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tv   All In With Chris Hayes  MSNBC  January 13, 2022 12:00am-1:00am PST

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wednesday night without things for being with us. i'm going to head right back under this desk for a little not. but i'll be back right here at 9 am eastern tomorrow morning. until then, on behalf of all my colleagues at the network of nbc news, goodnight. nbc news tonight, on all in. >> would you be willing to testify about your conversation with donald trump on january six if you were asked by an outside commission? >> sure, next question. >> kevin mccarthy gets his time in the borough. >> i'm asking you specifically, did he say to you, some people are more concerned about the election than you are. >> no, listen. my conversations with the president are my conversations with the president. >> tonight, the extraordinary letter from the january six committee that kevin mccarthy. why they're investigating his conversations before, during and after the insurrection. and why it has serious
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implications from the top house republican. plus, senator elizabeth warren on the new strategy for democrats to plus voting rights. and what looks like seriously encouraging data on the omicron surge. when all in starts right now. surge. good evening from new york. i'm chris hayes. the committee investigating the january 6th insurrection is asking that the top republican in the house, kevin mccarthy come and give them testimony before them. this is the man poised to become speaker of the house, should republicans take back control the midterm elections later this year, which is certainly a strong possibility. but before that happens, they want to hear about what's mccarthy knows about the insurrection. in a letter to mccarthy, released this afternoon, the committee writes that the, quote, requested voluntary cooperation on a range of critical topics. including your conversation with president trump before, during and after the violent january 6th attack. in many ways, kevin mccarthy has been at the center of donald trump's coup plot.
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working behind the scenes to carry out his wishes. however, first, we should know that mccarthy reacted the way the overwhelming majority of normal people would. expressing shock and dismay at what had happen. as the committee knows, mccarthy even smoked to cbs news while the attack was still going on about how he begged trump to address the nation. >> you said she spoke with the president. what did the president say he would do? >> i don't know, he had put a tweet out there. i told him he could talk to the nation. i told him what was happening right then. i was very clear with the president when i called him. this has to stop, and he's got to go to the american public and tell them to stop this. >> they democrat, beat the president of the united states has a room steps from the oval office. the cameras are hot 24/7 as you know. why hasn't he walked down and said that now? >> i convey to the president when i think it's best to do, and i'm hopeful that the president will do it.
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>> and have you spoken with his chief of staff? >> i've spoken to the president, i've spoken to other people in there and to the white house as well. >> so, mccarthy like everyone else, right is desperately trying to get the president to call off the mob that he has sent to the capitol that has not reached and threatened lives by chanting, hang mike pence of the people inside. including kevin mccarthy. and i first mccarthy stood by that. we delivered remarks on the house floor. and then a week later, as the committee also points, out he stood up and placed blame, squarely on the president. >> the president bears responsibility for wednesday's attack on congress by mob rioters. he should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. these facts require immediate actions by president trump, except his share of responsibility. quayle the brewing unrest. and ensure president elect biden is able to successfully
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begin his term. >> oh yeah, he'll do does. except his share of the responsibility. but of course, much more was going on behind the scenes. later on, we found out that mccarthy had a top with trump that got quite heated. he told his republican colleague, jamie herrera beutler about it at this time. and she released a statement that they cite here. the president repeated the falsehood that it was antifa that breached the capitol. mccarthy refuted and told the president they were trump supporters. that is one according to mccarthy, the president said, well kevin, i guess these people are more upset about the election than you are. committee also quote, political risks reporting, that mccarthy got into a screaming match after mccarthy demanded that trump released a statement denouncing the mob. trump finally relented and said he would send the tweet. that wasn't good enough for mccarthy who wanted more. in fact, that pattern matches exactly the interview we just heard him give during the insurrection to cbs. political later reported, asked the letter, notes that mccarthy
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shared and even said in a call on january 11th that he stated that president trump had admitted some degree of responsibility for january six in his one-on-one conversation with him. >> that's interesting. the committee wants to know about all these conversations naturally. they're also invested in conversations mccarthy had when it came time to finally seek the electors that night. again, the committee highlights this point in the letter. quote, you agreed to support continued objections to the electoral vote from multiple states late in the evening of january six and into the morning of january seven. the select committee wishes to question you regarding communications who may have had with president trump, president trump's legal team, representative jim jordan and others at the time on that topic. we should note, and this really remains a startling fact. it was a startling fact even then more than a. after all that facts, mccarthy not only objected close to the floor, he voted for the coup. like the majority of house
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republicans. the committee also wants to know more about kevin mccarthy's conversation with donald trump and others after the insurrection. they specifically pointed to a conversation on january 11th when he pushed the president to accept defeat. mccarthy's local news of lewis wrote about that. quote, he said he implored president donald trump's intense hour-long phone call during the morning. to move forward to the peaceful transition of power. the house minority pleaded with him telling the election was over. to move on, stop this. mccarthy recalled telling him. the committee notes that it appears mccarthy may have also discussed with trump the potential that he would fix the center resolution, impeachment, or removal under the 25th amendment. it also appears that you may find them to fight other possible options including president trump's immediate resignation from office. so things, of course, very quickly turned around between mccarthy and. from january 28th, mccarthy visited trump to be some self and to kiss the ring of the exiled ex president who had six
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a mob on mccarthy's place of work. and who hadn't even given him the courtesy of calling them off. when mccarthy desperately phones him from inside the besieged building. >> the committee writes, that they want to, quote, discussing the communications mccarthy have a president trump at the time regarding his account of what actually happened on january six. joining the statement regarding january six, it changed remarkably before the meeting. the committee is not wrong. this is all public record. mccarthy stone certainly sounded different in the statement posted on facebook along with the voters. great meeting with president trump today. house republicans in the trump administration a treat historic results for all americans. as mccarthy essentially started to do trump's bidding. the summer, when the january six committee was being formed. he appointed five republicans, three of whom voted to -- speaker nancy pelosi veto to the picks including jim jordan of ohio who has since been asked to appear before the committee as a witness to some
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of the most important events and is refusing to cooperate. mccarthy, of course, then pulled the remaining nominees. the committee concluded their letter by pointing out that mccarthy has recently indicated that he might be open to cooperating, quote, wouldn't hide from anything. which is good. they asked mccarthy to appear for them. proposing the time in the first week of february. we watched as one rioter after another sentence over january six by the justice department without anyone at the top facing any accountability. right now, we're looking at the prospect of minority leader house representatives having to come before the committee to testify about what he knows. that see whatever strong, it's covering the story of political and she joins me now. this seems like a very very big deal for the committee to do. this what is your reporting suggesting about the background in context for. and what we can anticipate mccarthy is going to do. >> it is.
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it's a big step. it's moving into new territory in terms of going after, not just republican members but the person who is more likely than that, frankly, to be the next speaker of the house. knowing everything that i know about kevin mccarthy, having followed house republicans, sometimes very closely, some times from a distance for many years now, i would be stunned if mccarthy voluntarily cooperate with this committee. mccarthy has become has and side january six investigation as any member of congress could possibly be. and interestingly enough, some of his opposition to the january six probes, both proposed and actually materialized, in retrospect, looks like a possible big strategic error for republicans. remember, before the select committee will sit up, speaker pelosi proposed to mccarthy the idea of having a bipartisan commission. pelosi proposed that that commission's work would be done by new years eve of last year. the entire january 6th
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investigation could be totally completed. kevin mccarthy refused to take that offer. and instead, we have the select committee that's getting dramatically more and more information than it would have come out if he accepted the offer that pelosi and made. that said, it would be consistent with his career and worries that on this for him to totally step down the committee and their them to take even more aggressive steps. yeah, it's a great point. in fact, he had deputized a member of republican leadership. the ranking member on the security committee to work out a deal with benny thompson. which they did work out for a bipartisan commission. which he then pulled the rug out from under. they passed it in the house, mcconnell filibustered in the sudden. it would've been a 50/50 split. it would've been done. i think under statutes in a year. so this is all sort of produced by those choices. you know, the other question i have here is just going through the facts there as laid out in
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the committee, so much of this is already in the public record. i mean, him being at the center of this is not in dispute at all. him knowing things that the committee would want to know about is not in dispute. there is no hiding here. so much of this transpired fully in public view. >> the committee is leverage with mccarthy is quite limited. if they sue to get him to come in, it would be in court for more than a year. as they asked the justice department to prosecute him after they potentially issue the subpoena, the likelihood that doj would charge him would be very much up in the air. the only leverage and the most easily accessible average that the committee has in this case is saying to mccarthy, look, you are going to be part of our report. we are going to be part of history. you've already talked. in great detail as well. in various terms about what exactly happened on january 5th, six and seven. so you might as well come in and get your version of events on the record so that you have a voice in the history of
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making documents that we are working on. i don't think mccarthy is going to take them up on that offer. but that is the offer they are making in this letter. which is notably not a xiaojie letter. >> yeah, and that's the way reporters do it who don't have any means of legally compelling people to talk to them. but often will use precisely, that approach. well i've already talked all year nominees. so if you want to tell your side of the story, i'm all ears. we should talk. the other thing that strikes me here about the situation is, whatever happens, the embarrassment factor here is a key part of all of this. and you say with hannity and with ingram and with kevin mccarthy. one of the themes that is coming out, it seems to me in the committees investigation is that everyone during those three hours, everyone across the board had hair on fire about how horrible it was and how the president had to step in and stop it. and he didn't. and this is another example of
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yet another person who is in that. >> no one said this is a good idea and it's going to work. there are zero people who we are aware of who had trump's phone number, mark meadows phone number who are saying, great strategies. give it a couple more hours and biden will be out. no one thought that. my sense is that that the committee has been getting and what they got from mark meadows, they describe getting -- from him. is really helping him get their foot in the door and crack open. get a much more detailed picture into the communication of the people who were closest to the white house, closest to the president. that is meaningful information to get it. and i think there's a lot more to come. >> betsy woodruff swan, great reporting as always. thank you very much. i want to turn now to one of the members of the committee investigating january six democratic congressmen pete aguilar of california. i
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imagine that there was from considerable discussion about this request. why do you think that this is justified and what do you say to people that view this as a provocation or escalation? >> well, we lay out the case in the letter. and, what chairman thompson indicates in the letter is that we know, just like you indicated, based on public reporting, that the minority leader had conversations with the former president as well as members of the former presidents team leading up to january six. he was aware of their strategy to challenge the outcome of the free and fair election and in addition to january six itself. the numerous conversations and text messages that were bandied about, those are all relevant to our investigation. what was the president doing during this 187 minutes that he those all relevant to didn't call off the rioters who our investigation, will were coming into the capitol before kevin mccarthy and for us on the house floor? what was he doing? what was his mindset? those are the questions that are. worth answering. in addition to after january six. from security questions that
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leader mccarthy asked to this conversation with the former president himself. those are all within bounds, and most of those are within the public domain that we've indicated but we feel that this is important for the sole purpose that no member of congress is above the law. if we are all committed to democracy, if we are all committed to the constitutional oath that we took then member should be coming forward. and mccarthy said himself, sure, he'd come forward. so we will see. >> yeah, let me just play. we played in the opening but i'll play it again. this was when what looked like what would happen to be a commission would be in panel that would request's testimony. he was asked this question. take a listen real quick. >> reporter: would you be willing to testify about your conversation with donald trump on january six if you are asked by an outside committee? >> sure, next question. >> sure, next question.
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there is already some precedent here. so you've got scott perry and jim jordan who have been asked to voluntarily come in and share what they know with the committee. they have both said they're not going to do that. what do you do about that? i mean, there is talk about subpoenas but the subpoenas, i think, would be fairly innovative i don't know if that's happened before. usually congress members just cooperate with congressional inquiries. how are you gaming this up? >> well, if they were committed to protect the constitution, they would come before us. but as you've indicated, they have indicated for a variety of reasons, some nonsensical, that they don't want to come before the committee in the case of mr. jordan and mr. perry. clearly, they were communicating with the white house and the former president about the strategy to overturn the free and fair election. and so, that is problematic to them. so it's unfortunate. there are other tools that we have. chairman thompson has said that we are reviewing
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those. if we have things to share, we will share those. but in its core, i think our appeal is to our colleagues. if we are committed to this institution, if you're committed to making this place work, to protecting promoting democracy, then we have to stand against overturning free and fair elections. in a minimum! and stopping a peaceful transfer of power. and the fact that they were coordinating in those efforts is deeply troubling. and the fact that they don't want to talk about those efforts now, and join efforts to whitewash history is troubling to a lot of us. >> as a member of the committee, how would you characterize where you are in the work and arc of this? how much you've learned and how much further is there to go? >> well, we are in the investigative stage right now. so there are depositions, transcribed interviews and discussions that are happening daily. ! here was hours and hours of those discussions today itself.
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so, you know, we continue to make progress. and we continue to hear things that are helpful to our investigative efforts. we are piecing those things together. we are connecting the dots. we are having more and more conversations over 300 so far. and we are making significant progress. the next phase will be the more public phase that we do. that is when will showed the results with the american public. >> all right, when should we expect that? >> well, i'll let chairman thompson detail some of that timeline. but in the foreseeable future, we definitely want to share some of what we find and some of the conversations that we are having in a public domain. hopefully, where more americans can watch and learn what we have learned about the importance of protecting democracy. ,, tonight, kevin mccarthy the most powerful -- in the investigation into january 6th, next michael steele, on the political implications of a rarely
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calculate escalation for the committee, and former federal prosecutor, helps read between the lines of the committee's letter, after this. this do you struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep? qunol sleep formula combines 5 key nutrients that can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up refreshed.
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committees investigating january six -- scott perry, of pennsylvania. perry responded, quote, i declines and it is requesting will continue to fight the failures of the radical left. then, the committee requested testimony from congressman, jim jordan, the ranking men are of the powerful --
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a real -- an outrageous abuse of the select committee's authority. today the committee went to the top, requesting testimony from house minority leader, kevin mccarthy. the highest ranking in the house caucus. mccarthy is yet to respond to the request. he previously indicated that he will cooperate with the investigation, but he's also called the committee a sham. i want to bring in michael steele, former -- former u.s. attorney for the eastern district of michigan. michael, let me just art with you. the oh snap implications here of, you know, going straight to the top of the house republican caucus. saying, you clearly have information we want to know about. >> yeah, i think that's important -- an important point not to miss, or even overplay. what it says is, the information that the committee has been collecting has led to this moment. you don't make this move unless
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you've got something that creates the evidence for it. justifying -- because you know the political rather modifications, chris, are enormous. ramifications?olitical one, it exposes the efforts of the republicans, and more specifically mccarthy on that day. how they responded to the said. not for the interest of, what we are conversations like, but, were you aware of just how this was driving the narrative that led to what we were witnessing live on television. mccarthy's one off to the reporter that you showed, oh yes, all respond. we know that was bowl. there is no way that he was going to do that. that's not going to be a driver for, him right now, to cooperate, but rather the consistent driver to obstruct
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in play it off as a witch hunt. but, the committee has to come with a hammer, if they're prepared to do that, this could get interesting. >> well, let's talk about that, barbara. we're in an interesting legal constitutional territory. you get subpoenaed in a criminal case, or you get a subpoena for a document production, or deposition in a civil case, you comply, generally. it's rare not to. this is, a, a voluntary ask for compliance. the question is, well, what do you do if not. that answer, to me, -- the legal and constitutional questions. what do you think? >> i agree with you, chris. the phrase, unprecedented, as you used too much in our current culture. this is a situation that is unprecedented. congress serving a subpoena on one of his own members. we don't really know how that can shake out.
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there are legal questions, we sometimes call it litigation risk, we don't know what's going to. happen i would have to think, this is been a very skilled legal staff that appears to be guiding this investigation. i don't think they would go down this road, of this very public request, for voluntary information, if they didn't plant back it up with some sort of legal process. so, it could be a subpoena, we'll see how that plays out. >> yeah, that is the big question. there's also the other dynamic that i'm fascinated by, michael. that's something that you probably have more insight than i do one. as i'm going to the facts, at the top of the show, one of them, is on january 11th, he's on a phone call. i'm thinking, well liz cheney was on that call. liz cheney was number three in house leadership. she was probably around all of this. she probably heard him say, the president -- better say something. there's an informer on the outside of the operation, a,
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and be, i think part of this is, like i said to betsy, the narrative that is being crafted here is showing all these republicans, who in the moment, understood what was happening and were horrified, as a key part of the story the committee wants to. tell >> that's what makes is so hard for them to play the, i'm not going to cooperate game, because you did have liz cheney on the call, listen to the leadership. i can assure you that kevin mccarthy shared his conversations, or portions of, it with members of that caucus. what's animate some of this is what liz already knows. and what's liz's already shared. and said, okay, here, turn that page, picket this cab, go after that point. that's what makes this hard for republicans, who on january 6th,
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eighth, ninth, tenth, 11th, who were expressing their honest outrage about what they saw, and how the president responded. who then by, in kevin mccarthy's case, was looking the boot. it wasn't even bending the knee, it was looking the boot, to curry favor with the guy who -- they thought was a real threat to this democracy. >> quickly, finally, barbara, we've only ever seen bannon as the one who really just flouted it. he was referred for contempt, and is going to be prosecuted. everyone else has played it both ways. meadows was cooperating, then he wasn't. others have pleaded the fifth. others have cited privileges, that era. it's not like members of congress are just going to treat this like if it's nothing if, they get a subpoena. >> i think that's right. i think one of the things the committee is done well as his public shading, with a six-page letter, laying out all of the details about why they want to
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testimony, and why it's so compelling. anybody who reads it would feel some shame, that you need to come forward and tell what you know. in terms of legal process, we'll see if we get there with a subpoena, whether he opposes that. there's been some argument or -- i don't think so. that clause is designed to protect members of congress from the executive branch, i don't think it protects -- from a fellow member of michael steele, and barbara mcquade congress. thank you both. when. . we come back, we sent elizabeth warren. we have a lot to talk about. and we will get to you, all right after this. about. about. and we will get to you, al vicks super c is a daily supplement with vitamin c and b vitamins to help energize and replenish. dayquil severe is a max strength daytime, coughing, right after this power through your day, medicine.
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have of course renewed the voting rights act periodically. since that time, overwhelmingly and on a bipartisan basis, year after year, after year, because members of congress realizes that this is a piece of legislation that has worked. and one of my favorite sayings that many of us use from time to time is "if it ain't broke don't fix it". and this is a great piece of legislation that has served important purpose over many, many years. this landmark piece of legislation will continue to make a difference. not only in the south but for all of america and for all of us whether were african americans are not. >> shortly after delivering those remarks, mitch mcconnell will go on to vote for the bill that he whipped his members to vote for in the voting rights act reauthorization passed in the republican majority senate, 98 to 0. a week later, president george w. bush would sign that bill to law. today, mitch mcconnell, that same man, now the senate minority leader gave a speech where he disingenuously attacked president joe biden for his speech yesterday on the
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need to pass landmark voting rights legislation particularly after the supreme court gutted the "not broke don't fix it" bill that they had passed. the same issue mitch mcconnell himself championed years ago. right now, there is little hope that any republican in the senate will vote in favor of any voting rights bill today, craig melvin of nbc news, spoke to kamala harris about this. >> i will not absolve the 50 republicans in the united states senate from responsibility for upholding one of the most basic and important tenets of our democracy. which is free and fair elections and access to the ballot for all eligible voters. >> what about senator manchin? what about senator sinema? >> i don't think anyone should be absolved from the responsibility of preserving and protecting our democracy. >> are you working-- >> especially, when they took an oath to protect and defend our constitution. >> senator elizabeth warren is a democrat from massachusetts. one of the cosponsors of the john lewis voting rights advancement act. someone who is famously found herself on the
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other side of mitch mcconnell's attack on the senate floor. and she joins me now. where do you think--so, what is the plan right now on this legislation? i mean, it's going to get a vote one way or the other. or there is going to be an attempt to overcome the filibuster. there is something moving forward and senate procedure always baffles me. so, since it's your job, explain to me what is happening. >> well, let's do the easiest version of this. and that is the leader schumer has decided that he is going to launch this plane. and that is, he is going to bring us to the floor, which he can, to be able to debate the voting rights bill. now, we don't yet have landing gear to get it back down. that is a vote at the end where a majority can pass it. because we have, always remember this part, right now we have all 50 democrats in the senate are solidly on board. we've got the vice president, you just heard from. we can win the vote to protect the vote
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all across america. we just got to get to that vote. and that is where we get tangled up on the filibuster. so... >> oh-- >> chuck is going to launch us off and we are going to see if we can build the gear to get some landing and get to a vote at the end and passed the voting rights bill. we need this all across our country. >> yeah, i should say i saw today. the house is going to pass a sort of combine these two different pieces of legislation into one. >> right. >> that is what you're going to take up. the leader can start debate without overcoming the filibuster. and then you're going to try and, you know, basically get to a point where you can, i don't know, vote to change the rule or bring republicans along. it's interesting that launching the plane without landing gear, i mean, i think that's a metaphor. how confident do you feel about this? >> well, would i rather have landing gear before we launch it? you but i would! but the worst possible outcome is that
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we never get to the voting rights bill. >> right. and we have done everything we can. we've got all 50 democrats on board on the content of the bill. we know how desperately it is needed. we are watching what's happening all around this country. right now, a concerted effort by the republicans to deny the people the opportunity to vote, to say that they are not going to certify those votes, they're going to let republican legislators override the will of the voters, and to gerrymander people so that votes mean less-- >> yeah. >>--than they would otherwise. so, we know the importance. and look, is it the ideal solution? no. but is it the best solution in front of us? you bet it is. i'd rather see us go forward. i want action. i want everybody in america to be able to watch that debate on the floor of the senate and to see who stands up for voting, and who stands up to say i'll change the rules. i'll do what it takes to be able to protect this cornerstone of democracy.
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and who it is who's going to fight against them. >> there's been a bunch of economimc data over the last few days. there was inflation data, cpi data that shows 7% was the sort of headline number. there is some part of it, as the present notes today, shows a meaningful reduction in headline infliction over the last month. gas and food coming down. demonstrates we're making progress in slowing the rate of price increases and basically says that more needs to be done. it's squeezing the family budgets. people ask me about, what do you think about politics, what do you think about the democrats this year? my one line answer is, if inflation stays where it is, democrats are hosed. do you agree? >> let me just do this slightly differently. do keep in mind that we have created more jobs into the first year of the biden administration than ever in the history of the united states. a lot of people are back at work. now, our high prices are problem? you bet they are. but there are a lot of different pieces that are going
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into this. some of this is companies that are passing along high prices that come from the manufacturing sector that come in their ability to sell goods but some of this is coming from kinks in the supply chaine. >> but-- >> and there's evidence that these are starting to entrusts. but you have to remember, there is another part to what is going on too. and that is the giant corporations who say, wow, a lot of talk about high prices and inflation. this is a chance to get in there and not only pass along cost but to inflate prices beyond that. and just engage in a little straightforward price gouging. we now live in a time when profit margins are higher than they have been in 70 years. two thirds of the publicly traded companies in this country are seeing higher profit margins than they did before the pandemic.
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now, the profit margins don't go up just because you're cost went up. they go out because you saw an opportunity, and you said, as the chair of the federal reserve said to me yesterday in testimony, why are they raising prices? because they can. long term, we want to get those prices more under control. we need competitive markets. and that means enforcing our antitrust laws, enforcing the laws that promote competition in this country that help small businesses compete. that's going to help us. not just in the short run, but that is what is going to help us in the long run to. all right, senator elizabeth warren. thank you for making time tonight. >> you bet. >> still to come, could we be rounding the corner of the omicron surge? promising new data could be the light at the end of the tunnel. although, maybe not. that's just ahead. although, maybe not. that's just ahead.
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wondering what actually goes into your multi-vitamin? at new chapter its innovation organic ingredients and fermentation. fermentation? yes, formulated to help your body really truly absorb the natural goodness. new chapter. wellness well done we have been covering on the,
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show the increasingly, dire, and desperate calls from humanitarian groups, to stall masturbation in afghanistan. a country in the last five months that is seen foreign aid, the -- of completely dry up. there was enormous corruption in that previous regime, and never ends up in the hands of ordinary afghans. it's been a theme of number of reporters -- watchdog including the most recent report to congress, last october. but, since the taliban took over, even the relatively amount of aid that was making its way into the hands of ordinary afghans, has almost completely disappeared. it's been cut off. the inflows are gone. that's in large part, because of u.s. anxious, and the freezing of the afghans owned assets. yesterday, less than 24 hours after the call on president
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biden to take action, the spokesperson for the national security council announced that the biden administration would send out -- 300 1 million dollars in humanitarian assistance along with another million coronavirus vaccines -- of humanitarian aid enough anniston. that's excellent news, we applaud that. but of course scale is what really matters here. to give you an idea of the scale of aid needed to avoid mass starvation in afghanistan. the united nations is trying to raise five billion dol to afghanistan without spending a single scent of u.s. taxpayer money, or diverting funds from another initiatives. right now, the afghan government has assets totaling about 9.4 billion dollars frozen in u.s. accounts. that is nearly twice what the un is trying to raise in aid.
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we could just release the money to the current afghan government, who are the taliban. the treasury department could just do that. now, there's an argument that we don't know if we can trust the taliban to use the money to make the lives of their citizens better. that's completely, a valid point. the taliban clearly has done many, many awful things. and people don't trust them, rightly. but, it's also pretty clear that the taliban and the afghan government isn't just playing broke, the country is extremely poor. all of the aid got cut off. afghanistan is in extremely dire straits. -- poverty line, of $1.90 per day. humanitarian groups, the ones -- ten towards hyperbole are telling us that half the population, more than half the population, already don't have
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enough to eat. so, whether you trust the taliban or not, we can be guaranteed, that if nothing changes in the status quo, a truly unfathomable humanitarian disaster is going to follow. if nothing changes, the nothing changes. the first up to do is to change something. there is more that the united states can be doing, and we should do it right now. it does not cause this ascent, releasing the afghanistan government's money could be the difference between life and death for millions. for millions
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it's been a lot of my time staring a charts trying to figure out where we are in this covid wave. there were two over the past few days that really stood. out the first one, the massachusetts water resources authorities, they have been tracking covid mrna in samples of boston wastewater, that's the sewage. for most of the pandemic, wastewater has been a really good predictor of covid -- even before people begin to test positive. you can see the little bump on the left, the surge last winter. and the covid levels skyrocket,
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starting about a month ago. you can also see them clearly coming down again, now, about as fast as they went up. which seems like really good news for the boston area. the other chart i want to show you comes from doctor bob wachter -- san francisco department of medicine. now, this chart shows the number of positive covid tests, at the university hospital. you can see the numbers skyrocket in december. now, the dark line on top, shows the percentage of patients who came into are presented with covid like symptoms, a fever, sore throat, who then tested positive. so nearly half the people who come into the hospital, saying hey, i feel sick, test positive for covid. just as interesting, is the line right below. that's the percentage of asymptomatic patients who tested positive for covid. those are people who are in the hospital for something else entirely, not showing any signs of covid, but our testing for it anyway, and more than 12% of those people have covid, then even though it. doctor what kur says if you can
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extrapolate to this large population, it can be in about one in ten people who live in san francisco who have covid and have no idea. that can indicate millions of people, building up additional immunity, without suffering the effects of the disease, at least, right now. so, between the covid positivity going down in boston wastewater, and the possibility of people having these asymptomatic cases, there are some beams of light breaking through what is yet another dark covid winter. tell me if i'm being too optimistic looking at these charts -- in the bubble podcast. -- the author of preventable, the inside story of how leadership failures in politics and selfishness doomed the u.s. coronavirus response. and the, we've seen that omicron signal everywhere, spike up, spiked down. that boston wastewater chart is a perfect example. where do you think we are in the cities in the east coast
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that got the first in new york, we -- >> will, i like it when you present good news. in this case, it's warranted. it's a little bit about the corner. what this tells us is getting through the next few weeks, depending on where you are in the country, is gonna require a bit of patience. but, the key insight is, when we get through what has been -- the question we're all going to be asking is what, what do we get for all of this prior omicron infection. what kind of protection does it provide us with? will that, in fact, give us the kind of year that we hope we have. where we are protected against any serious illness, and were able to get back to normal. that's the hope, that's the thing everybody is talking about shortly, as we make it through these next waves. as we passed through new york, hopefully they'll be just where -- south africa has already been. >> yeah, i think the reason
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that the san francisco data was fascinating to me, when the u.s. record 750,000 or 1 million cases per day, that is a fraction of the actual number of people that have covid, or contracted covid on that day. i don't know if it's one fifth, i don't know if it's one tenth, or one 20th, but lots more people are getting this thing then are presenting. and, the positive thing about that is -- that builds up an immunity wall for whatever comes next. >> that's right. we could be talking about five or 6 million people per day by some estimates, including -- right around there, in the university of washington. that means that this batch of the population -- if this conversion unity against future infection, and there's been some studies done, one particular in south africa, which shows that it does protect against delta, then was
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likely the case is it will protect against serious illness. it may not protect against the same type of symptoms, runny nose, -- so we still may be dealing with some of that disruption, we'll have to see. but, if it does indeed protect us against serious illness, that is very good news, because that's gonna mean that the country will have severe protection, at least for the next midterm. >> there was reporting in politico today, in which a senior administration official argued that the effort to send surgical grade mask, and 95, kn95, like actual respirator masks, to americans would make little difference, because half the country won't wear any mask. a lot of people were very upset by. this i want to ask you a broader question, for people who voted for joe biden, support him, saying he voted for him -- trump's office obviously a disaster, crazy. but, i can get tests, i can get masks, i'm going through
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another winter of this chaos, and i'm really frustrated that this administration has not and more. would you say to them? >> i don't think that statement reflects administrative policy. i think the policy is to leave nobody behind. yes, we have an incredible shortage because we have an incredible number of cases. we have a shortage of everything. we have a shortage of personnel, a shortage of tests, shortage in virtually everything. thankfully not boosters of vaccines. people will be frustrated going through the shortage, much of this was unforeseen and unforeseeable. certainly, you can say, we should be better at planning and having more testing testing. in fact, i don't know if you saw today, but tom angles, from john hopkins, was named the new testing coordinator for the white house, that is excellent news. this is the person that you want to be accountable for testing. we have doubled the amount of antivirals coming, so when we get to the middle of the year, we get to april, i think will
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have sufficient antivirals, for a large ports of the population. they're anticipating that need. so i i think the white house, from all of those conversations, the people are -- and still facing the big challenges. >> all right, andy slavitt. as "the rachel maddow show" starts right now. good evening, rachel. >> good evening, chris. much appreciate it. happy to have you here. it is not the kind of problem that should come up all that often in politics. i mean it happens from time to time, but really it seems like the kind of thing that would arise maybe if you had a long career, it might arise once during your career. maybe if you had a really long career, it might arise twice if you were particularly star-crossed. but people would talk about it because that's crazy. it's just a rare thing, at least it ought to be a very rare thing.

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