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Transcript: The ReidOut, 8/24/21

Guests: Rosalind Osgood, Michael Hinojosa, Pete Aguilar, Jane Ferguson


COVID death rate surges to 278 percent in South Carolina. COVID is surging in states with low vaccination rates. Some schools are defying bans on mask requirements. Poll shows residents losing patience with Governor DeSantis. January 6 Select Committee will request lawmakers phone records. GOP Representative Jim Jordan stumbles through answer on whether he spoke to Trump on January 6. The FDA has to remind Americans that they`re not livestock and should not be ingesting medicines designed for livestock.


JOY RIED, MSNBC HOST: Oh, I never said that. I was never offended

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Yes. That, that`s -- I don`t have a lot of time but this is quick one. That is over.

REID: Yes, pretty much, with like dripping a hair die and all. Thank you very much, Ari. Have a good evening. Cheers.

All right, everyone, good evening. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the dizzying spread of the delta variant. In Georgia, Governor Brian Kemp has deployed the National Guard to help with hospitals. Louisiana reported 139 deaths, the most in a single day, since the start of the pandemic. And in Florida, more than 17,000 people are currently hospitalized with COVID, with more than 3,000, 3,000 ICU patients. Emergency services around Tampa Bay are being pushed to the brink. EMS workers are waiting hours to transport patients to hospitals. In a disturbing flashback to the spring of 2020, Broward Health Medical Center is adding temporary mortuary facilities.

And despite all of this unnecessary death and agony, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who has emerged during this pandemic as a kind of Dr. Death, continues to wage his war not against the virus but against the people who are fighting to stem the tide of this delta tsunami. And people are getting frankly tired of it.

A new Quinnipiac Poll of Floridians shows that 59 percent of the adults say the COVID situation is now out of control. Local officials and corporations are also losing patients with a seemingly pro-COVID governor. Disney, a huge moneymaker in the state, has struck an agreement with their 38,000 strong union to mandate vaccines among its workers. Disney Cruises and carnival cruises are requiring a vaccine in order to board their ships. And today the Broward County School Board refused to back down on their mask mandate. They could be fined up to $31,000 for daring to protect the lives of the kids in their district.

Just take that in for a second. They`re being punished for protecting children. And just to give you a sense of how dumb and dangerous these anti-mask mandates are, the Associated Press found that more than 80 school districts or charter networks in more than a dozen states have closed or delayed in-person classes in at least one of their schools.

Clearly, DeSantis isn`t the only governor rolling out the red carpet for this ravenous virus. In July, the South Carolina legislature passed a law prohibiting schools administrators from requiring masks. Over the past two weeks, South Carolina`s COVID death rate has risen 278 percent. That`s not a typo, 278 percent. One superintendent and his school board have had enough. They`re asking the state Supreme Court for a temporary injunction against the mask mandate prohibition. And earlier this afternoon the ACLU gave him some backup by announcing that they had filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of disability rights groups and parents who believe the state`s mask restriction endangers the lives of their children.

Meanwhile, in Texas, the COVID-infected, thrice injected Governor Greg Abbott, is asking the Texas Supreme Court to lift an injunction that keeps him from punishing school districts that are enforcing mask mandates there. Roughly 60 districts, including Dallas, are defying Governor Abbott by requiring masks in school.

With me now, Rosalind Osgood, School Board Chair from Broward County Public Schools, and Michael Hinojosa Superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District.

And, Dr. Osgood, I`m going to start with you. As a former Broward county resident, I was so proud to hear you this morning on Morning Joe talking about the fact that you didn`t care if they docked your pay, your top priority was protecting kids. So, talk about what Broward County is doing to stand up to this governor.

ROSALIND OSGOOD, SCHOOL BOARD CHAIR, BROWARD COUNTRY, FLORIDA: Well, we made a decision and we`re sticking to our decision as we continue to see COVID positivity rates increase in our county. We continue to listen at members of our community, which include our staff, our students, our parents. We continue to have real live experiences where we are seeing people die, whether it`s teachers in our schools, whether members in our churches are being impacted with COVID and even members in our own family.

So, the COVID pandemic is very real to us. It is causing a major hardship on this county already with the 18 and 19 months that we`ve been dealing with it. There`s been a lot of grief and a lot of loss. So there is no way that we could, in good conscience, not use every tool we have in our toolbox to provide a safe work environment for our staff and a safe learning environment for our students.


It`s just no way possible. This really, you know, when you think about it, about defying the governor, it`s more about standing up for what`s morally right and protecting the people that you love.

REID: Yes. Very quickly, has the governor, Governor DeSantis, visited Broward County schools to see how students and teachers are faring?

OSGOOD: Not to my knowledge.

REID: Okay, I thought I knew the answer to that but I thought I would ask.

Mr. Hinojosa, same question to you. Talk about what your school district is doing in the face of a governor that would rather fight you than fight the virus.

MICHAEL HINOJOSA, SUPERINTENDENT, DALLAS INDEPENDENT SCHOOL DISTRICT: Well, thanks Joy. Thanks for having me. It`s been surreal. I`m going to just tell you about my last 30 hours. About 24hours ago, I was testifying in a court where we sued the governor, along with many other districts, because they would not allow us to have the masks. And, in fact, I was shocked when the attorney representing the state barely asked me any questions. They pass a witness in 15 minutes. It was shocking that they didn`t even want to grill me about my decision. Now, they have not even communicated with me at all.

Then today, I had to drive down to Austin to testify for a virtual bill because we had a virtual bill that we could have used to help keep families safe. It died at the last minute here in the last session. So there in a special session they have put it up. Once again, I drove down there, I testified for three minutes, not one question. Now, that, that passed out of committee with one dissenting vote because now they know how the situation has really gotten out of control.

I just looked at my dashboard. Two weeks -- at the beginning of the week, we only had -- we had less than double digits of students infected. We now have 353 students that have been infected. So this thing continues to spiral out of control, and yet nobody is confronting me. Nobody is communicating with me but -- and they know how I feel about this matter, which is very urgent at this time.

REID: Yes. And I`ll ask you the same question. Has your governor or lieutenant governor visited the school districts or visited any schools in your district to see how the students and parents and teachers are faring?

HINOJOSA: No, absolutely not. We`ve had no visitors from the governor nor lieutenant governor.

REID: Yes. Let me go back to you, Dr. Osgood, for a moment. Florida ranks 21st in terms of the vaccine rate, Texas, by the way, ranks 34th. You can just look up there, you can see Vermont is the most vaccinated state in the country with 67 percent of its population vaccinated, then you go down to Connecticut, all these New England states. Florida only has a 52 percent vaccination rate. Texas is even worse off, 46 percent. And below them are more red states, Wyoming, Mississippi and Alabama.

So, I`ll start with you, Dr. Osgood. We understand that the purpose of what your governor is doing, going after the cruise industry, even as Disney Cruises are saying you have to have vaccines, he tried to stop other cruise companies from having vaccine mandates, going after teachers. He wants to be president. He thinks that this is good politics for him. Have you gotten a sense in Broward County that his stance for the, quote, freedom of parents to send their children potentially infected with COVID maskless to school, is this, in some way, playing well among the people of Broward County? Are you on the wrong side of most of the people who live in Broward or is the governor?

OSGOOD: I don`t think so. The people in Broward County love our children, we love our educators. Our district employs 30,000 employees and about 260,000 students and we don`t like our children and our education system being used as a pawn.

As I was listening to Michael, it`s interesting because, normally, when you get an injunction, Joy, there is a due process that takes place. We have not been given any type of due process hearing or matter to deal with this. We just continue to be bullied and threatened, one thing after another, for doing what we feel is right for our students and the people in our community.

I`m not sure how all of this is playing out. I don`t know what the governor or anyone is thinking but, you know, it`s kind of real simple. If you don`t wear a mask, you have the potential to lose your life, to die or be seriously impacted of COVID. There has not been one case that anybody that wore a mask to protect themselves from COVID died from wearing a mask.

So we have to get vaccinated. We`re encouraging people to get vaccinated. We know a large number of people are not. We know that there`s not a vaccine option for students that are 12 and under. So we have to use masks to protect them. This is something that we can`t negotiate. We can`t compromise. We believe strongly in our school district that the governor is over reaching his authority as the governor. We believe strongly that the Florida Constitution allows a local citizenry to elect local school board members to govern and make policies for school districts.


REID: That is what Republicans used to believe, actually, in local control. Just a little bit for our audience to know, just what the public in general believes in terms of the support for mask mandates. A new Quinnipiac Poll shows six in ten Floridians support requiring masks in schools. 61 percent, the recent rise in COVID cases was preventable because they`re smart and they know it.

There`s a Democratic poll on Florida from future majority, 51 percent of voters say DeSantis cares more about running for president in 2024 versus 46 percent say he cares more about Florida. There`s -- voters differ greatly on freedom versus health. 21 percent of Republicans in Florida agree with the statement, my freedom ends only when it is endangering your health. 88 percent of Democrats agree, 56 percent of independents agree, 96 percent of Florida residents strongly disapprove of DeSantis`s job versus 93 percent of Florida Republicans.

The bottom line being, Mr. Hinojosa, whether it`s in Florida or in Texas, these governors are counting on the idea that their voters think that their freedom to be maskless and to make their kids show up maskless matters more than the freedom of other students and teachers to not get COVID. That`s what they believe. What would you say back to them?

HINOJOSA: Well, Joy, this is all going to play out real quick because, even the San Antonio superintendent wanted to have a vaccine in the district and he got sued by the attorney general to stop him so he had to stop that. There`s also a bill that was introduced yesterday to prevent us from having masks. Let`s see if it survives the special session.

And now, I think that even Republican voters in our state are saying, wait a minute, we`re playing with fire here. And so I think the tide is starting to turn and we`ll know in two weeks because that special session will have to adjourn in two weeks and we`ll see what happens here if the tide is really turning with our voters on both sides of the aisle.

REID: I will note that that special session, we talked about it yesterday, did not include any measures that would protect children in the state of Texas from dying of COVID. COVID was not on the agenda. All that was on the agenda was a lot of Republican sort of talking point of materials, including stopping people of color for voting, because, of course.

Dr. Rosalind Osgood, thank you very much. Michael Hinojosa, thank you both for standing up to your governors and for the children.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, which members of Congress should be really worried right now after the chairman of the January 6th select committee confirmed that he`s going after phone, email, text records of potential insurrection co-conspirators?

Plus, the U.S. military ramps up evacuation from Afghanistan with the deadline exactly one week away. Are we on track to get everyone out?

Plus, the twisted and deadly COVID propaganda machine and how it`s causing people to take dangerous things, like taking de-worming medicine meant for horses.

And tonight`s absolute worst has flat out declared war on children and he`s already doing a lot of damage.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.



REID: Republican lawmakers who may have been involved in the events of January 6th are officially in the crosshairs of the select committee investigating the Capitol insurrection. Politico reports that according to the Chairman Benny Thompson, the committee will seek electronic communications records related to the attack, including from members of Congress. That means they`ll soon be sending letters to telecommunications companies and social media companies requesting they preserve relevant documents.

That`s likely to come as unwelcome news to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Congressman Jim Jordan, both of whom have been notably evasive about their phone calls with President Trump on the day of the Capitol siege for some reason. For Jim Jordan, those calls were apparently so sensitive that he waited more than six months to even acknowledge that took place at all, finally giving this rather mini-mouth (ph) admission in July.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: On January 6th did you speak with him before, during, or after the Capitol was attacked?

REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): I`d have to go -- I -- I -- I spoke with him that day after, I think after. I don`t know if I spoke with him in the morning or not. I just don`t know. I`d have to go back and I have to go back in -- I mean, I don`t -- I don`t -- I don`t know that -- when those conversations happened.


REID: Okay. By him, you mean president him? Okay, let me think, did I speak to the president? He was the president, right? Okay, him?

Other Republicans might also have reason to fear having their phone records scrutinized, like Congressman Paul Gosar, Mo Brooks, Andy Biggs, who helped plan the stop the steal rally that preceded the attack, according to one of the organizers. In fact, Mo Brooks later said he was prepared in advance for the violence of that day, admitting that he wore body armor during his speech at the Ellipse prior to the siege for some reason.

Joining me now, Congressman Pete Aguilar of California, a member of the select committee investigating January 6th.

I think it comes as a relief, I think to a lot of people who watch this show and this network who have been following the coverage on various programs because there always has been this sense that there were members of Congress who all but bragged that they were on the side of the insurrectionists. So is it your understanding that these requests to preserve records are happening because there is some sense that, in fact, members of Congress were involved in some way in planning what happened?

REP. PETE AGUILAR (D-CA): Well, I`ll let Chairman Thompson speak for the select committee and any letters, if there are letters that are going out, I will let he and the press operation for the select committee handle that. But what I will say is our mandate is very clear. We want to get to the truth of what happened on January 6th. That means the planning and operation, that means things that led up to January 6th as well as the response on January 6th, including the rally that you mentioned.


So, we`re going to continue to do our work. We have a work plan that we`re following. And we`re going to be guided by the basic principle that we need to follow every fact and unravel every piece of information we can to seek to get to the truth.

REID: Well, let me come at this another way, because we know that people like Jim Jordan spoke to the president that day.

We know that the House minority leader spoke to the president that day. He`s talked about it in interviews. This is publicly in for -- public information. We know that people like Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs and Mo Brooks, Ali Alexander, who we still don`t know where he is, said they helped him organize the -- quote -- "Stop the Steal" rally. So we these are facts that are known.

So I guess my question would be, since there`s public information that these people had some association with what happened, is it the general belief of those of you who are charged to investigate this that, in fact, all you need to do is find the proof of it, that, in fact, that were members of Congress?

I think that`s what the American people want to know. In your view, were any members of Congress conspiring with the people who attacked our Capitol?

AGUILAR: Over 500 individuals have been charged so far by the Department of Justice.

We`re going to continue to do everything we can to find out who was responsible for this, whether there was coordination, and to chase every lead that we possibly can. We know that the Department of Justice has a role to play and we have a role to play. And so we want to make sure we analyze and review everything that happens that day.

And, clearly, communication with the president is a portion of that. And so we want to make sure that we talk about the response that day, whether it was the National Guard responding, whether there was any intentional delay. All of those things, we have seen press reports on.

But we`re going to be guided by the truth and make sure that we can speak with the information, and to ensure that we follow the truth and get to the facts.

REID: Should the people who are paying attention to this expect, at some point, those who are in possession of Donald Trump`s phone records and social media records should also -- are also going to be asked to preserve their records, Donald Trump`s?

AGUILAR: I think -- I think Representative Liz Cheney said it well in our open hearing, when she said that we should account for the president every minute of that day.

And so that includes communication. That includes what he was watching on television. All of those facts should be out in the public at some point. And so we`re going to continue to do everything we can to shine a light on what happened that day, the response, the preparation, who funded it, and all the events that led up to the planning, which is exactly what you what you talked about, on January 6.

REID: And let`s also talk about some of the other things.

There have been a lot of conspiracy theories and low-key, not even low-key, attacks on the officer who shot Ashli Babbitt, who was the militarily trained person who went -- tried to go through the speaker`s lobby door, was shot by an officer.

Not only did the Capitol Police clear this officer. CNBC reports that an internal investigation found no wrongdoing, and, actually, the actions of the officer in this case potentially saved members and staff from serious injury and possible death.

That`s something we could all see with our eyes when we watched what happened, when we saw the video of it. Will this committee ensure that that officer`s identity and name are protected, and that it doesn`t wind up in any reports?

Because it does seem that some on the right are trying to get that person outed, and that would put them in danger, physical danger.

AGUILAR: Well, this is someone who put their life on the line to protect - - to protect me.

I was on the House floor that day being evacuated just about the same time. And so it`s unfortunate that people want to play politics with that event, which is incredibly tragic, and no one should have lost their life.

But let`s also remember that those officers, just yards away from that incident, were trying to protect their own lives from these insurrectionists who were throwing everything that they could get their hands on, beating individuals with flags and anything that wasn`t bolted down.

And so that individual was protecting the Capitol chamber, was protecting members of Congress.And we need to ensure that we protect that individual`s safety as a result of their official actions that day.

REID: Let`s talk about what people believe about January 6 among Republicans; 82 percent of Republicans who were polled by an NBC poll said that they believe that January 6 is being exaggerated to discredit Trump and his allies.

I guess they didn`t see any of the video. Maybe it`s not shown on FOX or OANN. But yet people who still believe the big lie, as did the people who attacked our Capitol, still pose a national security threat, as we know we have heard from the FBI.


NPR has reported that the police department, the Metro Police Department, is going to have an increased presence around D.C., because, on September 18, the people who support the former president are going to hold something called a Justice for January 6 rally.

Matt -- former Matt -- Trump campaign official Matt Braynard is spearheading the protest, saying -- quote -- "We`re going back to the Capitol, right where it started. And it`s going to be huge."

What should we expect the security posture to look like in the Capitol? Will the Capitol be safe to be anywhere near, in your view, on September 18?

AGUILAR: Well, we will work with our law enforcement professionals to make sure that the Capitol is protected and that business can be conducted if it`s a legislative day.

I don`t believe that that`s a day we`re scheduled to be in legislative session, but we need to ensure the safety and security of the people who work in this building each and every day. And so that will be our focus.

And I would say that it`s incredibly sad that individuals on the right don`t want to acknowledge that this was an assault on our democracy. And so that becomes the chief -- Joy, that becomes the number one priority that we can do, isn`t just following the facts and uncovering the truth. It`s to ensure that this never happens again

REID: Yes.

AGUILAR: This was a violent assault on our democracy. And the hallmark of our democracy is a peaceful transition of power. And that`s exactly what these individuals wanted to prevent.

REID: Yes.

AGUILAR: And so, as we see the public charging documents the Department of Justice has put on their Web site, we see that. And so we need to make sure that we`re doing everything we can to shine a light on it, to make sure that people understand this is how precious democracy is.

And this is how close we came to those individuals trying to uproot it.

REID: Right. Yes. And some of them seem to want to have a second round.

Congressman Pete Aguilar, thank you very much. Really appreciate your time tonight.

AGUILAR: Thank you.

REID: And still ahead: more than 22,000 evacuations in the last 24 hours, as the U.S. races to get U.S. citizens and African allies out of Afghanistan ahead of the August 31 deadline, which President Biden now says he will be sticking to, no matter what.

We will bring you the latest next. Stay with us.




JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We are currently on a pace to finish by August the 31st.

The sooner we can finish, the better. Each day of operations and brings added risk to our troops. In addition, I have asked the Pentagon and the State Department for contingency plans to adjust the timetable, should that become necessary.


REID: Late this afternoon, President Biden announced he will not be extending the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond the August 31 deadline.

That leaves one week to complete the evacuation of U.S. citizens and allies. After a rough start, the U.S. military has ramped up its efforts, with about 71,000 people evacuated in the last 10 days. Almost 22,000 were flown out of Afghanistan just yesterday, including more than 4,000 Americans and their family members.

It also includes three babies who were delivered aboard those flights. And given that we were told that the target number of people to be evacuated was about 80,000, that sure sounds like they are on target.

Joining me now from Kabul is Jane Ferguson, special correspondent for the "PBS NewsHour."

And, Jane, thank you very much. Really appreciate you being here.

So, let`s talk about this week. It seems -- the number we were given at the outset was that there were about 80,000 people that needed to come out. They`re on track, it seems, to make it by the one-week deadline.

So, where is the pressure coming from to keep troops in longer? Is this -- is this more -- I don`t know. Where is the pressure coming from to keep troops there beyond August 31?

JANE FERGUSON, "PBS NEWSHOUR": Well, what we know, Joy, is that there are still Americans in Afghanistan, that the Biden administration haven`t said how many are still to come out.

Don`t forget they`re not necessarily in Kabul. They could be anywhere across the country. The Taliban takeover of the capital was so rapid, very few people predicted it.

But, beyond that, you have to remember that a lot of those numbers were put together before the Biden administration announced an unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan. So, if you`re looking at the Special Immigrant Visa applicants, so those interpreters and their families that worked alongside the U.S. military, they`re going to be many who either hadn`t applied yet or who were stuck in the system and who were not able to get through.

It is famously difficult to get a Special Immigrant Visa. It can take years and years and many attempts actually of rejections. And so the numbers that were initially put forward didn`t necessarily reflect the number of people who would wish to apply for the visas that they, in essence -- that they were entitled to.

And, also, we have also heard from the president since then that they were expanding eligibility for the refugee program, to include people like who had worked with the United States, like with the USAID or with the U.S. media.

And so there were more people who were entitled to at least attempt to get to the United States. How they were going to do that, in what kind of time frame, is what has been so chaotic. People are now being told they have one week to make it. And if you don`t have the visa in your hand, you`re very unlikely to get in the gate.

But that doesn`t mean you`re not going to go and try. And that`s why we have seen chaotic scenes here.

REID: Well, the United States did not do this invasion and occupation of Afghanistan alone. This was an entire NATO operation.

So it`s presumed that it is all on the United States to do all the evacuations. Are any other countries, any of our NATO allies attempting to also get people out? Or is this an all-U.S.-military all-by-itself operation?

FERGUSON: The operations here very much so represent the way this war was fought.

There are militaries from all over the world here. It`s surreal when you`re walking out on the street outside the airport here. You have got British soldiers who are heavily involved in pulling people out of the crowds, in sorting through, in getting them over to the air base.


I have seen Canadian troops, Polish troops, Italian troops. I mean, you name it, if someone fought in Afghanistan, there is a presence here, and they are trying to get people out.

It`s actually America`s allies here there, the other militaries, that have largely been pushing President Biden to try to extend that deadline, to at least extend it a little bit, so they can get their people and their own nationals, as well as their own interpreters and allies on the battlefield.

So it`s very much so a joint project. But, of course, those who are here from allied forces rely on the U.S. military. This would not be possible without the U.S. Air Force and the ability to basically airlift this amount of people. No one else has that kind of capability.

So it`s ultimately up to the White House as to how long everything`s -- everyone stays here. The other nations will have to leave before the United States because they are so dependent on the U.S. Air Force.

REID: Jane Ferguson, thank you very much. Really appreciate it.

With me now, Malcolm Nance, MSNBC counterterrorism and intelligence analyst.

I don`t know if you were able to hear what Jane said, because it sounds to me as if the burden-sharing isn`t exactly equal. There are all of these NATO countries that are essentially saying, it`s all up to you, the United States. And it sounds to me like the military are doing quite a thorough job.

I mean, they have gotten a lot of people out. You wouldn`t know it from sometimes listening to the coverage, but they have gotten a lot of people out.

What do you make of the fact that this isn`t a shared responsibility, so much as it`s being made only America`s responsibility?

MALCOLM NANCE, NBC COUNTERTERRORISM AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYST: Well, it`s American responsibility because we maintain the air bridge, we maintain the links from Doha, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and we control the airport with our combat controllers.

That`s the Air Force teams that actually run the airport properly. So, we have more lift capacity than just about everyone. When we brought that air bridge to descend down into the Karzai Airport, it became our responsibility. And it`s better that it`s under our control, because our NATO allies know how to integrate with us.

Charter jets can fly in there. We have aircraft from everywhere in the world flying in there, particularly from the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Saudi Arabia. It`s not just U.S. forces. And NATO forces are evacuating their own citizens. But we maintain the perimeter and we run this entire air bridge.

And let me say one other thing here, Joy. This is going to be, if it stays on track -- and ISIS Khorasan could screw this up at any minute -- one of the -- the second largest noncombatant evacuation in American history. This is not Dunkirk. They are not under attack and being surrounded.

This is a semi-permissive noncombatant evacuation operation. And we are taking out just about anybody who is there who can prove that they are U.S.-aligned or U.S. citizen. But we have to maintain something. There are 38 million Afghans. We cannot take every one of them.

REID: Yes.

NANCE: And there`s going to have to be a tiered system to get them out.

REID: Let me -- let`s get into this a little bit more, because so you -- right. You had Boris Johnson talking about the number one condition we`re setting for the G7 is they have got a guarantee safe passage for those who want to come out. So, everyone agrees that people need to come out.

There was this great video, this clip of these young girls, these Afghan girls who were on like a computer, a tech team, right? And they were all -- they were sort of all together, and they all got on a plane, they all got to Qatar, they all got out. It was actually really heartwarming to see them go.

It seems that the Taliban are belatedly realizing that their fourth century politics may not work for their future as a country, because they`re now saying, whoa, hold on a second, the United States. They don`t want you -- they don`t want us encouraging their doctors and lawyers and their engineers and those who are educated that we need them.

They put out -- this is their Taliban spokesperson, saying: "This country needs our doctors, engineers, and those who are educated. We need those talents."

Really? Because some of them are women. So, I`m wondering what kind of leverage there might be available to NATO countries, to the United States after the 31st. The World Bank still has to deal with the Taliban and whatever government is there financially. Their money is not necessarily available to them right now.

They`re still wanting to talk, because they don`t want to have a complete brain drain of that country. So, in your view, is the 31st the end of any conversation that international forces could have with the Taliban to make sure that they -- that people who want out can leave?

NANCE: Well, certainly, it`s not going to be a cutoff date where everything just ends.

The Taliban put that hard-line position up because that`s how you negotiate over there. And by sending our CIA director, who is, I understand, 30 years a diplomat, was the right person to go there.


So by bringing the Taliban to the table, letting them know that there are alternatives that -- and, you know, there`s leverage that we have, an enormous quality of money that actually belongs to the government of Afghanistan, whoever that is.


NANCE: So, you know, they have to decide one of two things very quickly. I think it`s already forming up because the leadership of the Taliban are my age, right? They are nearing late 50s, early 60 years old and they`ve been fighting since they were children. Are they going to lead a nation state or just a guerrilla base camp?

And I think that that last time when we had this -- you know, when the warlords took over in the 1980s and they thought them and beat them, they became a guerrilla base camp that had the Islamic emirate of Afghanistan flag and that was about it. They had no recognition from anyone other than a couple of Gulf States. This time, they have to run a nation state and they want to be players in that region and they are going to have to make those concessions.

If they think they`re going to cut us off on the 31st and we`re going to happily fly off and abandon American citizens or even some of those allies, they`ve got another thing coming. We have capacity to get everyone out that we want. I think we will. I think we`ll beat 100,000 by the end of next week, and I look forward to hearing those naysayers tell us this was the worst military disaster in history.

REID: I think the narrative will be, well, you only got 100,000 out. That`s a failure. I don`t know that there`s anything that Biden could do other than promise to leave troops in there for another 20 years in order to satisfy some folks. I don`t know. We`ll see what happens.

Malcolm Nance, thank you very much. Appreciate you.

Still ahead, when the FDA has to remind Americans that they`re not livestock and should not be ingesting medicines designed for livestock, it`s not hard to understand how frustrations with the unvaccinated are peaking right now. Why it`s so hard to overcome the misinformation that causes this kind of dangerous behavior? That is next.



REID: More than a year since a man not qualified to be a doctor or a president began boosting an anti-malaria drug as a supposed COVID-19 cure, a new quack remedy has emerged to take his place. It`s called ivermectin, an anti-parasitic for humans that also has a version used to treat livestock and horses.

OK. Most of us can agree that we`re living in a mixed up topsy-turvy pandemic right now. We`re in the up side right now, but this? This is pretty out there.

People are now taking a drug formulated not to treat COVID but, rather, head lice, and parasites. And remember I said it comes in human and livestock versions. Unable to obtain their obsession from, say, pharmacies, since doctors are not goofy enough to prescribe it to them, true believers are scoring the drug for places like the local feed store and they`re ingesting it, in doses formulated for animals that outweigh humans by a ton -- literally a ton, and winding up in the hospital to compete for treatment with COVID patients. You really can`t make it up.

The FDA issued real talk, tweeting, you are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y`all. Stop it. Got to tell people they`re not horses.

Mississippi health officials are saying the same after receiving a number of calls through poison control by residents ingesting the horse dewormer. This is the state mind you with the second lowest vaccination rate in the country, and where 13-year-old McKayla Robinson became the second Mississippi school kid to die of COVID when she passed last week, causing her school to pass down but not moving her governor, Tate Reeves, to change his mind at all about opposing mask mandates.

Joining me now is NBC News senior reporter Ben Collins.

Ben, I am so excited to talk to you today because I have heard and have argued with enough anti-vaxxers at this point to number one have my frustration level beyond 100, and to notice they all say the same things. They all use the same talking points as if they`re all getting it from the same source.

Do you have any idea as our guy in the world that sort of understands the Facebook universe, is there like a single source for all of this, these conspiracy theories about the vaccine?

BEN COLLINS, NBC NWS SENIOR REPORTER: Well, they`re all in these smaller communities. Some are on Facebook. Now, ivermectin is not a banned thing on Facebook, in part because, you know, it`s part of a drug cocktail that people with COVID do get in other parts of the country -- especially other parts of the world, sorry, especially parts of the world that do not have access to the vaccine. They would love access, but they have to, you know, treat it with therapeutics that are still experimental, right?

So, they`re not banning ivermectin. But in these Facebook pages, like the biggest ivermectin Facebook page is called Ivermectin MD Team which features largely pretty much zero doctors. It`s people telling people how to ingest it and how to take it. There`s one -- people keep saying it`s like a jelly or something, I don`t know how to use this. They`re like, oh, just mix it into your guacamole, or your jelly.

REID: Wait, wait. Hold on a second, hold on a second, I`m sorry, Ben.


REID: People who -- and you`ve probably heard people say this, too, say, I can`t take the vaccine, that`s experimental.


REID: Are going on Facebook and taking something that is in an experimental cocktail in other countries and saying, well, I`m willing to take that. Is it a jelly? That`s what they`re doing?

COLLINS: Yeah. I mean --

REID: Okay.

COLLINS: -- they try to get the actual little pill, like an actual drug first. They realize they`re not going to get it. They go to the feed store and get the one that says for sheep or whatever, and they try to find ways to eat it that are a little bit more palatable than just taking it out of the tube.


Look, it`s really grim stuff. That`s where we are at.

REID: And it`s not just regular people. The mayor of Lake Ozark, "The Kansas City Star" had this piece out in Missouri.

Lake Ozark Mayor Dennis Newberry, in a Facebook post, of course, plugged the anti-parasite drug commonly used in animals. Federal health officials warn the drug can be dangerous and hasn`t been approved. He said, help me, please. I need to get my friend who has COVID this ivermectin.

So, he`s out there literally crowd-sourcing how to get it. And this is where I want you to talk about where true things morph into fake things.

"The Wall Street Journal" had written an op-ed saying why are they attacking a safe drug? Ivermectin is a promising COVID treatment and propalyxis, but the agency is denigrating it.

A guy named Michael Henderson -- David Henderson and Charles Hooper wrote. That`s on July 28. They had to run a correction saying this article has been edited to remove a reference of a study of 200 healthcare workers, 200, by Ahmed Elgazzar of Benha University in Egypt. Henderson and others relied on a summary of studies, yada, yada -- meaning it was a bad study and they couldn`t rely in it.

But people are getting little pieces of something that they -- that is true and mixing it. Can Facebook not stop that?

COLLINS: I don`t know if Facebook can stop that. That`s a very difficult thing. That study was everywhere until they realized that it had been retracted. It was the primary thing that the people pointed to as the reason to treat people with this instead of the vaccine.

That`s the other thing. These spaces should be open. There should be a place to talk about the vaccines with people who are worried about taking them. But very frequently, the people running these spaces are committed to an ideology that`s anti-vax, as it is.

You know, anti-vaxxers have been well before COVID, have mastered the idea of getting people nervous about vaccines.

REID: Yeah.

COLLINS: And people who are new to the game -- we`re all new to the game of trying to get people to get the vaccine, right, because it`s safe and effective.

REID: Yeah.

COLLINS: But, you know, we don`t have that sort of rhetorical trick that they mastered on Facebook and social media platforms.

REID: And we also don`t have the following, most people don`t.

Busta Rhymes, let me just play real quick what he did recently and then you`re going to have a very quick answer after this, we`re out of time. Go ahead.


BUSTA RYHMES, RAPPER: God given right of freedom. No human being is supposed to tell you, you can`t breathe freely. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) your mask. You might feel differently. (EXPLETIVE DELETED) your mask.


REID: This was anti-mask not anti-vax. How much are influencers like Busta having? They have more influence than Dr. Fauci at this point, right?

COLLINS: Yeah. It`s a big deal that he is doing this, in part because people are desperate for information of any kind. Talking point is, go see your doctor, talk to your doctor.

REID: Yeah.

COLLINS: People don`t have doctors. They don`t have primary care physicians. They go and they find the person they trust.

For some people, I guess it`s Busta Rhymes. I mean, I don`t know, it wasn`t like 2002, I guess that`s the case for some people. So, that`s the worry. They don`t have doctors. They find something on the Internet.

REID: I`m going to say, I`m an OG hip hop fan. I`m old enough to have been a fan of Busta Rhymes, and trust and believe he will not be giving medical advice. Thank you very much.

Appreciate you, Ben Collins. Thank you. It`s a wild world out there. Whoo!

OK, don`t go anywhere. Believe it or not, it can get worse. Tonight`s absolute worst is still ahead. As a Republican governor strips assistance, get this, away from those who need it most in the middle of pandemic he is helping to prolong. That`s next.



REID: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been appallingly derelict in doing anything to fight the pandemic, from prioritizing Regeneron popup clinics over vaccinations to declaring open war on educators looking to protect the state`s school children.

But he`s also made it harder for some Floridians to survive financially, rejecting federal aid left and right. COVID has raged across the Sunshine state this summer.

DeSantis touted a return to business as usual. He joined the cavalcade of Republican governor prematurely cutting off federal enhanced unemployment assistance, claiming it was deterring people from getting back to work in a pandemic that savaged Florida`s service and tourism industry. So, what jobs, Governor? He didn`t say.

"The Washington Post" notes that the cruel blocking of jobless aid to struggling Floridians came just as the delta variant began pummeling the state. But it would seem the cruelty is the point. After all, your health is secondary to the economy, am I right? It doesn`t stop there. DeSantis also refused to reinstate a moratorium on evictions as the federal ban was set to end at the end of July. Perhaps he doesn`t understand that homelessness makes pandemics worse. Or maybe he does and doesn`t care.

"The Tampa Bay Times" found that at that point, the state had only distributed 2 percent of federal rent assistance with hundreds of millions still on the table. Now as Governor Death-santis as he`s known by his critics continues to push to infect the Sunshine State`s children with his dangerous and stupefying mask mandate ban, he`s allowing children to go hungry. The DeSantis administration has yet to apply for up to $820 million in federal food assistance dollars for more than 2 million Florida kids. That`s on top of the $280 million a month lost for federal Snap benefit recipients after he allowed the pandemic state of emergency fund to expire in June.

Apparently, DeSantis has been just too busy declaring war on school districts over masks to ask for federal dollars for kids who miss meals because they weren`t going to school - even after the Agriculture Department extended the program through the summer.

So, for continuing to put Florida`s kids in outright peril and just being one mean, cruel COVID-boosting SOB, Ron DeSantis is once again tonight`s "Absolute Worst".

And that`s the show.