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Transcript: The ReidOut, 8/3/21

Guests: Ron Kim, Maya Wiley, Jasmine Crockett, Catherine O`Neal, Lorenzo Sierra, Jeremy Peters


President Biden calls on New York Governor Cuomo to resign; New York Governor Cuomo denies sexual harassment allegations; New York Attorney General says Governor Cuomo sexually harassed women; Investigator lays out sexual harassment allegations; Governor Cuomo apologizes to accuser, says he was trying to help; Cuomo harassment accuser Charlotte Bennett says governor is absolutely trying to gaslight her; New York Attorney General says Governor Cuomo harassed at least 11 women. Lawmakers, civic leaders call on Governor Cuomo to resign after sexual harassment investigation; Albany County, New York District Attorney says Cuomo allegations lead him to believe criminal activity took place; New York Governor Cuomo says he kisses lots of people. Minutes ago, the polls closed in two special Ohio House primaries; the elections have the potential to be bellwether races for both the Democratic and Republican Parties.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: That does it for me. Thank you as always for spending time with us here on THE BEAT. You can always find me online @arimelber across social media.

"THE REIDOUT" is next with Jonathan Capehart in for Joy. Hi, Jonathan.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC HOST: Hey Ari, thank you very much. Lots to get to.

Good evening, everyone. I`m Jonathan Capehart in for Joy Reid.

We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with the explosive news out of New York, calls for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to resign or reaching a crescendo tonight just hours after the state attorney general release the disturbing findings of her five months investigation. And late this afternoon, President Biden joined that chorus.


REPORTER: Are you now calling on him to resign?


REPORTER: And if he doesn`t resign, do you think he should be impeached from office?

BIDEN: Let`s take one thing at a time here. I think he should resign.


CAPEHART: The president is among a growing list of Democrats calling for Cuomo`s resignation. Among New York Lawmakers that includes Senator Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio and The Democratic candidates for his job, Eric Adams, as well as the entire Democratic Delegation in Congress from New York.

The leader of New York State Assembly today said that the governor can, quote, no longer remain in office, announcing that the legislature will expedite the impeachment investigation. And yet, Governor Cuomo was defiant today, digging in his heels despite the damning revelations unveiled by Attorney General Letitia James.


LETITIA JAMES, ATTORNEY GENERAL, NEW YORK: Governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed current and former New York state employees by engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching and making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women.

The investigators found that Governor Cuomo`s actions and those of the executive chamber violated multiple state and federal laws.

None of this would have been illuminated if not for the heroic women who came forward.


CAPEHART: The evidence backing those conclusions is documented in a scathing report of more than 160 pages. Investigators conducted 179 interviews, 41 of which were under oath. They received 280 tips and gathered 74,000 pieces of evidence. They found Cuomo sexually harassed 11 victims who described being, quote, violated, humiliated and terrified. According to the attorney general`s office, it was all part of a disturbing pattern of conduct.


ANNE CLARK, INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATOR: The governor hugged executive assistant number one and reached under her blouse to grab her breast.

There were also several occasions on which the governor grabbed her butt.

The governor also, several times, inappropriately touched a state trooper assigned to the unit to protect the governor. He took his open hand and ran it across her stomach from her belly button to the hip where she keeps her gun.

The governor pressed and ran his fingers across the chest of a woman while reading the name of her company whose logo was on her chest.

The governor crossed the line many times when speaking with Charlotte Bennett. He told her he was lonely and wanted to be touched.


CAPEHART: There findings open up Cuomo to possible impeachment and even prosecution. But bear this in mind, because this was a civil investigation, any decision on criminal charges must be left to law enforcement agencies. And, in fact, the Albany County District Attorney today announced they have an ongoing investigation into Cuomo`s conduct.

For months, Cuomo has denied any wrongdoing, and he did so again in a pre- taped address that he released after the A.G.`s findings were made public today.


GOV. ANDREW CUOMO (D-NY): I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances. That is just not who I am. And that`s not who I have ever been.


CAPEHART: In a signal that he won`t go quietly, Cuomo and his attorneys released also an 85-page rebuttal to dispute the allegations. I`m not sure that`s going to help him. You know what`s worse than an embattled chief executive? One with no friends.

I`m joined now by New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim, Maya Wiley is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and former candidate for mayor of New York, and Susan Del Percio is a Republican Strategist and former Special Advisor to Governor Cuomo. Thank you all very much for coming to THE REIDOUT.

Assembly Member Kim, let me start with you. I want to play what Governor Cuomo said in denying the allegations from Charlotte Bennett. Have a listen.


CUOMO: I have heard Charlotte and her lawyer, and I understand what they are saying.


But they read into comments that I made and draw inferences that I never meant. Charlotte, I want you to know that I am truly and deeply sorry. I was trying to help. Obviously, I didn`t.


CAPEHART: Okay, now here`s Charlotte Bennett respond to Governor Cuomo in an interview late this afternoon.


REPORTER: Do you think he`s gaslighting you?

CHARLOTTE BENNETT, CUOMO HARASSMENT ACCUSER: Absolutely. He is trying to justify himself by making me out to be someone who can`t tell the difference between sexual harassment and mentorship.

He sexually harassed me. I am not confused. It is not confusing. I am living in reality, and it`s sad to see that he`s not.

REPORTER: Wait, at one point he said that he was trying to help you work through a difficult time. Did that seem like that was his intention?

BENNETT: No. His intention was trying to sleep with me.


CAPEHART: I mean, Assembly Member Kim, how on Earth does Governor Cuomo think that he can remain governor of the state of New York one more minute after something like that?

ASSEMBLYMAN RON KIM (D) NEW YORK: It`s absolutely ridiculous. I want to first acknowledge Charlotte and the ten other women who have bravely and courageously stepped up, and especially at a time when we have a culture where we do not believe women. They stepped up and now it`s our responsibility to hold this executive accountable. There is a clear pattern of abusive behavior and abusive power. And it is our duty, a legal and ethical duty to hold him accountable. And if he doesn`t step down, we must impeach.

CAPEHART: Susan, you know, in the montage that we showed, the prosecutor mentioned executive assistant number one. In the report, there was something in there that you, as someone who has been a staffer for principals and you were special adviser to Governor Cuomo, I want to read this thing that left out at me.

The governor claimed that it was executive assistant number one who was the initiator of the hugs while he was, quote, more in the reciprocal business. He testified that he, quote, he would go along with tight hugs that executive assistant number one initiated because he did not, quote, want to make any one feel awkward about anything.

Susan, I`m sorry, but there is no way, no way in hell a staffer would initiate a hug with a principal especially the governor of the state.

SUSAN DEL PERCIO, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: That is correct, Jonathan. There is no way -- I have not ever seen that happen. And if anyone who knows Andrew Cuomo, you know you would know it`s not something you would do.

There`s no -- I couldn`t imagine for a moment during my tenure with the governor reaching out and hugging him and having him think that that would be acceptable behavior. He -- it`s just absurd on its face value.

But what`s more important is that what makes him think that that is an acceptable thing to say. How does he think he can get away with his behavior blaming these women? First for saying they don`t understand when they`re being sexually harassed, then to claim that they reached out to him?

There are so many things in this rebuttal which are disgraceful and that the governor -- it just has to stop. It`s time for him to step down. He probably won`t, but this is going to go down a bad road for him even worse. He has no friends in Albany tonight.

And I would also like to just kind of give a shout-out to Assemblyman Kim. He, in many ways, started this calling, with him calling out the governor`s being a bully. You don`t see that from a state legislator ever with Governor Cuomo. He called him out hard.

And I think that gave a lot of credibility to these other women coming out, because they saw how he went after them and they didn`t stop. And I really -- and he didn`t stop. So I really think he deserves credit for opening up the door for the toxic behavior -- the toxic environment, rather, of this governor`s office.

CAPEHART: Assembly Member Kim, do you want to respond?

KIM: You know, the people in Albany, including Maya Wiley, have known about the governor`s abusive style of governing for years. It`s (INAUDIBLE) for something that --

CAPEHART: We`re having trouble --

KIM: And it`s about to end. They weren`t going to take it anymore --

CAPEHART: Okay, we`re having trouble with Assembly Member Kim`s audio.


We`re going to try to get that fixed.

But since your name was invoked, Maya, and we`re coming to you, and I just want to say it is so good to see you again, I want to play you what the Albany District Attorney told our Lester Holt in an interview today about the possibility of criminal charges.


LESTER HOLT, MSNBC HOST: Based on what you`ve seen in this report, is any of the behavior described and attributed to the governor, would any of that be considered criminal?

DAVID SOARES, ALBANY COUNTY, NEW YORK DISTRICT ATTORNEY: Well, the allegations early on certainly led myself and other prosecutors with concurrent jurisdiction to believe that criminal activity, in fact, had taken place. But we will conduct our own independent investigation. It will be done expeditiously and we will arrive at those concludes.


CAPEHART: Maya, you`re an attorney, you are a former assistant U.S. attorney, what do you think?

MAYA WILEY, FOMER ASSISTANT U.S. ATTORNEY: Well, first, I want to join Susan and thanking Assembly Member Kim and just echoing his (INAUDIBLE) abuse use of his power and there`s nothing surprising or new in that from Governor Cuomo.

But it is actually criminal. Read the investigation report and the allegations, and, frankly, we knew this even back in the spring and early March and even in December from Lindsey Boylan`s complaints, the allegations are at a minimum forcible touching. That is a crime in New York State. It is a misdemeanor, but each individual incident is its own count. There are a lot of counts in this (INAUDIBLE).

Now, there is obviously issues of statute limitations, but I think at the end of the day, the issue here is they`re absolutely are grounds in the evidence that we`re seeing for possible criminal prosecution. We have two seasoned lawyers, including a prosecutor as well as an employment discrimination attorney saying these women were credible and they have corroborating evidence for each claim, and, frankly, we should all be disturbed that the most powerful man in the state is willing to use that power, frankly, to abuse women. And that`s what this report concludes and it`s not new.

CAPEHART: Right. A lot of evidence in the report is text messages and other else done contemporaneously. So how -- the idea that the governor is pushing back and saying, no, none of this ever happened, or it was misconstrued.

Assembly Member Kim, we have you back. I would love to get your response now to both Susan and Maya singing your praises.

KIM: Well, again, it`s not just me. There`re many others who have stepped up to hold the governor accountable. And this is what is about. It`s not about him. This is about accountability of an executive -- a mandate accountable, so we can learn what we did wrong. Not only just against women, but against our older adults in nursing home, (INAUDIBLE) his lucrative (INAUDIBLE), all the things that he did he (INAUDIBLE). We need to hold him accountable so we can fix it and not to make the same mistakes moving forward.

CAPEHART: You know there`s -- among the defenses that Governor Cuomo presented. It was the -- well I kiss everyone defense. Let`s watch this.


COUMO: I do it with everyone, black and white, young and old, straight and LGBTQ, powerful people, friends, strangers, people who I meet on the street.


CAPEHART: Susan? I mean, I kind of get what he was trying to do. See, no big deal, I kiss everyone. Why would you, would you have -- just your reaction. I can`t even --

DEL PERCIO: Well, that`s basically my reaction, I can`t even. But here`s the thing. He`s trying to use an excuse that, oh, that`s how I was brought up, that`s how it happen in my family, meaning his father was governor before him. It`s learned behavior. Let`s make it clear, you are not allowed to make any kind of advancement, touch anyone as an employer to an employee without their consent.

This is just absurd, because even if he thinks there is nothing wrong with it, that just shows that he`s ill-equipped to be governing right now in this day and age. He may be at work 30 years ago when he saw his father doing it, but in this day and age, the governor or any employer should know they cannot go around kissing people.


And if they don`t see anything being wrong with that, and he used the defense like, oh, I didn`t know that, that`s how they felt, well, you should know the behavior is wrong, so stop.

So these excuses are just that, they`re excuses and I don`t think that they will hold water. I mean, I was in the governor`s office everyday and he didn`t kind of just come over and kiss me and I`m grateful for that.

CAPEHART: Maya, we`ll give you the last word. As someone who sought public office in New York City, but if you were the next mayor, you would have had to deal with Andrew Cuomo. What would you say -- what`s your message to New Yorkers tonight knowing what we all know now about their governor?

WILEY: The most powerful man on the state is trying to gaslight every single New Yorker right now with that horrendous offense that (INAUDIBLE). I grab everyone`s breasts. I grab everyone`s butt. Actually, no, he doesn`t. And in the allegations, first of all, what he did, he would not be in office and we all know it. Secondly, the allegations make clear that that is not true. The state trooper was a woman, said he was kissing him, grabbing on me, wasn`t doing it to a man.

I think we can all see this for what it is. It is an effort to save his own skin but it comes at the cost of the public trust. Because as both Susan Assembly Member Kim have said, this is about abuse of power. This is about abusing office and this means abusing the people of New York, and we just can`t have it anymore.

CAPEHART: Maya Wiley, Susan Del Percio, Assembly Member Ron Kim, thank you all very much for coming to THE REIDOUT.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, Democratic state legislators from across the country come to D.C. to stand with Texas Democrats fighting the Republican assault on voting rights.

Meanwhile, a judge orders all documents from that sham Arizona vote audit to be turned over, as a Republican election s official in the state slams the audit as an adventure in never-never land.

Plus, momentum is growing for vaccine mandate as emergency rooms in several states overflow with COVID patients. My guest says we are experiencing the darkest stage of the pandemic.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.



CAPEHART: Lawmakers from across the country have united with Texas Democrats to fight for federal voting rights legislation.

The legislators blocked voter suppression bills by leaving the state and are now backed by more than 100 state legislators from 30 states who rallied near the Capitol today demanding a delay to the August recess until the Senate takes action on voting rights.


STATE REP. ANDRES CANO (D-AZ): We`re done with those who wish to rewrite the rules, so they can pick their voters, not the other way around.

And it`s why we`re here, to demand passage of the For the People Act.

STATE REP. TREY MARTINEZ FISCHER (D-TX): Our job was to rally the nation and bring people to Washington, D.C., because, just by chance, if we came together, we would not only get the Senate to hear us. We would also get them to act.

Recess can wait. Our democracy cannot. This is a now-or-never moment for our country.


CAPEHART: Today`s push comes as 18 states have already enacted 30 laws to restrict access to voting, spurred by the twice-impeached former president`s big lie that has also prompted specious vote-counting audits, like the one in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Republican state senators backing that effort issued a subpoena for computer routers and logs, only to be smacked down by a county Republican official.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Jack Sellers wrote: "It is now August of 2021. The election of November 2020 is over. If you haven`t figured out that the election in Maricopa County was free, fair and accurate -- accurate yet, I`m not sure you ever will, adding: "The board has real work to do and little time to entertain this adventure in never-neverland. Please finish whatever it is that you were doing and release whatever it is you are going to release."

I`m joined now by Texas state Representative Jasmine Crockett and Arizona state Representative Lorenzo Sierra.

Thank you both very much for coming to THE REIDOUT.

Represent Crockett, let me have you listen to what Senator Raphael Warnock had to say about voter suppression at the rally today.


SEN. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA): Here we are in 2021, and they`re trying to nullify our votes after our votes are cast all across this country?

We know what this is. This is the Delta variant of Jim Crow voting laws.


WARNOCK: And the only vaccination is federal legislation.


WARNOCK: And so you keep standing up. You keep pushing us.


CAPEHART: And, Representative Crockett, that, to me, is what is so dangerous about some of these laws. Particularly, this is something that`s in the Georgia law, that not only are they trying to stop people -- keep people from voting.

But then, once those people jump through all those hoops and cast a ballot, there are going to be people who will be able to nullify their votes.


No, first of all, thanks so much for having us.

It`s funny, because we continue to talk about voter fraud. And the only fraud that I see are the Republicans, the Republicans in Georgia, the Republicans in Texas, the Republicans in Florida, the Republicans in Arizona, because let me tell you something.


Our elections administrator was a Republican. That was our secretary of state. That`s who oversaw our elections in Texas. And she also said that they were safe and secure. And the fact that you would go ahead and say, now that we have a duly sworn-in president, after you all tried an insurrection, and that didn`t work, you`re now going to say, never mind, let`s just throw out the votes, we`re going to go ahead and recount them.

We`re going to keep counting them until they come up, and they give us the numbers that we want. And that is a problem. And so the only fraud that we have in this country is Republicans.


CAPEHART: And, Meanwhile, Representative Sierra, in your state of Arizona, a judge ordered the state Senate to produce audit records to a watchdog group.

Judge Michael Kemp wrote: "State Senate President Fann has the authority and statutory obligation under the public records law to compel Cyber Ninjas, Inc., and its sub-vendors to produce all internal e-mails and correspondence outlined in the proposed order."

How much longer is this going to go on?

STATE REP. LORENZO SIERRA (D-AZ): Jonathan, I will tell you how much longer it`s going to go on. It`s going to go on as long as they`re making money off this. That`s how long it`s going to go on.

As long as they`re grifting people, they`re sending e-mails out saying, why don`t you donate $10, $15, $20 from people who don`t have an extra $10, $15 $20. They`re swindling these people to fund this thing. Lord knows what they`re using this money for, because it ain`t for getting any good results out of this particular audit.

And you did talk about -- earlier about that letter that Jack Sellers wrote. And I have known Jack Sellers for a couple of years. He`s a Republican board of supervisor member, probably one of the most even-keeled men I have ever met. And for him to do something this terse shows just how exasperated these board of supervisors are with the Arizona Senate -- Republican Senate, that is.


Representative Crockett, one of the knocks on Democrats here in Washington -- my colleague Nicolle Wallace, I heard her yesterday saying she is mesmerized by the fact that Democrats in Washington do not seem to have their hair on fire when it comes to what`s happening to voting rights, simply because of what it means for American democracy.

You have been here in Washington now for -- it hasn`t quite been a month yet, but you have been here for a long time -- for a long time. Do you think, in the meetings that you have had, that official Washington, federal Washington does, indeed, Democrats do indeed have their hair on fire about what these voting rights restrictions, these suppression bills means for American democracy?

And are they willing to go every step of the way to ensure that the right to vote is protected?

CROCKETT: It`s interesting, because what we have decided is that this has to be an inside-outside type of attack, right?

And so that`s what we have done. We have applied pressure. And I`m of the impression that we`re starting to burst pipes. I`m not really sure if they`re bursting just yet, right? But that`s what pressure does.

Sadly enough, it wasn`t enough that we killed that first bill. It wasn`t enough that Georgia said, if you give them water, then that will be against the law. It wasn`t enough that we saw that they wanted to do these audits in Arizona.

So, we then left our state again, under the threat of arrest, and we said, hey, we really, really need help. It really is that serious, right? And, seemingly, that maybe started to get them to feel a little something. But then what we saw is, we have seen pastors, we have seen lawmakers from other states.

We are bringing everything that we got to try to let them know that it`s that serious. Let me tell you something. When these new lines come out, we won`t have the majority in the U.S. House. When they get done with whatever laws they`re passing throughout these states, we won`t have the majority in the U.S. Senate.

You are allowing a radical few to control and blockade democracy for the most. And it`s a problem.

CAPEHART: And, Representative Crockett, when you say when the new lines come out, what you`re talking about are the new redistricting lines, because of the decennial Senate and the repopulation and everything.

And state legislatures all over the country going to be redrawing those lines. And it is -- one election forecaster, Rachel Bitecofer, I talked to, she said Democrats before a vote is even cast will probably lose 10 seats in the House.

Representative Sierra, your perspective on whether Democrats in Washington, whether Washington as a whole views this as urgently as the two of you do.

SIERRA: I would say -- and I had the great pleasure of meeting Representative Crockett today, so it was a pleasure meeting her.


We are on the ground there with the people. We see them every day. We are knocking on their doors. We are talking to them at events. I see my constituents in my grocery store.

You know what? It -- when you have that perspective, it is a whole different than -- it`s this quasi-thing that`s going on out there in these places, whether it`s that audit, whether it is Governor Abbott in Texas pushing these draconian laws.

We see it and hear it and feel it every day. And that`s why, as you say, our hair is on fire on this, because we see it every day. And we know what the outcomes they want are, just as Representative Crockett mentioned. They want those unfair lines. They want the ability to have their -- to be able to have their voters being able to vote, while folks in my neighborhood may have a harder -- more barriers to voting.

So, though we see it, and that`s why we are all here in D.C. now, to make sure that we can tell those stories of the people, like the people on the Navajo Reservation. There`s a law that just passed. And it is going to severely affect the way our Navajo brothers and sisters are going to be able to vote.

And we really need to address this at a national level, so that we have a baseline voting procedures nationwide.

CAPEHART: OK, real quick, yes-or-no answer, Representative Crockett, given everything that you would been doing, are you -- what`s your gut telling you? Will we get a voting rights bill out of the U.S. Senate, yes or no?


CAPEHART: Representative Sierra, yes or no?

SIERRA: I`m praying yes.


CAPEHART: All right. Well, we`re all praying.

Texas state Representative Jasmine Crockett, Arizona state Representative Lorenzo Sierra, thank you both very much for coming to THE REIDOUT.

Still ahead: As some Southern states grapple with a severe shortage of ICU beds, more cities and businesses, including New York City, are now requiring vaccinations for work and indoor activities.

Stay with us.



CAPEHART: The nation is now at the tipping point of understanding just how important and vital COVID vaccination really is.

Today, New York City became the first U.S. city to require proof of at least one dose for a variety of activities for workers and customers. That includes indoor dining, gyms and performances. And Tyson Foods, one of the nation`s largest meat processors, said today it will require its 120,000 U.S. employees to be vaccinated by fall.

Today, President Biden addressed the nation on the fight against COVID and sent a message directly to governors who are resisting such mandates, even as their hospitals are setting off alarms.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Worst of all, some state officials are passing laws or signing orders that forbid people from doing the right thing.

As of now, seven states not only ban mask mandates, but also ban them in their school districts.

I say to these governors, please help. But if you aren`t going to help, at least get out of the way.


CAPEHART: This statement from the president comes as COVID is once again overwhelming hospitals in states like Louisiana, which is leading the nation in new cases, and has become the first state to reissue a statewide indoor mask mandate that goes into effect tomorrow.

Joining me now is Dr. Catherine O`Neal, infectious disease specialist and chief medical officer of Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, the largest hospital in Louisiana.

And due to having more than 160 patients there with COVID-19, it is currently out of hospital beds.

Dr. O`Neal, thank you very much for coming to THE REIDOUT.

You said to Reuters today, you said: "These are the darkest days of this epidemic. We are no longer giving adequate care to patients."

Talk more about that.

DR. CATHERINE O`NEAL, OUR LADY OF THE LAKE REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER: Yesterday, when we spoke at the governor`s conference, myself and a group of physicians really just supporting the masked mandate, we talked about where we are today, which is, today in Louisiana, the most hospitalizations we have ever seen from COVID-19 at one time.

At the end of the day today at our hospital, 175 patients admitted with COVID-19, the highest we have ever had at any given time during the pandemic, admitting one patient per hour, 10 children in our children`s hospital. It doesn`t get any worse than this.

But when we talk about darkest days of the pandemic, what we`re really talking about is that we`re losing the safety net that our hospital relies on. So, what is that safety net for the community? It`s EMS providers. It`s quick time to action. It`s making sure that everybody gets the care that they need on time.

And now we`re seeing delays, not just in the hospital, but delays in care as you approach the hospital from an emergency standpoint, delays in care to getting out to you if you have an emergency. And that safety net is something that not just COVID-19 patients, but everybody depends on.

CAPEHART: And I was going to ask you about that.

There`s a story in AP today, Louisiana breaks record for COVID-19 hospitalizations. But here`s the key pull quote: "Health officials say the influx of COVID-19 patients is damaging hospitals` ability to care for people with heart attacks, injuries from car accidents, and other conditions."

That`s -- and you just said this, but I want to highlight for people that`s what you mean by this being the darkest days, the darkest days of this pandemic.


O`NEAL: That`s right. As health providers, we are interested in making sure that everybody gets the health care they need and everybody gets the quality of care we would give to every single patient.

And so, what we heard today in our call with the governor and our department of health, hospitals around the state who said we can`t get a patient out of the hospital, nobody is accepting transfers, and these are patients who are sitting in hospitals that don`t have the level of care that they need.

So when we take care of mass disasters, when we take care of issues like hurricanes, we all pull together and we`re seeing a fracture of that because each one is overloaded. There is no way to -- there`s no way to pull together and get out of this together except to vaccinate and to wear a mask.

JONATHAN CAPEHART, MSNBC HOST: You know, Dr. O`Neal, I want everyone who is watching to watch a patient at your hospital named Chantelle. Have a listen to what she has to say.


CHANTELLE DAVIS, BATON ROUGE, LA COVID PATIENT: Go get the shots. Don`t be like me. Look at me.

I`m in a hospital suffering. I got a breathing problem. Got high blood pressure. Got diabetes.

And going through all this because one stubborn mama, oh, I`m superwoman. I`m going to be all right. Nope. You can be superwoman, but superwoman can shut down.


CAPEHART: You know, Dr. O`Neal, just listening to that breaks my heart. I just wonder, will her compelling message, will that resonate for people in Louisiana, for people around the country who have yet to be vaccinated?

O`NEAL: I hope so, but I think what we`ve learned from speaking to so many people about what their hesitancy is that everybody needs a different message. So, some people need a message of just don`t delay, they put it off, they thought they`d get at some point, now is the time.

But some people also need the message that they really feel like they won`t be harmed by this disease. They are of the healthy age, the demographic that it`s not going to hurt them.

I think at this point we need to realize vaccination is a team sport, it`s a community activity, and whether or not it`s going to affect you in a way that is detrimental to your health by not getting vaccinated, you affect the rest of the community. And the unvaccinated are really putting too much of a pressure on our community. So we need this to become a community effort to get rid of this infection in our community and allow that safety net to protect everybody the way that it should.

CAPEHART: With that, we`re going to leave it there. I hope everyone hears you, Dr. O`Neal, and also here`s Chantelle`s message there.

Dr. Catherine O`Neal, thank you very much for coming on THE REIDOUT.

Up next, the polls have just closed on a pair of key congressional special election primaries in Ohio. They`re shining a big broad spotlight within the parties and the power of Trump`s influence. Key takeaways are next.

Stay with us.



CAPEHART: Minutes ago, the polls closed in two special Ohio House primaries. The elections have the potential to be bellwether races for both the Democratic and Republican Parties.

In the 11th congressional district which spans from Cleveland to Akron, local Democratic chair Chantelle Brown and former State Senator Nina Turner are running to replace HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge. Brown is endorsed by Hillary Clinton and several senior members of the Congressional Black Caucus, including South Carolina kingmaker Jim Clyburn, while Turner is endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio- Cortez.

It was a split screen between progressives and moderates in Cleveland over the weekend, as Sanders campaigned for Turner while Clyburn campaigned for Brown.

Meanwhile, Trump`s endorsement power is being put to the test after his candidate lost last week in Texas. He`s endorsed coal lobbyist Mike Carey in Ohio`s 15th district, near Columbus. Carey is running against 10 other Republicans, including State Representative Jeff LaRe, endorsed by the former congressman who held that seat.

Joined now by "New York Times" reporter Jeremy Peters and "Washington Post" columnist Eugene Robinsons -- there`s two of you!

Thank you both very much for being here.

Jeremy, you -- you have been -- you`ve been covering these races in Ohio. I want to specifically ask you about the Nina Turner/Chantelle Brown race. But this is -- folks are waiting for the first results to come in because this really is a battle between the two wings of the Democratic Party.

JEREMY PETERS, THE NEW YORK TIMES POLITICAL REPORTER: Uh-uh, that`s exactly right, Jonathan. The people I`ve spoken to on the ground really can`t overstate how acrimonious and bitter it`s gotten in this final stretch where you have a flood, a cascade of outside money and politicians from outside the district, luminaries from the Democratic Party and the progressive movement, coming in and making their case against the other candidate.

They haven`t really seen anything this contentious in recent times, and I think a lot of folks there are quite unsettled by it and will be glad to have it over.

That said, when that`s done, I don`t think you`re going to have, regardless of who wins, a very clear answer about which wing of the party has the momentum behind it. It`s a special election, and as you well know, most special elections don`t draw very much turnout and neither side, the pro activist`s left flank of the party and the leader in Washington is going to concede they screwed this up and throw up their hands and waving the white flag.


So, I think we got 2022 ahead of us and a lot more races like these to cover.

CAPEHART: Gene, I`d love to get your thoughts on this, but also I`m struck by how forward members of the Congressional Black Caucus have been in their comments in this race. You`ve got CBC Chairwoman Joyce Beatty who said Shontel Brown would honor the rich history of the group not be someone who fights against it, while trying toi make a name for themselves.

Congressman Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, Brown wouldn`t be, quote, a single, solitary, know it all.

Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York, she wouldn`t, quote, come in and try to break up that unity.


EUGENE ROBINSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Yeah, this is tough stuff. Look, you`ve got different personalities at work here, too.

And Nina Turner, let`s face it, she see a lightening rod or maybe a lightening bolt. She is a fiery speaker, a fiery person. To say that she doesn`t mince words is really an understatement. And a lot of people including Jim Clyburn were offended and really ticked off by some of the things she said during the 2020 presidential campaign, including really a scatological reference to Joe Biden that didn`t go very well.

CAPEHART: Yeah, we got that headline.

ROBINSON: -- and establishment.

And so, they`ve all piled in behind Shontel Brown, but Turner has the money. She has more money than Brown. I don`t know if that`s going to be the deciding factor.

And as you said it`s a special election, an off-cycle special election primary. So who knows what turnout will be like, but you expect it to be pretty low. So the question is who motivates their voters to go out and vote? And we`ll find out I guess in a little while.

CAPEHART: Uh-huh. Jeremy, let`s look on the Republican side. What`s going on in that race? Ten Republicans running in this -- in the primary, who`s - - I mean, are all ten actually viable, or was this a race between one or two people -- between two or three people?

PETERS: Well, the issue is, yeah, I think it could be wide open depending on turnout, right? It`s the same wide open, actually, probably overstates the competitiveness given the sheer name recognition that comes with a Trump endorsement of the Republican Party. But as a conservative activist pointed out to me when I was reporting on this story last week, in such an enormous field in a low turnout election a small number of votes can make the difference.

And a number of the people running against the Trump endorsed candidate, this energy lobbyist who was virtually unknown before Trump endorsed him named Michael Carey, are several people with long histories of conservative activism in the district. They`re just better known political figures or at least their records of conservatives known to voters.

So, I don`t know, it should be interesting. As you pointed out, Jonathan, Trump lost a race last week in Texas, one of his preferred candidates didn`t win in a special race there. So if Michael Carey goes down tonight, that is really going to be black eye and put a big question mark over the supposed political goal ticket that Donald Trump`s endorsement is.

CAPEHART: Gene, in the minute we have left I`ve got to get your reaction to the new order from the CDC, a new eviction moratorium. For 60 days, would last until the 3rd of October.

Does this solve the problem for the administration and for the White House?

ROBINSON: No, of course it doesn`t solve the problem. It might -- it`s a band-aid that could last until October 3rd. The president himself says he doesn`t think it`ll pas or he`s doubtful it`ll pass constitutional muster what he`s doing.

But chalk this up for the progressives, for the progressive wing, for Cori Bush, the representative from Missouri who`s been sleeping outside the Capitol to draw attention to the issue, to try to force Congress to do something. And so, progressives won this one.


CAPEHART: Yeah, that`s Representative Cori Bush of Missouri.

And we`re going to have to leave it there. Eugene Robinson, Jeremy Peters, thank you very much for coming to THE REIDOIUT.

Up next, a medal winning return for Olympian Simone Biles.

Stay with us.


CAPEHART: Nearly a week after withdrawing from competition to focus on her mental health, Simone Biles made a triumphant return to the Olympic podium in Tokyo, earning a bronze medal on the balance beam for Team USA. This is her seventh Olympic medal. She`s now tied with Shannon Miller as the most decorated female American Olympic gymnast.

Biles talked about missing out on the gold this morning on the "Today" show.


SIMONE BILES, MEDAL-WINNING U.S. OLYMPIC GYMNAST: I didn`t really care about the outcome, I was just happy that I made the routine and I got to compete one more time. It means more than all the golds because I`ve pushed through so much the last five years and the last week while I`ve even been here. It was just -- it was very emotional and I`m just proud of myself and all these girls as well.


CAPEHART: Biles also said she`s going to let the events of Tokyo sink in before deciding to return for the 2024 Games in Paris.

And that`s tonight`s REIDOUT.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.