA: You know, Lawrence, I mean you bring up a good point that we`re all going with the flow here.

This happened -- this mass vaccination clinic happened within 72 hours as I understand it. So we`re going with the flow here. I think it`s going to be clarified in the coming weeks ahead.

You`re giving me the opportunity here. Now that we have the Johnson & Johnson vaccine potentially getting emergency use authorization in the next four weeks, that`s the one shot dose, much easier handling requirements. It affords the opportunity to think creatively just like we did over the weekend, our leaders did.

What about -- what if we target that vaccine to communities where vaccine uptick is less because they`re hesitant or historical inequity reasons or because they`re in ex-urban or rural areas. Maybe we do the mobile vaccine clinics with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Hey, we all want one shot but maybe we target that one shot to those communities to address hesitancy because it`s better to get one than two and what we know from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is that it`s safe and effective at least the early data.

O`DONNELL: Doctor, let`s go back to treatment because I think on the news end of this we`re all on vaccine, vaccine all the time. But the illness is raging. We`re getting that it`s the worst month yet in this country.

Where are we? Have we made advances on treatment? Are we smarter about treatment this January than we were just a few months ago?

DR. GUPTA: We`re learning more, Lawrence. And I`m going to take the opportunity to talk about monoclonal antibodies, something, for example, President Trump received when he was early in his course of COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies development by companies like Regeneron and Eli Lilly for example.

Listen, the data is not settled. Some studies suggest they are not effective in early treatment or in late COVID-19 in your clinical course. Others suggest that it is really promising.

I personally think these are not potentially -- we don`t think they`re particularly harmful. We think they might be very beneficial if you`re early in your course, say you have mild to moderate symptoms within the last 10 days of the COVID-19 diagnosis, you`re older than 65 or you have pre-existing conditions, I want you to go to and see if you have a clinic nearby where you could potentially access this potentially really effective medication.

That`s what I want so we can mitigate the loss of life.

Dr. Vin Gupta, thank you very much for joining us again tonight. We always appreciate it.

DR. GUPTA: Thank you.

O`DONNELL: Thank you.

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is occurring three weeks after some Nazis who are also Donald Trump supporters invaded the Capitol. That`s next.


O`DONNELL: Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day worldwide because on this day 76 years ago at 9:00 a.m. the first Allied soldier entered the Auschwitz death camp.

The Russian troops who entered the camp that day after the Nazis ha fled found only about 7,000 prisoners alive. They also found 44,000 pairs of shoes along with other horrifying and sickening discoveries.

About a million Jews were executed in the gas chambers of Auschwitz. Five million more were executed at other camps.

We now live in a country where not everyone is horrified by that. Some of Donald Trump`s supporters are Nazis who believe that Adolf Hitler didn`t kill enough Jews. They wear T-shirts saying 6MWE meaning "Six Million Weren`t Enough". You saw T-shirts like at some Trump events.

This Nazi who supports Donald Trump invaded the Capitol wearing a Camp Auschwitz hoodie in the hope of keeping his hero Donald Trump in the presidency. We don`t know who he admires more, Donald Trump or Adolf Hitler, but we do know he admires both of them.

They both speak to him in a way that moves him and moved him to action on January 6th, action for which he now faces federal prosecution.

Today secretary of State Tony Blinken today said this.


ANTONY BLINKEN, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: My stepfather was just a boy when he lost his entire family to the Nazis. He spent nearly four years in labor and death camps before he managed to escape and was later rescued by American troops.

This story made a deep impression on me. It taught me that evil on a grand scale can and does happen in our world. And that we have a responsibility to do everything we can to stop it. Those lessons are as vital now as they`ve ever been, maybe more so.

It`s no accident that people who seek to create instability and undermine democracy often try to cast doubt on The Holocaust. They want to blur the line between truth and lies.

That`s why it`s so important that we speak the truth about the past to protect the facts when others try to distort or trivialize Holocaust crimes and to seek justice for the survivors and their families.

Every day that I serve as secretary of state, I will carry the memory of my stepfather and his family and the six million Jewish people and millions of others who were killed during the Holocaust.

I will remember the nation`s power isn`t measured only by the size of its military and economy but by the moral choices it makes. And I will remember that atrocities like the Holocaust don`t just happen. They`re allowed to happen. It`s up to us to stop them. Never again.

Thank you.


O`DONNELL: Tom Lantos is the only Holocaust survivor who has served in the United States Congress. He was 16 years old when he was sent to a prison camp in the last year of World War II. Nine years later -- nine years, Tom Lantos received his PhD in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. He served in the House of Representatives for 27 years where he`s chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and died in office when he was 80 years old.

Today, President Biden who was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee remembered his dear friend, Tom Lantos in the president`s statement on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

President Biden quoted Congressman Lantos saying, "The veneer of civilization is paper thin. We are its guardians and we can never rest."

On this International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the brave and Honorable Tom Lantos gets tonight`s LAST WORD.