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Transcript: The ReidOut, December 15, 2020

Guests: Maxine Waters, Marc Elias, James Clyburn, William H. Lamar, Shereef Elnahal, Rebekah Jones


Some Republicans finally acknowledge Biden win. GOP Senator McConnell congratulates President-elect Biden. McConnell warns GOP senators against objecting to results. Trump vows to continue to contest election despite Electoral College vote. Republicans slowly accept Biden as president-elect. "Washington Post" reports, Trump and allies cut in line for COVID treatments. White House press secretary says, Trump is involved in ongoing election litigation. Months after data scientist Rebekah Jones started criticizing Florida's handling of the pandemic, state police agents appeared at her home early last week to serve a search warrant for her computers and other electronics.


ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: "THE REIDOUT" with Joy Reid starts now.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Even after the Electoral College officially sealed the deal for President-elect Joe Biden, Donald Trump is digging in on his lies to supporters, and maybe to himself, that there is still some hope left to remain in power. But there isn't.

And today, the walls closed in just a little bit more when Trump's favorite autocrat and partner in bringing down the post-World War II western alliance, Vladimir Putin, finally congratulated President-elect Biden on his victory after weeks of saying it was too soon. Today, the Russian leader told Biden, for my part I am ready for interaction and contact with you.

Well, Vlad didn't mention the broad recent Russian cyber attack on our federal government infrastructure and it remains to be seen how the Biden-Harris administration will interact with the Kremlin in response once they're in office.

But once Putin acknowledged that it's over for his number one western client, the path was cleared for man dobbed Moscow Mitch to come out of his shell and do the same on the Senate floor this morning after first fawning over Trump and his so-called accomplishments as all Republicans are required to do.


SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): So as of this morning, our country has officially a president-elect and a vice president-elect.

So today I want to congratulate President-elect Joe Biden.

Also, I want to congratulate the vice president-elect, our colleague from California, Senator Harris.


REID: Doing the minimum. On his way to Georgia today to rally for Democratic Senate candidates, Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, ahead of the January 5th runoff, President-elect Biden said that he had spoken with McConnell and several other Republicans.


JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: I called him to thank him for the congratulations. Told him we'll always disagree in a lot of things, that means we can work together on. We've always been straight with one another and we agree we'll get together sooner than later. And I'm looking forward to working with him.

And I spoke with some other members as well, just about a dozen calling. And as I take off, I'll tell you who I have spoken to.


REID: Good luck with that, Joe.

Since the electors made it official, some Republican senators have indeed creep out of hiding to acknowledge reality in public though some are still holding on to their delusions. Behind closed doors at a conference meeting today, McConnell warned Republican senators against objecting to the election results on January 6th when Congress meets to affirm the results. McConnell said objecting would force Republicans to take a, quote, terrible vote that would make them to look like they're against Donald Trump, which is forbidden (ph).

As ludicrous as that might sound, it is really not that farfetched. The New York Times reports that Trump lackeys in the House are working on a plan to force just such a vote. The effort is being led by Representative Mo Brooks, Republican of Alabama, along with a group of allies in the House. He's eyeing challenges to the election results in five different states.

According to The Times, under rules laid out in the Constitution and electoral count act of 1887, their challenges would be submitted -- must be submitted in writing with a senator signature also affixed. No Republican senator has yet stepped forward to say he or she will back such an effort.

The Times noted that Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul has signaled openness to the idea. And last week, Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson indicated that he might go along with such an effort. Well, today, Senator Johnson admitted to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Biden's election is legitimate but he still holding a bogus hearing tomorrow on what he calls irregularities in voting.

Joining me now is Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California and Steve Schmidt, a former Republican Strategist and co-Founder of the Lincoln Project, who announce today that he plans to officially join the Democratic Party. So very interesting, two Democrats and we did not plan that when we first booked this show. But I do want to go to the Congresswoman first.

You serve with Mo Brooks. You serve with some of these Republican members of the House. What do you make of the idea that they're still not done, that they're now planning on holding what basically would be a show vote and force a show vote in the United States Senate on January 6th?

REP. MAXINE WATERS (D-CA): It's shocking. It is absolutely shocking, that they would continue in their efforts to do what I consider the highest form of voter suppression. We've never seen anything like this. The president of the United States is going to 46 courts that have turned him down, that have said you have no evidence.

And so he went to the Supreme Court where he has three members that he has helped to get on the Supreme Court, they turned him down. They didn't even let him file. They didn't even let Texas' attorney general, who was in the head of this amicus brief that he had, did not let them file in the Supreme Court. And they're still moving forward with trying to somehow invalidate the votes of millions of people in four states. It is just unbelievable that they would continue this. Either they are so afraid, so intimidated, so bullied by the president of the United States, they can't stand up for democracy and the Constitution. That is hard to believe, hard to understand.

But when people say to us, why don't you negotiate with them on Coronavirus-19 response and help the people? Why can't you come to an agreement? Do you understand what we're dealing with? We're dealing with people who are willing to undermine the democracy, people who claim to be patriots, people who don't have any respect for the Constitution and you expect us to be able to sit down with them and for them to negotiate with us in good faith? This is awful. The world is watching.

And I want to tell you while we have been the leader of the world, particularly on democracies and encouraging other countries around the world to become democratic, we have now taken the bloom off our leadership. It is absolutely unconscionable and unthinkable that this could be happening.

REID: You know, and, Steve, to that very point, I mean every political incentive for somebody like a Ron Johnson or a Rand Paul, who is up in 2022 and wants the Trump and base to vote for them, is to go ahead and do the show vote, right? It helps them. You've got -- what's his name -- Tommy Tuberville, who just won in Alabama, fellow Alabaman with Mo Brooks, he's got six years. He can bake for six years and do this.

So, unfortunately, the political incentive say do this show trial, do this fake vote because it's good for the them politically, is this the kind of thing that ultimately has driven you out of the Republican Party?

STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Indeed. Look, at the end of the day, there's now one pro-democracy political party in the United States of America and that's the Democratic Party and I am a member of that party because of that. I'm a single-issue voter. I believe in American democracy.

Look, what happened in the month of November premeditatedly, deliberately, faith and belief in American democracy was poisoned by President Trump culminating with 126 members of the House of Representatives and 18 Republicans attorney generals signing an amicus brief to a garbage lawsuit that is, in essence, a declaration of repudiation of American democracy.

Do not look at their signing onto that amicus brief as some type of legal action. It was not. It was a political declaration. And the political declaration was one in where they turn their backs on the tradition of American democracy. And we should understand what we're looking at.

We should understand what we saw in Washington D.C. this weekend. This was fascistic, political, right-wing extremist violence on the streets of the nation's capitol. We have seen in this country our cities burn. We've seen the rage that rises up from injustice and people who feel they have nothing burning down the property of people that they feel have something. It's not right. I don't approve of it.

But this was different type of violence than that type of violence this weekend. This was an assertion of right-wing political violence in sighted by the president of the United States. We saw that in 1930s in Italy or Germany. We would recognize it. They would have been wearing black and brown uniforms.

We're at a dangerous hour in this country. And what that means is, is that there's a coalition that now exists that didn't exist in the past. But it's a prodemocracy coalition. And it has people on the, left in the center, some on the right, who believe still that the people in the country are sovereign, that we're a nation of people, by the people, for the people and the people decide who are leaders are. The leaders don't decide how long they get to serve. We decide.

And so, we now have a fundamental question in this country that's going to play out over many, many years ahead. And I'm very worried about it. And what I believe is the pro-democracy side of this coalition can never again lose the presidential election to the pro-autocracy side because we may not have another election after that one.

This played out as a farce mostly over the month of November, except for the actual poisoning of the policy (ph). It was a joke in a lot of ways, but it was a coup. It was a failed coup. And the way you get to a second coup in most countries is by having your first unsuccessful one. It's a shameful conduct, dangerous conduct. And the country is in a dangerous hour and unlike one we have ever been in before because of the seditious activities of these Republican attorney generals and members of the House.

REID: And, you know, Congresswoman, it's not only these fascistic overtones, as Steve said, there is also an oligarch piece of it too because we're in a midst of a pandemic. There was a really great op-ed in The Washington Post that talk about the fact that now line cutting is a thing, that you now have the administration throwing out that maybe they should get the vaccine first.

You've got them giving friends of the president, personal friends of Donald Trump getting exclusive treatment that no one else can get, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani and others. Chris Christie even skipping doing -- he didn't even want to be in the trials because he wanted to make sure he got the real drug. And now there's talk of, you know, Mitch McConnell being able to distribute to the Senate when he's not distributing COVID relief. This is a problem. What do you make of it?

WATERS: And, you know, unfortunately, black people in particular expect them to be unfair in their distribution. They don't trust that we're going to be treated right. And even though there is some suspicion about whether or not there will be some experimentation on black people because of the history of this having happened. They know and expect that something was going to go wrong.

It is absolutely unpatriotic. It is absolutely unconscionable. It is absolutely unheard of for the oligarchs, for the head of our government, as we're now referring to them, to stand in line first. They're not going to stand in line. They're going to be treated before anybody else. And even for people who are suspicious about some of this, when they see that they are taking this kind of action, that just helps them to understand that they are going to be unfair in more ways than one.

And I want to tell you, I don't believe that members of the Senate or the member of the House of Representatives or any of us should be first and in getting the vaccination if this is what we want. If we want to get vaccinated, we need to stand in line like everybody else. It is not fair for those in high office to be treated first.

I was always concerned about the fact that the president, who was infected, somehow got extraordinary treatment that allowed him to come back out as if very little happened to him. Like the fact that Giuliani gets to hospital the minute he is tested positive. Most people can't get in the hospital when the minute that they are tested positive. Most people who get the virus have to certainly exhibit signs of the horror of being very, very sick, of needing ventilators, et cetera, et cetera. So, no, this is not fair.

But, you know, this is a dishonorable president. From the minute that he stepped on the national scene running for the presidency, it could be seen. I saw it. And he's acting out who he really is.

REID: Yes, absolutely. Indeed. And we know that you yourself lost your sister to this virus. So you know of what you speak. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Steve Schmidt, thank you very much. And, Steve, we hope everyone listens to that pod cast about your change of party.

And now, for his part, Donald Trump still refuses to concede, by the way, that he lost the election even after electors in all 50 states cast they're votes. Here is how White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany explained of that.


REPORTER: Now that the Electoral College has voted, does the president acknowledge that Joe Biden is the President-elect? Does he have any plans to invite him here to the White House?

KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: The president is involved in ongoing litigation related to the election. Yesterday's vote was one step in the constitutional process, so I will leave that to him and refer you to the campaign for more on that litigation.


REID: Joining me now is Marc Elias, founder of the Democracy Docket. Marc, thank you for being here. I really wanted to interview you. It's really exciting to have you here.

Let's just start with just the facts. As far as the law, the Constitution in a legal sense, is not Joe Biden, in every sense of the word the president-elect or is Kayleigh McEnany have some point there's some legal avenue that is left for Donald Trump to pursue?

MARC ELIAS, DEMOCRACY DOCKET FOUNDER: There's no legal avenue. There's not even cul-de-sac. I mean, he's at the end of the road, dead end, like, you know, curb right in front of him. There's no place to go. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won this election. They're going to be sworn in January 20th at noon and there's nothing that Donald Trump or Kayleigh McEnany or anyone is going to do about that.

REID: And then you've got this -- you know, I think for a lot of particularly Democrats and independents and those who have really wanted this era to end, there're always been these fears and it's been in blocks, right? They're like, first, we have to make sure that they don't just outright steal the election and do so much voter suppression that people just can't voted at all. Then there was the attack on the mailing system, where, you know, Mr. DeJoy destroy the Postal Service so much that people's vote don't count. Then we moved on and then that was over. And then there are all this other tricks.

The latest trick now they -- you know, Donald Trump ordered or was trying to get governors and state legislators to stop the electors from voting. That didn't work. The electors voted. The last ditch effort seems to be the January 5th effort that Mo Brooks, Congressman Mo Brooks of Alabama, is attempting. Is there any chance at all that Mo Brooks' effort to force a vote in the House in the United States Senate invalidating the electors into five states, can that change the outcome?

ELIAS: No. It can make it a long day for Congress, right? He can slow down the process by a couple hours here, a couple of hours there. But it's not going to change the outcome. The fact is, Americans we voted on November 3rd, the election was certified at the counties, it was certified by the states, the electors met in the Electoral College. It's done. It's done. There is nothing left for Congress to do at this point other than accept those results. Mitch McConnell, who I don't give credit for anything, I think, today, was at least very belatedly clear on that point. So, no, Mo Brooks or no one else is going to be able to do anything other than slow this down.

REID: Okay. You heard it firsthand from the person who defeated the kraken, in many ways, one of the biggest heroes of this whole election season. Marc Elias, thank you so much for being here. It's great to talk to you. Thank you, thank you for clearing that up for our listeners, our viewers. Thank you very much.

ELIAS: Thank you Joy. Thank you.

REID: And up next, back -- cheer's, thanks very much. Back on the campaign trail, President-elect Joe Biden -- he is president-elect guys, it's over. Joe Biden was in Georgia today making the case for Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. And Donald Trump, well he is also weighing in, sharing a tweet this morning suggested that the state's Republican governor will soon be in jail.

Plus, the first step on the road to recovery in the battle against the coronavirus. Check out the scene this morning as the first New Jersey healthcare workers received their vaccinations.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you God. Thank you.


REID (voice over): And the incredible story of a Florida scientist who filed a whistleblower complaint alleging the state, get this, was manipulating its coronavirus data. Last week, her house was raided by the police. She'll join me later in the hour. You do not want to miss it.

Stay with us.


REID: We are just three weeks from Georgia's Senate run-off elections.

And early voting is already under way. More than 168,000 Georgians showed up yesterday on the first day of in person early voting. That's nearly 40,000 more than on the first day of early voting for the general election.

And fresh off his Electoral College win, president-elect Joe Biden made his way to the Peach State today to make the case for Democratic candidates Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT: They know no public services isn't about them. It's about you. They know public service isn't about enriching themselves. It's about making people's lives better.

They know their loyalty isn't to me or anyone else. It's to the people of Georgia.


REID: Of course, Donald Trump also weighed in on Georgia today, but I'm not sure, so sure how helpful it was for the Republican candidates.

Trump retweeted a post claiming Georgia's Republican governor and secretary of state will soon be going to jail, presumably for not accepting Trump's conspiracy theories about voter fraud in the state.


REID: I'm joined now by the House majority whip, Congressman James Clyburn of South Carolina.

I'm sorry to laugh, Leader Clyburn. But I do think it's rather hilarious that Donald Trump's attempt to help -- to help out in Georgia is to say, put them in jail, put the governor in jail.

But, anyway, let me ask you about Joe Biden. How do you think that the race is looking to you right now? And is the message that he sent today in Georgia, do you think that's a winning message for him -- for those two candidates?

REP. JAMES CLYBURN (D-SC): It is a winning message. There is no question about that.

There's no question about that. I would know, though, that Georgia is still Georgia. South Carolina is South Carolina. We are trying to make breakthroughs in the South.

And I think that Joe Biden did a remarkable job on November 3. Now, the question is whether or not we get the voters those back out on January 5. If they come back, we will do well. But we will have to wait and see whether or not they come back.

REID: Well, and Governor -- the governor there, Trump wants to put him in jail.

But, in real life, he's actually quite a very expert vote suppressor. And I wonder if you're concerned that the kind of voter suppression, the threats to shut down things like mail-in voting, to make it harder for people to vote, whether those suppressive messages and what looks like we may see legislative voter suppression, are you concerned that's going to turn off black voters?

CLYBURN: Yes, I am. I'm very concerned about that, because we have notice already they have reduced the number of polling places from what they were on November 3.

Any time you make these kinds of changes, you are, in fact, getting people out of their natural routines of voting. And that's a problem. So, I am concerned about that.

I'm also concerned about the fact that Georgia is not beyond doing other things to suppress votes. I'm from neighboring South Carolina. I have seen it all of my life.

And so I'm very, very concerned that people will get turned off through the process. I'm hoping that they won't.

REID: Yes.

CLYBURN: From what I hear, they are incented to go out to vote. And I hope they hold.

REID: I will note that the fund-raising -- on the fund-raising side, it does appear that Donald Trump isn't that being that helpful.

He's doing this aggressive fund-raising blitz, but, if people give to it, they're giving money to his PAC. They're not actually giving to this to the two Georgia senators, which is just wild.

I won't even ask you to comment on that. I just want to let people know it is very wild down there.

I do want to ask you, though, about Mo Brooks and about this attempt. It feels to me like we are seeing the old Dixiecrats revived in the Republican Party, because the things they're doing feel like old Dixiecrat behavior, where they're -- they're -- they're now talking about holding what would be a show vote to essentially negate, try to negate the results of the election, which they can't do, but just to make them get on the record.

Do you think that House members who participate in that sort of thing should be stripped of their committee assignments or should not even be allowed to take the oath?

CLYBURN: We're dealing with two different things here.

Committee assignments are pretty much determined by each party. And, therefore, it's not the business of the House.

But I think that Mo Brooks is being what I consider to be a very non-patriotic person. The fact of the matter is, he knows that Biden won by more than seven million votes. He knows that he got the same number of votes in the Electoral College that his candidate got four years ago.

So, what is this all about? This is just -- like you said, it's about -- I remember, when I was growing up, they would tell us, yes, I know we should integrate schools, but we will wait on the feds to make us do it.

This is the kind of thing that we thought we had behind us. And Mo Brooks ought to be ashamed of himself. All of us are trying to work to improve the country, to improve the states that we represent. And this is not an improvement for the state of Alabama for him to take this on.

REID: Yes, indeed.

Congressman James Clyburn, Leader Clyburn, thank you so much for being here. And we wish you a happy -- very happy holiday. Thank you.


REID: And, meanwhile, while both Democratic -- cheers.

While both Democratic Senate candidates are fending off attacks, the right is taking aim at Reverend Warnock over his faith.

Here was incoming Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn today:


MADISON CAWTHORN (R), NORTH CAROLINA CONGRESSMAN-ELECT: You see this Warnock fellow who's coming down here and disguising himself as some moderate pastor from the South who doesn't believe in these radical ideas.

But if you look at him really, what he actually believes, he is a radical's radical. He wants to defund our police. He says he's a pastor, yet he's all about abortion. This is somebody who does not represent what real Americans believe.


REID: Huh.

I wonder what this particular guy thinks constitutes a real American. I'm sure -- I'm sure it'll come to me.

Meanwhile, we have seen real-life physical attacks on black churches in recent days. This weekend, in Washington, D.C., two historic black churches were vandalized, reportedly by a group of Proud Boy thugs. They ripped signs right off the churches and set them on fire.

One of the pastors said it was reminiscent of cross burnings. And in an op-ed for "The Washington Post" today, the pastor of the Metropolitan AME Church wrote: "It mattered not that the land was ours. It mattered not that the sign was ours. The mythology that motivated the perpetrators on Saturday night was the underbelly of the American narrative, that white men can employ violence to take what they want and do what they want, and call that criminality justice, freedom, and liberty."

And joining me now is that pastor, Reverend William Lamar.

And thank you so much for being here.

And I will note for those who don't know your church, it was the Church of Frederick Douglass. It's the church where the great Gwen Ifill was funeralized. This was a great and grand church.

What is your response to the silence that you have heard out of the -- essentially the leader of the Christian right, meaning the president of the United States, about that vandalism?

REV. WILLIAM H. LAMAR IV, PASTOR, METROPOLITAN AME CHURCH: I think it's sad that you have named Mr. Trump as the leader of the Christian right, but I also think that it is true.

And I expect nothing less than that silence. That is the same deafening silence of the ancestors of that theological movement when genocide swept across the nation. It's the same silence during the long dark night of enslavement, the same silence when people were ground up in the industrial economy, the same silence now in the midst of the most pornographic inequality that we have experienced since the Gilded Age.

And that silence is the result of the fact that that theology, that world view is captive to white supremacist narratives and white supremacist understandings of the world.

And so the theology cannot pierce through the white supremacy. And so you can expect no less than what it is that we're seeing.

REID: You know, it is interesting that we led this with this Representative Cawthorn, who just got elected in, I believe, North Carolina.

This is a 25-year-old guy who had on his bucket list to visit the fuhrer's summer hideaway, his vacation home, and put that out publicly, has paid no price for having done that. He says he isn't racist, but that is what he did.

And then he claims that the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dr. King's historic church, is not a real American, that this man, who was born in Georgia, raised in Georgia, Reverend Warnock, who's a native Georgian, is somehow parachuting into Georgia, his own home state, when his opponent literally parachuted into Georgia.

So, I don't understand what's going on here. But it feels like there is a fight that's being waged against the black church itself. Do you feel that way, as a pastor?

LAMAR: Well, I think that there has been unchecked violence against the church and its theology. Let's be clear. Congressman Clyburn was on. He's from South Carolina. I was born in Macon, Georgia, myself.

In many Southern states, it was illegal for persons of African descent to join together in worship, because what the enslavers knew was that worship is always political, that it either supports the politics of the present order, of the status quo, or worship participates in God's work of bringing new heaven and new earth into time and space.

So, the young man that you showed who said, that fellow Warnock, these are ways to dehumanize. There was a time when he would have called Warnock a racial epithet. But he can't do that now and be considered politic.

And so that fellow, this person was not born here, it is a settler colonial impulse, as I wrote earlier, that says, I own the spaces into which I enter, and I determine which people belong.

And so saying that Warnock parachuted in is absolute nonsense. But if your conception of citizenship is that one must be white and/or one must hold to this white supremacist narrative, then those who are not a part of that are render un-citizens or, worse, as many scholars called it, anti-citizens.

So, those who breached our yard and tore down our sign are motivated by that same mythology, and they had no respect of our property, our tradition. They felt as if they could do what they wanted to do.

REID: Yes.

LAMAR: And until that narrative changes, then our politics will not be able to change.

They will not be able to supersede the story that we tell ourselves about how we order ourselves as a nation.

REID: Reverend William Lamar, I recommend everyone read your op-ed. It's brilliant.

Thank you so much for spending some time with us this evening. And I'm wishing you a merry Christmas, happy holidays, and thank you. Thank you for being here and for what you said.

LAMAR: Thank you for having me.

REID: Thank you.

And still ahead: Nearly three million vaccine doses are now available, with millions more expected by the end of the week. An update on the rollout and who gets it next -- straight ahead on THE REIDOUT.

Stay with us.


REID: The vaccine rollout continued today, as thousands more health care workers across the country received their doses.

In New Jersey, Maritza Beniquez, who calls herself a proud Latina American nurse hero, got the first COVID-19 vaccine in the state, alongside Governor Phil Murphy at University Hospital in Newark.

Meanwhile, the United States could be days away from approving a second vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration confirmed the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health.

A panel of outside experts is expected to approve it on Thursday, which would mean six million additional doses cleared by the end of the week.

All of this is good news. And it comes at a dark time in this country's battle against the virus. We have now passed another grim milestone, as more than 302,000 Americans have died from the coronavirus, and more than 110,000 people are currently hospitalized.

I'm joined now for more by Dr. Shereef Elnahal, the CEO of University Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. And he was there when the first COVID-19 dose was administered in his state.

And, Dr. Elnahal, thank you so much for being here.

It's both energizing to know that we now finally have a vaccine that's beginning to roll out and depressing that we have passed 302,000 -- 302,000 deaths.

Do you -- how soon do you think we get out of this hell, and stop this mass dying with these now two vaccines potentially out there?


That time frame really depends on the speed of trust. It all depends on adoption. And trust me, for the last few weeks and even last few months, we have been planning diligently with all the logistics needed to get these vaccines safely in the ultra-cold storage that they need, connected to an efficient operation to actually deliver the vaccines.

But that all depends on people's willingness to adopt it. And especially in communities of color, there's an issue with trust right now. And that is earned this trust, unfortunately, by the medical establishment.

So, we have to get in front of the community with all the right reasons related to the science, related to the clinical trials, but also be trusted stewards ourselves, as the health care system. And that's really the only way we will be able to get there quickly.

Optimistic time frame, say, six months, I think that completely depends on health care leaders all across the country investing now and getting in front of first their own hospital employees, majority of the employees are people of color at University Hospital. But then going to the community with all of those ambassadors, leaders of faith, trusted individuals in the community to move the entire community along.

REID: I'm so glad you said that. There are different banks of mistrust, as you said. One of them is political.

You now have the head of the Operation Warp Speed, Moncef Slaoui, actually urging Donald Trump to tell his supporters you need to get this vaccine. You need to use, you know, the sort of mesmerism that he has over his base and said he hopes the does that, because if you look at who doesn't trust the vaccine, you're absolutely right, African-Americans are the trust it the least, right? They trust the idea of the vaccine the least. Only 35 percent of black adults.

But you also have rural residents who don't trust it. People age 30 to 49 have very low levels of trust. And Republicans have low levels of mistrust.

But I will give my friend Tiffany Cross in her show last weekend in the debut of her show "THE CROSS CONNECTION" pointed out four African-Americans, as you said, there's a deep history with the medical world that produces this deep sense of mistrust about it. Kaiser Family Foundations says that the main reasons that black adults don't trust the vaccine, worry they'll get the -- that they'll actually get COVID from it, worried about experimentation, et cetera.

What do you say to people who have those feelings and have that lack of mistrust? How do you convince them?

ELNAHAL: Well, first of all, it's important to clear up a few facts. So, there is no chance for you to get COVID-19 from any of the vaccines presented including Pfizer, including Moderna, because the virus isn't in the vaccine. It's actually a molecule that creates a fake decoy that looks like the virus that trains your immune system to be able to respond to it. And so, when you clear up facts like that and you have the benefit of trust when you are delivering facts, which is extremely important, you do see adoption go up.

In fact, we had mistrust in the vaccine among our hospital employees. Again, a huge percentage of people are color themselves from this community. And I had to walk the wards and do small focus groups asking about their feelings, asking people about their beliefs about the vaccine and once you clear up a lot of these facts, you get a good percentage of the way there.

But again, it's not just the facts, Joy. I want to emphasize that. It is going out and getting the community behind you, because the community can either be against you or behind you in this effort. And if you are a healthcare leader when the community is against you, you will be much further behind in getting us out of this pandemic.

REID: Yeah. Absolutely, you're 100 percent right. And, listen, we got your back. Anything you need us to here on the TV side, we got you. We will help you out.

Dr. Shereef Elnahal, thank you for all that you do. Really appreciate you.

And, meanwhile, Florida authorities raided the home of a scientist who said she was fired for trying to share the truth about COVID cases in the Sunshine State. We'll get her side of the story when she joins us straight ahead on THE REIDOUT.

Don't go anywhere.


REID: As Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis has made one hideous move after another, he supported Trump's voter fraud delusions, made it harder for people with felonies to vote, defying an overwhelmingly approved constitutional amendment, and drafted an anti-mob proposal, that would expand the states stand your ground law, you know, the one made famous after George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin.

The DeSantis rule would make it a felony to topple statues or block traffic while protesting, in what sure does look like bids to protect Confederate statues and cripple Black Lives Matter marches.

But he's even worse when it comes to the coronavirus. Florida is one of the three states with more than 1 million cases. Those case numbers are rising. DeSantis has relentlessly downplayed the virus, and has mocked lockdown measures and mask mandates, the better to reopen Disneyworld.

But at the beginning of the pandemic, Florida was actually praised for the way it tracked the virus.


DR. DEBORAH BIRX, WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE: I'm trying to drive Americans to a web site that is really quite extraordinary. If you go to the Florida public health website on COVID, they have been able to show their communities cases and tests, district by district, county by county, zip code by zip code. That's the kind of knowledge and power we need to put into the hands of American people.


REID: Data scientist Rebekah Jones was responsible for creating that interactive dashboard. But a month later, she was fired from the Florida Department of Health. She says it was because she wouldn't manipulate data, to make the situation look better than it was, which, of course, the department denied.

Jones then created her own dashboard, one that showed higher case numbers than the states did. She also filed a whistleblower complaint against the state, continuing to question their data and directly targeting Governor DeSantis.

She's been publishing her own data for months now. But early last week, her home was raided by the police. And we'll have more on that raid plus an interview with Rebekah Jones herself. And that is up next.


REID: Months after data scientist Rebekah Jones started criticizing Florida's handling of the pandemic, state police agents appeared at her home early last week to serve a search warrant for her computers and other electronics. They allege that her IP address was used to gain access to a group of Health Department employees and to send a text reading, "It's to speak up before another 17,000 people are dead."

Jones denies doing so, and her lawyer says it's possible that someone was able to spoof or impersonate her IP address. She also posted her own video of the raid which she says shows the police pointed guns at her children who were upstairs.


POLICE: Police! Come down now! Search warrant!

REBEKAH JONES, DATA SCIENTIST: Do not point those guns at my children. He just pointed a gun at my children!


REID: Florida police claim that at no time were weapons pointed at anyone in the home.

I'm joined now by Rebekah Jones, former research analyst for the Florida Department of Health and co-founder of the COVID Monitor.

So, let's start with that raid. You posted that video. They're claiming that they did not aim guns at you or your children, and you're saying that's untrue.

JONES: Oh, it's absolutely false. In the video that FDLE released on their own, you can see one of the officers clearly move to the door and put a gun right to my face. So that's just absolutely false.

REID: So we're going to play some of this video. You know, I have to tell you I'm a bit triggered because of the Breonna Taylor situation happening a short time ago. It is hard to watch police raiding a home where there are women and children present.

But can you tell us what's going on in this video?

JONES: So when an officer called me and said they were outside my house and needed to make contact, I hung up and called my lawyer. I noticed my video camera that was sitting on my desk right next to where I'm at right now, and turned it on not knowing there was a memory card in it and thinking I would need it in case they tried to hurt me as they arrested me, which is what I thought was going to happen, which is why I went downstairs and just put my arms up and was ready to do whatever I needed to do.

I let them push me around and just move me wherever they needed and didn't expect them to come into the house with their guns drawn.

REID: Because they were claiming that you were doing something like shredding documents or doing something other than just preparing to come outside. So what your video shows is that you were just preparing to come outside. That's the point of that?

JONES: Yes, and that I was putting on clothes and I said good-bye to my kids twice because that's a hard thing to do when you don't know how long it's going to be before you can hold them again. And that is all of the delay that they experienced.

REID: What do you think that the cause of this is? Do you believe that this raid was sparked by the governor, by Governor DeSantis because you are telling, basically, on him about the COVID crisis being worse than he says it is?

JONES: I think it's a lot of things, but, yes, ultimately that is what is driving his motivation and his constant attacks of me. He even admitted last week, at the end of last week that he was aware of the investigation and knew of the raid. So this was something that he was involved with personally, before it was ordered on my house and seems to be quite proud that it happened, considering how he said that, you know, he's coming into my home and pointing guns at my children was done with honor.

REID: He is now criticizing those that are criticizing the raid saying the people are describing the police as Gestapo unfairly. He released a statement saying that just because you're a darling of some corners of the fever swamps, that doesn't exempt you from following the law. We do know that the judge who approved the raid on your home, that was appointed -- that person was appointed by Governor DeSantis. Although, he says he didn't know about it in advance.

And I will note that an attorney as resigned their job to protest what happened to you. A guy named He says in his resignation letter, I have been increasingly alarmed by the governor's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said the raid was overkill. You don't send 12 armed officers to raid her computer for doing that, and he said that is Gestapo.

You're being accused of sending a text to your former colleagues at the state, telling them that they should speak out about what was happening in terms of COVID.

Did you send such a text to your colleagues?

JONES: No, I didn't. I have been publicly asking them to speak out for seven months now, and much to, you know, no avail. And sending a message through an internal e-mail account would do something for me because I already know what all those people are and trying to reach out to them wouldn't benefit anybody. And it's just --

REID: Yeah.

JONES: Even if that had happened at my house, which DOH providing the proof of IP address is pretty suspect considering I'm suing them right now, there is no justification for that many armed police to come into my house to get a computer.

REID: Yeah. And let me -- let me ask you about the misinformation that you are claiming was happening coming out of the governor's office in those months leading up to this raid. What was going on?

JONES: So I was fired back in may for refusing to actually change numbers and make the state look like it was ready to reopen when by our own metrics it was not. This was something that was investigated thoroughly by the "Miami Herald" and found everything that I was saying to be correct. And an article came out just days before this raid on my house of which I was one of many sources in the sun sentinel here in Florida that showed that the DeSantis administration ordered Department of Health employees across the entire state not to even mention COVID-19 in the weeks leading up to the election, even though casing were increasing quickly.

This is the kind of information that you can only get by knowing contacts at the state level, and I think that those are the people that DeSantis is really hunting after right now.

REID: Are you worried about the roll-out of the vaccine in a state that's run by DeSantis?

JONES: I'm worried about everything that he's doing right now in a state run by Ron DeSantis. I hope that people who know what they're doing or are in charge of the roll-out of the vaccine. I hope that the federal government will step in and supervise the roll-out of the vaccine come January because most of this is not going to happen until months from now. It is very critical to have unbiased at the minimum observers watching making sure this is done right because nothing he has done with this virus since the beginning has been honest. Nothing.

REID: Rebekah Jones, thank you so much for being here. Really appreciate you coming on and telling your story. Thank you.

Wow. It's quite a harrowing one.

And that is tonight's REIDOUT tonight.

Thank you all for being here. Please stay be safe.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


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