MSNBC`s continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin wrote to President Trump this week asking him to testify under oath at the Senate trial, but Trump`s lawyers said no on his behalf.
RACHEL MADDOW, MSNBC HOSTT: And thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Happy to have you here.
April 11th, this past year, was a really dark time, if you remember. My birthday was right at the beginning of April and I remember when my birthday happened this year I was like, I don`t much feel like celebrating.
By April 11th, we were just a few weeks into nationwide lockdowns and streets just emptying out all over America. April 11th was actually the day the U.S. passed a half million cases of coronavirus, a half million cases that day. By April 11th, more than 20,000 Americans had already died from COVID and we all knew it was going to get so, so much worse. The future was looking then, and would turn out to be, incredibly grim.
But on that same day in April, April 11th, a woman in Missouri said publicly she had made an important discovery, one that if true, could turn the whole pandemic around. This Missouri woman, her name is Patricia Derges. She was licensed in Missouri as an assistant physician.
She had done med school at a school in the Caribbean, but she hadn`t been accepted into a residency. She wasn`t a full doctor. The rules say a person with mid-level professional accreditation like hers can only practice medicine if they do so in collaboration with a fully accredited doctor. There`s nothing wrong with being an assistant physician, there`s lots of room in our system for lots of different licensed professionals.
But I think it`s safe to say that, you know, April 11th, just about a month into the coronavirus pandemic, this is not the person you would expect to be announcing that in fact she had discovered a cure for COVID-19. But there she was, April 11th, on Facebook, quote, this amazing treatment stands to provide a potential cure for COVID-19 patients that is safe and natural.
And wouldn`t you know it, she would be happy to sell it you to. Just direct message her, she`ll cure you, it`s on Facebook so I`m sure it`s vetted, right?
There was no cure for COVID-19 back on April 11 when she wrote that. There still is not a cure for COVID-19 today. But here is this woman in Missouri saying she had found the potential cure and she was happy to sell it you to. And she described it to people, her marks, not just on Facebook, but on local TV in Missouri and on local radio shows and informational seminars she conducted, she allegedly described this magical possession as a, quote, stem cell shot.
Well, according to prosecutors, it turns out that this magical cure-all she wanted you to pay her to inject into you, it not only was not a cure for COVID-19, despite the fact that she was calling it a stem cell shot, it actually didn`t contain stem cells at all. But prosecutors say she was marketing it as a stem cell miracle potion that would work on basically anything. Neck pain, step right up. Back pain, step right up.
She said it would cure, quote, tissue damage, kidney disease, COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Also, it could cure Lyme Disease, and erectile dysfunction, naturally. Also, she said it was a cure for urinary incontinence and of course potentially it was a cure for COVID-19, a safe and natural one, just pay her and she`ll shoot you up with it and we`ll see.
Prosecutors now say she got people to pay her nearly $200,000 for injections of her fake stem cell cure-all which didn`t contain stem cells and didn`t cure anything. Well, Patricia Derges of Missouri has now been federally charged for marketing her fake COVID cure. She was charging people, according to prosecutors, up to $1,400 for one of her miracle shots. She`s now facing 20 federal felony charges including eight counts of wire fraud, which each carry up to 20 years in prison, that`s a lot of time.
Plus, multiple counts of distributing opioids and other drugs without valid prescriptions, naturally. Plus, multiple counts of lying to investigators. If convicted, she faces significant prison time, potentially decades. She has pleaded not guilty.
But this revelation is all outlined in a federal indictment, unsealed this week. And it is, you know, a worrying thing for the great state of Missouri for a whole host of obvious reasons, right? Imagine being the person who went to this woman for treating your hip paint or your erectile dysfunction or your incontinence, or God forbid, your COVID-19.
You fork over all your savings to have her inject you with this magic potion that she likes in her desk or her glove compartment or whatever, and then you`re left with, well, a lot less money, you still have your medical problem, you still need treatment, but then you have to presumably untangle this all with real doctors who now, among other things, have to account for the fact that you`ve had this random woman inject random fluid into you because she said it was stem cells and it would cure everything.
This is just astonishing. The unveiling of this indictment, again, she`s pled not guilty, but the charges are repulsive, right? Hawking fake cures for COVID while tens of thousands of Americans dead were turning into hundreds of thousands of Americans dead.
And, you know, if these charges bear out, this woman was lining her pockets from people desperate and gullible enough to believe her scheme, her fake cure. Just turns your stomach.
But then there`s the other reason this newly unsealed indictment is a problem for the good people of Missouri. It is that the woman who has been charged in this alleged scheme has just started a new job as a Republican state representative. Back in April, when Patricia Derges was just trying to get her fake COVID cure scheme off the ground, per prosecutors, she was also planning her run elected in Missouri.
In august of last year, she won the Republican primary in her district while she was taking money from people for her fake coronavirus cure. Republican voters picked her to represent their party in that district. As the Republican nominee, she actually ran unopposed in November. She was sworn in last month.
When the federal charges were unsealed against her this week and she made her initial court appearance, the Republican house speaker in Missouri responded by stripping her of her committee assignments. He then asked her to resign her seat in the state legislature. Representative Derges however said she believes she has the support of the other Republican leaders in the House and so she is staying put. She`s refusing to resign.
If she does end up going to prison for decades during her term in the Missouri house, that will be something for the Republican caucus there to really chew on. Can they record her votes from federal prison? We`ll see.
But for now, she is a Republican state representative in Missouri who, according to prosecutors, has been running a fake COVID cure scheme on Facebook and she`s been indicted for 20 federal felony charges and is facing decades in prison if she`s convicted. Hope she does you proud, Missouri Republican Party. She`s part of what you represent to that state, as what you have to offer the people of Missouri in the legislature in that state.
So, that`s Missouri. Then two states over, in Wisconsin, they`ve got their own issues. Yesterday the Republican controlled legislature in Wisconsin repealed that state`s statewide mask mandate. Not starting in a year, not starting in a month, not starting when some benchmark has been reached about transmission in Wisconsin. No, it`s immediate repeal, no more masks in Wisconsin.
They also apparently did not notice that in ending the mask mandate they were also trying to cut off food assistance to a quarter million people in Wisconsin, like by a lot. "The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" says in the Republicans` haste to kill the mask rule, they also didn`t notice that they were making a change so a low income elderly person in Wisconsin who is currently getting, say, $204 a month in food assistance, that would now be reduced to, from $204 a month, to $16 a month. Republicans said they didn`t actually mean to do that part of it, but oops, got to get the mask thing done. Got to break a few eggs.
Wisconsin`s Democratic Governor Tony Evers issued a new mask mandate as soon as the Republicans got rid of the previous one but this is going to ping-pong back and forth here because Republicans insist their most important priority in politics right now is no masks.
Tonight in Iowa, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds unilaterally repealed not only all the mask rules in Iowa. She has also lifted all social distancing requirements and capacity limits and all other rules related to COVID for businesses in her state. If you saw the phrase "COVID Kim" trending on Twitter tonight, COVID Kim would be COVID Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds.
All the COVID related rules in the state of Iowa are being lifted by the governor as of Sunday morning, right in time for super bowl parties. Iowa just this week confirmed that the new more transmissible variants of the virus are circulating in the state of Iowa. Under Governor Kim Reynolds` leadership, the state of Iowa currently ranks 47th out of 50 in vaccine distribution. But to celebrate that occasion, she`s decided no more rules at all in Iowa and that tip top Republican priority, apparently, no masks.
Today, the CDC`s flagship scientific reports, MMWR, published two new reports on the effectiveness of masks against the pandemic that has killed nearly a half million Americans. One of the studies shows clear results that after mask mandates were instituted, hospitalization rates dropped noticeably in those jurisdictions. Republicans in Wisconsin and Iowa state government have received this news by trying to kill their existing mask mandates.
And so, you know, President Trump is gone. We no longer have a president who is making the White House a coronavirus hotspot and mocking people for wearing masks and telling the public that they don`t work. But the impact of that kind of Republican leadership continues, certainly still visible among Republicans in the states.
And frankly, the cleanup continues from that mess. It was only this week, for example, that this guy pled guilty to multiple felonies for defrauding government agencies that he convinced to pay him for millions of N95 masks that he didn`t actually have. He never had them. He never had the prospects of having them. But he convinced the Trump administration to pay him $34.5 million for masks he couldn`t produce.
Why did the Trump administration decide that the federal government should try to buy N95 masks from a guy with absolutely no track record or history in the field whatsoever and no evident access to any of the materials he was supposedly selling? Why did they pick him? I don`t know. But they did that, while doctors and nurses and respiratory therapists and all the rest were saving their N95s in paper bags and using them over and over and over again until the straps broke.
What was the Trump administration doing to try to remedy that catastrophe in American health care in the face of a pandemic that would go on to kill a half million of us? Well, they found this guy. They just assumed this guy would find them somewhere. Sure, seems legit.
Now, charitably, it`s possible the Trump administration was moved by this gentleman saying that he was a decorated U.S. Marine. That of course is impressive. Maybe that`s why they made him their chosen mask procurer for the federal government. He did in fact tell them he was a decorated U.S. Marine.
But he`s not one. He was not actually a decorated U.S. Marine. He actually was not a U.S. marine at all, decorated or otherwise.
So, you know, bad guy, right? Scammer. Liar. But if you`re the federal government, I mean, if you`re a 5-year-old with an Internet connection, these are the kind of things that can be checked. That maybe you should check before you decide that this guy, with absolutely no history in the field, is the U.S. government`s plan for getting us N95s.
Today -- I`m sorry. Today at the White House, the every other day public COVID briefings they`re doing now, included some to my mind very interesting news, very welcome news, from the guy who the new administration has actually put in charge of getting us N95 masks, and getting us the other things that we need in terms of critical supplies for fighting COVID.
And it turns out he`s not, like, cut from the same cloth as the people the last administration put to this job. He`s not like a bunch of guys Jared knew from college. He`s not a fake U.S. Marine who he`s just pled guilty to multiple felony charges.
When the Biden administration needed somebody to fix the medical supply lines that have crippled our response and made it the worst in the industrial world, they instead picked this guy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TIM MANNING, SUPPLY COORDINATOR FOR WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIURS RESPONSE: My name is Tim Manning. I`m the national supply chain coordinator for the COVID response. I`m an emergency manager, having done emergency response for the past 25 years and have worked at the local and state level and served as a deputy administrator at FEMA for eight years. I`ve also been a firefighter, an EMT, and know firsthand the importance of having the equipment and supplies you need when you need it on the front lines of a crisis.
Today, we`re announcing we`re expanding the priority ratings for Pfizer to include filling pumps and tangential flow filtration skid units, critical components Pfizer needs to manufacture the COVID vaccine. It`s actions like these that will allow Pfizer to ramp up production and hit their targets of delivering hundreds of millions of doses over the coming months. We told you that when we heard of a bottleneck on needed equipment, supplies, technology related to vaccine supply, that we would step in and help and we are doing just that.
Second, we`re using the DPA to increase our supply of at-home COVID tests. We`re already working to increase the availability of N95 masks to front line workers but another critical area of concern we hear over and over is surgical gloves.
Right now, we just don`t have enough gloves. We`re nearly 100 percent reliant on overseas manufacturers to export to us, our country, surgical gloves that protect health care workers. That`s unacceptable and we`re using all of our authorities to fix it.
Over the past two weeks, we`ve pushed forward an effort to expand domestic manufacturing of surgical gloves, and I`m pleased to announce that we will build plants to make the raw materials, the nitrile buna (ph) rubber for surgical gloves here in the United States and will help build factories to make those gloves in the U.S. as well.
And by the end of the year, we`ll produce more than a billion nitrile gloves a month right here in America. We`ll now make enough to satisfy half of all the U.S. health care community demands right here on U.S. shores.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: They`re building plants to make the raw materials. They`re building factories to make those gloves here in the U.S. there will be a billion of them being made in the U.S. by the end of the year.
Remember when China set up those brand-new hospitals that they built from the ground up in like five minutes? At the outset of their crisis. We`re at least finally trying.
That`s Tim Manning, national supply chain coordinator for the Biden response team, somebody with decades of experience in this field, announcing new agreements to provide unpronounceable technical equipment that`s apparently the bottleneck in Pfizer`s production lines for its vaccine.
They need specific equipment that`s proven -- that`s crimped the supply in terms of how much they can produce, how fast. The U.S. government says they`ll give them that equipment. They have plans to give tens of millions of home COVID tests out by this summer and they`ll make a billion surgical gloves per month by the end of the year.
We get basically all of them from abroad right now. By the end of this year we`ll have half of what we need here at homemade on U.S. manufacturing lines that currently don`t exist but will by the end of the year.
That seems good. That seems good. That`s apparently all in process.
Mr. Manning also said today a bunch of what they want to do requires Congress to approve the COVID relief bill. That of course is under way. It was a dramatic night.
We spoke with Chris Murphy last night on the show, late in the hour. And I told him I was thankful to him for being with us so late. I needn`t have thanked him for being with me up until 10:00 p.m. because they were all there until 5:30 in the morning, with a tie-breaking vote cast at 5:30 a.m. by Vice President Harris, to get the bill passed by Democratic votes.
A whole bunch of Republican senators actually succeeded to getting their own amendments added to the bill in the budget process that makes it positive. Theoretically, that means those Republican senators might vote for it in the end, I suppose. In real life nobody actually thinks that.
Technically speaking, though, it is now a bipartisan process with all those Republican-authored provisions in it even though Republicans will denounce it as a party line Democrats-only thing.
The CDC director is still getting lots of heat for her assertion this week that schools can safely reopen even before teachers are all vaccinated. She said today at the White House that the CDC`s official guidelines on school opening will come next week. That will be fascinating to see in terms of what they set as benchmarks that need to be met at schools before you can say that a safe reopening is possible.
CDC recommendations next week are going to be a landmark moment in that big policy fight. As we head into super bowl weekend this weekend, the NFL today said that all its teams are going to make their stadiums available to become mass vaccination sites if the government wants them to do that, that`s potentially a big deal.
Today, the White House announced that more than 1,100 active duty U.S. service members have been approved by the secretary of defense to deploy inside the United States to help U.S. vaccination efforts. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is reportedly weighing an additional request from FEMA for 10,000 more U.S. trips to fan out across the country to help vaccination efforts.
In California, the White House this week announced two new mass vaccination sites, one of them in East Oakland, at the coliseum, where I grew up watching Oakland A`s games with my dad, and where I watched from the bleacher seats that were really, really cheap with my friends who I cut school with, don`t tell my dad about that.
The other location in southern California, announced this week is in the campus of Cal State-L.A., Cal State Los Angeles.
Lynnwood, California, is the city just south of downtown Los Angeles, about 72,000 people live in Lynwood. The average income is very low there -- excuse me, the average income there is low for the surrounding area, about $53,000. Almost no one who lives in Lynnwood is white. And in one of the hardest hit cities in one of the hardest hit states in the country, that little pocket of south Los Angeles has really just been pounded by COVID.
Of the 72,000 people that live in that south L.A. neighborhood, one in every six people have caught COVID. Of the 72,000 people who live in that neighborhood, one in every 400 of them has died from COVID. And like I said, L.A. has been hit hard, but not every part of L.A. has been hit that hard.
Zoom out on that map, and you can see that Lynnwood there, in that deep, deep pocket of purple, the darker color purple is the greater percentage of population that has been infected. As you can see, not every part of L.A. is purple, is in the worst state. Take Beverly Hills, one of the richest parts of L.A., and quite famous for it. About 80 percent of people who live in Beverly Hills are white, average income there is north of $100,000, double what it is in Lynnwood.
Compared to the roughly one in every 400 people who died of COVID in that south L.A. neighborhood of Lynnwood, in Beverly Hills, it`s not one in 100, it`s one in 15 people who have died of COVID. Over in Brentwood, which was also 80 percent white, compared to one in every 400 people who died in Lynnwood, in Brentwood, it`s one in 3,000 people who have died of COVID. Just very, very stark differences.
And this is the rule, not the exception. The splotches of purple on the map, the areas hit hardest, are predominantly pure communities of color made up of people who are getting sick and dying at a higher rate than anywhere else in L.A. And obviously, this is not just a Los Angeles problem, because of racial and economic disparities in this country, white Americans are just getting sick and dying less than Americans of color are in this pandemic. It`s been like that since day one of the pandemic.
The present fight, the thing we ought to be able to stop even before it starts because we know to watch for it and we can see it take shape at the early days, is that we`re seeing exactly the same inequities play out right now when it comes to access to the vaccine. We haven`t been rolling out the vaccines for very long, right?
But look at the disparities we`ve got already, as something that`s taken place just over a matter of weeks. Look at Pennsylvania. Eleven percent of the population in Pennsylvania is black. But black Pennsylvanians make up 3 percent of the people who have been vaccinated.
Look at Louisiana, 32 percent of the population in Louisiana is African- American. But they make up only 13 percent of the people who have been vaccinated. Delaware, where 22 percent of the population is black, the percentage of people in Delaware who got the vaccine is 6 percent.
And yes, some vaccine hesitancy in communities of color may be partly to blame here, but beyond that, there really are very clear barriers for entry to getting a vaccine that really do disproportionately affect people of color. In most places to get the vaccine, you need to register online. Well, in order to do that, you need to afford access to the Internet. Can`t afford Wi-Fi, don`t have a smartphone? Good luck getting the vaccine in those places.
Other vaccine sites are drive-through only. You show up in a car, roll down your window, roll up your sleeve. For that, you obviously need to own a car, just to access a life-saving vaccine.
More people of color have been getting sick. More people of color have been dying. And now, right now, fewer people of color are getting the vaccine. Vaccine inequity is a problem all over the country right this second. It is not a long standing problem, because we`ve only had this vaccine for a few weeks. But we are already making the same mistakes as a country that we did throughout the pandemic that got us to these terrible health and death disparities that we`ve seen over the course of the past year.
But it`s not happening that way everywhere. It`s not the same problem. It`s not that bad everywhere. There are places that can show us the way.
This is Kedren Health located 20 minutes down the road from Lynnwood. That pocket of L.A. I have talked about earlier. The one that`s been hit so hard by COVID. Kedren serves that neighborhood, Lynnwood, as well as other poor, densely populated, predominantly nonwhite neighborhoods in the surrounding area, all areas that have been disproportionately crushed by COVID.
Now, in normal times, Kedren is merely a mental health clinic. It was founded in the 1960s after the Watts riots in L.A. to bring psychiatric care to an underserved community. These days, though, Kedren has become a COVID hub, access to testing and vaccines brought to that neighborhoods and into the neighborhoods that Kedren serves, to make sure that those neighborhoods are not overlooked by the health system, which did almost happen to the community served by Kedren.
This is amazing. This is Dr. Jerry Abraham. He`s a family doctor and epidemiologist working at Kedren Health. And he says in December, when the FDA first approved COVID vaccines, the health department never called, Kedren never called his clinic to set up their deliveries of the vaccine. So, eventually, he picked up the phone and gave them a call to ask where his clinic`s vaccine allocation was.
It turns out Kedren had just slipped through the cracks. The health department had forgot to allocate vaccine for Kedren. But he called and made it right. And they fixed it right away and Kedren Health now has the vaccine.
And yes, it`s nuts that Dr. Abraham had to surmise that on his own and call them and get them to fix that to get his hands on the vaccine. What he`s doing with it now that he has it, that`s the real story here. That`s the potentially the real template for clinics like his around the country.
Dr. Abraham is in charge of vaccine distribution at Kedren Health. He`s doing it in a way to make sure that vaccines are given out equitably, that vaccines in a predominantly black and brown community are doing predominantly to black and brown people. And to make sure that happens, Dr. Abraham has deliberately, consciously, carefully stripped away some of those barriers to entry, we just talked about, to make sure the vaccine that he has gets into the arms of the community who need it most so they are not held back by artificial barriers to entry.
Don`t have an internet, don`t have a smartphone? It`s okay. At Kedren, they will hand you a piece of paper and a pencil to register for the vaccine.
Even if you can somehow get to a computer or a smartphone but you`re not that comfortable using it, you`re not that great with technology, no problem. At Kedren, a volunteer will take the time to input your information online for you. They will sit with you and get it done. They will operate the machine if you are not comfortable doing it.
Don`t have a car? At Kedren, you do not need one. You can walk up and get the vaccine on your own two feet.
What Dr. Abraham and his colleagues have designed here, what his health center is doing, is working. And it should be seen as a national model at a time we need one, and fast. Kedren has vaccinated about 15,000 people since December. Almost all of them are people of color in a community that is almost all people of color.
Unlike in most parts of the country, if you took a snapshot of the people who live around Kedren, the demographics of the people who live there actually match up with the demographics of the people who have been getting the vaccine. That`s what we need. That`s the way it`s supposed to work.
That`s really, really, really not how it`s going in 50 states in the country. But Dr. Abraham and his colleagues, they have figured out how to do it. And that remarkable success story, out of one small pocket of underserved L.A., should be national news, because everybody around the country should be copying this.
What`s so stunning about this story is not that it`s happening at this one tiny clinic. It`s the fact that it`s not happening everywhere else, that this isn`t the playbook being run at every single place in the country that`s administering the vaccine. It`s worth understanding what`s the secret sauce here, what Dr. Abraham is doing at Kedren Health in South L.A. and why don`t we do that everywhere that needs it?
Dr. Abraham joins us live here next. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. JERRY ABRAHAM, KEDREN COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTER VACCINE DISTRIBUTION DIRECTOR: We`re an institution that started in 1960s during the Watts riots where there was no place for black and brown individuals with mental illness to go and that`s how we ended up being the only black psych hospital in Los Angeles. So, that`s kind of our story, that`s who we are at our core, is answering the call. And there was a need here and that was to figure out how black and brown Los Angeles, black and brown essential health care workers, seniors over 65, needed a vaccine and they didn`t know where to go or how to navigate some of these challenges.
And that`s where we came in and said we`ll figure it out. If we can get to 70 percent plus of our community with the vaccine in their arms, we will get the herd immunity we need to end this epidemic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MADDOW: We`ll figure it out, he says. That is the very impressive Dr. Jerry Abraham, he`s a family physician, epidemiologist, and a man with a mission to do whatever it takes to figure out how to deliver as many shots of COVID vaccine into as many arms of the vulnerable people of his community in south Los Angeles as he can, as soon as possible.
We are a country that is not getting the vaccine to everyone equally. This is not some ancient problem. Yes, the things that make this a current problem have ancient roots. But we`re screwing this up right now. We`ve only been rolling out the vaccine for weeks and we`re already doing it wrong. We`re doing it in such a way that black and brown people, communities of color, are underrepresented among the people who are getting vaccinated.
But here is Dr. Abraham and his colleagues and his community who seem to have figured it out. Everybody get ready to take notes. Let`s copy. More of this, please?
Joining us now is the man who oversees vaccine distribution at Kedren Health Center in South Los Angeles, Dr. Jerry Abraham.
Dr. Abraham, it`s a real honor to have you here. Thank you so much for your time tonight.
ABRAHAM: Thank you for having me, Rachel.
MADDOW: Let me start just by asking you if I`ve got any of this wrong. I`ve tried to give sort of a reasonable snapshot of how you and your colleagues have approached this work, let me ask you if I missed anything crucial or if I got anything wrong.
ABRAHAM: No, I really appreciate you telling the story. I think it`s so important to hear where we were and then how from the very beginning we`ve been extremely solutions-oriented. And that`s how we`ve gotten to where we are right now, 18,000 doses into the arms of Angelinos.
MADDOW: How have you been able to beat this vaccine equity issue that has been terrible in every state in the country? We`ve got the proportion of people of color getting the vaccine significantly lower than what their proportion is of the population. How are you beating that pattern? Did you know in advance how you were going to tackle that problem or has it been a trial and error evolving process?
ABRAHAM: Sure, I`ll just start by saying a few things. You know, we`ve felt nothing but Cooperation and solidarity with our colleagues at the Department of Public Health. You know, we`ve been in complete lock and stop partnership. And we appreciate everything that they`ve done. Everything we`ve asked for from the state. And we`ve been in close communication with the CDC and others.
So I think that`s been extremely helpful, that I truly believe we`re all in this together and I get that sense, and that`s critical. At the end of the day, there`s just three things that are the challenge, and that`s not enough vaccines, not enough hands to deliver them, and just not enough resources and funding.
MADDOW: In terms of the specific problems that I think we`re having with communities of color around the country, there`s been a lot of attention to vaccine hesitancy, understandable vaccine hesitancy among lots of different communities of color for lots of different reasons. And clearly there has to be some piece of the puzzle.
But it does also feel like there are barriers to entry in terms of how you get yourself a vaccine appointment, how you get your mom or your dad a vaccine appointment or some other elder in your community, how we sign people up, how we ask them to come to sites where vaccines are available.
And it does seem like you`ve cracked that code a little bit.
ABRAHAM: Yeah, so kind of going back really quickly, you mentioned how -- why are we effective and are we actually delivering vaccines to people who are in most need, particularly communities of color, black and brown, where the heat maps show the highest rates of COVID infection are.
When we look at how it was distributed in D.C. or you look at Chicago`s maps, and you showed us the maps of Los Angeles, we really wanted to prioritize the most vulnerable here in south Los Angeles. So our first mantra was, you know, we need to put on our oxygen mask first and then we were going to make sure we turn to our neighbors and make sure we offer them this lifesaving essential medicine.
So we actually vaccinated our 300 to 400 employees and then we went to black and brown health care workers throughout south Los Angeles and they really didn`t have places to turn because they`re not part of large health systems. So we really became their safe haven, their safe harbor to be vaccinated.
After that, we said that`s not enough, we weren`t in it just to vaccinate ourselves. We really wanted to make sure that we can get to every grandma and grandpa, every vulnerable senior, every essential worker that needs it, when they are eligible. And so, that is the commitment we`ve made to kind of get to where we`re at.
But of course, you know, just not enough vaccine. So at the end of every day, it`s this constant struggle to try to get through the day. And we work so lock in step with the county to find expiring doses. You know, our mantra here at Kedren is no drop will go to waste and we make sure every drop goes in someone`s arm.
But that needs to be our seniors, that needs to be our black and brown health care workers, it needs to be all of our health care workers. There are times when we have expiring doses and we don`t have folks lined up and that`s where we`re partnering with politicians` offices, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations. We need to figure out better ways to get those who are shut out.
And that`s where our solutions came in, making sure there were workarounds for the website, workarounds for not having a cellphone, not having email, maybe not having a driver`s license because you`re an undocumented worker or an undocumented grandma in this community. What if you don`t have a car?
We live in an area where predominantly our patients don`t have access to transportation. We made it very clearly we were going to be a walk-up site because not having a car should not be a barrier to not getting a vaccine. Not having an email and not having a phone is not a barrier to not getting a vaccine. Not having internet is not a reason to not get a vaccine.
In Kedren here, we were so focused and committed to overcoming those barriers. We`ve also been very positive. I think the optimism you feel and sense and see in the story, we`re got music, we`re dancing, we`re happy, we`re smiling, because we know this is the solution to overcoming this epidemic, to reopening our economy, to getting back to work, to getting back to loving our loved ones and hugging and all the things that we did before this epidemic began.
So we`re actually joyous every day that we can be a part of the solution. We just don`t have enough vaccine to do the job and do it the best we know we can.
MADDOW: Dr. Jerry Abraham, the man in charge of Kedren Community Health Center`s vaccine distribution -- thank you so much for your work and helping us understand it. Good luck to you and your colleagues.
ABRAHAM: Thank you so much, Rachel.
MADDOW: All right. We`ve got much more ahead this Friday night. Stay with us.
MADDOW: After the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, the FBI`s Washington field office put out this poster seeking information from the public on this woman, the woman in the notable pink hat, for her involvement in, quote, the violence at the capitol. As more photos and videos started surfacing from the capitol attack, it became clear why the FBI was looking for her in particular with such urgency. Here she was captured on video, instantly recognizable in part because of the hat, using a pole as a battering ram to smash in the capitol building`s windows, as other rioters fought hand to hand with capitol police just a few yards behind her.
Another video surfaced of her with a bullhorn, appearing to direct other rioters who had already breached the capitol but how they could best maneuver inside to take over the building. If you`re the FBI, that`s somebody you probably want to find as quickly as possible.
But weeks went by without anybody identifying this womb or knowing where she was despite those FBI wanted posters, until this week, when "The New Yorker`s" intrepid reporter Ronan Farrow and a team of online nosey parkers figured out who she was and found her. They discovered that she is Rachel Powell, a 40-year-old mom and cheese seller from western Pennsylvania.
Mr. Farrow interviewed her by phone for two hours, but he wouldn`t -- but she wouldn`t tell him where she was, she said she was in an undisclosed location, her whereabouts remain unknown. Yesterday, the FBI raided her house in Pennsylvania but she wasn`t there. Now, today, just one day shy of the one-month anniversary of the capitol attack, Rachel Powell is in custody.
She turned herself in to a FBI satellite office north of Pittsburgh today. She`s being held in jail at least until a detention hearing on Tuesday. Prosecutors are arguing she should stay in custody all the way until trial in part because they`re calling her a flight risk. That is not a stretch, after all she fled once already after the FBI had started looking for her. She stayed in hiding for almost a month.
Prosecutors are also arguing that she is a danger to the community because of the violence she`s accused of like, say, smashing a U.S. capitol window with a battering ram. Her lawyer says she`s neither a danger to the community nor a flight risk. But a judge will make that determination at her hearing on Tuesday.
One of the things to keep in mind about the pink hat lady, though, is that she says quite clearly that she came to D.C. on January 6th because she was told to, because Donald Trump told her to. She told Ronan Farrow at "The New Yorker" that Trump`s words played a part in her decision that day. She went to Trump`s rally on January 6. She heard him tell the crowd to march to the capitol and fight like hell and then she did it because he said to.
And she is one among many. Many who are facing serious federal charges now. And next week, Donald Trump will be on trial in the U.S. Senate to see if he should face any consequences for inciting Rachel Powell and thousands of others to attack the U.S. government on his behalf.
We now know more tonight about how that trial is going to go. That`s next.
Stay with us.
MADDOW: Tuesday, 1:00 p.m. we think that`s going to be the start of it but things could change. It was actually one year ago today that Donald Trump was acquitted by Republicans in the Senate in his first impeachment trial.
But you might remember that in that Senate trial, there wasn`t much going on. Mitch McConnell and the Republicans were in control. They decided there would be no evidence presented in the Senate trial, there would be no witnesses in the Senate trial and there would be no question of Trump testifying in the Senate trial. Then they all voted to acquit him except for Mitt Romney.
This time for his second impeachment, that last point about whether or not the former president will testify, that`s sort of a live issue.
Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin wrote to President Trump this week asking him to testify under oath at the Senate trial. Trump`s lawyers said no on his behalf. For what it is worth, I continue to believe that he would love to testify and they should find some way to ask him directly, because if he`s able to answer on his own behalf without his lawyers interceding I think he definitely would say yes.
Meanwhile, CNN and "The Associated Press" are reporting today while Democrats technically have the option to try to subpoena him to testify, it is not expected that that will be the way that they go. What should we expect?
Joining us now is Dan Goldman who you will recall served as the lead counsel for the House during Trump`s first impeachment. Again, that came to a close a year ago today.
Dan, it has been a remarkable year. Thank you so much for making time to be here tonight.
DANIEL GOLDMAN, FORMER DEMOCRATIC LEAD COUNSEL 2019 HOUSE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY: Hard to believe it is only a year ago.
MADDOW: So one of the -- obviously the charges, charge/charges are different against the president. But this is for the first time in U.S. history we`ve had a chance to learn lessons from the first time the president was impeached in terms of thinking about impeaching him a second time. Now that the Democrats are in control of how the Senate trial is going to be run, what do you think the lessons should be from what happened last time in terms of how they should conduct this trial?
GOLDMAN: Well, it is not an apples to apples situation with just the flip version of who`s in control because the Democrats don`t want this to take so long because it takes away from the time that they have to focus on the legislative issues that President Biden has been so focused on now that he is the president.
So I don`t expect there to be witnesses. It just will prolong things too long. Certainly, the Republicans don`t want witnesses. I think the Democrats also at this point just want to move it along.
It is also different though than last time, Rachel, because last time you needed the witnesses to explain what happened. Here we have speeches, we have the tweets from the president, we have the recording with Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state in Georgia, and we have a lot of affidavits filed to the FBI that you referenced earlier and other social media videos, and I expect the House managers to weave all of that material together to present a very powerful case just based on the public record.
So I don`t expect that the president will testify, but I do think that that letter was a very smart, strategic move, because it really hamstrings Trump`s lawyers from trying to dispute facts and argue what was in Trump`s head and essentially launder Trump`s testimony through the lawyers without putting him under oath. He was given the opportunity to testify and he is now declining it. The lawyers can`t testify for him.
MADDOW: Is there anything that precludes the president`s defense team from standing up in front of the Senate and saying, he won this election in a landslide, it was stolen, there was tons of fraud, it has been proven? I mean is there anything that is -- if he tells his defense team that that`s the way he wants them to defend him, is there anything stopping them from essentially getting up and acting out the MyPillow guy`s soliloquy on the floor of the Senate and trying to sell that to the country?
GOLDMAN: You know, you asked me what lessons were learned. So, the biggest lesson I learned is that a Senate impeachment trial is nothing like a courtroom trial. In the courtroom that, of course, would not be allowed. There are a lot of things that would not be allowed in a courtroom that are allowed in the Senate trial, and that includes arguing that the election was a fraud.
There`s nothing -- there`s no one who can limit what they say because there really is no judge in the Senate trial. There`s a presiding officer, but even Chief Justice Roberts last time didn`t make a single substantive ruling. So, no, they can argue that. They can argue anything.
What I do expect that they`re going to hang their hat on is this legally, baseless argument that it is not constitutional to have a Senate trial after someone has been removed. But it is -- remember, we are here because the House impeached before Donald Trump was out of office. You don`t need to have an indictment or trial before the statute of limitations runs out. You simply need to have an indictment and that`s what the impeachment was.
So the problem we have here is that`s a legally baseless argument a judge in a normal courtroom would preclude anyone from arguing, but here in the Senate trial, we already have 45 senators who seem to believe that that argument is dispositive of this case. They`re going to try to base their factual finding on that legal conclusion, and that is really a dodge of accountability by the senators themselves. That would not be allowed in a courtroom and it should not be allowed in the Senate trial.
MADDOW: Yeah. And whether or not they truly believe that it is a legal way out for them here, they certainly know that it is their political way out, to try to avoid the substance of the accusations and ultimately we`ll see the substance of the evidence.
Dan Goldman, former lead counsel for the House during President Trump`s first impeachment, which came to a close one year ago today. Dan, thank you so much for being with us tonight. It is nice to see you.
GOLDMAN: You too, Rachel. Thank you.
MADDOW: We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
MADDOW: I have moved the light beer into the fridge for its one-time-a-year appearance. I have purchased the avocados and the potato chips. I have cleared my calendar. I will see you on Monday, fatter, slightly worse for wear, but very happy for having done what everybody else is also going to do this weekend.
That does it for me tonight. I`ll see you again on Monday after the Bucs win the Super Bowl.
Now, it`s time for "THE LAST WORD" where Ali is filling in for Lawrence tonight.
Good evening, Ali.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED. END