House gives final approval for $1.9 trillion COVID relief bill.
Biden scores big win with COVID relief package. Biden says, relief bill
provides real reason for hope. Biden is expected to sign $1.9 trillion
relief bill Friday. COVID relief passes with no Republican support.
Democratic representative destroys GOP`s only nine percent for COVID
talking point. Graham says, immigrant children could easily be terrorists.
GOP Representative Boebert ad ends with sound of gunshots. Delegate Stacey
Plaskett of U.S. Virgin Islands is interviewed.
ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for spending time with us on THE BEAT. "THE
REIDOUT" with Joy Reid is up next.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Good evening, everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight
with a big effing deal, to use a good old-fashioned Bidenism. Today, the
House of Representative passed one of the most transformative pieces of
legislation for Americans, for workers, for working families and those in
poverty since the great society. The $1.9 trillion relief bill that was Joe
Biden`s signature campaign promise is passed. He watched. He celebrated the
historic moment, flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris.
And it is worth noting tonight, not just what this president who has been
in 50 days as of this evening has gotten done but also how he has done it,
namely with very little drama, almost no tweets and with his party pretty
much united. And while this bill isn`t perfect, it is remarkable. And it`s
hard to argue that President Biden`s steady hand hasn`t let us to a pretty
We`ve seen ramped up vaccinations ahead of the 100 vaccination in 100 days
schedule, a reversal of, frankly, wicked policies like the Muslim ban,
return of the international climate accords and a commitment to get those
migrant kids reunited with their parents. And now the passage of the
American rescue plan, an unprecedented attempt to show off an economy that,
frankly, was left in a trashy inside of a flaming dumpster fire by his
feckless predecessor. I mean, today really is a big effing deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT: This bill represents a historic, historic
victory for the American people, and look forward to signing it later this
week. Everything in the American rescue plan addresses a real need.
Together, we`re going to get through this pandemic and usher in a healthier
and more hopeful future. So there is real reason for hope, folks. There`s
real reason for hope.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And, by the way, this huge bill passed with zero Republican support,
let me repeat, zero support from the TQP, meaning the Trump QAnon Party,
that loves to pretend that they are for the working class. But what`s more
and more clear is that beltway Republicans are dramatically out of step
with the rest of the country, including Republican mayors and governors who
are praising this bill. A plurality, and in some polls, a majority of
Republican voters support this bill.
And I defy you to find a single Republican who is going to turn down those
checks. Even the people who want to hate it are going to take the money. I
mean, they may donate it to Trump, but what can you do. It`s just frankly
hard to find a constituency that doesn`t like this bill except beltway
Republican, who we pay a lot of money to in salary and I guess just don`t
get home to their states much. Just listen to the minority leader of the
United States Senate, Mitch McConnell.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Of course, the $1.9 trillion problem, as we
said repeatedly, the $1.9 trillion package, as we said repeatedly, only had
about 1 percent or less for vaccines, 9 percent or less for health care. So
I think this is actually one of the worst pieces of legislation I`ve seen
passed here in the time I`ve been in the Senate.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Okay, and first of all, it isn`t a health care bill. It`s an
economic relief bill. And that 9 percent thing that you just heard
McConnell say, that has become Republicans` biggest talking point. And if
it were actually true that only 9 percent of the bill did anything to
provide relief after the pandemic, then that actually might be an arguable
point, but it`s not even true.
Here is one New York congressman Democrat, Tom Suozzi, explaining.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. THOMAS SUOZZI (D-NY): It`s true 9 percent, their favorite talking
point, 9 percent or $171 billion is for vaccines, testing and other health
care infrastructure, but what about the other 90 percent? $424 billion for
$1,400 stimulus checks, $350 billion for struggling state and local
governments, $246 billion for unemployment insurance, $219 billion for
children and child care so parents can return to work, a $178 billion to
help reopen schools, a $109 billion for farmers and small businesses, $28
billion for restaurants and live venues, $40 billion for renters and
homeowners who need assistance.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And that`s what you voted for, right? That is the stuff that you
voted for. But wait, there`s more. Once President Biden signs this bill,
nearly 85 percent of Americans will get those $1,400 checks in the next few
weeks in the mail, there will be a $300 a week boost to unemployment
insurance if you happen to be unemployed and there`s more money, yes, for
And that`s just the stuff you`ve already heard about. In addition, did you
know that if you have children, you could get up to $3,600 per child? You
want your kids to be back in school? The bill sends $170 billion to make
that happen. Are you in college or do you have student loans? This package
makes sure that the forgiveness of your loans will be tax free. Are you an
essential construction worker or a truck driver? Your pension just got a
boost. That`s for your retirement. Do you want to buy health insurance but
you can`t afford it? This bill will make the ACA more affordable to middle
class Americans. And, finally, if you are a black farmer who has lost your
land over the years because of discrimination, this bill has set aside $5
billion for you. It`s literally the most significant piece of legislation
for black farmers since the Civil Rights Act.
President Biden is set to sign it on Friday. Then he and other
administration officials will hit the road to sell the rescue plan. And the
first stop on the Biden express, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and that is
Joining me now is Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Chair of the Senate
Banking Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. And, Senator, thanks for being
on with us. I`ve heard you say on other shows before it even passed that
this is like some of the most important work that you, just individually as
a senator, have done. Why is that?
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): Well, when I walked out, one, first of all, the
whole evening, the whole night we were voting hour after hour after hour
all night, and I was almost giddy, if I could use that term, sitting next
to Bob Casey. We were just in anticipation of what we were about to do.
So when I left the building to drive home, to ride home with a young man,
Andy, driving back to Ohio, which I do every week, I said on the two
reporters on the way out, this is the best day of my career, because we did
so many things.
I mean I think every person in the country is watching the Joy Reid show
and listening to you delineate all the things here in this bill. That`s why
it`s bipartisan. 60-70 percent of the public likes this bill because it`s
got so many things in there that will make the country better. It`s really
simply and it`s really the right thing. And it`s -- I would bet almost
every Democrat in the House and Senate will say it`s close to the best day
in their career.
REID: And, you know, you drive home every week. I`m glad that you said
that. Have you encountered one Republican mayor, Republican city council
person, what about the governor, Mike DeWine, in your state? Have any of
those people said, Senator Brown, no, I don`t want this money, send that
money back, we don`t want it?
BROWN: Yes, of course, not. And I do this (ph) all the time with kind of
round table formats with 10 to 20 people and just listen to their stories.
And there will be in communities, I listen to somebody from United Way that
sets up, does the earned income tax credit work in their communities or a
mayor, or a small business person or a labor advocate. And all of them
understand this will essentially lift all boats.
I have used the chart on the Senate floor this week that shows the
difference between our bill and the Republican tax cut for the rich four
years ago. And all of their money overwhelmingly went to the richest
people. We`re aiming at the middle. And we`re aiming at working families
and we`re aiming at people that are poor, we`re getting out of poverty.
And, as you said, this cuts the poverty. Think of it, you can cast a vote,
as we did on Saturday morning, and you can lift half the people in poverty
out of poverty. And the people that are in deeper poverty, it still lifts
them up in a big way. It makes their lives better. And those people were
left out. The bottom 27 percent of low-income kids were left out of the
Trump tax bill. And that`s -- for us, that was the front and center of what
REID: And you know, the point you`re making is that, you know, the $10,000
that are tax free, this is actually a tax break for people who are not
rich, which is very remarkable for a tax cut that actually this time you
can actually see it.
And I think there have been some criticisms that it`s not permanently
lifting people out of poverty. We don`t overdo it, right? But you`re right,
that in the near term a lot of people will be able to pay their rent, and
stay in their homes and take care of their kids.
There are a couple of things that are broken already.
BROWN: Can I say something --
REID: Yes, sure. Sure.
BROWN: Yes, because that`s so important. Raphael Warnock, Cory Booker and
Michael Bennet and I are organizing to this lifting people out of poverty,
cut the tax rate in half, expires at the end of the year. That`s the way
you could ride it. We are immediately, as soon as Joe Biden`s ink is dry on
his pen, we think Friday afternoon, we`re going to launch a whole effort to
make that permanent.
And how are Republicans going to oppose, they`re going to say, we`re
willing to now double the tax, double the poverty rate? I mean, and this is
something -- this is so important that we make this permanent. And it will
begin to -- it will show up. If you can cut the poverty rate among small
children, it will show up in their school, in their school grades, in their
work life, in their marriages, everything about their lives will get
REID: And, you know, just today, a couple of headlines, American Airlines
has sent a letter to 13,000 workers who have been furloughed, saying tear
up your furlough papers, you`re actually not going to be furloughed.
Louisville Public Radio, Biden`s COVID bill has been championed as a way to
like help Ohio pension, people who are still lucky enough to have pensions
through all these group pension. Even the Drudge Report, which tends to
lean conservative, and actually breaks through the bubble, put a bigger
headline of like Biden for the win with his Ray-Ban on.
I mean, it`s like I would love for you to explain to me, what Republicans,
including the other senator from your state, do they plan to run against
this bill in -- those even that they`re not running, do you think
Republicans think that they`re going to run against this bill in the
midterms? Because what I think it`s going to happen is that they`re all
going to go out and pretend that this was their bill and that they are
responsible for bringing all that money home, they`re going to try to take
credit for it.
BROWN: You may be right. They don`t know what to do. Their knee-jerk
reaction, as McConnell`s was to President Obama, stopped him from getting
reelected, block everything that he puts out there. That`s always their
knee-jerk reaction. They govern by fear and they govern by that knee-jerk
reaction. And I think they just don`t know what to do because this is so
I mean, it is a bipartisan bill, as you point out. The only Republican,
only people against it are Republican senators and Republican house
members. Their voters aren`t against it. The public is not against it. And
this is the most -- not just the best day of my career in terms of what we
deliver for the people, it`s also sometimes you vote for things like the
ACA that wasn`t particularly popular but you knew it was the right thing.
This one is easy, because it`s so popular and it`s so much the right thing.
And Biden has had this huge victory because Schumer and Pelosi held
everybody together because we all had our eye on the fact that this was
going to make the country better.
And I would even go further and say that this is the biggest -- if you take
out civil voting rights -- civil rights `64, voting rights `65, open
housing `68 and the Affordable Care Act seven or eight years ago, this the
biggest thing we`ve done since FDR, since the new deal. And this could lead
to you know, what I like to think about in `32, `34, `36, Roosevelt won
three elections in a row and changed the country for decades.
We can do the same thing here. People now understand that the way to build
democracy is make it work for everybody and that`s what we`re doing now.
And this is going to make people`s lives better and people are going to
recognize it. And we`re going to see a very different government where
people understand government actually is on their side and we`ll make it
REID: Senator Sherrod Brown, the only request I would make you guys have a
right to a high five, and do all of your happy dances for this bill.
Congratulations on the bill. Now, please go back and get rid of that
filibuster so that you can do the same on voting rights, because that is
very much needed.
BROWN: I`m with you on that. Absolutely, absolutely.
REID: Okay, thank you.
BROWN: Thanks, Joy.
REID: That would be good. All right, Senator Sherrod Brown,
congratulations. Thank you very much.
And up next on THE REIDOUT, after Joe Biden`s huge, huge legislative
victory, Republicans just desperately want to turn the page. But what`s
their message to voters? White nationalism, Dr. Seuss, insurrection, they
went for the potatoes, all of the above?
And then there`s Arkansas Governor, Asa Hutchinson, signing a bill, making
illegal for victims of rape or incest to get abortions. In fact, it`s bans
almost all abortions. The bill was pass with the hope of overturning Roe
versus Wade, giving control of a women`s bodies to men, like Hutchinson,
and Ron DeSantis, and Greg Abbott, because he doesn`t want that.
And as disgusting and misogynistic as this new law is, Governor Hutchinson,
you are not, tonight`s absolute worst. But it was close. The big reveal is
coming up, THE REIDOUT continues after this.
REID: The Republican outrage machine has been cranked up to full force,
and not just over the American rescue plan. Here is Senator Mike Lee,
condemning a bill that will make voting easier which, mind you, is the
literal definition of democracy.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MIKE LEE (R-UT): Everything about this bill is rotten to the core.
This is a bill as if written in hell by the devil himself.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And then we have Lindsey Graham, who`s now attacking children, in
his fear-mongering Trump style argle-bargle about the southern border.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Eventually, it`s going to be a national
security crisis because their children today could easily be terrorists
tomorrow. This is the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Al Qaeda and ISIS would
love nothing more than to hit us again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Lindsey, to be clear, there`s absolutely no correlation between
these migrant children and Osama Bin Laden, none. Perhaps Lindsey should be
looking to the MAGA insurrectionists if he wants to compare and contrast
But even Lindsey, well, let`s face it, at this point, is basically an
antebellum cartoon, pales in comparison to Colorado`s Lauren Boebert, who
sent a thinly veiled message to the House speaker in this creepy new ad.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. LAUREN BOEBERT (R-CO): And now, welcome to Fort Pelosi where
Democrats decry walls from within their own heavily guarded razor wired
wall. Democrats don`t want to protect you because they don`t care about
you. It`s time to cut the crap and remember this is the people`s house.
Madam speaker, tear down this wall.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: And yet it`s the children who are the terrorists? Mm-OK.
Joining me now is former Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri and my
colleague Nicolle Wallace, host of "Deadline: White House," and the host of
tonight`s special "Lives Well Lived," which is going to be airing right
here on this very network right after this show at 8:00 p.m., two the show
and my absolute favorite people.
So, I`m glad that you`re both here.
But I got to go to you first, Claire. I would normally go to Nicolle first
because of we got to talk Republicans.
But, Claire, you served in the United States on the Senate side. But what
do you make of a member of the United States House of Representatives
running an ad walking in the Capitol and ending it with gunshots?
CLAIRE MCCASKILL, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, you -- it`s almost a
parody of what an elected official should be.
It is the exact 180 opposite of what she should be saying. And the irony
here, Joy, the unbelievable irony, is why that razor wire is there. It is
there because people that she encouraged marched on our nation`s Capitol,
attacking police officers with American flags, trying to gouge out police
officers ` eyes, wanting to find our elected officials and hang them.
And she`s acting as if that somehow the Democrats caused this wall to go
up. This was all her people that caused this. And there ought to be some
kind of rule about using gunfire in an ad so close to calling out the
elected speaker of the House.
MCCASKILL: It makes me sick to my stomach.
REID: It comes across as a threat.
And, Nicolle, we just have been talking about it. Your show, we have talked
about it. We have been talking about it. The 1/6 insurrection was such a
trauma for the country, for everyone to watch the Capitol be besieged by
And yet you have Lindsey Graham comparing little children who are coming
across the border, terrified from war-torn countries, where they`re fleeing
gang violence and poverty, he compares them to terrorists. I have never
heard him compare those people to terrorists.
And now you have got this congresswoman who literally was on the side of
those terrorists with a gun thing in her ad. I mean -- and then we have got
McCarthy. I guess McCarthy is now going to go down and do his act at the
border and pretend that he`s also terrified of migrant children.
NICOLLE WALLACE, MSNBC HOST: It another Republican story that would be
comical if it wasn`t so dangerous to the country.
And I think you`re right to pair these two stories together. They are
focused on the threat where there isn`t one. I have spoken to former CIA
officials who were in the government at the time in 9/11. There were never
any terrorists who came over the Southern border.
But there is a real threat. The country is under a domestic terror threat
right now today, as we sit here, and it is from people who believe Donald
Trump`s big lie. And you know who repeated Donald Trump`s big lie and
helped radicalize them? All those folks you showed, I think.
So the fact that they`re worried about terrorism is hollow. And that`s
that`s a tragedy, because we do have a country that is under immediate and
urgent threat of terrorism. So said Christopher Wray, Chris Christie`s
former personal attorney, handpicked by Donald Trump to run the FBI.
And what`s so remarkable, Merrick Garland was confirmed today. Merrick
Garland is the only attorney general to amplify Christopher Wray`s concern
and sworn testimony about the threat of white supremacists as making up the
greatest and greatest threat in the domestic terrorism bucket.
Where was Bill Barr while this threat was growing? And if this were
international terrorism, and there were an A.G. who hadn`t amplified the
FBI is warning, we`d be talking about a stage four scandal. And what`s
amazing to me is that these Republicans who don`t want to clean out their
own house, when they -- sometimes people use this hyperbolically, blood on
They have blood on their hands, five people died. Subsequently, police
officers committed suicide. It should be a wakeup call. And that it isn`t I
think requires us to figure out, why not?
REID: It absolutely does, because I feel like the two kind of things --
and for both of you -- and I will start with you, Claire, and then back to
Nicolle -- is, the two things you expect from elected officials is that
they will look after the economic health of the American people, they won`t
let you fall through the floor.
They will do something in an emergency, sort of FDR style, if things start
to crack, and the money`s all gone, right, and you can`t pay your rent and
everyone`s floundering economically, and that they will protect the
country, and that they will care about those two things.
Republicans on both of these issues have said, we have -- we want no parts
I always thought money was the best politics. You now have in Ohio one
senator who voted to save the economy, the other senator, just because he`s
a Republican, voting no. You have Roger Wicker -- Claire, you served with
these people -- vote against the bill and then tweet out, oh, my God, look
at this great money for restaurants?
REID: And he`s now trying to justify that, saying, well, I had language
for similar restaurant relief in, and it`s now law.
But he voted against it. That actually makes it worse like this was your
idea, you say, but you voted against it. I don`t understand it. So are they
going to now run against the bill in 2022?
MCCASKILL: It`s -- it`s a real political problem for them.
And it was interesting. I heard Sherrod talk about the ACA. When we voted
on the ACA, we knew we were in political trouble. President Obama knew he
was in political trouble, because it was going to take years for people to
begin to understand how ACA protected them. It eventually became popular,
but it was three, four or five years down the line.
This bill will immediately be popular because it`s going to have an
immediate impact. People are going to see it. And why the Republicans
allowed this to be a partisan exercise in terms of votes, when over 70
percent of Americans, including more than 50 percent of Republicans, wanted
this bill to pass, for the life of me, as somebody who did politics for a
long time, I don`t get the politics. I don`t get any of it.
REID: I don`t either. I don`t either.
I have been following politics since I was 12. I -- this is confounding.
And, Nicolle, the other thing that`s confounding to me is, if you`re
projecting to potential voters, I don`t want you to vote, right? If Laura
Ingraham, who is one of their reps on TV, says that the evils of a voting
reform bill would be making it easier to vote, making it easier to vote,
making it easier to vote, and making it easier to vote, anything that makes
it easier to vote, same-day registration, early voting, all the Stuff that
actually Republicans could use too, those things are bad.
Mike Lee called the idea of voting reform that would help it make it easier
to vote like straight out of hell, like the pit of hell.
REID: I feel like that`s basically saying, do to us again, what you did to
us in 2020, black voters. I don`t get it.
WALLACE: I mean, I guess what we can take from it is that it`s all laid
bare. Nothing is in the closet anymore.
The Republicans are now openly trying to disenfranchise voters. They`re
acknowledging that, the more people vote, the worse the margins for
Republicans will be. I think that what Stacey Abrams is talking about it in
making it basically noncommercial to be for voter suppression is an
important next front.
We have learned that we can`t solve some of our problems in the political
arena. There`s a disinformation structure around those folks that you just
named, and you have to pierce it where it hurts them.
The reason Mitch McConnell gave the speech -- it was called out by Claire -
- he gave the speech on the day that he acquitted Donald Trump for inciting
a deadly insurrection in which the mission statement was "Hang Mike Pence"
and the noose was erected, he voted to acquit him and then gave a speech,
because he knows that hanging Mike Pence is noncommercial.
They`re worried about corporate donors. And so Stacey Abrams trying to tie
the audacity of sort of disenfranchising anyone in America, but let`s be
blunt about what it is, it`s black and brown voters, who tend to not ever
vote for Republicans, that is the next front in this. And that`s where it
needs to go.
And any company that thinks they can give money to Republicans because
maybe they like their positions on regulations or taxes needs to understand
that they`re voting for voter suppression. And if it`s a company that has a
product, they need to, I think, understand that that product will be
associated with racist disenfranchisement of black voters.
REID: Yes. And it is not a good look. It`s a smart place for Stacey Abrams
I have to talk to you about the special, Nicolle, OK. So -- and I have told
you this before. I have belabored you with my own grief every -- at the end
of every one of your shows, you do this wonderful thing called "Lives Well
And then I put my makeup on again, because it has now all been wept off.
But it`s so important. And I love you for doing it, because it`s really
made it personal, the pandemic.
So talk about this special. What are we going to see at 8:00?
WALLACE: So, in the spring, Brian Williams and I started doing an extra
hour on the pandemic.
And we started with this incredible graphic display of the numbers of cases
and the number of deaths. And it was like a punch in the stomach. And very
early on, we started taking one of those numbers and just trying to sort of
bookend our own program with the numbers and then the people behind the
And I remember at the time thinking, this is a stopgap thing. Like, surely,
the government will take this over. The country will find a way to honor
these people who, but for COVID-19, would still be here, and but for the
government`s tragic and abysmal handling of the pandemic, they would have
had a chance to still be here and see their grandkids or see their kids.
I mean, children have died. More than 200 kids have died. So, we started
thinking that somebody else would take it over. And I think it`s amazing
that this president is comfortable in the grief of the country, in standing
But there are still unimaginable numbers of people dying of all ages. It`s
disproportionately impacted and taken the lives of folks from communities
of color. But they`re -- no part of this country has been spared, no age,
no gender, no region.
So, we have still done it. I don`t know that an hour -- I mean, I have had
the same reaction that you do. I usually fall apart afterwards. So this
will be an hour of them. We will see how I do.
WALLACE: I may reapply in all the commercial breaks.
But you`re so kind to spend some time talking about it. Thank you.
REID: Well, the blotting powder works. I`m going to text you some ideas
for blotting powder.
I had like a little...
REID: And blotting powder works.
WALLACE: I have got 30 minutes. Send them quick.
REID: I will be watching.
I am among those people of color who knows somebody, more than one person,
who has died of COVID. And we need the catharsis of talking about their
lives. And you provide that every day. It`s brilliant.
Claire McCaskill and Nicolle Wallace, you too are invaluable. Thank you so
much. Really appreciate you both.
WALLACE: Thank you.
REID: All right, you must watch that.
So, don`t miss Nicolle`s special presentation, "Lives Well Lived,"
remembering and Honoring COVID-19 victims and their families one year into
the pandemic. You do not want to miss this. This is going to be an amazing,
emotional, important hour. We need this. My heart needs this. We need this.
That is tonight 8:00 p.m. Eastern right after this show.
And still ahead on THE REIDOUT: some big moves taking place right now on
the COVID front, with huge announcements today about vaccine distribution
Stay with us.
REID: In a major announcement today: President Biden said the U.S. plans
to buy an additional 100 million doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson
vaccine, a move that will dramatically increase supply.
Biden also formalized the deal he brokered between two rival pharmaceutical
giants to ensure every American has access to a vaccine by the end of May.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I have not hesitated to use my
power under the Defense Production Act to expedite critical materials in
vaccine production, such as equipment, machinery, and supplies.
The result is that we`re now on track to have enough vaccine supply for
every American adult by the end of May, months earlier than anyone
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: That deal forged, through the Defense Production Act, equips the
drug company Merck to produce the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
In taking these bold steps, Biden is drawing a sharp contrast with his
predecessor. Rather than secure more vaccines, Florida Don actually
declined the opportunity to purchase additional doses from Pfizer last
And despite his incessant talk of the Defense Production Act, the former
president rarely ever used it to fight the pandemic, while Biden has
actually promoted vaccines, including by holding a photo up to receive both
of his doses on camera -- a photo-op to receive both of his doses on
camera, Trump insisted, well, he would just got his vaccine in secret. I
guess he was too ashamed to roll up his sleeves for the good of the
Yet, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is trying to give Trump the
credit for Biden`s leadership.
Here`s what he said while attacking the American Rescue Plan yesterday.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): Democrats inherited a turning tide .The
vaccine trends and economic trends were in place before this bill was ever
voted on, before this president was sworn in. But they`re determined to
push to the front of the parade with an effort to push America to the left.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Joining now is Olivia Troye, who resigned as a senior aide on the
White House Coronavirus Task Force in the Trump administration, and Dr.
Uche Blackstock, CEO of Advancing Health Equity.
I got to ask you first to respond to that, Olivia Troye. Mitch McConnell is
trying to make it look like everything was great, and it was all on an
upward trajectory when Biden came in the door. That is not what Dr. Fauci
said. He said, we have lost half-a-million people because of what the
previous administration did.
Your thoughts on Mitch McConnell`s thoughts?
OLIVIA TROYE, FORMER U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY OFFICIAL: Yes, Mitch
McConnell`s statement is ludicrous.
I mean, we just lost a year of fighting this pandemic with Donald Trump in
office at the time during one of the biggest crises of our generation. We
lost months. That led to over half-a-million deaths in our country, because
that man was in charge at the time. And all of us suffered for it, right,
the experts on the task force who tried to push back, people who tried to
do the right thing.
So, claiming that this is -- pushing this anti-rescue plan and claiming
that this is all glory after Trump is just preposterous. I mean, he -- yes,
they did Operation Warp Speed. They launched that. They invested in
vaccines, but they didn`t do anything to distribute them, to actually
implement the plan.
REID: And, Dr. Blackstock, what might it have meant for the death toll --
at 8:00, we`re going to have this great special Nicolle is going to do
talking about those who have been lost.
How many lives -- I mean, maybe there`s not a specific number you can put
on it -- could have been saved, if after doing Operation Warp Speed, and
these drug companies racing to get these vaccines out, if the previous
administration had just purchased a lot of them, purchased 100 million
doses, and started getting them out?
Isn`t it true that lives would have been saved?
DR. UCHE BLACKSTOCK, ADVANCING HEALTH EQUITY: Absolutely.
But I just can`t help but think of, earlier in the pandemic, where we had
the prior administration undermining public health messaging, interfering
with the work of the FDA and the CDC, and there was a lack of a cohesive
national strategy on testing and mitigation measures.
And, again, 500,000 lives would have been saved. So, the vaccines would
have been the last resort. And, yes, he collaborated with these
manufacturers and gave them the funding to make these vaccines. However,
we`re in a dire situation right now.
And we still need to get the vaccines from the manufacturers into the arms
of hundreds of millions of people.
REID: Well, that`s -- you bring me to my next point. And I would love for
both of you to weigh in on this.
So, Dollar General has now stepped forward to say, OK, they can be a
distribution point for vaccines, particularly in rural places that may not
have a pharmacy or a CVS nearby. Dollar General doesn`t even have a
pharmacy in it. It`s not like Walmart that has some pharmacies in it or
giant foods, et cetera.
How big of a deal is it if we could start using big companies like Dollar
General, like in it or Giant Foods, et cetera. How big of a deal is it if
we could start using big companies like dollar general, like Walmart,
nontraditional sources of vaccination?
Dr. Blackstock, first to you, how big of a deal could that possibly be?
DR. UCHE BLACKSTOCK, ADVANCING HEALTH EQUITY FOUNDER & CEO: You know, I
think it`s important. I don`t think it should be the only strategy. What
we`re seeing is that when you have community-based, hyper-local points of
distribution for the vaccine, that`s what`s most successful.
When you have trusted messengers from the community that are involved in
vaccine outreach, administration and education, that`s where we have
success. These mass vaccination sites are useful, collaborating with Dollar
General is useful. But let`s not ignore the importance of community-based
REID: I`m with you. I wish they could do them in schools. It would be so
much faster and more efficient.
Olivia, the former president put out a sort of rather thirsty statement
tonight, rather desperate. I`m not going to read it. Basically saying when
you get those vaccines, thank me -- he really wants credit for it. Is it
strange to you that someone who lied to the American people, claimed it was
going to disappear, a year ago there was like 1,000 people dead, now
there`s half a million people dead.
Is it weird that he`s trying to pop up out of his tiny hole in Florida and
wants credit for the vaccination program that Biden is doing?
OLIVIA TROYE, DIRECTOR, REPUBLICAN ACCOUNTABILITY PROJECT: Well, he has
been obsessed with Operation Warp Speed from day one and the vaccine. He
tried to use the vaccine a prop for his own re-election and the FDA and
others who he tried to bully wouldn`t budge because they were protecting
the lives of the American people and following that process that led to a
really safe and effective vaccine, he was mad. He was pissed off, right?
And the threatened them on social media, and he went after them on social
media. There were articles about them to every doctor and health official
that took a stand against him, he would discredit them and undermine them.
So, it doesn`t surprise me he would pop up now and try to take credit. I`m
sure he will try to fund raise on that point in the future because that`s
what Donald Trump does.
As long as it benefits his wallet and bank account numbers, that`s what he
cares about. It was never about the well-being of the people. If it would
have been about that, he wouldn`t have been doubling down on the hoax
rhetoric. He wouldn`t have been dividing the country on the mask wearing.
He wouldn`t have been telling people still a year ago from today that
everything was going to be fine, even though the task force was talking
about the fact that we were going to need to shut down the country. It says
it all about that man.
REID: To drink hydroxyquinone (ph) or take drink bleach, and shine a
light, all the stuff that he just -- just ludicrous stuff all the time
wasted, it`s shameful.
Olivia Troye and Dr. Uche Blackstock, thank you very much.
And still ahead, choosing our absolute worst. You might imagine, it`s not
as easy as it might seem. But tonight`s pick said something so outrageously
offensive and dumb, it was almost as if he was just daring us not to pick
him. Challenge accepted.
We`ll be right back.
REID: Okay. Throughout the hour, I`ve been breaking down all the ways
millions of Americans have won today with the passage of the COVID relief
I`ve also laid out how you`ve all earned the big W in the face of the
unanimous pushback from Republican lawmakers who, despite their cries of
being the party of the working class, have shown their disdain for it and
that extends far too often to black Americans, at least when it comes to
our votes but also quite often to those who try to speak up for our lives.
And that was made crystal clear by today`s hands-down winner for the title
of the absolute worst, Wisconsin Congressman Glenn Grothman, who uttered
these words on the House floor while attacking the COVID relief bill.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. GLENN GROTHMAN (R-WI): One of the things that has been mentioned
here, the increase in earned income tax credit for single people has a
marriage penalty in it. I bring it up because I know the strength that
Black Lives Matter had in this last election. I know it`s a group that
doesn`t like the old-fashioned family.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Okay, okay, okay. Forget for a moment there was no reason to even
bring up Black Lives Matter. The movement had nothing to do with this bill
but it`s a group that doesn`t like the old-fashioned family? Really,
Congressman? It`s Black Lives Matter is fighting to get justice for the
family, including the children of George Floyd. It`s Black Lives Matter
that`s fighting to get justice for the family and the boyfriend of Breonna
Taylor who was shot multiple times by police in her own home. Maybe if she
lived, they could have started a family.
Black Lives Matter is one of the most pro-family groups because they`re
fighting and fundamentally simply saying don`t kill people`s mothers and
fathers and sons and daughters. Of course, what do you expect from a guy
who supported the thrice married, three baby mamas, alleged serial sex
assault perpetrator because a Florida man whose picture pops up when you
Google family values.
And don`t for a moment think that Grothman`s comments were left with no
rebuttal. Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett from the Virgin Islands, the House
impeachment manager, who delivered the truth against Trump, well, she
dragged the congressman until he had split ends.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DEL. STACEY PLASKETT (D-VI): How dare you say that we are not interested
in families in the black community? That is outrageous. That should be
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Congresswoman Plaskett joins me next.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GROTHMAN: I know the strength of the Black Lives Matter had in this
election. I know it`s a group that doesn`t like the old-fashioned family.
PLASKETT: How dare you? How dare you say the black lives matter black
people do not understand old-fashioned families? Despite some of the
issues, some of the things that you have put forward that I have heard out
of your mouth in the Oversight Committee, in your own district, we have
been able to keep our families alive for over 400 years and the assault on
our families to not have black lives or not even have black families.
How dare you say we are not interested in families in the black community?
That is outrageous. That should be stricken down.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Joining me now is Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett of Virgin Islands,
dragging for all the world to see.
And, Congresswoman, you want to share with us what did this guy say in your
PLASKETT: Oh, well, you know, if you just look Glenn Grothman, he has the
history of making remarks about, you know, welfare mamas and just -- just
very, very racist remarks throughout his time when he was even in the state
legislature in Wisconsin and then, of course, in the committee.
But as --
REID: Maybe this is -- hmm?
PLASKETT: I was going to say just like many Republicans what they used to
say in kind of coded messages no longer coded. They`re just very blatant
about what they say.
REID: Clearly, clearly. Here`s a little bit more of Glenn Grothman. Maybe
this is some of the stuff you`re talking about. Here he is attacking the
relief bills to minority farmers because who would want that?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GROTHMAN: We have loan forgiveness on farms based on ethnicity. Okay? Some
people are going to get a forgiveness. Some people aren`t. I think that`s
incredibly divisive. I think we started out with a divisive inaugural
speech right off the bat, and to go into this route is only going to create
divisiveness in America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: I don`t know what he could have thought was divisive in Joe Biden`s
speech other than against racism. But, I mean, is -- you kind of got to
what I wanted to ask you. Are you seeing -- just in dealing with some of
these Republican members, that there is a lot more blatant, really ugly
talk about race and do you get a sense that the attitudes have changed and
gotten worse or that people are just more open about it?
PLASKETT: I think they`re just more open, they`re more comfortable. It
came from the divider in chief, Donald Trump, for four years. He got away
with it and so they think that this is par for the course now that they can
engage in this kind of discussion.
Even just talked about with farmers, we all know that black farmers have
been discriminated against in the time, that they have gone from farming
larger percentage of farming in America to a minuscule amount and the
support that they need has to be there to grow up our economy. This bill --
and that`s what I went to the floor about to talk about how this bill is
going to equalize things, how there was equity, how this is going to race
tens of millions of children out of poverty and you hear something like
Grothman speaking and there`s no way you cannot say something.
Speaking of Trump, here`s audio that "Wall Street Journal" is released this
afternoon, a December call between him and the Georgia secretary of state,
state investigator, where he was urging basically them to find him more
votes. Take a look.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, FORMER PRESIDENT: I won Georgia, I know that, by a lot, and
the people know it and, you know, something`s happened there. Something bad
If you can get to Fulton, you are going to find things that are going to
unbelievable, the dishonesty that we have heard from them.
FRANCES WATSON: Right.
TRUMP: Just good sources.
TRUMP: Really good sources. But Fulton is the motherload as the expression
Hopefully, you know, I will -- when the right answer comes out, you`ll be
(END AUDIO CLIP)
REID: So, he goes right to Fulton which, of course, where black folks live
outside of Atlanta. What do you make of that as a former impeachment
manager, him begging her to go back to Fulton, go back two years and find
alleged fraud so that he could overturn the results?
PLASKETT: Sure. I think this is just an example of what we`re going to see
trickling out over a period of time moving forward. We`re hearing in
Georgia. I`m sure we`re going to get more information about what he
attempted to do in Pennsylvania, in Arizona. I`m sure that this is not
going to end.
And that`s one of the things that we were trying to speak to those senators
about was, listen, this is the evidence we have heard now but history is
going to unfold even more. And where are you going to be at the end of that
unfolding, of that revealing of who this man really was and the assault
that he was attempting to make on our democracy and on our election system?
In the same tape, you will hear him talk of course, he has to mention
The fact that black people organized, that they exerted their
constitutional right to vote is just something that he cannot withstand.
REID: Yeah. Well, bad news for him is that a black woman in Georgia and a
black woman in New York are both investigating him and that might not go
too well for him.
Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett, thank you so much and thank you for always
serving. We appreciate you. Serving and serving when it needs to be done.
That is tonight`s REIDOIUT.
Nicolle Wallace is next with an MSNBC special, "Lives Well Lived", which is
dedicated to remembering and honoring COVID-19 victims and their families.
It`s going to be so good. It`s going to be so cathartic. It`s so important.
We had a president who for four years ignored all of those deaths and now
we are going to get really experience the catharsis.
I am ready for it, I`m excited and it starts right now.
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