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Transcript: The ReidOut, November 12, 2020

Guests: Adam Schiff, Raphael Warnock, Kurt Bardella, Loyce Pace, Ayanna Pressley


Biden moves ahead with transition as Trump scams supporters. GOP lawmakers starting to break with Trump on election. World leaders congratulate Biden on election victory. GOP using election dispute to drive turnout in Georgia and 2024. JCOS chief says, we don't take an oath to an individual. Obama accuses GOP of trying to delegitimize Biden and democracy. Politico reports, GOP focused on investigations instead of governing. Trump Campaign Adviser Lewandowski tests positive for COVID.


DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ALLERGY AND INFECTIOUS DISEASES: So if we can just hang in there, do the public health measures that we're talking about, we're going to get this under control, I promise you.

ARI MELBER, MSNBC HOST: Tonight, Dr. Fauci gets THE LAST WORD. THE REIDOUT starts now.

JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Joseph Robinette Biden is the President-elect of the United States and will continue to be while Donald Trump continues to channel his rage over losing the election into a series of fantastical legal challenges. He also is continuing the grift that has come to define his entire presidency, diluting his most ardent supporters into handing over the hard-earned cash to support his latest scam, bombarding them with emails seeking contributions to his election defense fund and screaming, stop the steal.

Now, may I remind you that Donald Trump is a con man. Remember, he borrowed tens of millions of dollars that he never paid back, created a fake university that built people out of millions of dollars and paid just $750 in income taxes but got like $100,000 worth of free government healthcare when he got COVID, so at those donations that his campaign is soliciting literally daily.

According to Reuters' analysis of the fine print, donors have to cough up $8,000 before any of the money goes to a recount account, noting a large portion goes to Save America, a Trump leadership PAC, which gets 60 percent of the money. Save America by doing what exactly? More grifting for starters?

According to Politico, Trump could place his family members and former administration officials on payroll and continue to host lavish events at his properties without tripping up campaign finance law.

Meanwhile, a group of 150 former national security officials signed a letter warning that the government's delay in recognizing Biden's victory poses a, quote, serious risk to national security. But at least some of Trumps Republican enablers are coming out of hiding to say that Biden should be given the tools of a president. Oklahoma Republican James Lankford said that he would step in if Biden isn't given access to the president's daily intelligence briefing by tomorrow.


SEN. JAMES LANKFORD (R-OK): There's nothing wrong with Vice President Biden getting the briefings to be able to prepare himself. And if that's not occurring Friday, I will step in as well and to be able to push them and say, this needs to occur.


REID: As for Trumps purge at the Pentagon, firing Defense Secretary, Mark Esper and replacing top leadership with Trump loyalist, Republicans are muzzling they're anger, because they're afraid that antagonizing Trump will hurt their chances in Georgia's Senate runoffs.

And another warning sign of an even deeper purge in the national security realm, the head of the Homeland Security cyber security arm is telling associates that he expects to be fired for debunking voter fraud claims.

And the petulance and obstructing Biden's transition has become even more downright embarrassing. The State Department is withholding messages of congratulations to Biden from world leaders. The Biden team has been able to work through Trump's tantrum taking calls from leaders of Australia, Japan and South Korea last night. And today, Pope Francis offered his congratulations in a phone call to Biden, who will be just the nation's second catholic president.

And joining me now is Congressman Adam Schiff of California. He's the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

And, you know, Representative Schiff, it is difficult to suss out what to believe about why Republicans are enabling this, right, the idea that Trump is sad and need to let him work through grief, to me, doesn't track because behind the scene, they're telling every reporter who listen to them they can't stand him, right?

And so I've heard everything from they're out there, you know, they're in there shredding documents because they're have been so much malfeasance in these agencies, they don't want to let the Biden team in because they might start going through the books. Two Republicans are just nakedly unconcerned about national security because it's all about Georgia. For you, what do you think it is?

REP. ADAM SCHIFF (D-CA): I think you're absolutely right. It's about two things. It's about Georgia and it's about 2024. It's about Mitch McConnell not wanting to upset Donald Trump when the Senate majority may hang in a balance of Georgia. If senators like McConnell and McCarthy and others do the responsible thing, and they say, Mr. President, you lost, that's how the system works. You need to move on. We need to have a smooth transition. We stand for the peaceful transfer of power in this country. Then he takes his ball and goes home from Georgia. And nothing matters more to Mitch McConnell than maintaining his position as majority leader.

For the others, for many of the others, they want to run for president. And they don't want to alienate him even though he may be a competitor in four years. And then for members in between those two, the presidential aspirants and Mitch McConnell, you have, you know, what we have seen for last four years and that is they don't want to be on the losing side of an angry tweet from the president. They don't want to get pilloried by Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson. And so their conviction goes out the window.

REID: It feels like cowardice to me, I'm sorry to say.

You know, the 9/11 commission has warned that a shorter transition period could actually be dangerous to the country because our enemies can see just what our allies can see, that we are -- you know, sort of everything is -- the balls are all thrown up in the air and Trump has sort of disappeared from the national scene, on COVID and everything else.

I want to play you what General Milley said though yesterday. Because one of the things that people fear, because, you know, in the absence of something happening people fear what Trump might do that's really dangerous and authoritarian, like try to seize power and use the military to do it. But this is what the General Milley had to say yesterday and it seems like he was calling Trump out. Take a listen.


GEN. MARK MILLEY, CHAIRMAN FO THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF: We are unique among armies. We are unique among military. We do not take an oath to a king or a queen, a tyrant or a dictator. We do not take oath to an individual.


REID: So, for yourself, as somebody who is in the gang of eight, you know, that you get lots of these intelligence briefings, do you have any concern whatsoever that Donald Trump will try to go to extraordinary means, including trying to use his role as commander in chief to stay in power or is that something that people should just let go and disabuse themselves of that fear?

SCHIFF: Well, in my view, he's gone to extreme position in denying the election in making a massive fraudulent claim about people's votes. But will he go additional distance and seek to, you know, essentially effectuate a military coup? No. He may want to, for all I know, the military is not going to go along with that. I have confidence they will reject that.

I think general Milley's comments were very carefully written to send a message. That was not an accident that he chose the words he used today and any number of current and former military people would say the very same thing.

So I feel confident about that. But, look, the other risks are very real. Other nations are not sitting still. Our adversaries look at this period of disarray. We are already suffering a foreign policy defeat right now because one of the pillars of American foreign policy for decades has been the promulgation, the propagation of democracy, support for democracy in democratic institutions.

You know, we preach to other countries when you lose an election, you allow a peaceful transition of power. Autocrats claim massive fraud. We don't do that in the United States. You shouldn't do that. That pillar of our democracy promotion has just been destroyed. I mean, how do we make those arguments with a straight face now given what president is doing?

REID: Yes. And to just put a quote on what you just said, I want to play the former president of the United States, Barack Obama, talking about what we're seeing in this sort of circus atmosphere. Take a listen.


BARACK OBAMA, FORMER U.S. PRESIDENT: The president doesn't like to lose and never admits loss.

I'm more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humoring him in this fashion. It is one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration but democracy, generally.


REID: So that explains him, explains Trump.

But I need to go back to Republicans for just a moment because both House and Senate Republicans have made it clear that when sort of the normal order resumes and Congress is back in session and at work, they're not interested in doing any work that involves legislating or helping people during this awful pandemic. That's not taken -- you know, COVID-19 has now taken down -- I don't even know how many administration officials. We got Corey Lewandowski being the latest. You can go on and on and on, Mark Meadows, all of these officials even inside the Trump world have it. Trump had it.

But what they want to focus on is investigating. They want to go after Hunter Biden still. They want to go after the investigations that led to impeachment, a time in which I think for a lot of people, you have a sort of become the modern day Thaddeus Stevens, you know, making your argument against Trump during impeachment. They want go after the Mueller probe again.

Is this what we're going to have to sit through for four next four year, Republicans just doing investigations and refusing to legislate?

SCHIFF: Well, we may. You know, certainly I think you're absolutely right about the fact that this wouldn't be going on right now. This obstruction of the transition wouldn't be going on if Republicans weren't allowing it to go on.

Indeed, that's been the story of the last four years. You wouldn't have the breakdown of the independence of the Justice Department under Bill Barr if Republicans have stood up and defended that institution. You wouldn't have anything to abuse of the pardon power. You wouldn't have the stonewalling of subpoena. You wouldn't have to play the violation of the Hatch Act holding convention on the White House ground. But for Republicans going along with it and they're going along with it still, and it is just tearing down our democracy.

I do expect in the new Congress that, yes, they'll continue to try to go after Joe Biden, delegitimize Joe Biden. They won't be interested in getting things done because they will feel particularly Kevin McCarthy in the House, that if we govern well, then it impedes their ability to change the majority in the House.

We're going to have to overcome that vote though, Joy, because the American people are counting on us. They need help right away. They can't even wait until January. There are millions of businesses that maybe destroyed between now and January if they don't get help.

So I hope that if the Republicans adopt that kind of obstructionism, that they pay a heavy price for it at the polls, but I don't want to see us sacrifice, you know, the American people during this pandemic for the political interest Republicans hope to gain by doing nothing.

REID: You did mention William Barr, who has become quite a prominent villain in this long seemingly endless saga. I feel like Trump has been President for about 40 years rather than four. Would you be open to replacing him? Your name has come when I've had conversations with folks who are politically inclined about who they like to see in a Biden administration. Would you be interested in becoming attorney general of the United States?

SCHIFF: Well, this will seem like a political answer, and I supposed it is. I think that the president-elect has got an extraordinarily talented bench to draw from for all of the positions in this cabinet. And I have every confidence he will make great choices.

So I'm going to leave it with that. But, you know, I like that the choices he's already made in his Chief of Staff, Ron Klain, is immensely talented and the people that I see there are considered for various positions give me a lot confidence. You know, Ron's position in particular given experience dealing with a pandemic is absolutely vital right now.

So I have a lot of confidence. I think the vice president is also saying and doing exactly the right things, reaching out to international partners, telling them he's going to restore the terms of the Atlantic (ph) alignments, he's committed to NATO and, you know, so very basic staples of American diplomacy. And he's doing and saying the right things both domestically with COVID, internationally with our defense of democracy.

REID: Well, sir, I will just say that those who watched the impeachment hearings and heard particularly your closing argument, I think, wouldn't be mad at the idea of you taking that job. So you were very demure in not saying that you would or would not be interested. But thank you very much for everything you've done over the course of this year. Have a great evening.

SCHIFF: Thank you.

REID: Thank you, Congressman Adam Schiff. Thank you very much.

And up next on THE REIDOUT the battle for control of the Senate comes down it Georgia, where Republicans are already flooding the zone with disinformation. One of the two Democratic candidates, Reverend Raphael Warnock, joins me.

Plus the frightening surge in COVID deaths. Biden says it's his top priority. Well, Trump, he can't be bothered.

Back with more of THE REIDOUT after this.


REID: OK. We cannot be more clear about this crucial fact. At noon on January 20th, 69 days from now, Donald Trump will no longer be president. And yet, his death grip on the once grand old party remains. According to Reuters, Trump told allies he may announce plans to run for president again in 2024, Grover Cleveland style. He has turned on his once favorite channel Fox News going on a tweeting rampage today, re-tweeting his supporters who are jumping off the curvy couch like it's hot, preparing perhaps to flee to their demigod's next platform.

Axios is reporting Trump may start his own digital media company in an effort to bring Fox to its knees and steal its viewership, which brings us to Georgia, the center of Trumps last stand. Trump maybe out but the vile under belly of the politics remain, which is why you're seeing Republican incumbents David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler play the role of mini Trumps in effort to win runoff elections January 5th, going on an endless blitz to paint their opponents as evil socialists while actually not defining what they mean by that, and calling on Georgia secretary of state to resign over ambiguous election failures that left them in the runoff to begin with without providing any proof. How deliciously Trumpian.

Joining me now is Reverend Raphael Warnock, the Democratic Senate Candidate running to unseat Senator Kelly Loeffler. And thank you for being here, Reverend Warnock. It's great to see you.

REV. RAPHAEL WARNOCK (D-GA), U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: Great to see you. Thanks for having me.

REID: Sure thing. Let's jump right into it. So there was a huge tweet rampage. And Donald Trump was re-tweeting every time Loeffler Perdue or anyone from Fox News was tweeting, if Democrats get Senate there's going to be socialist hell unleashed upon the country. Do you know what they mean by that? And is that a hell you are preparing to unleash?

WARNOCK: No, I don't know what they mean. And I don't think they know what they mean either. And, you know, this would be funny if it weren't sad and cynical. I am moving all across the state of Georgia and I'm talking to real Georgians who are struggling with real issues.

And Kelly Loeffler has been in the Senate now for 10 months. She's done a great job protecting herself, making political calculations of dumping millions of dollars of stock. That was her response to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, Georgians have not seen relief in many, many months. And so I guess, if you don't have an agenda for working families, the best thing you can do is distract working families.

I'm focused on trying to get Georgians health care.

REID: And, to your point, this is the state of COVID in your state right now, 413,893 cases, nearly 8,900 deaths.

There have been 3,670 new cases in just the past 24 hours. That's more people than died in 9/11, I mean, these are huge, terrifying numbers. And, to your very point, you did have Kelly Loeffler, whose husband runs a stock exchange or owns a part of it, dumping stock back in March after she'd gotten one of those briefings about how bad COVID could be. Perdue did something similar in buying some stock that was helpful to him.

The only other thing I think people know about Kelly Loeffler is that the WNBA generally cannot stand her and she cannot stand Black Lives Matter. What is -- how do you wrap up the case against Kelly Loeffler, if you had to put it in one log line, in your mind?

WARNOCK: I think she's been terribly consistent.

Every move that she made has to do with Kelly Loeffler. And so when she heard about the coronavirus pandemic, she made moves that were helpful to her, dumped millions of dollars of stock.

I think the attack on the women on her own basketball team, attacking Black Lives Matter, it was about what was good for her. And Georgians are still wondering, who in the world is going to show up and provide COVID relief for our businesses that are closing? We're in the middle of a pandemic.

I was down in Randolph County a couple weeks ago. Their hospital is closed, eight hospital in 10 years, and in the middle of a pandemic. And I think it's time for Georgians to have somebody in the Senate who is thinking about them, who's focused on them.

And that's what I have spent my whole life doing. I'm the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, spiritual home of Martin Luther King Jr. And I have spent my 15 years there as the pastor of that church focused on the concerns of ordinary people, fighting for access to affordable health care, standing up voting rights, standing up for the dignity of work.

Kelly Loeffler is busy talking about me because she doesn't have much to say concerning herself and the work that she's been doing to stand up for ordinary people.

REID: U.S. Senate candidate Raphael Warnock, the Reverend Raphael Warnock, I want to thank you very much. Good luck, and I hope you will come back.

WARNOCK: Thank you.

REID: Thank you.

All right. And, by the way, Jon Ossoff, who's running in the other Senate run-off seat in Georgia, he will join me tomorrow.

And joining me now is Kurt Bardella, senior adviser to The Lincoln Project, and Jason Johnson, professor of politics and journalism at Morgan State University.

Jason, I'm going to go to you first. You are sort of my Georgia whisperer here.


REID: And you just heard Reverend Warnock. You know, he's got Ebenezer Baptist Church behind him. I'm sure he's going to have a strong African-American vote, a lot of support maybe. Barack Obama will -- President Barack Obama will come down.

I guess the key question is, can you reproduce what we just saw in Georgia for a Senate race? I think that's the bottom line, right? And the question is, in your mind, can that be done?


If we look at recent evidence of run-offs in the midterm elections in 2018, the run-off -- the drop-off was anywhere from 40 to 60 percent in different counties. People just did not come out with the same level of passion when it wasn't Stacey Abrams vs. Brian Kemp.

I think there's a chance that that could be done. I think it's important that the Democrats nationalize this race. Look, everybody knows Reverend Warnock. He's actually done really, really well. He has high Q ratings, highly popular in the state.

But the issue is going to be getting those same people out to be just as excited about him as they were about pushing Joe Biden to flip the state blue. If the Democrats do that, if they can make sure that this race is not just Atlanta vs. downstate, but also getting Macon involved, also getting Savannah involved, also getting sort of small black cities like Albany County, if they can get those places involved, I do think the Democrats could eke out two more victories in January.

REID: And, Kurt, you texted me this morning about this sort of mania for investigations that's about to restart again, which is one of the reasons I wanted to talk to you tonight.

You know, the -- you have got Lindsey Graham and others saying, we're going to go back in there, investigate Hunter Biden for four years. We're going to investigate the investigation of Donald Trump and Russia.

I wonder if, inside Republican circles, do they really believe that that is a way to motivate people to come out in a state like Georgia, where they have had 20 -- 3,600 new cases of COVID in just the last 24 hours?

KURT BARDELLA, SENIOR ADVISER, THE LINCOLN PROJECT: I think when you look at, Joy, the Republican Party, throughout the entire coronavirus pandemic, they have had no answers about how the stave this off, about how to actually listen to doctors. And they have instead decided to launch this war on science.

And so they instead go back to the same playbook that they have been running now for the better part of a decade, which is just investigate their political opponents and do nothing to actually help their constituencies.

I think that Jason is absolutely right. The Democrats have to nationalize this election. They have to make this about the bigger issues that are impacting this country. And the people in Georgia are feeling every day the real-life impacts of the coronavirus.

If this election is about the coronavirus pandemic, about saving lives, about science and health and doctors and medicine and fact, Democrats have a real shot here.

But what they cannot allow to have happen here is Republicans to do what they have done, distort things, muddy the water, let conspiracy theories drive the entire narrative. Democrats have to be disciplined, they have to be on message, and they have to be precise, succinct, and vicious.

REID: Yes.

And the thing is, is that what they're doing right now to be vicious and succinct is just to say, they're all socialists, that Reverend Warnock is a socialist, Ossoff is a socialist, everything is a socialist. Like, that's what they just keep saying.

I wonder if Democrats are breaking through with a countermessage that what they're saying is, they don't want to give you all health care and they don't want to give you all a check for the -- a stimulus check.

Like, that seems to be the sort of Occam's razor answer. Are you hearing Democrats give that Occam's razor answer, Jason?

JOHNSON: They're attempting to. They're attempting to.

But, Joy, here's the other thing that's at play. And this is when I have talked to people down there, because you hear different answers. Some people are like, hey, we want to be hyper-local. Some people are saying, hey, we need to make this national.

What I think, if you sort of combine the two, is, don't you want to be important? Georgia basically gets to make sure that the election matters, right?

REID: Right.

JOHNSON: The way that you get people out to vote is not by telling them you're the 47th vote. It's by telling them you might be the 51st.

If the Democrats blast the message that we can be the ones to take Joe Biden over the line, that, I think, is most effective.

Look, I have been to Atlanta. It's one of my favorite places to be. Masks and coronavirus are not concerning people as much as they should. And that's not an insult to the city. But the sort of non-mask mandates and the behavior of Brian Kemp, coronavirus isn't as much of a driver in that state as it should be.

But the lack of health care access, the slowdown of the Hollywood industry, nobody wants to film down there anymore, those are the kinds of things that, if Warnock and Ossoff say, hey, look, we're trying to bring business back, and we can be the ones that make it happen, Joe Biden can't get it done without those, help us deliver at home, I think that's the most effective message.

REID: It seems that President Obama is going to go down there.

But, Kurt, does it help or hurt Loeffler and Ossoff -- or help or hurt Loeffler -- and -- yes, and Perdue if Trump comes down there, not that he even -- by the way, I doubt Trump gives a damn about Senate Republicans.


REID: And doubts that he's going to want to get on his little plane and go flying down there to help them.

But would it help them even if he did go down there and do a rally, or would it just remind Georgians in the 6th District how much they despise him?

BARDELLA: Yes, I think Jason was actually on to something when he talked about the importance of making sure that people know that their vote matters, that their vote counts.

And what we're seeing right now from Loeffler and Perdue, as they side with Donald Trump in this effort to subvert democracy, is that your vote doesn't matter, is that your vote doesn't count.

And I think Donald Trump going there just reminds people of that. Trump, of course, who is so hurt and injured that Georgia went blue, I doubt he will want to even go down there.

But I think that the idea that your vote right now, your senators in Georgia are saying that, when you voted for Joe Biden, and when this state went blue, that that should be invalidated is an important message point that Democrats should not relent on.

They need to make sure that Perdue and Loeffler own what they are doing right now, their complicity in trying to undermine democracy and steal this election.

REID: And then Democrats will have to do it again in two years, because you know Stacey Abrams, she's going to run for governor. And they're going to have to crank this thing up yet one more time.


REID: Let's see if Georgia has it in them.


REID: Kurt Bardella, Jason Johnson, thank you very much.

And still ahead: Hospitals across the country are struggling to keep up with a frightening, terrifying surge of COVID patients.

But health care professionals say it's not just COVID patients who are suffering.


DR. PHILIP BAKER, UNM HOSPITAL: The fact is, the hospitals are getting overwhelmed right now. We are we are almost at capacity.

And it's not just affecting COVID patients. With the influx of patients that we're seeing, there's a real possibility that you show up somewhere to get care, you get in a car accident, they're going to tell you, I'm sorry, we can't help you.



REID: COVID deaths, hospitalizations and new infections are surging across the United States, while Trump is holed up in the White House nursing his wounds.

The Associated Press is reporting that aides say the president has shown little interest in the surge. Meanwhile, yesterday, the country recorded a staggering 148,000 new cases and 1,500 new deaths in a single day. That is a 36 percent increase in deaths over a two-week period.

According to "The Washington Post," at least 65,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with the virus, which is pushing health care systems to the brink.

In Michigan, the CEO of Spectrum Health, which operates 14 hospitals in the Southwest and Western and -- Southwest and Western Michigan, announced that their hospitals are nearing capacity.

South Dakota set yet another record today for the number of new coronavirus cases. And, in Wisconsin, hospitals might no longer be able to save those who need saving because the surge is overwhelming the health system there.

Infectious disease experts have warned that the surge is likely to get much worse over the next few weeks.


BAKER: This pandemic has affected more people and the hospital capacity and hospital issues in a much broader fashion than anything I have ever seen before.

DR. CLARA ZAMORANO, ABBOTT NORTHWESTERN HOSPITAL: I think it's only going to get worse, because the higher the community spread, the more and more everybody's affected from all sides.

KELLY MEEKER, COVID-19 PATIENT: I would say, wear your mask, because it -- I almost died from it. It's more serious than people think. I just think people aren't taking it serious enough.


REID: Joining me now is Dr. Lipi Roy, internal medicine physician, and Loyce Pace, president of the Global Health Council and member of president-elect Joe Biden's COVID-19 Advisory Board.

Trying to speak properly here tonight.

Dr. Lipi Roy, my friend, we heard Dr. Baker in the -- I don't know if you were able to hear the tease before we went to break. And he made a point that I think a lot of people had sort of put to the back of mind, that hospitals do more than treat COVID.

And he was saying that, here's the challenge. They have got other patients that they're not able to get to, that they're not able to give proper time to, and maybe even have to turn away, because COVID is surging all of their capacity, taking up all the beds.

So, are we now looking at a multiple health crisis that we're going to be looking in this fall and winter season?

DR. LIPI ROY, MSNBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, Joy, it's really good to see you.

As hospitals across the nation are being crushed by the massive surge of COVID-19-infected patients, this is obviously, as a physician, not only affecting me professionally, as the medical director of COVID isolation and quarantine sites here in New York for Housing Works, but it's also impacting me personally.

Two days ago, my own father was hospitalized for shortness of breath and wheezing. Turns out we found out it wasn't for COVID-19. But he was waiting in the emergency department for a long time, waiting for a bed up on one of the floors, because the hospital is just full of people infected with COVID-19.

My father's story is not unique, Joy, as you just pointed out in that excellent footage. As we head into what modelers and experts are predicting to be a dire winter season, millions of people with all types of medical conditions, from liver disease, heart disease, hepatitis, cancer, who need hospital-level care, may just get turned away.

And, remember, the limitation isn't just space, Joy. It's not just hospital beds. It's the equipment and ventilators and medications. But our most -- really, our most precious commodity, the rate-limiting step, is going to be health care workers, those front-line nurses and respiratory therapists and doctors, physical therapists, O.T., occupational therapists.

Remember, it takes years to train these really brave, hardworking men and women. And, right now, they're really getting burned out, and they're getting sick. So this is what needs to be addressed.

Since our federal leaders aren't really -- they have surrendered on this, we need to depend on our governors, state governors and local leaders to step up, Joy.

REID: And we certainly wish your dad well. And thank you for sharing that with us.

And, Ms. Pace, thank you for -- welcome to the show.

I want to let you listen...


REID: Sure. Of course.

There is sort of a debate that's happening right now. We see it in New York City, where there's a whole debate over lockdowns. And there are a lot of small businesses that are really struggling. And, as you get to winter, you can't see people outside.

And so the idea that we would go back into serious lockdowns and having to close restaurants early, it's really traumatizing a lot of small business owners and people who own gyms and other things.

But I want to let you listen just to what the debate has been. So, the first person we're going to -- you're going to hear is Michael Osterholm, who is also on the advisory board for incoming President Joe Biden, as well as Dr. Anthony Fauci, who are kind of giving you the two sides of the question on lockdowns.

Take a listen.


DR. MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, DIRECTOR, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA CENTER FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH: We could pay for a package right now to cover the all of the wages, lost wages for individual workers, for losses to small companies, to medium-sized companies, for cities, states, county governments. We could do all of that.

If we did that, then we could lock down for four to six weeks. And if we did that, we could drive the numbers down.

QUESTION: Dr. Fauci, do you believe that we're headed for a national lockdown?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI, NIAID DIRECTOR: I don't know. We would like to stay away from that, Robin, because there is no appetite for locking down.


REID: And I want to just point out that Michael Osterholm, who's an epidemiologist and a regents professor at the Centers for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, he actually has backed down from that, the lockdown position, since then.

And Joe -- and incoming presidential Joe Biden has said that's not what he's for.

But where do you come down on the idea? Should we be thinking about a four- or six-week lockdown to try to get ahold of this virus?

PACE: I think that that -- those two interviews really reflects the spectrum of opinion that you will find among some of the scientific community.

And, rest assured, we are all very clear on the core public health principles and practices that we really need to have and keep in place. Of course, everyone, as individuals, has a role to play. As the president-elect's himself has said, we should all be wearing masks. We should all be limiting our social interactions and gatherings, however painful that might be for us to continue.

These steps that we can each take are critically important. And, of course, we need to also still have these very real systemic measures that we need to have in place. And these are the kinds of things that I know the advisory board will be -- will be consulting on, right, and will be sort of recommending for the incoming administration, ensuring that there is clearly a ramp up of testing and we have strong supply chains so we're not running out in PPE and preventive measures and, of course, as Dr. Roy was saying, supporting the public health and healthcare infrastructure, which is under strained now, even before we see the wave that we're fearing. It's a nightmare situation.

So, of course, we're going to also have perhaps some debates as part of the board. That's what they selected us. They want a diversity of thought and perspective. Not just the approaches and solutions but given various backgrounds, you know, recognizing that some of those are really gong to be focused on health equity and disparity, for example.

So, I'm looking forward to that. I'm grateful the president-elect and vice president-elect brought us together. I'm confident especially given the plans they have in place until now, I'm confident we can really find a solution for the American people. It's really going to take all of us and require a whole society approach.

REID: Yes. And I think for a lot of people, it's a relief to see the diversity on the counsel. And the disparity is one of the things talked about.

Very quickly, Dr. Roy, Dr. Vin Gupta was on with me the other day in another show, and he was saying if he can pick one thing to do, it will be sent everybody a N95 mask. Is that something that you would recommend as well?

DR. LIPI ROY, MSNBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Well, I'm so glad you brought up the idea of masks. You know, N95s are obviously a critical front line healthcare workers. Right now, Joy, we have enough data to show masks themselves can reduce transmission. It's not happening. It needs to be mandated. Seat belts are mandated. And about 100 people die per day from motor vehicle casualties, we have ten to 15 times that casualty from COVID-19.

We know to prevent it. I don't care if it's N95 or this, just wear a mask.

REID: Yes. Very quickly -- oh, I think we're out time.

Ms. Pace, do you agree with that? Very quickly?

PACE: Oh, well, I certainly am fully on board with the idea of masks. I know not just the idea, but the recommendation. And we know the president-elect has also spoken about the importance of working with local and state leader --

REID: Yes.

PACE: -- to ensure we are practicing that consistently on the national level.

ROY: Mask and distancing too.

REID: Yes.

PACE: Yes. Of course. All the above. Wash your hands.

REID: Dr. Lipi Roy and Loyce Pace, our own little in-house advisory board on COVID, thank you both for being here.

And still ahead, Republicans love to playing around accusations of voter fraud. But when it comes right down to it, it's not Democrats who are playing dirty. And look at some of the political tricks Republicans have used and are using now, after the break.

Stay with us.



TUCKER CARLSON, FOX NEWS HOST: They certainly leverage the pandemic to change the way we vote in ways they knew would benefit them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: In very specific places, there is something weird going on. And oddly, all the things that are weird, went in one direction.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You don't need evidence right away. You just need an allegation. Suspicious ballot dumping, harvesting of dead people, that's on the books. So, let's just look at it.

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: If we don't put an end to the universal mail out all the ballots without any voter ID standards, Republicans will never win again.


REID: Despite the hysteria bubble that some at Fox News would like the country to live in, there is zero evidence of fraud. Republicans love to cry "fraud, fraud" when they lose, are they projecting? Maybe. Because it's something they have actually done.

Like on North Carolina Republican illegally collected and filled out absentee ballots with votes for Republican candidates. This whole idea of voter fraud can go beyond the actual changing of votes. Though it failed, Republicans were the ones trying to get Kanye West on the ballot in hopes of siphoning votes away from Joe Biden. The Trump campaign tried to win votes by trafficking in misinformation in Florida, where they run an ad falsely tying Joe Biden to Venezuela socialist regime.

The real problem is, a lot of the time, we don't know who is Biden the attempt to influence voters. Dark money is just that. Dark.

Take the situation in Florida state Senate district 37, where the race was so close they had to do a manual recount. The Republican candidate wound up winning by 34 votes. But third party candidate Rodriguez with the same last name as the Democratic candidate got more than 6,000 votes.

Democratic strategist Christian Ulvert told NBC Miami that Rodriguez is a plant.


CHRISTIAN ULVERT, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: There's a level of certainty that the name confusion is going to play a factor when all ballots are reviewed.


REID: It's all part of a familiar pattern in Florida, according to political reporter Matt Dixon.


MATT DIXON, POLITICAL REPORTER: The sort of out of the dirty tricks campaign handbook. Certainly Miami and the Florida is very used to, at times.


REID: And it wasn't just this race. Here's NBC Miami on Dixon's reporting.


REPORTER: Two political action committees funded Alex Rodgriguez's campaign and two others. Campaign records show only one expenditure by the PAC, that's for mailers. An anonymous donor named Proclivity is the only campaign donor contributing $360,000 to the three campaigns.


REID: So maybe instead of making up allegations of voter fraud, the country as a whole can look at efforts to mislead voters. With fake news, robocalls and fliers with the wrong election day, or suspiciously planted candidates, and figure how to have less money and more democracy in our politics.

Up next, I'll talk to Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley on how to turn out votes and energize the Democratic Party.

We'll be right back.


REID: In the preface to his new book "A Promised Land", former President Barack Obama writes that our democracy seems to be teetering on the brink of crisis -- a crisis rooted in a fundamental contest between two opposing visions of what America is and what it should be. No single election will settle the matter. Our divisions run deep, our challenges are daunting.

I'm joined now by Massachusetts Democratic Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.

Thank you so much for being here, Congresswoman.

And I want to -- I want to read just one more tiny piece of it which gets to a lot of I think why we're here right now and this is from President Obama's book.

It was as if my very presence in the White House had triggered a deep-seated panic. A sense of a natural order had been disputed which is exactly what Donald Trump understood when he started peddling assertion that I had not been born in the United States and was thus an illegitimate president.

For millions of Americans spooked by a black man in the White House, he promised an elixir for their racial anxiety.

And, Congresswoman, that hasn't ended. Donald Trump's 72 million voters proved it hasn't ended for a lot of people. So, in your mind, how do Democrats message in that kind of an environment?

REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MA): Well, first, I just want to say how much I appreciate the insight and the candor of the president, and it really just proves that racism is systemic. It is structural. It is pervasive.

And it's a further demonstration of what it is to be black in America. And that as a black man in America even as president of the United States that you are not exempt from obstruction, injustice, from humiliation. You know James Baldwin reminds us not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.

This is moment of national reckoning. The most marginalized communities in response to that national reckoning decisively elected moving this broad deep coalition of black and brown indigenous, disabled, AAPI, young people to turn the page in this dark chapter in our history to defeat Donald Trump.

The movement met the moment. And now, it is up to us to advance policies that will meet the needs of those in the movement, to get to the root of generations of legislative hurt and harm, and again, the evil that is systemic racism.

REID: Well, you know one of the things President Obama was forced to do -- a lot of the changes he was able to make other than health care which he managed to get through, through a lot of -- jumping through a lot of hoops to try to get that through and not exactly as he wanted it to be, but he had to rely on a lot of executive orders.

We're now seeing sort of dueling executive orders planned. You have Donald Trump who's planning to do a flurry of executive orders on his way out. I note that immigration is one of them. So, God only knows what that's going to look like for people who are immigrants, who are Muslim, et cetera. But he also put health care in there, China, et cetera, school choice.

But that you're seeing already incoming President Biden saying we're going to have to do a lot of reversing stuff, you know, restating DACA, repealing the Muslim travel ban, reversing the withdrawal from the World Health Organization, rejoining the Paris climate accords.

Are we going to be looking at four years of rule by executive order again because of a recalcitrant Senate if Georgia does not flip blue?

PRESSLEY: I think, first of all, we're going to do everything in our power and I'm trusting and believing in those organizers on the ground and Stacey Abrams, and I certainly will be going to Georgia myself to ensure that we do in fact flip those seats and regain control of the Senate, to stop the obstruction of progress and justice and the advancing of a relief package to really meet the scale and scope of this crisis.

So, notwithstanding that, though, Joy, this last four years has really been a fire hose of insult and assault and hurt and harm. So the immediate priority for Democrats in the incoming Biden-Harris administration first must be a comprehensive COVID relief that really meet the scale and scope of this crisis and mitigates the hurt for the American people.

And then there's a lot President Biden can do unilaterally to mitigate the hurt and harm of the last four years. We got to start digging out immediately.

So, for me, some of those priorities of what I would like to see are canceling student debt, which I see as both a racial justice issue and critical to an equitable economic recovery from the impacts of this pandemic, protect Dreamers and TPS holders in the family separation policy, support reproductive justice by reversing these harmful anti-choice rules and regulations, end the Muslim travel ban, which they've already indicated they will do.

For me, beginning moving on a decarceral action, so ending the use of the federal death penalty. And then declaring climate change a national emergency.

So, these are some of the priorities that I think to dig out from the hurt and horror caused by this administration and also meet the needs of this movement which just made this victory possible for democracy to live another day.

REID: I think that young voters are going to be cheering what you're saying because that is -- that's what my kids are focused on, the things that you just talked about.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, thank you so much for joining us this evening. I really appreciate you.

And that is tonight's THE REIDOUT.

"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts right now.


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