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Transcript: The ReidOut, 12/2

Guests: Vivek Murthy, Adam Schiff, Tara Dowdell, David Hogg


Five confirmed omicron cases in New York; White House unveils winter COVID strategy; Biden urges unity in fight against COVID; Biden administration winter COVID strategy includes expanded testing and treatment; Eight confirmed omicron cases in U.S.; Biden administration includes expanded global vaccination efforts; New book says Trump tested positive before White House super-spreader events; January 6 committee predicts multiple weeks of hearings.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: You can remember that because it`s my name and I`m an anchorman. And if you follow me, I promise I will not post dance videos. I`ll share some fun stuff, some items on news or civil rights. You can come for the family coffee tips and stay for the unpredictable TikTok experiments @arimelberanchorman.

That does it for me. Long live TikTok and the news. THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid starts right now. Hi, Joy.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: See, Ari -- hi, I`m msnbcjoy on TikTok, so please follow me and I`ll follow you. And actually I was going to follow you until you said you weren`t going to dance. If you`re not going to do TikTok dances, I got to think about it. So, let me think about it.

MELBER: You know what? Let me say this. I recommend people follow you first, and then if they still need more TikTok, they can find me. And I`ll keep an open mind to the dance.

REID: Keep an open mind. Don`t just say no. Okay, we`ll talk about this. All right, bye. Thank you.

Good evening, everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with breaking news from New York, where moments ago Governor Kathy Hochul announced that the state has five cases of the new omicron variant, one in Suffolk County, and four in New York City. The case in Suffolk County is a confirmed traveler from South Africa who tested positive on November 30th. This comes as a Minnesota patient with no history of international travel tested positive after attending a convention two weeks ago with 63,000 other people at the Javits Center in New York City.

The city does not know if any of the confirmed cases are connected to that convention. All five cases are mild. But Mayor Bill de Blasio said you should assume there has been community spread in the city.

The U.S. now has a total of eight confirmed omicron cases, including patients from Colorado and California who had traveled to South Africa.

We still don`t know a lot about omicron but South African health officials announced today that it poses three times the risk of infection than delta. And it could make up more than half of Europe`s cases in just a few months.

In response to the new variant and rising case, President Biden detailed his strategy for what could be a difficult winter in a speech today. While he maintained that there is no need to panic about omicron yet, he stressed the importance of adults getting their booster shots as soon as possible, announcing expanded pharmacy availability and outreach. He also announced a big effort to expand free at-home testing, which could be a game changer more people had the ability to test themselves before possibly exposing other people to COVID. And in light of omicron, international travelers will have to have a negative test within one day of traveling to the U.S.

Biden also optimistically asked America to come together to fight this epidemic.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: This is a moment where we can put the divisives behind us, I hope. This a moment when we can do what we haven`t been able to do enough of through this whole pandemic, get the nation to come together, unite the nation in a common purpose, to fight these fires, to protect one another, to protect our economic recovery, and to think of it in terms of literally a patriotic responsibility rather than somehow you`re denying people their basic rights.


REID: Let`s just be real here, that is not going to happen. If an entire political party has invested in it and is doubling down on the idea of pretending COVID isn`t a threat, like Jim Jordan, who tweeted today that real America is done with COVID-19.

Well, let`s talk about real America, where an average of more than 900 people are dying every day. Cases have been increasing in Jordan`s home state of Ohio, and even some neighboring red states in the Midwest over the past 14 days. And let`s not forget that red America has seen the highest rates of COVID cases and deaths. But that`s not even close to the worst Republican take this week. Here is Ron Johnson.


SEN. RON JOHNSON (R-WY): Fauci did the exact same thing with AIDS. He overhyped it. He created all kinds of fears, saying it could affect the entire population when it couldn`t, and he is using the exact same playbook for COVID, ignoring therapy, pushing a vaccine. The solution to this I`ve always felt was early treatment. We still haven`t robustly explored that, and that`s a travesty.


REID: Wow. There is so much wrong with that statement. I don`t think there is a way to overhype AIDS when more than 700,000 Americans have died from HIV-related illness, not to mention these 36 million people who have died worldwide. Oh, and the foolish senator from Wisconsin made that dumb, insensitive statement yesterday on World AIDS Day.

I`m joined now by U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy. I will not -- you are too dignified an individual to have to respond to Ron Johnson. I will leave his comments about HIV/AIDS to the side, and let`s talk about omicron.

My adult children live in New York. They`ve been screen shooting and sending me info on omicron. It`s really frightening because it feels like it is the next sort of wave of the pandemic, and it feels kind of unstoppable. How much more dangerous is the omicron variant than delta?

DR. VIVEK MURTHY, U.S. SURGEON GENERAL: Well, it`s a really important question, Joy. And there are actually three critical unanswered questions about omicron.


Is it more transmissible, is it more dangerous and how effective are our vaccines against it? But I want to caution people against jumping to conclusions too quickly because there will be anecdotes that come out, small bits of data. But we have to actually look at the data in aggregate, laboratory data, clinical data, to fully understand the answers to the questions.

I get that people are scared and tired. It`s been 22 months that we`ve been dealing with this. And when you hear news like this, you think, gosh, is this ever going to end? But what I want to say to everyone out there is, number one, this will end, this pandemic and we are much better off now than we were in March 2020. This is not about going back. Because even with omicron, we have tools that prevent spread that we know work, masking, hand hygiene, testing as a layer of precaution.

We also know that our vaccines, even though we`re trying to figure out how effective they are, they will have some effectiveness against the omicron variant, especially for those who get boosted, which is why we`re encouraging people to do so.

REID: Okay, let`s talk about that. I got my booster. I`m very excited to get it.

MURTHY: That`s great.

REID: And then the next variants came out, moved for like a hot minute and now omicron. Are the booster shots as protective against omicron as we at least assume they were against delta?

So, that is the question that we have to figure out. But here`s what we have seen with every variant to date, that when you actually get these vaccines, what happens is you boost your immune response in a way that actually helps you protect against the new variant. But when you get that booster, when you`re fully vaccinated and when you get a booster on top of that, you boost your vaccine levels -- your antibody levels, rather, to really high levels.

And that`s important because you can actually overcome some of the immune evasion that you see with certain variants if you get antibody levels and the immune system revved up. That`s why we`re encouraging people to go out and get that booster, it gives you an extra layer of protection. Think of it, Joy, as having a bigger army, bigger number of soldiers, larger number of soldiers in your body that are ready to take on that variant, even if it`s heartier, you`ve got more soldiers to protect you..

REID: Do you agree with Dr. Vin Gupta, who is our friend of the show, who said that it would be simpler if the language that the administration used is that to be fully vaccinated, you need all three shots, instead of saying, get a booster, saying three shots means you`re fully vaccinated?

MURTHY: Yes. So, I understand Dr. Gupta`s point and he is a wonderful doctor and a good friend. But I would say is that the CDC, they are the ones who make the definition about what`s fully vaccinated, and they are looking at the data closely to determine if and when that definition should change to include the third shot.

We still know people who get those two shots, the Moderna or Pfizer, the dose of J&J, that they do have some good initial protection, but that protection does wane over time. It is where the booster is really helpful. So, they will keep us updated on when they change the definition. But the bottom line is, right now, if you are six months out from your Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, please go get boosted. If you`re two months out from J&J, you can get boosted too.

REID: You made the analogy of like a football team or an army. We`re playing right now with half our offensive line refusing to take the field. The quarterback is out there just being okay, I got no offensive line, or if it`s an army, half our army is sitting in the field, refusing to pick up their rifles and fight, right, because a good third of our country refuses to get vaccinated. Nothing you tell them, nothing I tell them is going to get them vaccinated, even Trump can`t control that anymore.

So, can we ever get past this pandemic if a good third of this country simply refuses to get vaccinated? That`s my first question. And my second question is why isn`t it easier to get a test? I was going to bring it. I completely forgot it. I have these at-home tests that I bought at CVS, and they`re like $20, which is fine if you have $20. But for a lot of people, they don`t have the $20. Why aren`t we just handing out free tests?

MURTHY: Yes. So, great question. Let me take the testing one first. So, today, actually, what the president announced is that we are going to be sending 50 million rapid antigen tests to community centers around the country so people can get them free. And on top of that, we are also working to ensure that private insurance companies will now cover the rapid antigen test so people can also get them without having to pay a significant amount of money. Because you`re absolutely right. We need to make these tests accessible.

My family got together over Thanksgiving, for example. They were all fully vaccinated, boosted. But I have two kids who are not fully vaccinated yet because of their age. So, what do we do? Well, we use that rapid antigen test as another layer of precaution, test everyone when they walk in the door, made it feel safer. So, we want that to be available to everyone.

But, finally, to the point about those who are not vaccinated, Joy, I`m concerned about that too. Anyone who is not vaccinated in our country is more at risk of getting COVID-19, more at risk of ending up in the hospital and dying. But we`ve got right now 80 percent of adults who have had at least one shot of the vaccine. We`ve got to get that rest of the 20 percent. But we`re making progress.

And with the combination of good vaccines with therapeutics on the horizon, not just the monoclonals, but the oral medicines, and knowing what we know about how masks can be used to protect us, we`re getting to the place where we have more and more tools to get back to normal. So, while we want everyone to get vaccinated, while the requirements for vaccines will help in workplaces and other place, we`re also -- we`ve got more tools than ever to get become to normal.


REID: And really quickly, because I`m going to have to make a turn in a moment, but do you think it might be better off to just take all of the doses of vaccine that these people are refusing to take in the U.S. and send them around the world? Because countries that are poorer that can`t afford them, if we got everyone around the world vaccinated, then wouldn`t that sort of freeze out the 30 percent of this country who refuses?

MURTHY: Well, certainly, we`ve got to get the rest of the world vaccinated, joy. This pandemic doesn`t end fully until we get the world vaccinated. But that`s actually why we`re leaning more and more into getting vaccine to the rest of the world. The $1.2 billion we`ve already committed, we`ve got 250 million of those doses already out the door. Our president today talked about how we`re accelerating that even further. But we`re also working to increase manufacturing capacity for the rest of the world, which is going to be absolutely essential.

Joy, one thing I just have to say, because it was World AIDS Day yesterday, and I know you didn`t ask about this, but HIV is an illness that has just destroyed millions of lives around the world. It was the issue I started working on. I was 17 years old that got me into the world of public health. And we`ve got to recognize we`ve made incredible progress but we have got a lot to do.

Part of that involves remembering the lives we lost. HIV was not overhyped. If anything, it was not given enough attention in the early days. And similarly, COVID is certainly not overhyped. In fact, it needs more attention. The numbers speak for themselves. 750,000 lives lost, millions of people hospitalized. These aren`t numbers on page.

These are real people. These are my family members who have lost their lives and other people`s as well. We dishonor the memories of those we lost, we dishonor the families who are suffering when we fail to pay attention to a pandemic that is hurting America. So, we`ve got to put our full resources into it. So, the president wants to do that. That`s what millions of people across the country want to do this. That`s what doctors and nurses are telling their patients to do as well, why they`re urging them to get vaccinated.

So, we can get through this pandemic. We will get through this pandemic. We`ve got to follow scientific guidance, and we`ve got to take care of people who are hurting and the COVID standing in our way right now. But we can get rid of this. We can get over.

REID: Thank you for saying that I literally find Ron Johnson so undignified that I would not want to dignify his comments, but you did an excellent job for refuting the foolishness that he said. Thank you for saying that.

I have to ask you, I don`t like talking about the former president, believe it or not. I find he also is beneath the dignity of the presidency. That`s my comment, not yourself. But I have to ask you about what he did when he was president. He had COVID. He was ultimately hospitalized with COVID, apparently got very sick, much sicker than we knew. But during the time when his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, writes in his book that he got a positive test and when he claims he got a negative test later.

But during the course of that and the time he was hospitalized, he did public events. He had sessions to prepare for a debate where Chris Christie probably got COVID. He had a giant event at the White House to celebrate getting Amy Coney Barrett on to the Supreme Court. He did rallies. He got in a closed vehicle with Secret Service agents who could not defend themselves against him and breathed all in that car when he knew he had COVID. All the things that he did, that is a super spreader to me. He was a super spreader.

If you get a negative -- let`s say you get a positive test, and then you turn around and let`s say you get a negative test, and these were two rapid tests, isn`t the right thing to do to then go get the PCR test, which is supposed to be the tiebreaker, isn`t that what he should have done?

MURTHY: Yes. For anyone out there who does get a negative pest and a positive or negative, you do need to get confirmation, and the PCR is the most effective way to got the answer as to whether you`re sick or not.

And here is another thing that`s really important to mention. We have seen time after time people who have been infected go out and infect other people because they haven`t taken the proper precautions. Part of the agreement, the unspoken contract that we have between each other as members of society is to recognize that our actions sometimes impact other people, and to take every care and caution possible to prevent others from being hurt by our actions.

Right now, we know and we`ve known for a while that if you have COVID, you have to isolate. This is a highly transmissible virus. You can give it to other people. And even if you end up okay, some of them may not end up okay. So this is part of our social responsibility to one another. It`s what you got to do to make society work is isolate if you`re sick, take the precautions to make sure you don`t affect others.

REID: And I`m not trying to get you to get into politics, but should he not have skipped all of those events if he knew he had COVID, shouldn`t he have skipped all those events?

MURTHY: Well, the medical advice and the clinical guidelines are that if you are infected, that you should isolate, and that means you shouldn`t have contact with other people because you will potentially infect them. And you need to do that for a period of ten days and until you have no --

REID: If you`re a responsible person, and the president of the United States did that and then had a debate with then 77-year-old man who is now our president, he could have gotten him sick or worse. I find that absolutely outrageous, but I thank you. You are such a decent, decent person, and I`m really glad that you are our surgeon general.


That is my comment. That is only my. I`m being a little bit unobjective, but I appreciate that you get out there and get into the community and tell people what we need to know, because people are scared. So, thank you so much.

MURTHY: Thank you so much, Joy. I appreciate it.

REID: Thank you very much, Dr. Vivek murthy, our surgeon general.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, you may have missed this last night. Trump`s DOJ guy, Jeffrey Clark, will be deposed by the January 6th committee, although he intends to plead the Fifth. This is a bigger deal than you might think. Committee Member Adam Schiff joins me next.

Plus, some famous names are lining up to run in the midterms, including the amazing Stacey Abrams and Dr. Oz who occasionally sells snake oil on T.V.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.



REP. LIZ CHENEY (R-WY): We anticipate next year we will be conducting multiple weeks of public hearings, setting out for the American people in vivid color exactly what happened every minute of the day on January 6 here at the Capitol and at the White House and what led to that violent attack.



REID: That was Liz Cheney today with a preview of what we can expect in the New Year from the January 6 select committee. And according to chairman Bennie Thompson, they have already interviewed --


REID: That was Liz Cheney today with a preview of what we can expect in the new year from the January 6 Select Committee.

And, according to Chairman Bennie Thompson, they have already interviewed 250 witnesses. Meanwhile, contempt proceedings against Trump`s former assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Clark are officially under way following the unanimous vote by that committee last night.

But in the 11th hour, they also gave Clark one final chance to comply with a subpoena and possibly avert a contempt citation. They agreed to depose him again on Saturday, when, according to his lawyer, Clark is expected to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

But can we just, like, back up for a second, and just back up for a second and put a pin in that? Just allow it to sink in, in your own mind. A former Justice Department official is pleading the Fifth. That`s a big deal.

It`s not an admission of guilt in the literal sense, but it means that Clark, who used to be part of the Department of Justice, reasonably believes that he could be prosecuted for scheming with Trump and others to overturn the 2020 election. That is not a thing that happens often, if ever.

And let`s not forget what Clark`s would-be co-conspirator once said about people who take the Fifth.


DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The mob takes the Fifth. If you`re interested, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?


REID: Joining me now is Congressman Adam Schiff of California. He`s a member -- he`s a member of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack and chairman of House Intelligence Committee.

And thank you, Congressman Schiff, for being here.

I`m just going to read a little bit from Jeffrey Clark`s letter to your committee. And it says here: "Mr. Clark has a reasonable basis for believing that his testimony before the committee could be used against him in a criminal prosecution."

I personally have never heard of a former Justice Department official who apparently reasonably believes that he either did commit a crime or would be accused of one.

Have you? And how big of a deal is that, in your mind?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): You know, I would have to go back to see, during Watergate, whether there were high-ranking Justice Department officials or the attorney general himself at the time who took the Fifth. I don`t know the answer off the top of my head.

But you`re right, Joy. It is extraordinary. He was not just a Department of Justice employee. He was at the top of the Justice Department. Reportedly, he was in contention with Trump to be the attorney general.

And for him now apparently to take a position that if he is forthcoming with the committee and testifies and answers certain questions, he may be implicated in criminal activity. It`s a pretty breathtaking thing.

But, then again, we saw a lot of that during the Trump administration.

REID: If he comes in this weekend and take the Fifth, is this going to be a televised hearing? Because I almost feel like it`s incumbent upon those of you who are in our government to let us see our former Justice Department official taking the Fifth.

If he does that, is he going to have to do that televised?

SCHIFF: Well, the deposition will be private, like the other depositions.

And we will ask him a series of questions on a number of topics of deep interest of the committee. He will be required to identify as to each question the basis of any refusal to testify. Now, he has given us in his prior appearance before the committee a litany of reasons, I think all bogus, as to why he would not answer our questions.

Interestingly, Joy, at that prior appearance before the committee, he never suggested that his answers would incriminate him, and that was the basis he was refusing. That was new. That was something that came out only on the eve of being held in contempt.

Whether this is a stratagem to further delay or obfuscate, whether there`s a good-faith belief on his part that, if he testifies truthfully, it would incriminate him in potential criminal activity, we`re going to try to find out on Saturday.

But we do take the Fifth Amendment very seriously. At the same time, the Fifth Amendment does not allow him, if the information wouldn`t tend to incriminate him personally, to cover up for the former president.

REID: If you ask him, for instance, did you talk to the former president about delaying or stopping the certification of the election or schemes to do so, and he says, no, does that fall, in your view, into the parameters of something that he couldn`t say?

Because just asking whether you spoke to somebody doesn`t sound like you`re implicating them in a crime necessarily?

SCHIFF: Well, I`m not sure precisely what basis Mr. Clark will be asserting the Fifth. That is, what crimes does he think that he may have been involved in that, if he testified truthfully, that it could tend to incriminate him?

So we will need -- or he will need, rather, a factual basis for any assertion of the Fifth. And we will look at his testimony. We will look at questions where there is no conceivable Fifth Amendment privilege. If he still refuses to testify on the basis of some other bogus claim, such as his first appearance before the committee, then he will remain potentially subject to contempt.

REID: We know now that Mark Meadows, Donald Trump`s former chief of staff, is now cooperating, at least reportedly, with the committee.

Let`s just say that each of these men come in and their version of cooperation is to come in and just all plead the Fifth. What then?


What recourse will this committee have to get to the truth if people walk in, and, like some of them have done, just walk back out, or plead the Fifth and do not give you the information that the committee needs to get to the truth?

SCHIFF: Well, there are a range of potential remedies, if that`s the case.

If it is clearly a bad-faith invocation -- and there`s, frankly, difficulty in demonstrating that, but there may be questions, for example, where there`s no conceivable factual basis, then, again, they could expose themselves to criminal contempt. We might use civil litigation to resolve some issues along those lines.

We could also seek criminal contempt on other questions that he refuses to answer where he is not asserting the Fifth. And then, finally, there is the potential remedy of a testimonial immunity, which wouldn`t give immunity if he committed crimes and he was subject to prosecution by some entity, but would really say that his testimony in that proceeding couldn`t be used against him.

Now, that`s one reason why, frankly, Joy to do that in private, so that it would protect any potential prosecution. We don`t want to interfere with anything the Justice Department might be doing or the Fulton County DA or anyone else.

So there are options that we would have to consider.

REID: And you mentioned prosecution.

I ask you this every time you`re on, and I`m just going to ask you again, because you have some people that you all have, that the committee has subpoenaed, the entertainers, like the Alex Joneses, the Steve Bannons, people who, for them, the theatricality of defending Trump in a sort of open and sort of, whatever, television, FOX News-friendly way, is part of what they want, right?

They`re willing to fight you in court. They`re willing to stall and delay. They`re not willing to give information that could actually help the American people get to the bottom of this.

At some point, doesn`t the Department of Justice need to be the primary actor in getting to the bottom of what happened? It`s great that you all are doing what you`re doing, but what is the delay for the Department of Justice, for Merrick Garland to get involved?

SCHIFF: Yes, well, first of all, we will see whether Steve Bannon is willing to go to jail in order to put on, as you say, some kind of a performance art show for Donald Trump or his enablers.

In terms of the Justice Department, though, Joy, I completely agree with you. I think the Justice Department needs to consider not just those who attacked the Capitol, but those who organized the attack, those who funded the attack, if they were involved in any kind of criminal activity, provable criminal activity.

I also think that, beyond the events of that day, they need to be considering whether Donald Trump, for example, with respect to Georgia, committed a crime by seeking to coerce the secretary of state of that state, Brad Raffensperger, to essentially stuff the ballot box with 11, 780 votes that didn`t exist.

So I can tell you, if it were you or me or any of your viewers that were on that phone, tape-recorded, they`d be under investigation right now. And it should be no different for the former president.

One last point I will make on that, Joy, is, if we take the position, as the Justice Department did for four years, that you can`t prosecute a sitting president, and we now somehow take the position that we can`t prosecute a former president either because that would be looking backward, the president does become above the law...

REID: Yes.

SCHIFF: ... which would be a very dangerous development, and I think nothing that the founders would have countenanced.

REID: Yes, indeed, completely above the law, and could commit any crime essentially that he wanted, or maybe one day she, but mainly he.

Congressman Adam Schiff, thank you very much. Really appreciate you being here.

And still ahead: The 2022 midterm elections just got a lot more interesting, with America`s leading voting rights activist, Stacey Abrams, announcing a run for governor of Georgia.

We will get into that and more next on THE REIDOUT.



REID: With less than a year to the midterm elections, candidacy announcements are starting to pour in. Some are exciting and others, well, weird?

The big news yesterday was that Stacey Abrams has officially thrown her hat into the ring in Georgia`s gubernatorial race, potentially setting up a rematch with Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who she nearly beat in 2018.

Not only will she be able to work off the momentum that she and other Democrats built with the party`s victories last year in the Peach State, two Senate seats and the presidency, but, this time, around Kemp, if he`s even able to survive the Republican primary, will be without the support of bored Florida retiree Donald Trump, who has relentlessly attacked him for not overthrowing the state`s election results when Trump lost.

And then there`s television quackity-quack doctor Mehmet Oz, a longtime New Jersey resident running for the open Senate seat in Pennsylvania. Apparently, he began voting in the state`s elections last year by absentee ballot, having registered at his in-laws` address in suburban Philadelphia.

Joining me now is Michelle Goldberg, "New York Times" columnist, and Tara Dowdell, business and political marketing consultant.

Thank you, ladies, for being here.

Let`s start with Georgia. It`s a big deal.

And, Tara first and then Michelle, let`s put up what this could look like. In theory, if Donald Trump gets his candidate for the Senate race, it would essentially be an all-black everything Georgia matchups for governor and Senate, in which you would have Stacey Abrams. We don`t know about Vernon Jones, because he has -- he`s been doing everything but go rub Donald Trump`s feet in Florida to get him to endorse him. But he hasn`t done it yet.

And Herschel Walker, who`s got all sorts of issues and problems, running against Senator Raphael Warnock. What do you make of these developments, Tara?

TARA DOWDELL, PRESIDENT, TARA DOWDELL GROUP: Well, I think it`s part of the Republican strategy.

What they`re doing is, they are identifying minority candidates, black, AAPI, Latinx candidates, and they`re finding these very far right candidates or candidates who are willing to pretend to be far right just to run and win, just like Trump. And so that`s part of their strategy.

And I have to say, people need to take it seriously. It`s been working. Part of why they made some of the inroads that they made this past election cycle at the congressional level at some of the local levels was because they`re finding these right-wing candidates who are of color and putting them up to run.


And these people are saying things that are dangerous. They`re saying things that are harmful, that are divisive. But it`s working. And we saw even with -- we see with the lieutenant governor in the state of Virginia.

REID: And, right, even as black authors were being attacked, and she was, like, saying nothing about it.

Michelle, the other big issue, of course, here is that Stacey Abrams has done a remarkable job. She and LaTosha Brown and other activists in Georgia have done a phenomenal job registering voters. We`re talking about Georgia getting to like 95 percent voter registration, which is amazing.

So, Brian Kemp won`t be able to do what he did before, necessarily, in terms of wiping away 35,000 voters off the rolls, so that he could get in. It`s a little different now. And her momentum is different.

What do you make of the state of this race with Stacey Abrams in it?

MICHELLE GOLDBERG, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, look, I mean, the off-year election is going to be a tough one for Democrats. We have already seen kind of Republican turnout outpacing Democrats.

So I think Democrats in Georgia and really everywhere should be relieved that Stacey Abrams is getting into this race, because there`s just no one you can imagine turning out voters the way that she`s able to. So it`s great news, both for her chances.

Her -- I think she has a tough road to get to the governorship. But there is a road. And it`s also great news for Raphael Warnock and for Democratic hopes in the Senate, because she`s going to be pulling out votes for him as well.

REID: And, Tara, just one more note on this one. I mean, this is going to be -- if you could just script, the perfect recipe for maximum turnout in Georgia, it would be Raphael Warnock and Stacey Abrams on the same bill, all at the same time running, right?

I mean, I would think that`s actually a boost Democrats should be able to take advantage of.

DOWDELL: Exactly.

And I think one thing that`s not getting talked about as it relates to Stacey Abrams is the work that Fair Fight is doing on the ground, not just in terms of registering voters and that grassroots work, but they are sending people money to help resolve their medical debts.

They have -- 100,000 people -- plus -- people have received assistance. So she`s actually doing work that`s making a measurable difference in people`s lives through Fair Fight.

And so that`s not lost on people. She`s doing exactly what Democrats need to be doing. We need to be helping people, no matter whether it`s election year or not an election year, an off-year. So she has laid the groundwork in many ways, not just electorally.

Now, look, I agree with Michelle. It is going to be a tough battle, but she is going to energize people, because they can point to the difference that she`s made in a real, tangible way. And that`s the complaints.

She essentially is addressing the complaints that we hear...

REID: Right.

DOWDELL: ... about politics.

REID: Michelle, it falls to you to talk about Dr. Oz.

This is sort of a formula now for Republicans, right, since Ronald Reagan. They`re like find a celebrity, run the celebrity. And it actually works.

What do you make of his candidacy? I mean, in the past, he`s made sort of noises that he was like, oh, it`ll be fine. the death rates among children for COVID. But he did clean that up later.

But his candidacy, your thoughts, in Pennsylvania.

GOLDBERG: Well, it`s not just celebrity, right? He`s sort of at the center of the Venn diagram, because Republicans have a thing for celebrities. They also have a thing for quacks, right?

I mean, many people on the far right are out there hawking supplements. They`re are out there hawking vitamins. I believe -- maybe I`m wrong -- that Donald Trump was talking vitamins at one point?

And so I really think that Donald -- that Oz is in some ways a sort of perfect candidate for the modern Republican Party. Whether he`s a perfect candidate for Pennsylvania, a state in which he does not live, is another question.

And so I think it would probably be a boon for Democrats if he ended up getting the nomination.

REID: Yes.

OK, Michelle and Tara are sticking around, because up next, it`s difficult, but not impossible to predict what America will look like 10 years from now if the Supreme Court guts abortion rights, as conservative justices appear willing to do.

Our great panel will give it a go discussing it after this break.

Stay with us.



REID: For the nearly 167 million women in the United States, the waiting game has now begun to find out from the Supreme Court whether they still have ultimate control over their own reproductive system, or if that right will be handed over to Republican state legislators.

The court`s ruling could come as late as next June, just months before the midterm elections. A decision by the majority right-wing male Supreme Court to overturn 50 years of precedent could not only make the issue a central focus in the midterms, but could reshape the electoral battlefield.

Back with me are Michelle Goldberg and Tara Dowdell.

Michelle, I will start with you.

I feel like, in some sense, Republicans are the dog that caught the car. They have been saying and wanting this for a generation. And when they get it, I`m really not sure they understand what the blowback is going to look like. What do you think?

GOLDBERG: I sort of think they do understand, which is why they haven`t really tried that hard to ban abortion at the national level in the past.

Yes, I think you`re right, although I think what we have seen in the last couple of years is that people can get used to things that we never thought that they could get used to, right? So there could be a huge amount of regression in this country that people would come to grudgingly accept as the new normal.

At the same time, I think you`re right. The day after the Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade, if it does overturn Roe vs. Wade, many, many states in this country, abortion is going to be illegal, because they have what are called trigger laws, laws that are passed that say, the moment Roe vs. Wade is overturned, abortion is illegal in this state.

So, a lot of people are going to wake up in states not realizing that, overnight, they have lost rights they have taken for granted. And also, once Roe vs. Wade gets overturned, you`re going to start seeing every Republican presidential candidate, Senate candidates, congressional candidates, pressured to commit themselves to a federal ban on abortion rights.


REID: Yes.

GOLDBERG: So, yes, this is only going to be an even more explosive issue going forward.

REID: And I think not just that.

I mean, despite the fact that -- I pulled up Gallup earlier today. From the time that Roe passed, it`s been popular. There has never been a majority of Americans going back to when Roe happened that said they would like to see abortion made illegal. It`s just not been the case ever.

So this is an anti-majoritarian positions, Tara. But there is a small right-wing religious minority that is desperate to have it. And they`re going to not stop with that. I`m not sure people understand that, when they`re done with this, they`re coming for birth control. They also want that to be illegal. They`re coming for in vitro fertilization.

So, even if you`re in a state where nothing really changes for you, you`re in New York or you`re in a blue state, if they end up going for the federal ban, which these people are not going to be satisfied. They`re going to want the federal ban too. And they mean all of it, including birth control. Then what?

DOWDELL: Yes, this is a slippery slope.

And I would say it`s going to go beyond just reproductive rights, beyond just abortion, birth control. Once -- if they`re able to make this happen, and there is not a level of blowback sufficient enough to knock them out of office, if that does not happen, then they are going to start ticking away at other rights.

And I would even put certain civil rights on the table. I think this is alarming. I think the alarm bells should sound. I think we should have -- Democrats should have taken to the streets when Merrick Garland was denied his seat, when he was blocked, because once they got away with that, that was what opened the floodgates for everything else they`re doing.

And I think that it`s time that Democrats have to take to the streets. And we have to make noise, because that`s what they`re doing.

REID: Yes. Oh, they...

DOWDELL: They have made noise and prayed for their party to get us here.

And we have to make noise to pull us back.

REID: And they have gotten away with a lot. They got away with gutting the Voting Rights Act. Nothing happened. There were no repercussions. They completely dented it.

And then they also got away with this anti-Muslim activity during the Trump administration that The Supreme Court also affirmed, this Muslim ban.

Let`s play Ilhan Omar, who is now at the business end of the threats and cruelty and hatred that`s been spewed against Muslims in this country. Here she is.


REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): What I am afraid for is that this kind of rhetoric is going to get people killed, as it has before.

And if we do not stem it out, and if we do not strongly condemn it, and if we do not come together as a country and say what is happening and this example that is being set by members of Congress, it`s wrong and it`s dangerous, then I really am scared for what is to come.


REID: I want to give each of you a chance very quickly.

Tara Dowdell, first.

Where are we right now if it`s OK for members of Congress to essentially incite potentially deadly violence against fellow members?

DOWDELL: Exactly.

This is where we are. They are boundary-testing. And the more they get away with, the more they`re going to do. They are not -- the Republican Party is not going to be satisfied until they fully turn the clock back.

And that is dangerous for people of color, women. It`s dangerous for religious minorities. I could go on and on.

REID: Yes.

DOWDELL: It`s dangerous for people`s sexual identity.

REID: Yes.

DOWDELL: I can go on and on and on, boundary testing.

REID: Absolutely, boundary testing.

Michelle Goldberg, the last word goes to you. Do Democrats fully understand this, do you think?

GOLDBERG: I think they`re starting to.

But you can see I think that there was a lot of complacency about Roe vs. Wade.

REID: Yes.

GOLDBERG: And now we`re starting to see where that has led us.

I wrote a book in 2006 about the rise of Christian nationalism, about this kind of political movement that wanted to turn this country into a Christian nation. Often, the subtext was a white Christian nation.

And I think that we`re seeing the fruition of that movement right now.

REID: Yes, indeed. It is -- I call it Talibanism, or dominionism is the official term for it as well. You all should get that book.

Michelle Goldberg, Tara Dowdell, thank you very much.

Still ahead: the deafening silence from the right as America marks its 28th school shooting this year. Parkland shooting survivor and gun control activist David Hogg joins me next.

Stay with us.




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Sheriff`s office. It`s safe to come out!

STUDENT: Yes. He said it`s safe to come out.

STUDENT: We don`t know if it`s the gunman.

STUDENT: We`re not willing to take that risk right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I can`t hear you.

STUDENT: We`re not taking that risk right now.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, well, come the door and look at my badge, bro.

STUDENT: Yeah, bro.

STUDENT: He said bro. He said bro.

STUDENT: He said bro. Red flag.


REID: This is America. This is what it`s like for millions of kids.

Look at the fear. Look at the anxiety. Thankfully, it was in fact the sheriff knocking on that door.

But it is disturbing to think that these children, your babies, have to pay this emotionally damaging price just to be at school.

Tragically, four students at that high school in Oxford Township, Michigan, did not make it out alive. Police say a 15-year-old boy, a student at the school, murdered them.

The victim`s names are Hana St. Juliana, Tate Myre, Madisyn Baldwin, and Justin Shilling.

According to posts shared online, Tate Myre in his final act lost his life charging toward the shooter, trying to help save his friends.

With the deadliest school shooting since the 2018 Parkland shooting in Florida and the 28th school shooting this year, in a little over a week, we will mark the ninth year since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut; 20 first-graders, babies, and six of their educators were gunned down in their classrooms.


And even that could not inspire this country to change. In fact, gun advocates defeated several measures in the U.S. Senate to expand gun reform. As the vote failed, the survivors of recent shootings stood in the gallery and shouted down to the senators, "Shame on you."

Well, tonight, I will use those same words in describing our nation`s continuing apathy and political paralysis over gun violence in schools, which is truly the "Absolute Worst."

Shame on you.

I`m now joined by David Hogg, Parkland survivor and co-founder of March For Our Lives.

And, David, I haven`t seen you in quite a long time. It is always good to see you.

And I wonder how you look at this, as an activist, as a young man who survived this horror, to see it happen again and again and again, and no amount of fear and terror of children changes anything.


I mean, the way that I react to it is, I think of how deeply saddening it is that we`re at this place in our country right now, and that, unfortunately, throughout U.S. history, time and time again, when our country is in moments of crisis like this, it is often on the young people.

It requires the young people to stand up and be the leaders that we -- unfortunately, that we have, but, unfortunately, have far too few of.

Today, we saw again the one of the most deadly shootings that has happened since Parkland. And my call on congressional Democrats and President Biden and other people that have the power to do something about this is, why are we waiting, frankly, for another Parkland to happen? Because it`s going to happen at this point. It is.

How much worse is this going to -- are we going to let this get, where the NRA continues to buy off our politicians? And even when we do get a gun -- a gun violence prevention majority in the House in the Senate, we have two senators that stand in the way that are literally allowing our children, our parents, our friends, our family to -- our families to die every single day.

What really enrages me, Joy, is that I`m on right now talking about what happened in a community that I have never been to and I can`t speak for in any way, of course.

REID: Yes.

HOGG: But, unfortunately, we all know the cycle as Americans.

And why do we continue to wait, when we have the opportunity -- opportunity to do something here? There is not a single person in this country, liberal, Democrat, conservative, whatever it may be, that should not be calling, writing, tweeting, or any -- or anything else to the White House right now demanding that President Biden uses his power as the executive to create a national director of gun violence prevention and use the power of the bully pulpit to push Congress to pass lifesaving comprehensive legislation, as he promised to do when he was running for president.

And, unfortunately, at this moment, President Biden has done some good action, but the survivors of gun violence need a lot more. Young people across the country need a lot more, older people, parents. If we can`t be safe in our communities or our schools, where can we be safe? What does that say about the future of our country?

REID: Yes.

HOGG: We need leadership right now.

And the young people have done the work. We have turned out at the highest rates ever before in American history in 2020. And we were a major part of why President Biden got elected and Democrats were able to take the Senate and the House. We did our job.

The adults, the older adults that have the power that are old enough to run for Congress, frankly, need to do theirs, because kids are dying every single day because of Democrats` inaction that we`re seeing right now.

And I don`t care about the filibuster. They can work through reconciliation. There`s a lot more that President Biden can be doing. And, frankly, he`s failing us right now.

REID: And the challenge is, is that you have -- is that that is the only framing left, because one party isn`t even mentioned, because we just assume that they`re not going to help, which is tragic, because one would think every gun owner, every Republican, every Democrat, everyone should not want children who should be in math class to have to be knowing how to react to a potential shooter at the door.

That is not something kids your age and younger should know. But they do. Going down to, like, third grade, they do these drills.

HOGG: They do.

REID: If it has to only be done by one party, isn`t that a statement of failure, that only one party can do this?

HOGG: It absolutely is. It is absolutely a statement of failure.

And it`s even more an absolute statement of failure the fact that -- you know, I was recently watching -- recently watching a documentary that was made about March For Our Lives and the work that we did in the wake of everything that happened in Parkland.

And the first time I watched it was when it came out in 2019. And I hadn`t watched in the past few years, until just last Tuesday. And when I rewatched it, you know what I realized, Joy, is that what we did in 2018, what we did in 2019, and what young people did in 2020, we did everything right.

The movement is not broken.

REID: Yes.

HOGG: It is our government that is broken.

REID: Yes.

HOGG: And that`s why we need every single liberal, every single person in this country...

REID: Yes.

HOGG: ... regardless of political affiliation, to be calling on Biden to do what is right, right now.

REID: Yes. It -- that is all true.

David Hogg, thank you so much. It`s always great to see you and to talk to you. Thank you.

That is tonight`s REIDOUT.