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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  November 17, 2020 12:00am-1:00am PST

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us. on behalf of all my colleagues at the networks of nbc news, good night. tonight on "all in" -- >> if republicans don't challenge and change the u.s. election system, there will never be another republican president elected again. >> election interference from senator lindsey graham. why the republican secretary of state of georgia says the senator from south carolina is calling him about tossing out legal ballots. we'll talk to the reporter who broke the story. then -- >> dr. atlas, could you clarify your comments asking people in michigan to rise up against covid restrictions? >> as the virus rages on, why donald trump's covid whisperer
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is under fire like never before. >> what the hell's the matter with these guys? what is the matter with them? and some more good news on the vaccine front. laurie garrett takes us through what it means for getting back to normal. when "all in" starts right now. good evening from new york. happy monday. i'm chris hayes. we have breaking news tonight that shows just how deep the rot in the republican party goes. but before getting to that, and we will in just a moment, take a step back just to sort of survey the last few weeks since the election. right? most charitable thing someone could say about the bulk of the institutional republican party at the national level in the wake of the election that donald trump lost is that they're just kind of ignoring and pretending that donald trump is not having a total meltdown and attempting to torch american democracy. the nicest thing that can be said about the mitch mcconnells of the world, for instance, is that they are just letting him
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have his tantrum and hoping it all goes away. that's the best, the very best most charitable thing you can say about them. but we have evidence tonight that that is not what is happening, that they are actually collaborating with donald trump in attempting to overthrow the results of a free and fair election. because today georgia's republican secretary of state brad raffensperger told the "washington post" he has come under increasing pressure frl republicans including senator lindsey graham to throw al way legal ballots. i'll quote. "graham asked whether raffensperger hello the power toll tolles all the mail ballots until counties found tofl higher raltsful non-matching signatures rachblz perger said. rachblz perger said he will was stunned that graham al paerd it will'll toll suggest he will find ail
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it sure looked like he was willing to go down that road he said. the republican secretary of state in georgia says that south carolina republican senator lindsey graham, the chair of the senate judiciary committee, pressured him to dump legally cast ballots in a state where donald trump is losing by a relatively narrow margin. now, graham told a "wall street journal" reporter tonight, "that's ridiculous. what i'm trying to find out was how do you verify signatures from mail-in ballots in these states? i thought it was a good conversation. i'm surprised to hear him characterize it that way." okay. but what on earth was the senator from south carolina and the chair of the judiciary committee doing talking to a state election official in georgia amidst a presidential recount? mark elias, the lawyer who has been fighting against republican legal challenges across the country, responded to the story saying, "this is both outrageous and should be investigated by the senate ethics committee." now, as you'll remember, on election night it did look like president trump was winning in georgia, though "the new york
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times" needle predicted otherwise late in the night. but as votes came in from democratic counties around atlanta that lead slipped away. as it stands now, nbc news has called the state for president-elect biden, who's leading by, and this really is somewhat surprising. 14,000 votes. and the state's two incumbent senators are both headed to a runoff election on january 5th. and the secretary of state raffensperger has announced a risk limiting audit. which is a sort of canvassing of the votes that will trigger a statewide recount. now, 14,000 votes may not seem like a lot, but it is a lot in terms of recounts. it is very unlikely the recount will change anything significantly. in fact, here is what secretary of state raffensperger said today before speaking to the "washington post." >> when people are out there making boldfaced lies you just have to call it out with facts. we're basically fact bombing them with the truth. >> the lieutenant governor of your state said today that there have been no examples that he's seen of systemic fraud or
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improprieties and that it certainly appears that joe biden is the president-elect. do you agree with him? >> yes. i believe the lieutenant governor's correct in that statement. >> wow. do you see the little bit of fear in his eyes when he says the truth we all know? the general complaint from donald trump and his allies seems to be how dare you not fix this election in our favor, fellow republican? and rather than accept the very plain results of the presidential election the republican party has resorted to eating their own and now just like flirting with outright criminal behavior, lausless yanking away an election result. one thing that's become more and more clear in the two weeks since election day is this isn't like an indulging trump thing. there's something deeply depraved here. to republican party is willing to do just about anything in order to maintain power, and we are just seeing how wildly dangerous it is when the president is creating political
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conditions for the entire republican party to join him in essentially seeking to overthrow or ignore the results in a democratic election and they don't have any problem with that. with me now, the reporter that broke the story that lindsey graham pressured georgia's secretary of state to exclude legal ballots, "washington post" national reporter amy gardner. great scoop and great reporting. and all on the record interview with a key official. this is excellent journalism. what's the context of this conversation? >> i think the context of the conversation is a real growing mountain of frustration on the part of secretary raffensperger about these baseless accusations and sort of pressure that he's been under since election day really to kind of get in line and talk about the poe continuingal that fraud actually is the only reason that joe biden could have won georgia, and brad raffensperger didn't
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want to do that. he's been trying to keep his head down and he's been trying to support the local election officials who are actually the ones with the power to count the votes and canvass the votes and report the votes up and certify them county by county by county. i think it took a turn for the personal for brad raffensperger in a couple of ways. first of all, he has been called, you know, a rino, republican in name only, a congressman from georgia has said that he's capitulated to the democrats by not talking about fraud, and then his wife and he both received death threats over text messaging in the past several days. and i think he really hit a breaking point where he wasn't going to stay quiet anymore. >> the republican congressman doug collins who has sort of unsuccessfully ran in that senate runoff for kelly loeffler's seat has sort of appointed himself or been
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appointed as kind of the trump campaign general, field general down in georgia. you know, he's been going after raffensperger. all these people know each other. they're all republicans in the state of georgia. and he's -- you know, raffensperger said that collins is leading the president's effort in ga, called him a liar and a charl tann. >> yeah. >> raffensperger's a pretty conservative guy and he's definitely like a made man in the georgia republican party. this is not a never trumper. this is not a liberal. this is a guy who saw his view as to administer a free and fair election and is i think taken aback by what doing that has brought upon him. >> i think that's right. i think he also thinks the republicans aren't being very smart politically here. the argument for all of this wrath coming down on his head and also just sort of the rhetoric that impugns the election officials arguably is to help kelly loeffler and david
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perdue who have the runoff election on january 5th because everybody knows donald trump is still talking about fraud even though there's been no evidence to suggest that any one of these close states that decided the outcome had any widespread fraud on a measurable level. so the fear is that donald trump is going to tweet something. he's going to tweet displeasure at senator loeffler or senator perdue. but what i think some of the other republicans in the camp of raffensperger who see this election being administered fairly and legally and ethically, i think their view is that that's not smart politically. that sort of, you know, casting doubt on the election is a distraction that does the opposite of unify the republican party at a time they need to get all of their voters out again just in a few short weeks and one of the biggest accusations of alleged fraud going on in georgia is the manufacturer of
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the voting machines, a colorado-based company calldomi voting systems, is like some leftist venezuela-linked conspiratorial company that stole votes from donald trump in georgia. that is causing republicans on social media in georgia saying hmm, i don't know if i want to use these machines on january 5g9d, these machines are terrible. that doesn't seem very smart for republicans either. >> amy gardner who's a reporter from the washington post who broke that story and that interview with brad raffensperger, thank you so much for making time for us tonight. i want to bring in david jolly, former congressman of florida who quit the republican party in the first year of trump's presidency. and vinita gupta, former acting atoernlg, head of the department of justice civil rights division under president obama. david, let me start with you on qulinds graham. lindsey graham.
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whoa, dude. >> yeah. >> i mean, you can -- you can try to say, well, i was just talking about the mail-in ballots but calling up a secretary of state in a state that's actively involved in a recount in which the president is driving home this toxic nonsense about fraud and floating the idea of can you throw out a bunch of illegal ballots? that is bad, bad, bad news. >> yeah, chris. kind of affirms my decision to leave the republican party, i suppose in many ways, because this is the behavior of today's modern gop. look, whether or not a crime was committed in georgia, and certainly there could be by who knows who among the republican party, but whether or not a crime was committed, what we do know is the likes of lindsey graham, doug collins, mitch mcconnell and others are committing a fraud on american democracy. they are defrauding the american people and they are breaking the back of our republic one malevolent act at a time. what i would say to lindsey
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graham and mitch mcconnell and kevin mccarthy and others is this. you are the reason, not donald trump, you are the reason that 20% to 30% of the american public will forever question the legitimacy of the 2020 election. you are the reason. where senate and congressional leaders of eras gone by the lions of the senate would have led the nation towards truth and would have checked this president with his lies, you have followed him. you have followed this charlatan and you are the reason that now a broad section of the american people question our own democracy and our own elections. and that is a hard legacy. donald trump will come and go. and every one of these politicians on capitol hill know it. they don't give an ounce of dirt about donald trump. they will be going to joe biden for their white house access and their parties and so forth. they will find their own political benefit and new relationships when he's gone. but what is tough is that they will have shared and affirmed with the american people reasons
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to question this election and it's awful. how do you say to the next person that's going to enlist to fight for this country that you're fighting for a country that somehow does not have legitimate elections, that joe biden was not the next president? how do you explain that? they don't. and that's their legacy, not donald trump's. >> vinita, i think we've all sort of struggled to characterize what we've seen unfold over the last two weeks. there's a spanish term auto golpe which is like a self-coup when you stay in power even though people have voted you out. i think there's been a desire not to bolster the preposterous claims of the president or cede him authority. will he go or won't he? he will go, he lost. but the graham disclosure is really unnerving about what it says about what they are willing to do, what lines they're willing to walk up to and step over. like if this had come down to one state, if it had been 5,000 votes in one state, like they all look like they're kind of down to clown. >> yeah.
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i think what is really distressing about today's disclosure is the degree to which leaders, republican leaders are going up behind questioning election officials judgment, election officials who as you said, you know, raffensperger no liberal. you know, he's receiving death threats. he is, you know, having his own integrity and the integrity of the elections questioned in georgia, and these republican leaders are going up questioning the way he is conducting and administering the elections the way georgia local election figures are, and to me the greatest harm here is for georgia voters. these kinds of comments undermine our democracy. they undermine voters' faith in our elections. they make people question whether we have legitimate elections at a time where the voters very clearly decided in a not that ambiguous vote tally around the country that joe biden would be president of the united states.
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so the attacks on dominion voting services, i ultimately believe that this is going to come back and haunt georgia republican candidates in the runoffs, ironically, here. because you've got two elections coming up in georgia on january 5th and to be questioning and trying to undermine the democratic process and and election officials in georgia for running an election where there's absolutely no evidence that anything went wrong and in fact the opposite, to me this is ultimately going to potentially undermine georgia republican voters, as amy gardner said. and that will be the greatest irony of all. >> and david, it strikes me too there's a danger here. they are putting political pressure on local public officials. kudos to brad raffensperger. honestly. well done. kudos to him for having some integrity here and not bowing to it. the president is soliciting a primary challenge to mike
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dewine because he said biden is going to be the next president. every republican in the country knows the score. if you're some election official somewhere, now you get pressured unless you fix the election for the republicans. >> yeah. look, chris, donald trump's corruption has been contagious among people we thought would perhaps be immune from it. >> yes. >> that's what we're trying to reconcile and at times you can't reconcile it. you just have to call it what it is, which is election fraud. possible criminal activity. this is a party that has lost seven of the last eight national elections. we know that. so they're going to engage in rigging the election as best as they can. but this conversation, chris, this is the worst case scenario. we get wrapped up in our partisan allegiances. trump-biden. we get wrapped up in the binary fight between the parties. whether or not donald trump will leave office. he will leave office. he'll become a tenant on january 20th that's overstayed. the worst possible scenario, what our body politic is not
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prepared for, is the doubt that can be created within 20% to o'30% of our public to question the lechblgs our election. and the danger, the damning part is that this is happening with the bully pulpit and the enablers that wear republican jerseys. there is no excuse for it, it is dangerous. it will break us and there is no fix for it. >> 20, 30% is optimistic. i hope it's just that. david jolly and vinita gupta, thank you both for making time tonight. >> thank you. tonight as the pandemic spreads just unchecked across the country, we are hearing utterly horrifying accounts of what that looks like on front line workers. meanwhile, the man in charge of the federal response is out there spreading information that will almost certainly endanger american lives. more on that next. erican lives more on that next. hope you got dental. and that's why i love healthmarkets, your insurance marketplace. they guarantee you won't find a lower price
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we're at a breaking point with covid. i can tell you about the record cases, hospitalizations, the strain on our hospitals, health care workers and the families of folks that are dying or in misery, spike in deaths. but this, this caught my eye. this sort of captured what the breaking point looks like in real terms. what you're looking at is one of the worst-hit places in the country, el paso, texas. an incredible city. a great place on the border. where bodies are being stored in refrigerated trailers because the morgue nell pain el paso's overwhelms. inmates from the county detention facility dressed in
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prison stripes and ppe being paid just $2 an hour now to help process the unrelenting crush of dead bodies. one nurse at a strained el paso hospital saying the sickest covid-19 patients are put in a doctorless room called the pit where they are given three chances to be revived before workers have to let them die. >> my first day of orientation i was told that whatever patients go into the pit, they only come out in a body bag. i have been doing covid assignments since april. so this was my fifth covid assignment and, y'all, i have never experienced and have no words for what i just experienced in el paso, texas. >> this woman's been fighting the pandemic for nine months. she took five assignments. she was in new york. she spent her whole life the last nine months fighting this
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thing. and look. that's what the breaking point looks like. el paso has been trying to do something to make things a little less horrible. on october 29th their local county judge, ricardo sameniego, their top elected official in el paso who we have had on this show ordered a strict two-week shutdown of all non-essential businesses in defiance of the texas attorney general and the governor. and there is some evidence it was working. el paso has been reversing its spike in the wake of that order. you can see it there. the incidences coming down on this chart. but the state sued to reverse the shutdown order and on friday an appeals court ruled against el paso's shutdown, even as those bodies continue to fill the mobile morgues. and look, no one, no one wants to tell people they can't go out or to put businesses out of business or prevent americans from going about their normal lives. but at some point you reach a breaking point. and that's where we are now. we are breaking.
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we are at the breaking point. there are too many cases for hospitals to handle. in north and south dakota one doctor said things are as bad as it gets anywhere in the world with many hospitals in largely rural north dakota at capacity as of last week. and keep in mind there's about 12 more days of cases coming for them. with the state hospital system approaching meltdown, north dakota's republican governor doug burgam reversed course and issued a mask mandate and other restrictions late friday night after resisting such steps for months. other governors are trying to do something about this devastating spike as well. in michigan, which again was very hard hit earlier this year, democratic governor gretchen whitmer is now temporarily barring indoor dining, one of the riskiest activities, we know this, as well as in-person instruction at high schools and colleges and ordering the temporary closure of some businesses including movie theaters and casinos. again, high-risk locales. now, this is not a full shelter in place order. she's keeping elementary and middle schools open, many businesses, even gyms are still
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allowed to operate. what you see whitmer doing is what policy makers across the country are doing, trying to balance all of the competing interests while also not seeing her state decimated by the virus. and then what happens? along comes this guy, covid's best ally in the white house outside the president, scott atlas. a name that will live in infamy, i have no doubt. a right-wing radiologist with zero public health expertise who got in front of the president by going on trump tv during the early months of the pandemic and then got hired and then managed to take over essentially the nation's entire covid strategy and push the entire country towards an approach in which the virus would be left to burn through the populace. >> when there are high-risk people, we must protect them but we don't lock down the schools and we do not -- the goal of policy is absolutely not to stop all spread of covid-19 to asymptomatic or very low-risk
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individuals. >> that's what he said. you've got to protect the high risk people, right? but we're not trying to stop the spread. let it spread in order to protect the high-risk people. guess what's happening to the high-risk people right now. who do you think's in those hospitals and in the long-term case facilities? who do you think constaitutes te names of the dead, over 1,000 day after day, scott atlas? i mean, this guy is probably more responsible for our record cases and hospitalizations, for our spike in deaths, than any other policy maker in america. "washington post" editorial today stating bluntly, "scott atlas's rabble-rousing will lead to illness and death. he should be fired." and then when a governor who isn't some right wing think tank flunkie, who actually has people she is responsible for the health and safety of, when she tries to take some steps to slow the spread like governor gretchen whitmer is doing in michigan, well, here's scott atlas. "the only way this stops is if people rise up. you get what you accept. hashtag freedom matters.
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#stepup." he wants people to "rise up." that's what he said. perhaps you'll recall that governor whitmer was the target of a fairly advanced right-wing terror plot to kidnap her and then execute her on camera because of her covid response. atlas later claimed he was never talking at all about violence, just wanted people to vote and protest. which first of all everyone just voted like two weeks ago. second, the protests at michigan's state capitol earlier this year were pretty scary and attended by some of the people who then plotted to kidnap and kill whitmer. and just even putting all that aside, atlas is actively rooting on the virus, trying to extract a political penalty from people who are doing the best they can under abominable circumstances. >> dr. atlas, could you clarify your comments asking people in michigan to rise up against covid restrictions? the white house told states to hanltd t handle the covid response. so why are you contradicting the governor? particularly when you don't have any training in infectious
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disease. >> this nation is suffering in the absence of a pandemic. or actually the president's malignant leadership. it's now suffering in the absence of federal testing strategy and federal rescue dollars. it's at the mercy of a virus that scott atlas and donald trump are essentially promoting. we want the virus to spread. they have said as much. here's how the president-elect responded to the stance embraced by scott atlas. >> the idea that the president's now existing remaining adviser on covid is saying they should resist, what the hell's the matter with these guys? what is the matter with them? resist? you know, every major individual of any consequence in the health field is saying we can save -- we can save 100,000 lives just between now and january 21st by wearing these masks. >> that man, president-elect joe biden, does not become president for 65 more days. until then, state and local officials are on their own as
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they face the darkest winter of our lifetime. in oregon democratic governor kate brown is now facing a backlash for her 14-day statewide freeze she instituted friday. and i'll talk to governor brown about her thinking and the political challenges of fighting this pandemic right after this. don't go anywhere. is don't go anywhere.
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on-demand glucose monitoring. because they're always on. another life-changing technology from abbott. so you don't wait for life. you live it. on friday in an effort to flatten the covid curve oregon democratic governor kate brown announced a statewide two week freeze which will limit restaurants and bars to takeout only, close gyms, indoor and recreational facilities during that period. also included a limit on social gatherings to no more than 6 people with the possibility of a fine or arrest for violating the order. in response white house press secretary kayleigh mcenany attacked brown as a, quote, radical leftist, adding "this is absurd leftist control and not the american way." governor kate brown of oregon joins me now. governor, can you talk us
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through how you thought through the competing imperatives in policy making at this very fraught moment? >> absolutely. hospitalizations are rising sharply in oregon. our hospitals are being stretched to capacity. some in the metropolitan portland area have begun to stop surgeries to preserve beds and staff capacity. our nurses and our doctors and our physician's assistants have been working day and night for the last nine months. they're exhausted. they're stretched to the edge of their capacity as well. and case counts have more than doubled, topping more than 1,100 per day. >> so -- okay. so this is action -- i mean, one thing that's been the sort of north star for policy makers is save the hospital system from melting down. that was the imperative of flatten the curve in the beginning part of this pandemic. but it's more complicated now,
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right? there's a lot of fatigue among the populace in being told they can't do things. people got used to loosened restrictions over the summer. and also there's no federal -- i mean, back in april it looked like there was going to be some federal rescue package, right? money was going to come down for businesses. there's nothing now. so if you close down bars and they go out of business, like peace. tough. >> that's exactly right. what is really, really clear is that the trump administration has left the states on their own to deal with this pandemic. our governors are truly on the front lines. we're looking for every dollar that we can to help keep families together, to help them stay in their rental apartment or their house. we're working every single day to figure out how we ensure that our small businesses can make it through this pandemic. and then on top of it all you
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have dr. atlas criticizing the work of one of our governors. it's absolutely outrageous and absolutely unacceptable. so my goal is to protect health and the safety of oregonians. we're in the business of saving lives and i am absolutely focused on it. it is so imperative that our federal administration come forward with a second tranche of coronavirus relief funding. our businesses are desperate. our people need the resources. this is extremely challenging, and we need help from our federal government. we need it now. >> has your office been in touch with anyone from the president-elect's transition team? is there channels of communication happening there? >> well, my former chief of staff is currently working on the transition team so we do
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have a connection, and nick blosser knows firsthand the challenges that states have been facing through this pandemic because he has led my response here on the ground. he knows the challenges around personal protective equipment, around testing and around lack of resources and, frankly, he understands very well the trump administration's failure to lead a national response to this covid-19 pandemic. here's the challenge though, chris, and that is you have a trump administration who's failing to turn the baton over to the biden/harris administration. that is going to cost lives. if you watch a relay race, you know if you haven't practiced the handoff you end up losing the race. well, in this case we're talking about we risk losing thousands if not hundreds of thousands of more lives for their failure, the trump administration's failure to bring in the
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biden/harris administration and make sure they have the information they need to protect the people of the united states of america. >> final question for you. i think you've done a really admirable job at managing this pandemic from the beginning, and it's been hard and it hit the northwest early and i think both you and governor inslee reacted quite aggressively. what's your message to the residents you're seeing who are like i'm so done with this, i don't want to keep doing this? what are you saying to them? >> look, i know this is really, really hard. i'm used to a thanksgiving filled with family and friends and eating really good food, and i'm not going to be able to do that this year. but it's more important to me to save lives. my mother-in-law, other members of my family that are vulnerable and have underlying health conditions, we do not want to
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put these people at risk, so i'm asking oregonians to make additional sacrifices on top of the sacrifices they made all year. limit your gathering to your household only, up to six people. two households if you must, but keep it at six people. keep it small. don't accidentally kill someone. >> don't accidentally kill someone. that's a striking phrase for this era. governor kate brown, thank you so much. >> take good care. be safe. >> going to try. all right. are we close to a vaccine? latest reports that even has dr. fauci spreading some optimism. are you ready for some optimism, viewers? after this.
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the data are striking, savannah, they're really quite impressive. 94.5% efficacy. now we have two vaccines that are really quite effective, so i think this is a really strong
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step forward to where we want to be about getting control of this outbreak. we want to get it approved as quickly as we possibly can. we want to get doses to people starting in december. >> dr. anthony fauci showing some real optimism about the second announcement of a vaccine that looks very promising. my next guest has been tracking this from the beginning. she's an expert on this, won a pulitzer prize for her work on science reporting. author of "the coming plague" and "betrayal of trust." the great lori garrett, who's been on the vaccine beat, joins me now. what's your reaction to today's announcement from moderna, the second company to release clinical data suggesting that their vaccine is in fact effective? >> well, of course it's good news. of course we're seeing something that defies all predictions of ten months ago. unimaginable speed. but you know, we also have to consider the caveats. all we have to work with,
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all we have is so-called data, is two press releases. one released last week by pfizer and one released today by moderna. and of course these press releases are carefully massaged by legal departments in both pharmaceutical companies so they present, you know, the best case with all the right caveats and words of caution and hedging. and until we see real data that's actually been scrutinized by outside independent scientists and shown to be valid, we have to be careful about getting too carried away here. >> okay. >> what makes -- chris, what makes this moderna one much more interesting than last week's pfizer vaccine is a trick that the moderna folks pulled that makes it a more stable vaccine. chris, you probably remember that the pfizer vaccine is so unstable that it has to be stored at minus 100 degrees fahrenheit -- >> yes. >> -- or even colder?
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and it can't -- it will fall apart at room temperature completely. so that had the specter that every single health department in america would have to run out and buy these ultra ultra freezers and have the portable ones that would cost thousands of dollars just to transport the darn vaccine around. well, this moderna one uses a clever trick to come up with a more stable form of the mrna vaccine so that it can actually even sit for about ten hours at room temperature, according to the company, without falling apart. and it never has to be kept any colder than a deep freezer that you might have in your garage. so the trick is that the mrna, the genetic -- little strip of genetic material that comes -- that mimics what it takes to make the spike protein, the virus is this round ball, you've seen it, with all the little spikes sticking out. so it makes this little piece of
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mrna, codes for those spike proteins that stick up, right? well, they packaged it inside of basically a little ball of fat, a microscopic ball of fat called a liposome. then the liposome gets injected into you, goes inside of your cells and turns your cells into little factories making these proteins, which then the body, the immune system sees and says whoa, i don't know what this is, let's make some antibodies and attack it. right? it turns out both companies used liposomes as a way to hide the mrna safely. but whatever moderna did, their liposome is completely different. it's super strong, it's top secret and proprietary but it can withstand a far greater temperature range without falling apart.
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and they claim about a 5% better efficacy compared to the pfizer product. >> two things. one is the data. i don't think i realized these were just press releases. i thought they had actually shown some data. so we're waiting to get -- they will at a certain point show data, right? someone has to look at it other than the company? >> they'll have to. >> yeah. >> and chris, here comes the tricky part. who's going to assess that data? it's going to be the trump appointees in the fda, and they're going to make decisions based on a lot of pressure coming from the white house. i mean, the president's already tweeted that this is his legacy, so you can imagine the kind of pressure coming down on steve hahn, the commissioner of fda, and his scientific staff to just cram these babies through as fast as possible. and they will come up with -- they'll see raw data, they'll see whatever the companies hand over to them and they'll make some set of judgments about what
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should be used, how it should be used, and then they'll pass that along to the cdc. it will be the cdc's responsibility to figure out how these can be widely used across america, and what each state needs to do, each municipality in order to be able to vaccinate. the tricky part on all of this is that all these decisions are going to be made by a lame duck fda and a lame duck cdc and then handed off to joe biden and his administration with so far no access on the part of the biden people to the process. and that's just craziness. >> that is craziness. that's -- right now it seems the highest stakes problem with this continued temper tantrum by the president slash attack on the election is that exact thing. they have to be getting in the room and having conversations so we can hand this off. laurie garrett, thank you for explaining that. i feel like i have a better understanding of it now. >> you bet, chris.
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65 days, that's how long until president trump has to move out, president joe biden moves in. when we get back, i'll talk to john podesta about what needs to be done to make that happen. e t. today's ways of working may work differently tomorrow.
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for just $64.90 a month. plus, for a limited time, ask how to get a $500 prepaid card when you upgrade. switch today. as i said earlier, and i probably shouldn't repeat it, but i find this more embarrassing for the country than debilitating for my ability to get started. >> president-elect joe biden talking about the president's
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refusal to acknowledge his victory. now, biden will take office in 65 days, and for the second time in 12 years a democratic administration will have to take office amidst a country in generational catastrophe as ushered in by the previous republican administration. biden was there in 2009 when barack obama was sworn in as president, him as vice president, and they had to take over an economy that was careening towards further disaster, and he will have to do it again in 2021. john podesta is someone who knows what this is like. he's the former co-chair of the obama/biden transition team as well as the founder of the liberal think tank center for american progress. john, everyone's got their work cut out for them for the second time in as many transitions. >> right. well, the big difference between that transition and this one is at least that president bush recognized we're in two wars, we had a financial crisis ongoing, and he ordered his team, starting with his chief of staff
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josh bolten, including hank paulson, the secretary treasury, to give as much support as possible to the incoming team to try to preserve decisions that president obama would want to make in his first days in office. and i think the transition in that sense was rather seamless because we had access to agencies. we had access to technology, and as your last segment noted, most important we had access to information about how to plan. we knew we were hemorrhaging jobs. there were 500,000 jobs a month being lost, but at least we had insight into what was going on in those federal agencies, and that's what's being denied to joe biden and kamala harris right now. >> you know, there's another complicating factor here. barack obama won -- he had house majority and ultimately 60 senators. he took office with both houses
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of congress behind democrats, and still it was very hard to pass his agenda. and, you know, those fights were legendary. joe biden may, may have narrow control of the u.s. senate, but even so, it would be a 50-50 senate. how are people inside that world thinking through these eventualities and what it means to not have those kinds of congressional majorities barack obama had? >> well, look, you have to plan for both contingencies. obviously they're hoping, i think, that those two georgia runoff elections go the democratic way and that they have at least a working majority, a 50/50 senate with chuck schumer able to assume the leadership position as majority leader. but if they don't have that, they have to plan for that contingency as well. the first matter -- the first order of priority is getting the virus under control. they have to be working with state and local authorities. they have to have a plan to distribute the vaccine.
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we have promising results from both pfizer and moderna. but they need to get in and create that plan. they've appointed a kind of blue ribbon public health team. but, again, without access to the fda, the cdc, the department of defense, which has responsibility for distribution -- some of the responsibility for distribution, it's going to be exceedingly difficult to hit the ground running. so trump's refusal to accept reality has dire consequences to the country's health and to the health of the economy. >> you know, how do you think about staffing this administration under these conditions? and here's my question for you. i think there is -- the ranks of democratic staffers tend to be real institutionalists. they really worry about things like norms and traditions. there's a lot of lawyers who are very legally cautious, as is their -- you know, that's good that they're prudent. >> right.
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>> but it strikes me under these conditions, you're going to need some people that are pretty aggressive. you need people who think outside the box. you're going to need some people staffing that administration who are not there to say no to every harebrained idea but to figure out how things can be delivered to the american people, overcoming obstruction. what do you think of that idea? >> yeah, no, absolutely, chris. i think the president has a lot of authority, a lot of executive authority under the laws of the united states. he has the bully pulpit. he had convene people as he did today, bringing executives and labor together. he has a very ambitious agenda to get the economy rolling again. some of that is probably -- he'll be able to get some of that done with congress even if mcconnell still is the leader in the senate although i think that will be difficult. but he still has to make progress on the things he's promised the american people from investing in child care and
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letting people be able to get back to work even as they have these challenges with their families around covid. he has to -- they have to invest in the clean energy future that he promised. >> yep. >> to tackle the problem with climate change. they have to invest in ensuring that we achieve better racial justice and equity in the building and building back better that economy. so he's going to have to use every tool that's available to him. executive, legislative where he can. and again, the convening power of the president is immense, and he'll have to be pulling all those levers and having a white house that understands how to do that. i think his chief of staff, ron klain, is really a master of that, so i think they're off, at least in that sense, to building a team that understands that. >> yeah, my humble suggestion is that every staffer going in gets a tattoo that says "deficits don't matter." it's just like the price of entry. just go in there. do whatever you've got to do. deficits don't matter.
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>> this economy needs a lot of support. >> get a face tattoo if you're feeling particularly saucy. >> we can't be where barack obama was in 2011 chasing republicans around for a deal. us tonight. that is "all in" tonight. "the rachel maddow show" starts with ali velshi in for rachel. good evening, ali. >> good evening, chris. have yourself an excellent evening, and thanks at home for joining us this hour. rachel is still quarantining after a close contact tested positive for covid-19, but she is doing fine and will be back as soon as possible. and we have a lot to get to on this monday. but first, i want you to go back a couple of years with me, just for a moment. let's go back to march of 2018. there was this super weird moment, and it involved donald trump's legal representation. the president had already had a heck of a hard time securing legal representation for the mueller investigation. at least a dozen top flight attorneys had turned him down, which is unusual for a president


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