tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC May 5, 2021 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
immigration system is in fact broken. now we have to come together to deliver for the american people and our proudest traditions, the solution, legislative reform. >> alejandro mai orc as, secretary of homeland security. your family came from another country, how does your experience inform the work you're doing? >> my family came to the united states to realize the opportunities and freedom that democracy has to offer. we fled the communist takeover of cuba. i understand the challenges that displaced experience and suffer, i understand what this country means to so many people. i understand that what i do and what this department does reflects not only who we are but who we want to be as a country.
and we are going to achieve so much under the leadership of president biden and vice president harris, i'm so proud to be part of this effort. >> secretary of homeland security, thank you for maink making time. come back any time. that's "all in" for this evening, "the rachel maddow show" starts now. good evening, rachel. >> thank you my friend, much appreciated and thanks to you at home. september 11th, 2001, day of the al qaeda terrorist attacks on our country, a tuesday, part of what new yorkers remember was it was a local election day, beautiful, early fall day when planes hit the buildings and buildings came down and lower manhattan turned into hell. but afterwards, even before the next tuesday rolled around, inside a week of the 9/11 attacks happening, something
else on a different scale but also terrible and terrifying started to happen in a bunch of places all over the country. at first we did not know if this was a second act for the 9/11 attack. to the offices of nbc news and abc news and cbs news and offices of the "new york post" inexplicably to the national inquirer tabloid in florida, somebody mailed anthrax, notice just a white powder with a terrifying note but actual, potent anthrax mailed to the news and offices of two united states senators. real anthrax, potent and more than 20 people were infected by the mailings. five people were killed by it. mysterious attack then and now.
but it did start right after 9/11 attacks when the country was absolutely reeling, and we didn't know if it was a second act to the attacks from the morning of tuesday, september 11th. added bioweapons terror dimension to our out-of-control fear and terror at the time. it's almost hard to explain that different dynamic, different dimension of it 20 years down the road. but if you lived through it, you know it was a real fear. and one of the things the u.s. government did, u.s. congress, supreme court, parts of government that thought they could be a next target in what appeared to be ongoing anthrax biowarfare attack, certain parts of the government started immediately to stockpile an antibiotic called cipro, a broad spectrum antibiotic you can take to fight infection by something like anthrax.
cipro is made by bayer corporation. in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and anthrax attacks that went on for a while, demand for this antibiotic, and cipro skyrocketed for obvious reasons. u.s. government told bayer wanted enough on hand to treat 12 million americans simultaneously. but bayer said in order to make that, take us more than 1 1/2 years. that's how long it will take, is that okay? no, that was not okay. u.s. government was saying we don't need this to save people 20 months from now, being attacked by somebody mailing potent anthrax to people right now. we need to now. bayer said tough, this is our drug, we own the patent, that's
how long it takes us to make 12 million doses. then something interesting happened. some other companies came forward and said hey, we know this is bayer's drug and they hold the patent and only ones allowed to make it. if we were allowed to make it, we could make it really quickly. they came forward and said they could make generic versions to fill entire order the u.s. government wanted in 12 weeks. bayer saying 20 months. these companies said we could fill the order in 12 weeks, just say the word, we're happy to do it. and democrats in washington very quickly said we should do that. we need more than bayer can give us, fine, let other companies jump in and make more. is the patent really more important than that? democratic senator named chuck schumer from new york city, just been walloped in 9/11 attacks, led the charge saying the
government had legal right to break the patent in unusual circumstance like this to let other companies make it so we could have enough. if anthrax attacks continued and millions of americans needed to be treated, this country could get them treated. even republicans in congress conceded not inclined to do that in normal circumstances but these were not normal and if the administration said that's what we want to do, republicans in congress said they'd support it and break the patent if need be. what ultimately happened in 2001, george w. bush administration threatened to but didn't break the patent for cipro. that said, they used the threat that they might, that very real bipartisan threat they might and could, they used that threat to make bayer go back to the drawing board and reconsider what exactly they could do to meet the u.s. government's
demands for their drug. with that real threat looming over them, bayer thought about it, decided that actually might not take 20 months, announced could dramatically ramp up production and also drop the price nearly 50%. so bayer kept its patent back in 2001, and u.s. government got its drug supplies. but bayer at the time knew they almost didn't keep the patent, knew the u.s. government almost took over the patent and that threat to them got them off the mark. that was 20 years ago. today a version of that story is playing out again on much larger scale. this time not a mysterious bioweapon arriving in the mail on the heels of a world-changing terrorist attack but global pandemic kills millions of people in every country on earth. until there is a cure what we need to stave off tide of tens
of millions of deaths are vaccines against covid-19. which we have. which "we" have. but vast majority of the world does not. the current system we've got to get vaccines out to everyone all over the world so far isn't working. at least not working quickly enough. just take one example of india, apocalypse under way in india, huge nation over 1.3 billion people, they've only got 2% of the population vaccinated and you can see what is happening now in terms of mass infection, illness and death. completely overwhelmed health care system, people dying in the streets, infection out of control. 2% vaccinated. in contrast we've got more than 40% adults fully vaccinated. over 80% of people over 65 have
had at least one dose which offers significant protection. that's good for us. we're on our way, even though numbers aren't high enough yet. but 2% in india? that's a problem that is a human catastrophe right now in india, also honestly a catastrophe for the whole world including us. the cdc said yesterday the new covid variant emerged from india has already been found in five u.s. states. way the global vaccine rollout is going, excruciatingly slow and to limited places, some countries not expecting to get vaccines until 2024. which means not only a huge ongoing, growing global death toll, but continued generation of new, more infectious and dangerous variants of the
coronavirus, which may render our vaccines ineffective. companies have done amazing workspace. moved heaven and earth to get the vaccines done and approved on the market. the vaccines in the u.s. approved are scientific miracles and they have the potential to save the world, if the world can get them. right now the world is not on track to get them in anywhere near the time frame they need to get them in order to get the pandemic under control and in order to prevent emergence of variants that will render moot the vaccination efforts already made and we're still limping along with. the companies that have developed these vaccines have had the benefit of u.s. government support already to fund development and testing and ramp up manufacturing capacity, government has helped them to tune of billions of dollars, and the companies have sold hundreds of millions of doses already,
including to the u.s. government who helped pay for development in many cases. and with all these countries not having access in the numbers they need, biden administration made incredibly dramatic announcement they support waiving the patents in a limited way for covid vaccines. they support giving out the recipe for the vaccines. so other companies in other countries all over the world can make generic versions of the vaccines that work. the companies that said bayer has the patent but we can make it generically if you let us do it. biden administration is saying in this instance, let them make the generic drugs. undoubtedly a hard call for them. trump administration was adamantly apposed to doing this. led the global resistance to doing this.
trump-supporting republicans in congress are adamantly opposed to doing this, lobbying the biden administration against making this change. pharmaceutical companies are more against this than anything else they can imagine. their whole business is having monopolistic control of drug and all the revenue it generates for a generation. but hard as the decision was for the biden administration, but this is something he explicitly promised to do if elected president. a lawyer, activist and dad, dying from als, using a computer speech assistant to speak since als took ability to speak in his own voice. using that computer-assisted technology, he did a hard-charging interview with
then presidential candidate last july, and in that interview mr. barken got this promise. >> the world health organization is leading effort for global cooperation in search for covid-19 vaccines. but donald trump has not supported that severity, cutting america off for from of the best. if the u.s. discovers a vaccine first, will you commit to sharing with other countries and ensure there's no patents standing in the way of mass producing those vaccines? >> absolutely, positively. this is only humane thing in the world to do. this guy's whole idea of america, america on its own has meant america alone. we're out there by ourselves. what's he doing?
lacks any human dignity what we're doing. so answer is yes, yes, yes. not only good thing to do, overwhelmingly in our interest to do it as well. overwhelmingly. >> thank you for that commitment. >> the answer is yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, absolutely, positively. it is overwhelmingly in our interest to do it. that was his promise as candidate. today as president, biden administration made good on that promise. president biden's u.s. trade representative kathryn ty announcing the administration's decision in precise and definitive terms. never thought would see in from the u.s. government but here it is. this is a global health crisis and extraordinary circumstances of the covid-19 pandemic call for extraordinary measures. administration believes strongly in intellectual property but in
interest of defeating this pandemic, supports it. and will actively participate in talks at world trade administration to make that happen. aim is get as many safe and effective vaccines to as many people as fast as possible. as our stock for american people is secured, administration will work with private sector and all possible partners to expand manufacturing and distribution and increase raw materials needed to produce the vaccines. last bit is key. one thing for the u.s. to say -- huge thing for the u.s. to say we support suspending the patents, waiving the patents and other countries being given the recipe to make generic versions of the covid vaccines. huge thing but another thing for the biden administration to say they're going to make sure the raw materials, ingredients,
specialized equipment, trained personnel, the expertise and know-how all get out to the world as well. not only do people have permission theoretically to make their own vaccines but actually can. without hugely ramping up supply of materials and expertise, raw materials in particular to make the vaccines, generic or not, can only increase supply by so much. biden administration is saying we'll lead global organization to give countries and companies around the world the permission and ability to do this. huge decision for the biden administration. obviously 180 degree u-turn from where the last administration stood but advance in terms of the united states, saying we'll lead the world on this issue. we will take responsibility for getting this done globally.
if it's done right, not only lead global negotiations to get it done but lead the world to make sure there is a global response. so this thing doesn't haunt humanity, including us, for the rest of our time on the planet. only way out from covid-19 is for the whole world to get ahead of it. and only country on earth capable of leading the whole world to get ahead of it is us. that's what the biden administration is banking on being able to do, and they're banking on us the american people believing in that again. this is a really big deal. it is a decision that potentially could save tens of millions of human lives. it could make the difference as to whether or not we do ever end this pandemic or if this is it. this is a huge deal. going to have one of the world's
foremost experts joining us later on. looking forward to that conversation. what else is going on in the news, a federal judge ruled that the national moratorium on evictions, ban on kicking people out of where they live that went into effect because of the pandemic last year, federal judge ruled that u.s. government does not have the right to impose a freeze on evictions. justice department will appeal the judge's ruling. we expect that will probably mean the existing eviction ban will stay in place temporarily as it makes way through the courts but that's potentially big deal. for what it's worth, trump-appointed judge trying to throw out freeze. justice department under president biden is going to file appeal to try to keep it in place. also watching justice department today for any sign they may appeal the explosive court ruling that we led with last
night. federal judge in washington ruling that trump attorney general bill barr was quote disenginuous and he and other justice department officials lied to the court and public about then attorney general bill barr's decision to not bring federal criminal charges against president trump after muller report laid out more than ten instances of potential corruption of justice by the then president. judge ordered the justice department to release to the public a document that trump justice tried to keep secret for years. document about their decision not to bring criminal charges against trump. judge said she's seen it, although justice department tried to stop her seeing it. she's reviewed it and said the trump justice department lied about what is in the document and wants it released to the public. biden justice department under attorney general merrick garland
has to decide whether to appeal or if they will comply and release that document. release of that document and the attending drama about why they lied about it, why they tried to keep that document secret for years, that will obviously put a very hot spotlight back on the question of why trump in fact wasn't charged with obstruction of justice despite all the evidence of it laid out in mueller's investigation. before you look it up, no, statute of limitations isn't up. for what it's worth, statute of limitations for trump's conduct described is generally five-year statute, that was 2017, 2018, 2019. there's still time if justice
department decides that question of whether or not he should be charged is still open. after facebook issued weird pseudolegalish decision in which they announced they were upholding the ban of trump from their platform, former president trump sent out statements to remind everyone why he was kicked off in first place. literally after they said he was still kicked off facebook, put out public statements reiterating his fantasies he's still president and saying last election shouldn't count because of fantasy there was mysterious fraud no one can describe which is the only reason biden appeared to win but really trump won it. puts that out, oh, yeah, now i remember why you were kicked off social media. you told your followers you were secretly president and they needed to avenge the fraud you were fantasizing about, and led
to them violently attacking the u.s. capitol to stop the certification of the election results. thanks for reminder. they just re-upped your ban and i remember why they banned you in the first place. former president trump's statement on his fantasies today appeared to be focused on arizona which he's made multiple statements about. arizona is where republicans are continuing for cuckoo for cocoa puffs audit of the election results in arizona, run by qanon promoter with no previous experience administering elections or auditing one. news from that today was amazing. auditors admitted after a couple of weeks of hammering away at 2.1 million ballots they're reviewing, they're through much less than 10% of the ballots. that led much of the arizona press corps to do the math to
come to quick conclusion that apparently they're going to drag this on well into the summer. around the time everybody was arriving at that conclusion this is going to go for weeks if they stay at this pace, the venue they're doing it, arena they're holding this supposed recount announced publicly that they're not welcome to stay. they've got other things booked for that space. so they're not going to be allowed to stay past the middle of may. so they're doing this thing at pace that will require them to be there all summer, they're not going to have place to do it 1 1/2 weeks from now. that's a complication. local abc station in phoenix also reporting that so-called official observers of the audit are required to sign nondisclosure agreements. which of course prohibits you from telling anybody something you've seen or experienced.
so observers but not allowed to tell anyone what they have observed. also seems like a little bit of a complication. also one of the guys running the audit explained today on camera that what they're doing, why it's taking so long, why been through less than 10% already, because they're taking very careful look at ballots, looking for what? bamboo. because it's possible that babe china came over -- and made joe biden president by -- something something, asia, bamboo ballots, something. >> the other day at press conference, talking about bamboo, what was that about? >> accusations that 40,000 ballots were flown into arizona
and stuffed into the box and it came from the southeast part of the world, asia, okay, and what they're doing is to find fought there's bamboo in the paper. that camera right there they take a picture of the ballot. >> they came over from the southeast part of the world, and they put it in the box. there you go. trump's president. they're looking for bamboo in the ballots because trump is secretly president because china or maybe just asia made bamboo ballots and flew them to arizona and they can find them with a camera. they have to use the camera on all of the ballots. republican party is on the verge of kicking out some of their house leadership because of insufficient loyalty to trump.
donald trump is now the animating focus of the republican party right now because of their absolute outrage he's not allowed back on to social media to keep promoting idea he secretly won the election. he wants to promote the fact that arizona's recount is going to prove he secretly won the election. what are they doing in arizona? they're looking for bamboo because bamboo, asia, planes, look at the camera. i mean, one of these parties is not like the other. but this is how we're proceeding boldly into the future right now. lots to get to tonight, stay with us. with us.
vaccines developed by big pharmaceutical companies and offer the world's best hope of beating back the pandemic and saving hundreds of millions of lives. to the people in the world, huge deal. doctors without borders, msf is acronym in french. here's how they announced -- reacted when the news was announced. quote, this is huge. united states of america is putting lives over profits. then go on to list number of other countries and groups yet to endorse this proposal, including canada, uk, brazil, eu, asking when they will follow the example set by the united states and quote get on the right side of history. other big expert groups in this field who pushed for this change are calling on the biden administration now that they've made the call to stand their
ground, make sure this gets followed through, and to be ready as industry tries to push back. and delay or reverse this decision. u.s.-based aids and human rights activist group said quote, necessary first step from the biden administration but negotiations must not drag on. already 2.2 million people have died since the waiver was proposed in october. biden administration must not cave to big pharma and its lobbyists that will kick into big gear to stall progress. partners in health, delivers health care to poorest countries. one of the best on the earth. applauding it, stick to it, get it done. we applaud the decision of the united states to support the
waiver of intellectual property protections on covid vaccines to help end the pandemic. we call on the united states to follow through on this commitment, make sure we don't delay negotiations on the waiver. people who follow this stuff, have made a life out of trying to work on global health issues, global public health issues see this as huge deal and amount of urgency they feel to follow through and make sure it happens tells you how big a deal this think this is. joining us now, dr. joy mooukargy, thanks for joining us. pleasure to have you here. >> you're welcome, thanks for having me on, rachel. >> i'm not expert on this stuff. used to work in previous life on things sort of indirectly adjacent to this but been a long time and this is a complicated decision. correct me if there's anything
i've explained wrong so far. >> yeah, no, not at all, rachel. i was thinking i know you have a background in aids activism. i'm wearing my aids pin, wrong side, to remind these are lessons we've learned across the globe fighting for treatment access, for the globe to share the fruits of modernity and science, it's really a basic human right. >> in terms of the practicalities, those who argued against it or those who said it's right but not enough, said the bottleneck is not necessarily the patent or recipe, the intellectual property but the capacity to manufacture is hard to develop. you need ingredients, equipment,
know-how how to do it, trained personnel to get you started. how much of that can the united states do or lead on in order to help the promise of this decision be made manifest? >> yeah, great question. we at partners in health and our allies at health gap and 100 countries that have been urging the biden administration and other wealthy countries to support the trips waiver never said it was enough. there are three key aspects that we want to see here. one is the waiver, because it's not just one patent, each individual step may be patented and several of the processes may be patented. that's one thing. second is sharing the know-how, how do you make this? this is a relatively new kind of vaccine, mrna vaccine, although many labs and facilities have
been working with mrna for decades, so sharing know-how is second important thing. third is really the funding. we saw that even in the george w. bush administration, the u.s. was a leader in global aids by putting in the funding for this to happen. interestingly there's already $16 billion committed to global work on covid-19 vaccine. so the money is there, we hope the u.s. will continue to put money into this effort. we need the know-how shared, raw materials and patents. patents are one step but a major step. they're a gateway to a cascade of things that have to happen. and many of us were very stunned today, and very thrilled to see the message from ambassador ty
saying that biden administration would support the waiver, but we know that's only one step. and right now what we're focused on is really having very transparent text-based negotiations that we're all able to see that won't overrepresent the needs of the big pharmaceutical companies or ceos and really will work to end the pandemic. >> chief medical officer for partners in health, thank you so much for your time tonight. as you said, i think a lot of people in this space were thrilled with this announcement today but in order to make it manifest, going to take a lot of work and alack ritty, government has to go fast and i know you'll push them to do so. thank you for helping us understand.
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see if you can spot the difference between two stories. 2016, tarrant county texas, went to vote, name not on the roll. filled out provisional ballot, that way if there's a problem we won't count it. few months later, crystal mason was arrested and charged with illegal voting because when she filled out provisional ballot she was on supervised lease after completing prison sentence for federal conviction. she thought because she served her time she was eligible to vote. didn't know under texas law you weren't eligible until you completed probation or supervised release after release
from prison. even though a technical and complex misunderstanding and her provisional ballot was never counted, she was nonetheless convicted and sentenced to five years in prison for illegal voting. five years in prison. that's story number one. here's story number two, guy in delaware county, pennsylvania, filled out ballot for his mother, dead mother, vote for donald trump in 2020. flagged it as belonging to dead person but he swore she was still alive, did all that to deliberately cast a fraudulent vote for donald trump. pled guilty in court. got five years probation.
can you spot the difference, crystal mason in texas tries to vote because didn't know she's notice technically eligible. never counted, five years in prison. bruce bartman, premeditated scheme to vote for donald trump, swearing the person isn't dead, all forgiven. i know there has to be a difference in the two people, can't put my finger on it. two other republican gentlemen in pennsylvania are facing voter fraud charges. one who just like bruce bartman registered dead mom to vote. another cast at polling place and came back 45 minutes later wearing sunglasses to cast a ballot in his son's name. alert poll worker saw through
his brilliant sunglasses disguise. voter fraud is very rare, a few instances here and there, usually ridiculous. after the election when republicans were having trouble finding examples of the giant democratic fraud they were sure had taken place. republican governor of texas dan patrick offered a $1 million reward for anyone providing evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election. for months his counterpart, democratic lieutenant governor fetterman has been trolling him. i got guys casting a ballot for donald trump in dead mother's name. not what you had in mind? i have a second one of those too, if you want to try that.
despite inability to find any evidence of voter fraud he says is rampant, not even for $1 million, republicans in texas are nevertheless pushing ahead with idea fantasy of rampant fraud justifies draconian restrictions. companies not known for making strong political stands have come out to speak against it. forceful step today to try to get business community to do more and rally the community against what texas republicans are trying to do to texas voting. one joins us live, stay with us. . they wanted it fixed fast. they drove to safelite autoglass for a guaranteed, same-day, in-shop repair. we repaired the chip before it could crack.
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harris county than all of 2016. they set that record in large part because of the county made a huge push to expand voting access to the citizens. hired a ton of new poll workers, made it easier to vote by mail, 24-hour polling places and drive-through voting, which is nice in pandemic. 8% of all voters cast ballots using the drive-through option. all those different things paid off together big time. more people voted than ever before. now republicans who control the texas state legislature have made it their mission to make sure it doesn't happen again. two bills targeting populous counties like harris with aim of stopping the things the county put in place to make it easier to vote. 175 business leaders from houston area sent a letter to republican-led legislature
saying why they oppose those bills, but as you can see from the houston chronicle headline there, one key group was missing, the largest chamber of commerce. >> there's a group sticking out like a sore thumb for failing to speak up at a time of enormous consequence, right now voting rights are falling like dominos in states across the country from georgia to arizona to right here in texas. and yet the largest chamber of commerce in the houston area is silent. >> that is the top elected official in harris county, texas, judge lena hidalgo today, singling out the chamber when so many other business leaders are standing up and saying they will
not abide us. joining us now is the judge hidalgo of the most populous county in texas. thanks for joining us. >> thank you. >> how important is business support for voting rights going to be in the end? as republicans in the legislature really take aim at voting rights statewide and seem to be aiming specifically at places like your county? >> it's very important for all of us to stand up against this, but the business community is uniquely positioned to make a difference. this is not a transient quote/unquote political partisan issue, this is about are you willing to stand up for and fight for american democracy. do you believe in american democracy? i think of martin luther king writing from birmingham jail, i think about the blood that's been spilled to protect that promise of america, that light
that we fight for around the world, and when some folks are trying to turn democracy itself into a wedge issue, we need to stand up and make clear voting rights, democracy is something we thought we had already won and been done with. business community more than anybody else can stand up and prevent this from becoming a wedge issue. >> judge, one of the reasons i wanted to talk to you tonight, watching the press conference, you made the point that the greater houston partnership wouldn't even let members take a vote internally about whether or not they wanted to publicly oppose these bills. why did you raise that point and what do you think it means? >> it's almost hard to believe. but essentially i've heard from respected business leaders of major businesses in houston area, leaders in this chamber of commerce, that they requested
that the leadership meet and they hold a vote to decide whether or not the chamber itself is going to come out in opposition to these voting bills, and the response was that no vote will be held. i was just on the phone with some of the chamber leaders, telling me they have a meeting tomorrow, a discussion meeting but won't be allowed to vote on possibly taking a stand. it's voter suppression on the topic of voter suppression and it does make you wonder if you have to suppress the vote lest the membership come out against voter suppression, what are you doing here? remember too these bills single out harris county, pointed out our innovations to bring voting into the 21st century that republicans as well as democrats used in record numbers. they're attacking my constituents and community that these businesses are meant to
represent. that's why it's ironic and we need everybody to continue taking a stand. >> harris county, texas, judge lina hidalgo, thank you for your time. we're watching this closely and other states trying to beat back voting rights around the country but in texas things are getting intense, thanks for helping us understand tonight, judge. >> thank you. >> we'll be right back. stay with us. with us did you know that your clothes can actually attract pet hair? with bounce pet hair & lint guard, your clothes can repel pet hair. look how the shirt on the left attracts pet hair like a magnet! pet hair is no match for bounce. with bounce, you can love your pets, and lint roll less.
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before we go tonight, little bit of breaking news on story we covered top of the show. just developed on the air. u.s. justice department, head of the civil rights division sent this letter to republican-controlled arizona state senate warning them their so-called audit of the presidential election result done by company with no experience run by qanon promoter, justice department is warning that my be in violation of federal law. in part because turned over ballots to private company when legally required for under the control of elections official. also the people doing the audit may go door-to-door asking about votes and would constitute voter intimidation under federal law. just sent tonight, don't know