Biden and Harris meet with new COVID task force. Biden says, time to put away partisanship and just wear a mask. Trump fires Defense Secretary Esper by tweet. Biden transition team is already working on day one priorities. Biden will use executive orders to reverse Trump policies. Firing of defense secretary raises national security concerns. Trump campaign is denying reality of election. Trump campaign holds strip mall press conference.
JOY REID, MSNBC HOST: Well, congratulations, America. You elected a grown up. Today, President-elect Joe Biden made clear that he is not waiting for Donald Trump to wake up to reality and step aside, not that he has to, to start working for the American people.
This morning, Biden along with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris met virtually with their newly formed coronavirus advisory board. After the briefing, Biden offered a message decidedly more befitting a leader than anything we've heard from his soon to be predecessor over the past eight months, calling for unity and acknowledging science.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN, U.S. PRESIDENT-ELECT: This election is over. It's time to put aside the partisanship and the rhetoric that designed to demonize one another.
I won't be president until January 20th. But my message today to everyone is this. It doesn't matter who you voted for, whether you where you stood before Election Day. It doesn't matter your party, your point of view, we can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask in the next few months, not Democrat or Republican lives, American lives.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Meanwhile Donald Trump is kicking off what already promises to be a chaotic, lame duck presidency, with his first act of pettiness, abruptly firing Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Twitter, giving a hint of what we could be in for over the next 72 days. So buckle up.
And while Biden was doing actual work, Trump was rage tweeting and spreading misinformation about votes that defeated him in key state, like Pennsylvania and Nevada, you know, the ones that delivered a one-two punch Saturday, first propelling Biden past 270, to be declared the president-elect and then widening his electoral margin.
NBC News has not yet called the winners of two more battlegrounds, Arizona and Georgia, with Biden leading in both states.
But Georgia already has big implications for Biden's presidency, its two Senate races now head to a January run off that will determine control of the United States Senate and how much of Biden's plans can actually become reality.
Meanwhile the Biden transition is already working behind the scene to hit the ground running. NBC News reports that Biden's transition team has worked for months to have a team in place to help implement his agenda starting on day one. Among those day one priorities, the pandemic, the economic recovery, calls for racial equity and climate change.
I'm joined now by the House Majority Whip, Congressman Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, the man who, I have to also add, is credited by many people with having given Joe Biden the boost that really got him the White House, that really got him the nomination. So, great to talk with you, Congressman, Leader Clyburn.
REP. JIM CLYBURN (D-SC): Thank you very much. Good to be with you.
REID: So let's talk about this. You know Joe Biden very well. You heard him there talking about, you know, we're going to let the science lead. He wants to bring the country together, particularly around this pandemic. The question is really how do you do that. You know the House is still controlled by Democrats, you, of course, our House Whip, Majority Whip. But you've got the Senate on the other side where it doesn't sound like Mitch McConnell is going to be in a mood to cooperate. So, give us some reasonable expectations setting about what President-elect Biden is going to be able to accomplish right off the bat.
CLYBURN: Well, thanks for having me. You know, Mitch McConnell, I know very well. He gives great speeches. He's a real shrewd political person. But he's also an American. And I would hope that his patriotism will show him through.
The fact is very clear. COVID-19 must be dealt with. And as you said, we must do it with the science. It looks as if there may be a vaccine on the horizon. And, hopefully, that would prove to be the case.
Now, where do we go from here? We have to heal this country. Racial inequities are beginning to overtake the country. We have been on the pursuit for a long time, what we call a march to a more perfect union. I call it the pursuit, in pursuit of a more perfect union. And we got derailed with that. The last several years have seen us take backwards steps in that pursuit. And this administration wants to deal with it.
Now, a lot of people said well just go ahead and deal with the racial -- no. COVID-19 has revealed what those inequities all about, healthcare delivery, education. All these things have been exacerbated because of the COVID-19. So, if Joe Biden gets his arms wrapped around this pandemic, it will start us towards a much better place in our society. So I'm all for him doing COVID-19 first, because it has implications for everything.
If you look at infrastructure, you can't cure this problem without broad band. That is the biggest.
REID: Right. No. I hear you, but just -- I don't mean to interrupt you, sir. But, you know, here is the challenge. You know the senator that was just reelected from your state, in the fair state of South Carolina, Lindsey Graham, is sounding more like the old time southern senators who talk about interposition than he does like somebody who cares broadly about the country. He's already talking about basically saying that Donald Trump should not stand down, that he should fight all the way to the end, run for reelection.
I mean, he sounds more like Strom Thurmond than he does like somebody who's going to able to be work with. Mitch McConnell got up today and basically did the same act. None of these people sound like they have any interest in doing anything other than accumulate more power, to be honest with you. I don't think anyone believes that these people are going to put the country first.
You already have the Biden administration planning executive orders. They want to try to get back -- they want get the United States back on the Paris Climate Accord. They're going to reverse this withdrawal from the World Health Organization, which is great news. Repeal the ban on all travel from Muslim majority countries. Reinstate DREAMERs program. So he's going to do a lot by executive order, right?
CLYBURN: Absolutely, and I want him to. The fact of the matter is, extend the olive branch, let them know what your programs are, ask them to join. And if they don't, then let's go with the executive order. I use to say that to Barack Obama all the time. And I'm saying that here.
Remember, Joy, the Emancipation Proclamation, that was an executive order. This country never passed legislation to outlaw slavery. We finally got the 13th amendment adopted in 1869. But from 1863 down to 1869, it was the Emancipation Proclamation that outlaw slavery. The armed services integrated by Harry Truman, that was an executive order. So executive orders can do a lot of things. If it can free a whole people from slavery, it can sure enough do some great things today.
REID: We had President-elect Biden say to African-Americans that you've had my back and I will have yours. I think a lot -- one of the people he was probably talking to was you, sir. Congressman, Jim Clyburn, thank you very much, sir. I appreciate you being here.
CLYBURN: Thank you very much for having me.
REID: All right. And joining me now is Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security for President Obama.
And, you know, Ben, just sitting on my desk here are a couple of things that we've seen already happen. You've got William Barr already going on and saying he's going to authorize the Department of Justice to probe substantial allegations of voting irregularities despite little evidence. There's no evidence of that. He's going, he can't reverse a 12,000 and 20,000 vote margin by doing a silly investigation. So he is playing games.
You've got the personnel director of the White House, Mr. John McEntee, saying that anyone who starts looking for a job, meaning that they admit reality that the Trump administration is going to end, should be fired. This is not setting up to be a good and decent end. In your view, am I wrong about that?
BEN RHODES, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: No. But I don't think any of us should be surprised by. And look, if I'm Joe Biden I do exactly what he's doing, which is he's getting ready to be President of the United States. He rolled out a highly capable team of people to deal with COVID today. I'd expect he's going to start rolling out cabinet appointees. He's got a transition team in place. They're going to want to get into agencies and figure out what's going on there, figure out other personnel decisions that they're going to make. They're going to be drafting these executive orders to go in day one.
The question is how much will Joe Biden be hindered from hitting the ground running on things like COVID on January 20th because of what Donald Trump is doing. The reality is, on January 20th, Donald Trump is gone. All those people who work for him are gone. And the U.S. government has to get on with it. And the machinery of the U.S. government is going to take over at some point here and prepare for a transition. And this is just side show from Donald Trump. This is entirely designed to make him somehow feel better about the fact that he lost. But the reality is he didn't lose. And everybody knows it.
You just have people around him who are kind of to playing to his need to have something to cling to. The danger of that though is that they're communicating to their supporters that Joe Biden is somehow an illegitimate president. And I think that is the danger, the lasting stain that they're going to try to leave on this election that is totally without any merit or whatsoever. But he's not going to stop the wheels of time and government leading to January 20th.
REID: Yes. I mean, they can't stop that. I mean, the General Service Administration, woman playing games, saying, we're not going to help, that doesn't stop anything. But you're right.
The challenge then is if COVID is job one and then President Biden comes in and you've got a substantial share of the Trump base that says he's an illegitimate president, there's no way for him to communicate a message of we've got to all get together and work on this virus. I mean, what they're doing and what Fox News and what others are doing, there's a real danger here that could actually make it harder for us to get out of the pandemic at all.
RHODES: Yes. There's a short-term danger and a long-term danger. The short-term danger is, look, I was on the transition in 2008, worked in a GSA building. And what would normally happen is that the agencies of the U.S. government would be instructed by GSA to work with the transition team. In 2008, it was a financial crisis. And our team was able to get into the treasury department, sit down, look at the books, figure out the depth of the problem that we face.
And Barack Obama at that time said, he never realized quite what the depth of the financial crisis were until he got those transition briefings. And then that enabled him to put together a stimulus package that was passed right as he was becoming president, right? So he was able to hit the ground in stride in dealing with things like the financial crisis, in part, because we had the cooperation of the Bush administration on the way out.
Then there's a long-term danger about setting up the idea that Joe Biden is somehow illegitimate. The reality is, Joy, Mitch McConnell never acted like Barack Obama was a illegitimate president even though he won overwhelmingly twice, right? So this is -- we've seen this movie before, but it's a dangerous dynamic here because Joe Biden, a lot of what he's going to be call for on COVID-19 requires action by citizens and by state and local governments that might be controlled by Republicans --
RHODES: -- whether it's mask-wearing or social distancing or other guidelines that come down from the federal experts who are managing this response under Joe Biden.
So they're making more difficult for Joe Biden to hit the ground running on January 20th, and they're ceding, frankly, opposition to his presidency that could endure well into it.
REID: Yes. And the USA call you a Trump loyalist saying the election is still happening. It isn't.
Last question to you. The absence of a secretary of defense, that feels like it places the United States in danger in the sense that the whole world knows we are absent this very senior official. Are you concerned about Donald Trump having fired Mr. Esper?
RHODES: Yes, I'm concerned about it. I mean, I'm concerned, first of all, that there could be crises. We never know what might happen in the world in the few months. After Barack Obama was elected and before he was inaugurated, we had a war in Gaza, between Israel and Hamas. We had a mass terrorist attack in Mumbai. The U.S. government had to respond to that. And this kind of chaos and turnover to top of national security agencies just leaves us less prepared to deal with crisis that may emerge in this window.
And, frankly, transitions are times, when adversaries sometimes test the United States. Frankly, these people may also be further hallowing out these agencies. We already know there have been purges at the state department and in the intelligence community against the so called deep state who were really just the career civil service people. It may be that they're just going to do much more to break these agencies on the way out over the next 73 days, and that's a worrying thing. But, frankly, it's of a piece with the president and Donald Trump, who is consistently put his own personal interest over the interest of the United States, even our national security.
RHODES: And, frankly, Joy, the shame is on the Republican elected officials who are going along with it. It's time for them to stand up and recognize reality instead of going along with this reality show.
REID: Yes. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like they're going to do much of that. Ben Rhodes, thank you so much. I really appreciate you being here.
Up next on THE REIDOUT, the Trump presidency is ending just as everyone knew it would, no smooth transition, no calls for unity, just argle-bargle chaos. What began in the gaudy halls of Trump Tower came to laughable end outside Four Seasons Total Landscaping.
Meanwhile a Top Biden advisers says we're about to enter COVID hell. Biden is already working on the problem, which is more than you can say it for Trump.
Plus, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris makes history and the fight ahead. Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAMALA HARRIS, U.S. VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT: While I maybe the first woman in this office, I will not be the last. Because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: The mad king refuses to concede, choosing instead to golf, to tweet and to deny the reality that doesn't serve him. Yet anything -- yet nothing quite illustrates Trump's delusions and his utter collapse more than what the MAGA campaign was doing the moment Joe Biden was declared winner over Trump, which was holding a press conference at the Four Seasons. No, no, no, not the Four Seasons Hotel, but rather the parking lot of Four Seasons Total Landscaping. That's right.
What's started on a gold escalator ended in a drab obscured strip mall sandwiched between an adult entertainment store called Fantasy Island and a crematorium in Philadelphia, a city crucial to booting Trump out of 1600 Black Lives Matter Plaza, all for the purpose of Rudy Giuliani, fresh from that embarrassing Borat appearance, peddling voter fraud lies, standing alongside a self-describe GOP poll watcher who reports say is a convicted sex offender.
I'm sorry, Hollywood, you could not have scripted this any better. And it seems I'm feeling generous, here is a tip for Rudy or Corey Lewandowski for the next time you book a fancy sounding hotel chain. The Ritz is also a cracker. And the Tropicana is sometimes a juice, just saying.
Joining me now, Jason Johnson, professor of journalism and politics at Morgan State University, and Rick Wilson, co-founder of The Lincoln Project.
REID: My goal in life is to make Rick Wilson laugh.
REID: Let's talk about absurdity.
So, here's a fun one. Here's a funny. FOX News is even starting to jump off this ship, the sort of absurdity of the recount that Rudy was going to get from next door to the Fantasy Island.
Here is Kayleigh McEnany trying to play -- trying to do her thing on FOX, and FOX being like, no.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KAYLEIGH MCENANY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: We want an honest, accurate, lawful count.
We want maximum sunlight. We want maximum transparency. We want every legal vote to be counted. And we want every illegal vote...
NEIL CAVUTO, FOX NEWS: Whoa, whoa, whoa.
I just think we have to be very clear. She's charging that the other side is welcoming fraud and welcoming illegal voting. Unless she has more details to back that up, I can't in good countenance continue showing you this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Rick, when FOX News is the voice of reason.
RICK WILSON, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Right.
When you have lost -- when you have lost FOX News for the Trump cheerleading section, you have lost it all. I mean, that -- Cavuto's -- Cavuto's expression was priceless. I want to frame that. It was so like, ugh.
WILSON: He knows he's going to get in trouble. He knows he's going to get yelled at. But he had to do it.
I mean, even, like, the baseline journalistic integrity of any rando, you have to pull that off the air, because it's so ludicrous.
WILSON: I mean, look, you got to give her credit. She does it with a straight face for long periods of time.
WILSON: But no one can...
No one can endure that. It's just impossible.
REID: She gives me Harvard shame.
Let's go. I mean, you have got -- you're at the point now where Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are like, these leaders in Georgia are terrible. They don't even know what they're doing. It's like, those are Republicans, right?
They're literally, like, they should resign. They messed everything up. And I -- why do I have to go on a run-off?
Those are your friends. Like, we're at that point where just the whole thing seems to feel like collapse.
JASON JOHNSON, MSNBC POLITICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Yes, Joy.
It's not only that the whole thing has collapsed. But it's like everybody's realizing who's not going to respond to their texts no more.
JOHNSON: Like, everybody in the Trump White House is like, wait a minute. You left me on read? What's going on? I thought we were friends.
If FOX News is moving off the Trump train, and local elected officials are moving off the Trump train, people are realizing now that Trumpism doesn't work anymore. And, eventually, Trump is going to realize this. The American people have said, hey, you ain't got to go home, but you can't stay here.
And he's going to have to leave the White House too. And I think it's going to take a couple weeks for that to sink in. But these folks don't have as many friends as they thought they did now that they're not running the White House.
REID: But -- I mean, but, Rick, in a sense, Trumpism does work, right? I mean, it works in the sense that people have a distaste for him personally, but they still want his policies.
I mean, we saw, in all of these elections, you played in these elections. The Lincoln Project played in these elections. They were like, no, we will keep Susan Collins. We just don't like Trump. We will keep Lindsey Graham.
Let me play Lindsey Graham, who -- and I have said it before -- he seems to be auditioning for, like, the role of Strom Thurmond in this movie.
REID: Here he is today, and Mitch McConnell with him.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): And, finally, what I'm going to tell Mitch McConnell today when we get back, if we keep the Senate, we need to do a joint committee in the Senate to analyze mail-in balloting...
GRAHAM: ... and how it worked in 2020.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: I mean, Rick, how far are we from a 24-day filibuster of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act?
I mean, this is where a lot of these senators have fallen. So, Trumpism works for them.
WILSON: Trumpism, though, doesn't scale all the time.
WILSON: I mean, it did -- it did end up blowing Corey Lewandowski -- or Corey Lewandowski -- Cory Gardner and Martha McSally out this year. And we're still waiting on the count in Alaska.
But it is going to be something that, in Georgia, I think is going to be a big story. These people are all trying to pretend the reality of the election doesn't exist. They want to -- they want to retroactively undo it.
They want to pretend that there's nothing there. I think it's absurd. And I think that -- I think the diminishing returns of supporting Trump are going to become apparent in the coming days and weeks. And then you will see more of these guys creep back into the tall grass.
I mean, you know Georgia better than most people I know, Jason Johnson. What are we looking at going forward? Because the argument is going to be made by people like Lindsey Graham, by people like Mitch McConnell, you got to let us keep the Senate, because, otherwise, AOC is going to take over the Senate. She isn't even in the Senate.
But that's what they're going to do.
JOHNSON: Well, yes.
And here's the thing. I think, fortunately, South Carolina is a little different than Georgia. The people of South Carolina decided that they wanted to reelect Senator Reek from "Game of Thrones."
JOHNSON: And he's going to supplicate himself to anybody that he can, right?
But I think Georgians are a little bit different. And the idea of Loeffler and Perdue getting into the circular firing squad, where they're going to attack the secretary of state, and they're going to attack Brian Kemp.
Well, you know, you constantly hear people talk about Dems in disarray. No, this is the GOP in disarray, because while they're shooting at each other and arguing, you're going to have Warnock and you're going to have Ossoff and you're going to have organizations on the ground, Stacey Abrams getting things together.
So the more time they waste fighting each other, the more time it is Democrats can get more people registered and prepared. And I also think, with the entire country focused on Georgia for the next 60 or so days, it'll be a lot more difficult to pull off the kind of voter suppression they have in the past.
And acting like a Trump supporter in the midst of all of this will just make it look worse.
REID: And give me your theory of the case, Rick. You're great at doing this.
REID: Sort of the theory of the case from the Republican side advising Democrats in Georgia right now.
It seems like the argument should be, if you don't give us the Senate, you're going to lose your health care, you're not going to be able to get a check for COVID relief, because Mitch McConnell ain't going to do it. Like, that seems like the obvious sort of play.
What do you think the argument ought to be in terms of getting those two senators?
WILSON: I think you're very close.
I think the argument is fundamentally this. You can make a choice between giving Mitch McConnell two more years of Trumpism and the mishandling of COVID. He will -- he will train-wreck Joe Biden for the first two and possibly four years of his administration. He will stop aid to families that have been struck hard by COVID.
And they're being struck hard now by the second wave of COVID. He will block the appointment of people who would be running administrative divisions of the government, of Cabinet seats. We may not get somebody at CDC. We may not get somebody to HHS.
WILSON: We may not get somebody at Treasury, because Mitch McConnell will stop them.
WILSON: And the Republicans have already suddenly rediscovered their love of fiscal discipline...
REID: Yes, yes.
WILSON: ... after spending like drunken socialist sailors for four years with Donald Trump. All of a sudden, they're like, whoa, we can't do any more of that relief. We can't do that. My goodness.
WILSON: The red ink is rising.
WILSON: It's all an act. It's all a con.
But the question for Georgia voters is going to be simple. Do you want for more years or two more years, at the minimum, of Donald Trump being -- to have the handmaiden of Trump, Mitch McConnell, carrying out Trump's agenda and policies and blocking everything Joe Biden's going to try to do to overcome COVID and to restore the economy?
Or do you want to give Joe Biden and Vice President Harris their shot?
REID: Yes. Yes.
WILSON: I think there's a great chance in Georgia for both of these seats because of that chemistry.
REID: Real quick -- before we go, real quick, Jason Johnson, are these two seats winnable, both of them? Can Stacey Abrams pull this off, I guess is the real question?
JOHNSON: Oh, both of these seats are -- Stacey Abrams -- look, I would never bet again Stacey, LaTosha and (INAUDIBLE)
JOHNSON: So, I think both of these seats are winnable. And I think both of these -- I think it's going to be a pair.
JOHNSON: Either both the Democrats win or both the Republicans win.
WILSON: I think so too.
JOHNSON: I don't think this is going to be a split ticket.
REID: Yes, I agree with you on that.
Jason Johnson, Rick Wilson, love having you guys on. Thanks very much.
WILSON: Thank you, Joy.
REID: All right, still ahead, all right, encouraging news on a potential COVID vaccine, but clearly not in time to combat the ongoing surge in many states.
But, unlike Donald Trump, president-elect Biden is actually working on the crisis.
Stay with us.
REID: Long, long ago, Trump abandoned any cohesive COVID strategy.
Before today, his vice president, you know, the guy in charge of the task force, had not hosted a meeting in months.
Well, today, he held one shortly after news broke that he would jet off to Florida for a little rest and relaxation. America isn't so lucky, as the pandemic enters its worst phase. Over the past two weeks, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen by nearly 65 percent. More than 10 million Americans have been infected, with 239,000 deaths.
In several states, hospitals are maxing out their bed capacity with the influx of new patients. Utah governor, the governor of Utah has announced a state of emergency and implemented a face mask mandate, with hospitals in his state pushed to the brink.
While Trump continues his temper tantrum about the election results, president-elect Joe Biden held the first meeting of his 12-member COVID-19 task force today. Michael Osterholm, a member of that advisory board, told CNBC that: "We are about to enter COVID hell."
And Biden echoed some of those concerns.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT: There's a need for bold action to fight this pandemic.
We're still facing a very dark winter. It's time to end the politicization of basic responsible public health steps, like mask-wearing and social distancing. We have to come together to heal the soul of this country, so that we can effectively address this crisis, as one country.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Biden's remarks came shortly after Pfizer announced that early results from its vaccine suggest it might be 95 -- 90 percent effective at preventing COVID-19.
Joining me now is Dr. Kavita Patel, former Obama White House health policy director.
And let me go in order of those two things, Dr. Patel.
COVID hell, which terrifies me, because I feel like this year has been COVID hell, you have had Ben Carson, who is actually a neurosurgeon and the HUD secretary, test positive. You have had multiple members of the staff. A Trump adviser who was leading post-election legal fight -- leading the legal fight, has coronavirus. It's like 38 people that have had it.
And it's thought that the little party that they had on election night might have spread it.
I worry that the COVID hell is going to be even more intense because Trump is angry and he lost, and he will do even less. Are you worried about that?
DR. KAVITA PATEL, MSNBC MEDICAL CONTRIBUTOR: Oh, absolutely, Joy.
And what we're already seeing ripples of that. I mean, not only has he publicly fired secretaries, but he's already been making motions behind the scenes to try to put blame on this kind of coronavirus news about the vaccine, et cetera.
I mean, anywhere he can, he's continuing to do all the destructive behaviors and spreading misinformation. And perhaps the most obvious thing, Joy, is that he is ignoring the fact that, as you showed those numbers, 240,000 deaths and counting, Michael Osterholm rightfully calling it a hell that we're going into, and many experts warning that we will see another 150,000 deaths by the end of the year.
My cousins sent out the text -- the tweet -- the text today about, Thanksgiving is virtual this year. I don't know how many people are going to do that. I worry that people are going to be drifting into church services and Thanksgiving, and it's just going to be awful.
Let's talk about this vaccine, because this is the thing that kind of makes me nervous, I will be honest with you, Dr. Patel. You have this vaccine. They had -- they had a lot of misinformation. They were trying to take credit for it. The Trump kids are trying to take credit for it. Then they were saying was a lot to have it come out after the election.
What are your thoughts about this vaccine and whether or not you feel as hopeful as Dr. Fauci does about it? And, also, how long might it take? If it is good, how long might it take to actually get it out there?
So, I will say I woke up today hopeful for so many reasons, one of which was not necessarily that you and I are all going to get a Pfizer vaccine in our arm anytime soon. But, Joy, we have to look for the success and the fact that this has never been done before. I'm talking this kind of vaccine for this type of virus has never been done before.
And we at least have the first signs of proof. It is -- we are so far from, like, shouting victory from the from the treetops. But I will take a light at the end of the tunnel. And all we know -- this is all we know. We know that it has -- in the patients that have received the vaccine, not the placebo, that it is 90 percent effective in not -- in not allowing you to have the symptoms or the disease of COVID-19.
So, I will take that for a top line, which is what it is. But I will tell you, we are a long ways. I have been asked several times, when will Americans see a vaccine? I'm hopeful that we could see something in the summer of 2021 or later.
But that's a long ways away. And if you take the months, that means that we could see still millions more people with COVID-19 and hundreds of thousands more deaths.
So, we have to focus on looking at the rest of this year, mitigation doing what we have been talking about. We also have to think about 2021. A vaccine is not going to erase the virus. It's going to do with the flu shot does, where it just decreases the cases, and it doesn't necessarily get rid of it.
So -- and then I really hope that this administration, the incoming administration, focuses on the communities that have been abandoned. And I am worried that a vaccine, just like coronavirus testing, could be left out of BIPOC communities. Black, indigenous, persons of color would not receive this vaccine unless we address head on the distrust that has already been created by the current administration.
REID: Yes, I think that's very true.
Let me just let you play -- play for you real quickly what my Joe Biden said about that very thing.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BIDEN: We're going to address the health and economic disparities that mean this virus is hitting the black, Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islanders, Native American communities harder than white communities.
Focusing on in these communities is one of our priorities, not an afterthought.
The bottom line, I will spare no effort to turn this pandemic around once we're sworn in on January 20.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Dr. Patel, I assume that these communities will have more trust in Biden than they certainly did in Trump.
I don't -- I'm worried about Trump's people, that they won't want to take the vaccine, and that they will continue to infect other people because they refuse to believe that COVID is real.
PATEL: Yes, Joy, you have all the -- you have data to support your belief in that.
We know that. We know that there are people who still don't believe this is a real virus. So, you are absolutely right, which is why we have been talking now for months about, let science lead, let the health professionals lead.
But what I'm going to add to that, Joy, all of that is true. We have to understand how to really just deal with people at a human level and understand their behaviors and understand their attitudes, and not dismiss it.
When I have a patient who says, I don't believe in this because President Trump tells me it's not real, I can't dismiss that. And I have to walk that person through why I take it seriously. And I think we're going to have to do that one-on-one and through people like yourself being a clear voice.
Thank goodness, we're going to finally have now -- instead of, Joy, you talking about this alone, we're going to have a national strategy, hopefully, in the next year...
PATEL: ... to support all of that.
REID: We just got to make it through the next 72 days.
Dr. Kavita Patel, thank you very much. Really appreciate you.
And up next, amid the rapturous celebrations, it is important that we don't lose sight of just close we came to losing our democracy. More on that straight ahead.
Stay with us.
REID: So, that election happened. Five days of patient and not so patient waiting yielded Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the president-elect and vice president-elect of the United States. The celebrations you have seen around the country from just outside the White House to Brooklyn to Harlem and Times Square to Atlanta and to Philly.
Incredible video memes likening the epic finish to "The Avengers: End Game", or the demise of the wicked witch and "The Wiz", or the oh happy day moment in "Sister Act", all spoke to the profound belief of tens of millions of Americans who understand just how close, I mean, the relief they have because they understand just how close we came to losing our democracy.
Those who reference the jubilation at fall of Berlin wall or street celebration when a dictator is over thrown were backed up by historians like Michael Beschloss and journalists like Richard Engel, because that's how close we came. Just over 70 days the Trump era will end as abruptly as it began, and whether or not Trump concedes, at noon on January 20th, the Constitution will do it for him. And he will leave the White House, willingly or not. But he will go.
And with him will exit some of the greatest villains in American political history. William Barr, worst attorney general since, well, his predecessor, Jefferson Sessions, who was the worst attorney general since Richard Nixon's criminal AG, John Mitchell. And Stephen Miller, only one of multiple white nationalists who Trump brought into the administration to tragic results, from Muslim and migrant families and refugees. They will all go, taking the lying press secretary and national security and health and State Department's appointees with them.
And America can breathe again. Finally someone in government will try to reunite the hundreds of migrant children with their parents. That executive order banning federal funding to institutions that tell the truth about America's racial history which could have slashed funding to public schools and historically black colleges, that will be gone. More than 700,000 DACA recipients have to fear deportation. We'll rejoin the Paris climate accords and the World Health Organization and global search for a coronavirus vaccine and exit the access of autocracies.
We can repair relationships with our allies who will no longer think that we are a nation gone mad. And we can work on police reform and restoring the Voting Rights Act, and instead of millions dying in a bizarre herd immunity experiment, we'll finally have a plan to defeat the coronavirus, with a strategy based on science. Not miracle cures and quacks and pillow salesmen.
Seventy-four million voters and counting literally saved the lives of millions of Americans by firing Donald Trump. That's why we call you voting MVPs. That is why people are dancing.
We owe tremendous thanks to the voters, particularly black voters who held it down, and the activists who got it done. Stacey Abrams, whose organization registered 700,000 Georgians, and Latosha Brown and the ladies from Black Girls Vote and Black Lives Matter activists and Voto Latino and the wine moms who organized their neighbors. The Latino and indigenous voters who showed up in Arizona, and, of course, to the steady as she goes Biden campaign. Thank you.
Joe Biden will become just the second Catholic American president. And parents can finally once again tell kid the president of the United States is a good and decent man.
Kamala Harris will become the first black first woman, first Asian-American and also first HBCU graduate and member of the black sorority to be vice president. And little girls of every race, color and creed will see themselves when they see American power.
There's been a lot of talk about what Biden voters owe the 70 million people who voted for Donald Trump. Honestly, I'm old enough to remember what they felt they owed Clinton voters in 2016, the phrase "F your feelings" comes to mind?
It's not our job to make them feel better. I'm personally not ready to have people in my life who are okay with racism, neo-Nazism and mass death and child snatching at the border. But go off, Katy Perry.
And the good news is, the good news is none of that matter. It is not my job to manage MAGA emotions. I just talk on TV.
Joe Biden is going to be the president and he has made it clear that he intends to be actively the president for everyone. And that's a good thing. It's necessary thing because we've got a vicious virus to fight, every one of us, so that we can get back to our normal lives and out of our basements.
And the right can go back to hating us because we have Hollywood and Beyonce, sorry.
In his 1865 inaugural address delivered just a month before his date, Abraham Lincoln offered a broken country both the warning and a hope. The warning, that the 600,000 dead in the still unfinished civil war were nothing short of a judgment of God for the flagrant sin of slavery.
But the end of that speech pleading with America to end the war with malice towards none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive onto finish the work we're in and bound up the nations wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with our -- with all nations.
Here's rooting for your President-elect Joe Biden. You're going to need it. Good luck.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA), VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last, because every little girl watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: A glass ceiling was broken this weekend. Seventy-two days from now, the title of vice president will be held by a black woman, the daughter of Jamaican and Indian parents, Kamala Harris.
It's been a long time coming, 48 years since the Caribbean-American congresswoman from Brooklyn, New York's Shirley Chisholm became the first black woman to run for president. Much of the credit for this victory goes to the turnout of black voters, something President-elect Biden says he will not forget particularly as he forms his administration.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT-ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES: Especially those moments when this campaign was at its lowest ebb, the African-American community stood up again for me. You've always had my back and I'll have yours.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
REID: Joining me now is Dr. Glenda Glover, the president of Tennessee State University and the international president of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, and Tiffany Cross, author of "Say It Out Louder: Black Voters, White Narratives and Saving Our Democracy."
And, Dr. Glover, I'm going to go to you first. Your reaction as the president of AKA's two, one of your own, one of your sorors becoming vice president of the United States?
GLENDA GLOVER, ALPHA KAPPA ALPHA SORORITY INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT: It was a moment of tremendous pride to see Vice President-elect Kamala Harris today. It was so much pride and we were so thankful. The first thing we did is said a prayer of thanksgiving, thank God for what he had done for us as black women to bring us this far as the number two in this country of vice president-elect.
REID: Have you had a chance to speak with her?
GLOVER: I did. She gave me a call Saturday afternoon before she went on stage. It was so special to say thank you all that you have done, what it means for America and it was a very, very special moment.
Tiffany, you know, you write about the sort of white narrative that black bodies live in. This is a different thing. This is reversing that.
TIFFANY CROSS, HARVARD KENNEDY SCHOOL INSTITUTE OF POLITICS FELLOW: That's right.
REID: What do you -- how do you expect this to change the way we think about politics and the way we talk about politics over the next four years?
CROSS: Yeah, let me first say, I know it's awkward when people give you compliments when you're on air, but I have to do that again tonight because your voice and your representation was so necessary throughout this coverage of this campaign. So when we think about how we talk about this, I mean, I said earlier that we have voices from some of these political anachronisms. So, get this completely wrong.
The last segment when you were talking about the role of black voters played and how that quickly shifted to, oh, let's wait and understand the other side, I don't know how to meet a bigot in the middle nor am I interested in meeting a bigot in the middle. So, it matters when we have just elected the first black Asian-American woman in this country as vice president. So it also matters who's leading these conversations.
And we have to make sure that not only are we censoring the rising majority of this country, the new American electorate who will decide races, but also holding this administration accountable because we saw a record number of black voters. We saw an increased turnout among Latino voters. We have to make sure that we're not making the few Latino voters in Florida the entire narrative.
CROSS: There were Latinx voters across this country, indigenous voters. Native Americans across this country shaped the federal government, Asian-American voters, Pacific Islander voters are the fastest growing demographic in this country. And so, when you have some of these antiquated voices who continue to center, you know, people on the right or Trump voters, it's like, where was that empathy during the first Bush administration or during the second or during the crack epidemic or after Rodney King.
And so, you have been a delight to watch and listen and learn from and help America walk us through. And I certainly plan on being a part of the chorus of voices to celebrate the history of this moment but also hold this administration accountable and make sure we continue to center the people who helped elevate them and get them here.
REID: Well, I thank you for that. And you were one of the voices who pushed hard to make sure there was a black woman on that ticket. So, I remember that op-ed in "The Washington Post".
REID: And, Dr. Glover, how -- let's talk about the next step because there's an Atlanta -- not just Atlanta, the whole state of Georgia. There's a big election coming up.
How hard are the -- are the Divine Nine going to ride for making sure that Kamala Harris doesn't just have position but also has power, meaning that the Biden/Harris administration has the Senate?
GLOVER: Well, (INAUDIBLE) part two, that's where we are now. Meeting later this week to develop the strategy for Georgia and how we can help turn that vote out. We're going to depend a lot on HBCUs in Atlanta and the state of Georgia, because they've done now, the country is finding out the caliber of people HBCUs can produce and the importance of the institutions to our country.
So, they're going to to get out and like they did before, push their vote out, that voter mobilization. So important.
And, Tiffany, I know you're an Atlanta native. So, I'm sure that you were --
CROSS: I am.
REID: -- quite excited about this I'm sure.
How -- I mean, do you think that races -- I asked Jason earlier, these races are easily winnable, right, demographically.
CROSS: Well, whenever I say I have to do better than my nemesis. Races are absolutely winnable.
And what does it say about this country --
CROSS: -- that is incumbent upon black voters to take out Mitch McConnell.
CROSS: To render him impotent in the Senate. So, I'm very excited about what Georgia is going to have.
REID: Voting is the best revenge. That's what I always say.
CROSS: That's right.
REID: Dr. Glenda Glover, Tiffany Cross, my friends, thank you so much.
That is tonight's REIDOUT.
Thank you all for being here. This is a such an historic moment in American history. You are allowed to savor. You are allowed to celebrate.
"ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES" starts now.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.END
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