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Transcript: The ReidOut, 9/2/21

Guests: Barbara Boxer, Errin Haines, Elie Mystal, Matthew Cappucci, Michael Mann, Mark Kline, Karen Bass, Christine Pelosi


Ida unleashes flash flooding across northeast. Supreme Court refuses to block Texas abortion law. Scotus abortion decision was set in motion years ago. Trump in 2016, has to be some form of punishment for women getting abortions. Door now open for other states to follow Texas lead.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Thanks for spending time with THE BEAT. THE REIDOUT with Joy Reid is up next. Hello, Joy.

JOY RIED, MSNBC HOST: Hello, Ari, thank you for bringing that up very, very important issue. We`ll definitely be watching. Have a great evening.

All right, good evening, everyone. We begin THE REIDOUT tonight with a big dose of existential threat. So, just sit down, it`s going to be quite a ride.

Much of New York and New Jersey are under water with more than 40 people dying from devastating floods last night. Will this finally be the moment that people start acknowledging just how bad the climate crisis is?

Meanwhile, COVID continues to rage across the country with children`s hospitals at capacity and pleading for help. And then there`s this.

In their second dead-of-night ruling in just over a week after striking down protections for Americans facing eviction last week, the conservative majority on the Supreme Court declined to overturn the six-week abortion ban in Texas.

The abortion law has no exceptions for incest or rape and deputizes private citizens as bounty hunters, searching for anyone who performed or helped a woman get an abortion after that six-week period, before most women even know that they`re pregnant.

While the decision is shocking, it shouldn`t be surprising to anyone. We knew what America was signing up for when Donald Trump was elected president. Through the 2016 Republican primaries, some pearl catching Republicans were worried a womanizing reality star with three babies` mamas and a taste for adult film stars just might not be conservative enough.

So, Trump made a deal. He`d appoint judges, including to the Supreme Court, if any openings were to happen, from a list carefully curetted by the right-wing Heritage Foundation and he would make sure that his appointments would be in a position to overturn Roe v. Wade. He even went so far as to say that women should be punished, punished for getting an abortion.


REPORTER: Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no, as a principle?

DONALD TRUMP, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment.

REPORTER: For the woman?

TRUMP: Yes, there has to be some form.


REID: And it worked. Mitch McConnell made it his mission to stop President Obama from seating Merrick Garland to fill Anthony Scalia`s seat, which McConnell later called the biggest accomplishment of his career. And Trump won the election, which the family research council president wasn`t because folks liked him more than previous candidates, they were mobilized by the clear contrast with Hillary Clinton on abortion.

So, Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch and then Brett Kavanaugh fresh out of The Heritage Foundation play book. And while they promised to respect the super esteem precedent of Roe v. Wade, something some politicians were way to reassured by, and we`ll have more on that later.

Everyone should have seen them and specially Amy Coney Barrett coming. For the right, what`s better than replaced Ruth Bader Ginsberg, replace her with a woman who has been clear for years about her total opposition to abortion, referring to abortion as always immoral and saying in 2013 that life begins at conception.

So here we are with the rights of women in Texas snatched away overnight and the looming threat of Roe versus Wade being overturned next year by the very same justices. But what is even scarier, even scarier than that is the blueprint that the court just gave to any other state that wants to do the exact same thing. The majority opinion written by five justices says that the abortion providers didn`t have the correct argument. Quote, their application presents complex and novel antecedent procedural questions on which they have not carried their burden. So if you write a law that follows certain technicalities you can ban abortion without needing to overturn Roe.

And right on cue Florida said, hold my beer, with State Senate President Wilton Simpson announcing that they will consider a bill like just the one in Texas and they were followed today by south Dakota Governor Kristi Noem who wants a piece of that abortion bounty action too, apparently.

And if somehow you needed more proof of the hellscape that were now living in. When asked for comment about potential new abortion restrictions, the Florida senate president sent a reporter smiling sunglasses emoji.

So what, if anything, can Democrats do to fight against this? President Biden said today that he`s launching a whole of government effort to respond to this decision to see what steps the federal government can take to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions and what legal tools we have to insulate women and providers.

Joining me now former Senator Barbara Boxer from California, Errin Haines, Editor-At-Large for the 19th, and Elie Mystal, Justice Correspondent for The Nation.

Senator Boxer, I will start with you. Dahlia Lithwick wrote just a scorching piece on this decision in which she said, basically what these five justices said is we`re going to do this because it is only women that are at risk. And Dahlia Lithwick writes this. They never intended to do in the open what could be done through sloppy subterfuge. The court opted to end virtually all abortion rights in Texas in the full knowledge that they were blessing an unconstitutional and brutal piece of lawless vigilantism, because it is only about women.


Your thoughts?

FMR. SENATOR BARBARA BOXER (D-CA): My thoughts are 100 percent with that commentary. I have always believed a woman`s right to choose is about respecting a woman`s decision. It is up to her, however she decides. It is between her, her doctor, her partner and her religious faith if she chooses to go that direction. Everyone has that right. And that`s what Roe said, up to viability, you can decide.

I just want to say this to the women within the sound of my voice and the men who care about them, wake up, America. This is a full-throated overturning of Roe, and I lived through the years before Roe and I saw women suffer. I saw -- I had a friend, I wrote about it in my book, who -- I almost lost her. Why? Her boyfriend said, here is $300, go to Mexico, and she barely came back from that. And before we had -- before we had penicillin, we had thousands of women die every year. Once we had antibiotics, it is hundreds of women. Women will die if they can`t afford to leave that state and that vigilante state. And it is just breaking my heart, and we have to fight back hard.

REID: You know, Errin, I knew that the Republican Party had no use for, really, respect for women, you know, when Clarence Thomas got in. But now, two of the nine members of the United States Supreme Court and two of the six conservative members or one-third of the conservative members have been accused of sexual misconduct and they have lifetime appointments on the court. So I think it is pretty clear the way the right in America feels about women. So this doesn`t surprise me that they would go this far.

But I have to get you to comment on the vigilantism aspect of this. Because what essentially the Texas Republicans have done is they`ve unleashed fellow Texans on any woman that they can identify and anyone who helps her to end an unwanted pregnancy and essentially said, collect a bounty on them. Your thoughts on that?

ERRIN HAINES, THE 19TH EDITOR-AT-LARGE: Joy, you describe that exactly right. Look, the lesson and reminder here is that elections have consequences. What we`re seeing happening in Texas is probably the biggest example of that fact post-2016 despite the fact women are half the population and half the electorate.

So, you know, to your point whether we are talking about abortion or voting rights or critical race theory, you have Republican lawmakers empowering their voters to take direction action against their fellow citizens and friends and family members. While we`re arguing about whether people should have to wear masks or be vaccinated for their safety or the safety of others, you know, that`s not something that`s being currently enforced.

But what is in effect in states like Texas or like my home state of Georgia are laws that prevent people from long lines being able to get food or water while they`re waiting to vote or poll watchers being able to potentially intimidate certain voters or precincts where they deem questionable conduct is occurring, right, or people being able to sue anybody they think is seeking abortion or anybody who tries to help them. I mean, this is not the limited government that Republicans claim to espouse and support. And we see now the precedent is not a priority when power is at issue.

REID: Yes. I mean, it is limited government only in a sense that they are passing government on to individual, you know, right-wingers and militias. They`re essentially sort of creating a giant militia movement, Elie, inside the United States, wherein their desires as legislators, they don`t even have to implement them themselves. They can empower individual right-wing, basically men, and in the case of Texas, potentially armed men to enforce minority rule for them. That`s even worse than big government.

But let me ask you this question because you wrote a piece that talked about what can actually be done about it because I think it is easy for us to really get depressed about Republicans doing bad things even though they`re in the minority, but the majority is the majority. And we should be able to do something about it. And the Democrats right now have power, even though, as you said, sometimes they don`t act like it, sometimes they do, in Washington. What can they do about this?

ELIE MYSTAL, THE NATION JUSTICE CORRESPONDENT: Look, we cannot be caught flatfooted here, because as horrible as the Texas law is, this year 2021 has already seen more abortion restrictions proposed and passed than any other year in United States history. What changed between 2020 and 2021? Oh, I remember. Ruth Bader Ginsberg died and Amy Coney Barrett got on the court. So, we knew this was coming, the states knew it was coming, the Republicans knew it was coming, and for us just now, to be like, oh, maybe now we need a whole of government response. Yes. You think? Like that should have already been in place. We should have known that this was coming.

Look, I live in New York, okay? It is wet right now. If I was on top of my roof kind of looking for help, I would expect the cavalry to be coming directly, right?


FEMA, Coast Guard, Operation Dumbo Drop, somebody should be coming to get me.

And, in fact, when it happened in Katrina, the failure of the federal government to go get people was viewed as one of the biggest failures of George W. Bush`s presidency. Similarly, we need to go and get women in Texas and protect their constitutionally protected medical rights, and the way you do that is that you deputize doctors, you federalize doctors, you create through an executive order an army of federal doctors who are going to go in to Texas and protect the Constitution by giving -- by consulting women about their privacy rights and their medical history. That -- by federalizing the doctor force, that would protect those abortion providers from the Texas law, which, as we all said, it`s a bounty system. Only private citizens can enforce it. Well, you know what federal officials are protected from private civil actions by qualified immunity? Which I don`t like, but, you know what? It is time to play hardball, right? It is not go high time. This is go time.

So you send in the doctors. They`re protected with qualified immunity. And the way you get around the Hyde Amendment, which is this ridiculous rule that the government can`t spend money on abortions because, apparently, poor people don`t get the same health care and everything else, fine. But what you get around the Hyde Amendment is that you made abortions free, which, by the way, they probably should be already, and you privately fund the doctors who are doing this service in defense of the Constitution. Biden could do that law tonight and you could have the doctors on their way to Texas tomorrow. That`s what he would do if he needed to go get some people off roofs from a flooding situation.

REID: This is a great idea. And that`s why I was really excited to get you on today. And, by the way, that is on The Nation website so you guys can read it if you want the details, you want to reread what Elie is saying.

So, you cover the Capitol Hill world here, Errin. What are chances just in talking with White House officials that they would do something like that, that they would try something like this, since they said, they`re doing a whole-of-government approach?

HAINES: Well, it is unclear what a whole-of-government approach is going to mean, right? I mean, you already have President Biden saying that the White House counsel on gender is the point -- point of contact to look into what the administration`s response can be, that you saw the Department of Justice saying that they would be examining their options, the Department of Health and Human Services, agencies like the FDA may be able to intervene or get involved here, and that is certainly what these organizers and activists are calling for, for federal action, not to mention Speaker Pelosi saying that, you know, federal abortion legislation will be taken up in the House soon. And so we may see action on that federal legislation as President Biden, has also publicly called for Roe to be codified in Congress.

And so all of those leaders are currently in motion but not really sure what the timetable is. That court reform commission that could be considering, for example, expanding the court, we`re not going to have that report for another month. And so we don`t know, you know, what the options are from that standpoint with a Supreme Court response.

But, you know, these kinds of measures are going to continue to galvanize Democrats, but at what cost to our democracy, Joy? I mean, you know, I talked to Sherrilyn Iffel, who says they`re playing whack-a-mole here and they can`t outlegislate, this activist can`t outorganize what is happening here. And this is absolutely what Republicans voted for. This is what the former president promised them and this is what he has delivered.

REID: You know, and this is the problem, Senator Boxer, is that Democrats are like the school student council that`s like having a meeting while the building is on fire, right? Like they keep on saying, well, then we`ll sit down and we`ll have a commission and then we`ll, you know, come up with some legislation and pass it. Their plan does not take into account the fact that the fire is happening now.

There was a piece that Neal Katyal wrote, which also said that -- basically pointing out that all the Supreme Court can do is just decide whether laws are constitutional or unconstitutional. They can`t ban abortion. So, in theory, Democrats could pass a pretty efficient piece of legislation that reverses what the Supreme Court did, that they can actually do that. And as Errin just said, Speaker Pelosi has said they`re going to bring -- the House is going to bring Judy Chu`s Women Health Protection Act to the floor. But then you run right back into the Senate again, where we get back to Kyrsten Sinema and the apparent real person that really, was the Senate, Joe Manchin, saying, well, you know, I don`t that`s a priority for me.


So my question to you is, if the White House doesn`t act immediately, is there any chance that the United States Senate is going to do a damn thing?

BOXER: Well, I hope so. All I can tell you is I hope so. If I had still been there now, my hair would be on fire and I would be saying the following. Mitch McConnell did away with the filibuster, okay, for Supreme Court judges. Now, that hit me right here because I defended the filibuster for Supreme Court judges, and that was the reason it still was there. He did away with it, single shot. There are two things pending in our country today, need a single shot to do away with the filibuster, voting rights and women`s right. And I got to say, that should be the full-court press.

I also want to make one more sort of technical point. I`m not an attorney, but reading this law, we have moral (ph) civilian secret police. They`re spying on their neighbors. The motto of this, we know it is the Lone Star - - but the motto is (INAUDIBLE). There`s no friendship involved in this. There are neighbors --

REID: Yes, vigilantism.

BOXER: It totally is, neighbors turning on neighbors and getting $10,000 to do that.

So, I think what has to happen now is there needs to be a very open way for a woman who is brave and strong, or several of them, to walk into a clinic with a team of supporters, kind of that approach that you talked about, sir, and just say, sue me, sue me now, and get this thing going to the court.

REID: Yes, and something has got to be done. Boycott Texas. Somebody has to do something that`s a little more radical and immediate than trying to get legislation through because that`s going to be too late.

Barbara Boxer, Errin Haines, Elie Mystal, read Elie`s piece. It`s really important. And it`s good instruction. Read it White House.

Up next on THE REIDOUT, historic flooding in the northeast just the latest example of extreme weather and we as a nation have run out of time to try to convince the flat Earth people that the climate crisis isn`t really happening.

Plus, children are now dying of COVID, and ICUs at children`s hospitals are nearing capacity. They`re pleading for federal help.

And remember actress Susan Sarandon? A progressive who couldn`t bring herself to support Hillary Clinton in 2016 saying she thought Hillary was too dangerous. Well, how is that looking now, Susan, with Trump`s Supreme Court taking away women`s rights?

As bad as you are, Susan, another Susan is tonight`s worst.

THE REIDOUT continues after this.



REID: The remnants of Hurricane Ida battered the Northeastern United States late yesterday, leaving a path of destruction in its wake across New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, where at least 42 people have died, according to NBC News.

While no longer a hurricane, Ida delivered record-breaking rainfall, turning roadways into rivers, stranding passengers and sweeping away vehicles. The storm prompted an unprecedented flash flood emergency in New York City, flooding homes and trapping residents.

The city`s century-old subway system was no match for the rising floodwaters that quickly overwhelmed stations and train cars, which had to be evacuated before service was shut down. The storm also unleashed multiple tornadoes, like this one captured on video, not in Kansas, but in Mullica Hill, New Jersey.

And it submerged entire neighborhoods in Philadelphia, where rescue efforts were under way all day. All of this comes after Ida left millions in and around New Orleans without power, and many won`t have it back for weeks more to come. As the strongest storm to hit Louisiana since 1850, it even reversed the flow of the Mississippi River for hours during its landfall. The biggest river in this country literally ran backwards.

This is the latest in a series of extreme weather events. And make no mistake, it`s the product of the growing climate crisis we all now face. Climate change is not only supercharging hurricanes like Ida, but it`s also spurred out-of-control wildfires too, like the one currently raging near Lake Tahoe in California that`s destroyed more than 200,000 acres.

Simply put, these crises are getting worse. They`re occurring more frequently. And we are frankly not prepared to deal with them, with drastic implications for our infrastructure and our economy, not to mention immigration and health care. What we`re seeing today could be the new normal for years to come.

With me now, meteorologist Matthew Cappucci in Annapolis, Maryland, where a tornado struck yesterday, and Michael Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State and author of "The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back the Planet."

I guess I will start with you, Matthew. Give us a sense -- OK, a tornado struck down in Annapolis. That doesn`t sound like a normal thing that is normally supposed to happen. What, in your view, is going on? And isn`t this just basically what we should have expected, given that we have done absolutely nothing to fight climate change?

MATTHEW CAPPUCCI, METEOROLOGIST: Well, I think that we do get tornadoes every year, of course, Mid-Atlantic does get tornadoes.

We`re seeing them now more partly thanks to social media. Of course, we get the videos out there more. This tornado was atypical, in that we got better visuals of it, which is why it`s so appealing for media and we see it a lot.

Now, we don`t have a firm link between climate change and tornadoes. Some big-scale phenomena like hurricanes, like floods, there`s a pretty solid link with. With tornadoes, not so much. I think the biggest thing that would be easiest to tie to link-wise to climate change with this particular event would be the very heavy rainfall.

For every degree Fahrenheit the air temperature increases, it can hold 4 percent more waters. So, that fuels things like these floods we saw. But tornadoes, that`s a bit of a stretch.


REID: Right.

And so let`s talk about what is sort of impacted, Michael.

NBC News has a piece called rapid -- how rapid intensification fueled Hurricane Ida. This is what it says.

It says: "A study last year published in `The Proceedings of the National Academies of Scientists` analyzed satellite images from the past four decades and found that the chance that a hurricane will develop into a Category 3 storm or higher increased by around 8 percent per decade as global warming has accelerated."

How does that happen? And is there anything we can do to reverse it?

MICHAEL MANN, PENN STATE UNIVERSITY: Yes, unfortunately, no, there isn`t.

What we`re seeing now is baked in. This is what we`re going to have to deal with. Acting on climate now can prevent things from getting worse. When it comes to these hurricanes that we have seen, they`re feeding off of not just a very warm ocean surface, but a very deep layer of warm water.

And the ocean has been warmer this year than it was in any other year. This was the warmest year on record, when you look at the heat content of the upper ocean. And it`s that heat that allows these storms to intensify.

Now, as Matthew mentioned, there`s an increase of about 7 percent for each degree Celsius of warming of the ocean surface. And that`s about how much the ocean has warmed. But you also get a large increase in the intensity of these storms, as much as 10 miles per hour for each degree of warming.

A more intense hurricane entrains more moisture into the storm. And so you can actually see a much larger increase than that nominal 7 percent. You can see 20, 30 40 percent increases. And that`s sort of what we`re seeing with these unprecedented rainfall totals that we`re seeing with the storms.

REID: Well, I mean, and Matthew, the thing is, New York City, we -- there was a hurricane a few years ago, which was, like, crazy. There was a hurricane in New York. You said they have tornadoes there.

Well, hurricanes are not normally in New York. I used to live in Florida. That`s where you have hurricanes. But you`re starting to see that. And it`s hitting places like New York that have this old infrastructure. The subway system goes back to the early 1900s. They`re not ready for climate change. They`re not ready for it to be constant flooding and hurricanes.

This week, "USA Today" did an editorial in which they talked about our way of life hanging in the balance when it comes to climate change.

The U.N. issued a report that found that the consequences of human-driven emissions are irreversible, as we just heard from Mr. -- from Michael Mann. The assessment also emphasizes that the worst-case climate disasters aren`t inevitable. Even incremental reductions in emissions could actually do something about them.

But what else should we be thinking about? Because we`re not hardening our infrastructure enough either.

CAPPUCCI: Yes, that`s a really good point.

Our infrastructure can`t handle things like this, because, realistically, we were building for yesterday. We`re not really equipped to handle what`s happening right now, never mind down in the future, when these recurrence intervals, how frequently these things happen, becomes more and more problematic.

Now, one thing we saw last night, the rainfall rates were excessive; 3.24 inches at Newark International Airport in just one hour`s time, that`s a month worth of rainfall coming down in 60 minutes, 3.15 inches in Central Park, a similar thing.

And very little can handle that kind of rainfall. We don`t have the drainage systems. These cities are old. They can`t handle that rainfall. Urban sprawl has led to a bigger footprint that`s really soaking up more rainfall. So I think the biggest thing will be these precipitation extremes, especially in cities that have underpasses, that have subway systems, and don`t have that pre-made drainage system, and really created to handle this sort of event.

REID: And, Michael, as with many things, when America catches a cold, people of color catch a fever.

"The Washington Post" did a highlight of an EPA report that talked about the ways that climate change are going to, of course, hit racial minorities the hardest. And they found that black people are 40 percent more likely than other groups to currently live in places where extreme temperatures driven by climate change will result in higher mortality rates.

And you see this sort of playing out across the country. Not only people of color, but people of lower income, they`re going to get hit the hardest, right?

MANN: Yes, I mean, that`s what really, so unfortunate.

Those who had the least role in creating this problem -- and those are folks who have the least wealth -- future generations, people in the developing world in the global south, who had the least role in creating this problem are bearing the brunt of the impacts, because they have the least resilience.

They have the least resources to deal with these problems. We saw that in New Orleans once again.

REID: Yes.

MANN: There`s a very large urban population that`s going to be without power, without water for weeks on end.

And so climate action is a matter of social justice. Acting on the climate crisis is acting to further the cause of social justice. And we need to see it in that framework.

REID: Absolutely.

MANN: It impacts all of us, but it`s harder on those who have the least resources.

REID: Amen. Amen to that.

Matthew Cappucci, Michael Mann, thank you both very much.

And still ahead: The COVID crisis takes a grim new turn, as hospitalizations among children reach record highs. Children`s hospitals are begging the federal government for help, as the right continues to spread dangerous misinformation.


We will be right back.


REID: Question for anti-vaxxers: Where do you stand on personal freedom when it comes to a child`s right to live?

Nearly 4.8 million children have tested positive for COVID since March 2020. And that whole COVID doesn`t really impact kids part of the pandemic, well, that ship has sailed.

In Georgia, where the vaccination rate is 41 percent, a 13-year-old has died of respiratory failure due to COVID-19. In Florida, where schoolchildren fall prey to the governor`s political ambition, two children died within 24 hours, one of them as young as 2 weeks old.

Pediatric units are so full that a group representing 220 hospitals is begging the Biden administration for federal help. Meanwhile, Children`s Hospital in New Orleans hit by both COVID and a Category 4 storm has an intensive care unit packed with COVID patients.

"The New York Times" reports, the situation is so dire, the state called in a federal surge team of emergency responders to help.

Joining me now is Dr. Mark Kline, physician in chief at Children`s Hospital New Orleans.

I read this heartbreaking piece in "The New York Times" that talked about what`s happening where you work. And it`s frightening.


Tell us about the conditions there and what you`re dealing with.

DR. MARK KLINE, CHILDREN`S HOSPITAL NEW ORLEANS: Well, Joy, we have suffered a one-two punch.

We have been dealing with COVID for a couple of months now, or at least this latest surge. And echoing what you said just a moment ago, the Delta variant is just a whole other animal. It`s not -- it`s not your grandfather`s COVID. It`s not what we saw last year, when only about 6 percent of COVID cases in the U.S. were children.

Now a quarter or more of all of the new cases of COVID in the United States and in Louisiana are among children. So our units have had large numbers of children very ill. And, unfortunately, some children are dying, as you said.

We lost a 2-year-old at Children`s Hospital New Orleans to COVID over the few days of the hurricane.

REID: Yes.

KLINE: And so it`s a terribly sad situation that we`re facing.

And then the hurricane on top of that, of course, put a considerable strain on our staff and our hospital.

REID: I`m sure.

This is a piece, just a "New York Times" piece, in which you told "The New York Times": "Of the roughly 70 children admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 in August, about half were 12 or older, and thus eligible for vaccination," but only one, only one of them was fully vaccinated.

Are you seeing what we have seen around the country, that the people filling up your ICUs and your -- the children`s wings are unvaccinated, either because they`re under 12, or they`re over 12 and just did not get the vaccine?

KLINE: Right.

Well, absolutely. The only group in the United States that is 100 percent unvaccinated is children under the age of 12 years. They have not had an opportunity to take the vaccine. And then, among children who are 12 years of age or older, in Louisiana, only about 13 percent of children have been vaccinated. Nationally, the figure, I think, is between 30 and 40 percent.

We have got to do a much better job in both of those age groups. But, furthermore, adults have to step up and take responsibility. The only way that children under 12 have of protecting themselves is really to be surrounded by adults who are vaccinated and who are wearing masks and doing the right thing.

And, unfortunately, too few of us have shown that responsibility and gotten vaccinated, not just to protect ourselves and our communities, but to protect the most vulnerable members of our societies. And that`s children under 12.

REID: You know, I spoke to someone today. And we were saying I never thought I get to see the day when people didn`t care if children got sick, right?

Like, we`re at a point now where people are demanding their right to be unmasked and unvaccinated, and not seeming to care whether children get sick. A lot of these people assume children won`t get sick and won`t get COVID, and, even if they get it, they won`t have any symptoms and won`t die.

Obviously, that`s not true. You`re seeing that around you. When people realize that, and they`re in the hospital with their child, are people changing their minds? Are you seeing people saying, I have changed my mind, now I think I should be vaccinated or not?

KLINE: We have.

And, of course, not all of the children are infected by unvaccinated parents. Sometimes, there`s an aunt or an uncle or another adult in the environment that is the source of the infection. But, by and large, the children who we have seen in the hospital have been infected by unvaccinated adults.

And we have just got to do better for our children. We have to cocoon them or surround them with adults who have protected themselves by masking up and vaccinating.

These two measures, they`re just commonsense public health measures. Masks are safe. Masks work. The vaccines are probably the -- as safe and effective as any vaccines ever developed for any disease. These are not issues of personal freedom. They`re issues of public safety.

And we have to start looking at them as such and recognizing that we`re all at risk if even one person decides that they`re not going to either mask up or vaccinate.

REID: Yes.

It`s shocking to me that people are still insisting on making that choice that is making other people, including kids, sick. It`s shocking that that`s where we are, but that`s where we are.

Dr. Mark Kline, thank you for all that you do. Thank you for being here tonight.

Coming up: A leading contender to replace California Governor Gavin Newsom disagrees with pretty much everything you just heard from Dr. Kline. He says kids don`t need vaccinations or masks. And if they do contract COVID, he says they certainly won`t die, which is just one reason why voting in the upcoming recall election is critical. It`s so important.

And we`re going to talk about it next.




LARRY ELDER (R), CALIFORNIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: I don`t believe the science suggests that young people should be vaccinated. I don`t believe the science suggests that young people should have to wear a mask at school.

I`m not sure the science is settled on that at all. And young people are not likely to contract the coronavirus. And when they do, their symptoms are likely to be mild, and they`re not likely to be hospitalized. And they`re certainly not likely to die.


REID: He`s not a scientist.

And there was so much wrong with what you just heard. If that was just your run of the mill right-wing provocateur, you might not give it too much thought.

But Larry Elder, that guy, is the Republican front-runner to unseat California Governor Gavin Newsom in the recall election that is less than two weeks away. This could be the next governor of the most populous state in the country.

Governor Newsom is warning of the dangerous path ahead for Californians if he`s replaced by Larry Elder.


GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): His model is Texas and Florida and Mississippi.

And I hope people pause and just consider the life-and-death consequences of that decision. We have among the lowest positivity rates in America. They have the highest positivity rates in America. We have one of the lowest case rates in America. They have among the highest case rates in America.



REID: Joining me now is Congresswoman Karen Bass of California and Christine Pelosi, DNC member from California.

And, Congresswoman Bass, I got to tell you right now, my -- the thing that`s keeping me up -- well, a lot is keeping me up lately, but the thing that`s really keeping me up is the idea of a super Texas in California.

Larry Elder being governor of California means that, in theory, if Dianne Feinstein were to retire, he could replace her, probably with Stephen Miller in the United States Senate, all that could go wrong, and just unleashing COVID to run rampant through the population of 39.5 million people.

How likely is this to happen, in your view?

REP. KAREN BASS (D-CA): Well, that was a very frightening thought to cause nightmares.

Well, let me just tell you that it is really on us. And I think we`re doing well to make sure that we get people to vote. You know that the election ends September 14. The election is going on right now. In California, everyone has a ballot.

So, our challenge is, instead of turning out people to vote, we want to -- we want people to turn in their ballots. And so it is looking good; 58 percent of Californians right now, in the latest poll, do not support the recall.

But we cannot rest, because the Republican voters, the ones that are anti- mask and holding the rallies and all of that, they are highly motivated. And we have to make sure that our voters are motivated.

I have to tell you, Joy, that, in Los Angeles, we are very familiar with Larry Elder. He`s been around for three decades, and he has built an entire career on attacking the black community. So, no surprises from us about him.

REID: Yes, he`s basically like Candace Owens, but a guy, right?


BASS: Exactly.


BASS: Exactly.

REID: So, Christine, I`m almost afraid to show these polls. I almost don`t want to show them. I`m going to show them very quickly, briefly, because they make me nervous, because I do worry about the enthusiasm gap.

BASS: Right.

REID: The polls say that the no-vote has been actually increasing, slightly increasing from March to September, that more people are against recalling the current governor, which seems like good news.

But the enthusiasm poll, as Congresswoman Bass just mentioned, it`s Republicans that are the most enthusiastic. They are amped up to turn California into a super Texas or a super Florida, which would essentially tank the economy of California, cause a health crisis, destroy climate change, any attempts to stop climate change.

I mean, it would be a nightmare. Are you as worried as I am?



Wonderful to be with you. And, of course, Karen Bass has been leading women against the recall for months now, making sure that women, particularly black women, are reaching out to their peers and urging a no-vote.

It`s very important that we look at this polling with what Joe Biden used to say. Don`t compare me to the almighty. Compare me to the alternative.

So, when it was the almighty of I hate being home, I hate being locked down for COVID, my child is in public school, and now she`s at home behind a computer away from her friends, the list goes on and on, of course, compared to the almighty, sure, why not plan a recall petition?

But now we have the alternative. And if the alternative is a public schools director like Betsy DeVos or judges like Alito, who just affirmed that Texas law that Larry Elder says are going to be his models for governance, then we`re in trouble.

So I think that`s why you see Democrats being very, very concerned. And, of course, this Texas law really woke up a lot of activists and a lot of women who, like me, didn`t find out that we were pregnant until we were past the six-week mark. I mean, I passed out in a yoga class, and I went to the doctor a week later, I was six-and-a-half weeks pregnant with my daughter Bella.

Now, that was a wonderful experience for me. But I wouldn`t even have a choice to have a choice if that were happening right now in Texas. And I prosecuted rape, I prosecuted incest pregnancies, which is rape by a trusted family member. These are brutal situations.

And if you are saying that, from the start, right after your control has been wrested from you, and you have been raped, now the state is deciding, no matter what, you`re having that child, that is a terrible fate to put on a woman and to put on the relationship that she would have with her child.

So it`s really important that we remember the individuals and that we do work as hard as we can.

What can we do in California? We can get out of no-vote on the recall. What can we do? We can make sure that people follow the lead of Congresswoman Bass, Congresswoman Chu, Speaker Pelosi, and pass the law to codify Roe v. Wade.

And we can make sure that we support President Biden if he decides to federalize a force in Texas or perhaps allow places like those 15 military bases to be places where we could perform reproductive health care services.

So, there are choices before us. But, again, that`s because we`re looking at the alternative.


REID: Right.

PELOSI: And it`s pretty scary.

REID: And what frightens me, Congresswoman, is California, look, people who think, well, California is a blue state, yes, but California also had Governors Reagan and Nixon. And Arnold Schwarzenegger won in a recall.

Like, it`s not like it`s impossible. The impossible is quite possible. And so I wonder if Democrats are taking it too lightly, because they think, well, Larry Elder seems crazy. There`s no way anybody would elect him. But he only needs like 12 percent of the vote.


BASS: Well, we just have to remember the last election. I mean, what did we think about Trump? We didn`t think that was going to be possible either.

REID: Right.

BASS: But, Joy, let me point out something, because I am concerned that this is actually the beginning of a new Republican strategy.

REID: Yes.

BASS: Do you know that there are 68 recalls going on in the state of California? And this is the sixth time they have tried to recall Governor Newsom.

This is just the first one that was successful. We have a district attorney who is progressive, a new member of the City Council. They initiated recalls against them before they even had time to move into their office.

So we need to keep our eyes on this to see if the new Republican strategy in a blue state is to grind governing to a halt through constant recalls. We need to reform this process, because, if it is their new strategy, we need to stop it dead in its tracks.

REID: Just to that point here, there are 20 states that have gubernatorial recall provisions, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

If you don`t think they`re going to try it again, and that this is not their new strategy, along with having militias enforce their minority rule laws, having thugocracy at the polls...

BASS: Right.

REID: ... and people coming to the polls potentially armed to try to bully people into not voting, if you don`t think this is their strategy, you all don`t know Republicans.

Congresswoman Karen Bass, Christine Pelosi, who do know what`s coming and are fighting it, thank you both very much.

Tonight`s absolute worst is straight ahead. And if you guessed conservatives on the Supreme Court, you`re close, but it`s their elected enablers who should have everybody`s blood boiling.

We will be right back.



REID: At 12:01 this morning, years of vile and insidious attacks on reproductive rights delivered the result the right was so desperate to achieve.

Five Republican-nominated Supreme Court justices refused to block the Texas abortion ban. As a result, Roe v. Wade protections no longer exists in our nation`s second largest state.

Two of those five justices, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, are sitting on that bench thanks to one Maine senator named Susan Collins, who spent months assuring American women that both justices would respect the precedent of Roe. In 2018, Collins delivered a 45-minute speech going to the mat for Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault, insisting that he would in no way trim or narrow a woman`s reproductive rights.


SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R-ME): To my knowledge, Judge Kavanaugh is the first Supreme Court nominee to express the view that precedent is not merely a practice and tradition, but rooted in Article 3 of our Constitution itself.

As the judge asserted to me, a long-established precedent is not something to be trimmed, narrowed, discarded, or overlooked.

In short, his views on honoring precedent would preclude attempts to do by stealth that which one has committed not to do overtly.


REID: Mind you, her reliable Republican ally, Senator Lisa Murkowski, of Alaska, had just announced that she would break with her party and vote against confirmation for the red-faced, whining, beer-chugging judge.

Collins` vote helped deliver the 50 votes Kavanaugh needed. And by doing so, the so-called ally of abortion rights co-signed their demise.

At the time, Collins was pressed by CNN`s Dana Bash if she was sure Kavanaugh wouldn`t undermine precedent. And here`s what she said, indignant that the question was even posed.


COLLINS: I do not believe that Brett Kavanaugh will overturn Roe v. Wade.

DANA BASH, CNN: Because precedents are overturned all the time.

COLLINS: They aren`t overturned all the time.


BASH: So, you have, obviously, full confidence?



REID: You share about that now, Susan? Want to say that again to the thousands of women in Texas where the protections of Roe v. Wade are no longer applicable?

At the time, Collins was facing a tough reelection fight. She went on "60 Minutes" to explain that, obviously, she would not in good conscience vote for someone who would strip nearly half of the American population of their equal rights under the law.


COLLINS: I could not vote for a judge who had demonstrated hostility to Roe v. Wade because it would indicate a lack of respect for precedent.


REID: Yes, but that`s exactly what she did.

And those fraudulent assertions got her another term in the United States Senate, six more years of this.

At the time, "The New York Times" wrote: "If she`s wrong about Judge Kavanaugh, and he joins an effort to overturn Roe, she would no doubt be held responsible."

Today, Susan issued a statement, apparently too afraid to face reporters, trying to assure Americans that the court hasn`t given up on the constitutionality of Roe v. Wade, while also condemning the new Texas law.

But, still, Senator Collins, you want to go down to Texas or to any of the other states that are lining up to do the same thing and apologize to those women? Not sure that will do any good. The damage is already done.

Sadly, nothing will change the fact that you played a central role, if not the key role, in the degradation of women`s rights. Your absolute betrayal of women because of your blind faith in Justice Kavanaugh and Justice Gorsuch makes you, Susan, tonight`s absolute worst.

And that`s tonight`s REIDOUT.