Hot topics | Coronavirus pandemic

The Rachel Maddow Show aired on August 4th

The Rachel Maddow Show aired on August 4th

The state of Florida is seeing a rise in COVID cases. In addition to nearly every major newspaper in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo is also facing calls to resign from nearly all his party, including the entire New York congressional delegation and the president of the United States. The Rachel Maddow Show starts now with Ali Velshi, back in for Rachel.CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST: That is "All In" on this Wednesday night.

Thanks for joining us tonight, you have an excellent night. We are going to start tonight with a man named Travis Campbell. He was unvaccinated and his wife and their children all caught the virus in July, so he was in the hospital for more than a week.

He is in the intensive care unit struggling to breathe and he has an urgent warning for anyone who has not gotten the vaccine. If you thought that you had to sit down and plan your goodbyes and funeral, what would you do? I would hope that my friends and family would not hand me a piece of paper.

That is a sobering thought that I have done. My wife and I had to make a decision last night if I was going to allow them to put me on a ventilator, the worst-case scenario. I don't want to be on it.

VELSHI: I would like to live. He gave an update on his family's status on Facebook last week. My family has guilt.

I wish I'd gotten the vaccine. All my friends are holding out. It's time to protect yourself and your family.

It is not worth the long-term lung damage or death if you do not get the vaccine. I don't like the stupid conspiracies. Being rational and protective is what it is time to do.

I regretted being stubborn. That plea to not follow in his footsteps is the common narrative emerging in many pockets of the country dealing with the worst outbreak right now. The ten states with the highest cases have the highest first shots administered.

Over the past three weeks, the average pace of vaccinations across the country has risen. The bottom of your screen has a picture on it. People are scared.

Without full protection from the vaccine, they have a reason to be. The number keeps increasing with the delta variant dominating. In the US, the delta variant accounts for more than ninety percent of COVID cases, according to the CDC.

California is one of the first states where sweeping vaccine mandates have worked. There has been an increase in the number of vaccinations in that state. After months of decline, the number is increasing.

That can happen when a state takes this seriously and starts to witness what happens when a state does the opposite. Florida is in the middle of a record-breaking week of coronaviruses. The state's COVID hospitalizations are 13 percent higher than a year ago, and 84 percent of the state's beds are full.

Almost all of the beds in the intensive care unit are occupied. Florida now accounts for 16 percent of the country's new cases. The state only makes up 6.5 percent of the population.

When it comes to figuring out how to solve the problem, Governor Ron DeSantis has a hard time balancing it. During a press conference yesterday, the governor downplayed the crisis, claiming that hospitalization numbers are lower than last summer, and that the media is promoting quote hysteria around COVID. He ran for president and said he was going to shut down the virus.

What has he accomplished? He has imported more virus from around the world because he has an open southern border. Why don't you secure this border?

I don't want to hear about it from you until you do. Joe Biden wants me to get out of the way because I refuse to yield power to federal govern and strip Florida of their liberties. I don't want to hear a blip about Biden or his administration until the border is secured and under control.

His hospitals are close to capacity, not the fight against COVID or Joe Biden. There is no amount of money that can help with the spread of the disease. He is the chief medical officer of the hospital.

It's the only free-standing hospital in South Florida and it's experiencing how serious this is. I just want to read. There were 17 patients with COVID-19 in the hospital on Friday, six of which were in the intensive care unit.

"The Associated Press", thats what you said. About half of the patients were under 12 years old, and the rest were older and eligible for vaccine, but none with Covid- 19 on Friday were vaccine eligible. You are seeing it around your state.

Up to 20 patients are seeing us. We had 16 patients on the floor, six in the intensive care unit and one on the regular floor. There is an emergency on the other floor that will be admitted to the hospital.

We are definitely seeing an increase in cases admitted, but also in our emergency rooms and urgent care centers across the city. There is a higher percentage of children that are affected given that older population is vaccine-free and those 12 and under can't be. There is a greater percentage of children affected as compared to the beginning of the Pandemic.

We're getting close. We could surpass it with the peak possibly lasting two to three weeks. What should authorities do?

Mestre recommends vaccinations as our way out of the Pandemic. I like to tell parents if this is very safe, because I understand why they are a little cautious. Even though there were some cases of myocarditis reported, they were mild and resolved with anti-inflammatories, and effects from COVID are more beneficial than the vaccine.

It's more than just protecting you as a parent, it's also protecting your child. The importance of wearing masks is important for those under the age of 12 that can't get vaccinations. Some of the schools in your state backed away from mandates because the governor was against them.

This variant is not the same as the other one. This is not the same ball game as CDC. We need to protect the children and those around them by wearing masks indoors.

A lot of people put on a mask because of that. Thank you for being with us Doctor Mestre. The work that you and your colleagues are doing at the hospital has been appreciated.

The New York Times board has a headline today. You should step down as governor. The editorial board of Cuomo's hometown paper, "The Albany Times Union" called on Cuomo to resign earlier this year.

The Buffalo News editorial said that Cuomo is not fit for office because of the AG's report. After the New York attorney general released a report accusing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of sexually harassing 11 women, he disputes the allegations and denies wrongdoing. In addition to nearly every major newspaper in New York, Cuomo is also facing calls to resign from nearly all of his party, including the entire New York congressional delegation and president of the United States.

The head of the New York state Democratic Party, a long time Cuomo ally, joined the chorus calling for the governor to step down. The Associated Press reported that a majority of the New York state assembly members now support impeaching the governor if he doesn't step down first. On the heels of Albany District Attorney David Soares announcing that he has already opened a criminal investigation, prosecutors in Manhattan, Nassau and Westchester counties have requested information from the New York Attorney General's offices.

In addition to that criminal investigation, a lawyer for Cuomo's first public accuser, Lindsey Boylan, told "The New York Times" that she plans to file a lawsuit. The city was told by several political observers who have known Cuomo for years that he is combative. He said he would not resign.

He pushed back hard after the findings. I will be very interested if his stance has changed. You are correct that his initial reaction to the report, which is an extensive document, 168 pages, over 1,000 footnotes, corroboration, I think something like 74,000 documents that the attorney general's office made reference to, almost 200 sources who they went to for a testimony, is If the amount of pressure that is being brought to bear by the press and his fellow Democrats is strong enough to get him to budge and to step down, thats going to be a remarkable story.

Everyone in the New York assembly is Democrats. According to the polling, people want Andrew Cuomo to resign. Is it possible that it looks like Andrew Cuomo?

Andrew Cuomo's relationship to the powers that be is about a lot of these allegations. He has a grip on power that is very old-fashioned. He is the son of a former governor.

Top down power is what he believes in. A lot of the allegation, some of which are about sexualized aspirant in a couple cases of his, so a lot of which are other reported again allegations about bullied and abusive professional practices within his office and the executive chamber. A lot of this is about a very old-fashioned approach to power -- intimidation, fear, threat, fostering, the kind of loyalty that he would count on.

What do you mean by all of Cuomo's political allies giving way at the face of this incriminating evidence? He doesn't have a lot of loyalty that he would have counted on. On the other hand, we have contemporary models, including Donald Trump, who a couple of years ago had members of their own party call on him to resign, in the face of their own scandals.

They just didn't. Donald Trump was impeached, but they kept their jobs. There are models for how you paddle through this and keep your job.

Cuomo did that during the spring. The senators from New York called on his party to resign. He is still a governor, and there is a model for him this year.

This is not the same thing. We will continue to cover this as well, Rebecca. Thank you for your kind words.

Donald Trump might not be the president anymore about the courts and the rest of the country are still living on the loose threads of his legal issues, but Rebecca Traister, "New York Magazine" writer, we appreciate your time. Donald Trump's lawyers went to court this morning to prevent the Treasury Department from giving taxes to Congress. You aren't watching another rerun.

As president, Trump kept his taxes secret unlike every other president in modern history, but with new administration in place, it looked like Congress was finally going to get access to the returns theyve been after for years. Donald Trump and his lawyers may be able to tie it in court for a longer period of time. The draft letter would have told those Georgia officials that the Justice Department, the United States Justice Department believed that the election results in multiple states were in doubt and instructed the Republican leaders to call a special session of the legislature to overrule Biden's rule and appoint a slate of presidential electors for It was a threat of mass resignation from the Justice Department that got Trump to back off.

"Politico" today published a draft resignation letter from another senior official in Trump's Justice Department, who was summoned to the White House on January 3rd, in which everyone assumed Trump was going to fire the acting attorney general. The president removed Jeff from the department after he refused the president's instructions to use the DOJ's law enforcement powers in an improper manner. The resignation letter wasn't sent.

The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee told Ari Melber last night that they would be calling witnesses in the coming days. A senior official of the Justice Department was expecting his two bosses to be fired because they wouldn't agree to Donald Trump's request to call the election corrupt or to somehow undermine the election. He was ready to hit.

It was a surprise to him that Jeffrey had not been fired. It shows how close we were to Donald Trump getting his way. We know that Donald Trump asked Brad Raffensperger to find 11,000 votes and that he told the Justice Department that you don't have to find anything.

With the voter suppression laws, this brings it all into sharper relief. The letters that Jeff Clark was writing and drafting ended up going for Joe Biden. I think that what we see is the beginning of the effort to overturn the election, and I think that what we see now is a continuation of those efforts.

We are likely to see more of it in the next few years. Its all the reason why we need more transparency, as to what happened in the aftermath of the 2020 election as well. Jeffrey was willing to stand up for himself.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman told me on Monday that there are other people in the government who are prepared to stand up and do the right thing, but how do we assure ourselves that this kind of thing can't happen? A corrupt president cannot try to corrupt the Justice Department and overturn democracy. We have to realize that we can't just trust that people of integrity in these high offices, including the presidency, so what needs to be done at the Justice Department to put into place reforms to prevent it from being I think we need to put in place whatever reforms are necessary to shore up our democracy and protect it for the next elections.

There is a plug for the For the People Act. We need that right now, we are seeing evidence that is more and more important. As always, thank you for joining.

Illinois Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi is a member of the Intelligence committee. There is a new development in the story that Rachel has been following closely. I want to tell you the story of two Missouris when we come back.

The first one starts with a man. I guess I can be a cardboard box and get up under the bridge, right? UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know, I kind of jokingly talked about that with a friend of mine, I guess I can be a cardboard box and get up under the bridge somewhere.

They would take this chair if they told me right now. I had to crawl out of the door. I wouldn't have anything.VELSHI: That man's name is Kevin.

The case against Mr. Strickland was based on a single witness who believed he was innocent. Two of the men who were convicted in conjunction with the crime say that Strickland had nothing to do with it. The prosecutors office that convicted him thinks he is not guilty.

The office said his conviction was the result of a quote, profound error. Two people in Missouri have the ability to free him with a pen. Republican Governor of Missouri.

The governor is familiar with the pardon power. The governor has issued three rounds of pardon since prosecutors stated that Mr. Strickland was innocent. He pardoned 66 people.

He commuted the sentences of two others. The governor said that Mr. Strickland's case was not a priority, and that he shouldn't be able to quote. This behavior should be rewarded by a Missouri number.

The McCloskey's became famous in June of last year when they pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters in front of their house. They were invited to speak at the Republican National Convention and then to the U.S. Senate campaign for Mark McCloskey. Mark McCloskey promised to do it again faced with the same circumstances, which is why he was pardoned yesterday by the Missouri Governor.

Crystal Quade, the Democratic minority leader in the Missouri House of Representatives, spoke about this, and they jumped to front of the line. What do you think about this? Thanks for being with us.

The other couple gets a pardon, but the governor says Strickland can't jump the queue. Thank you so much for having me, I think it's disgusting. Kevin's case has been discussed in our state for a while.

The prosecutors office and the victim have recanted their testimony. The prosecutor wants him released and the governor says it's not a priority. He pardoned McCloskey who was going to jump the line.

It is nothing new from our governor here on our state, and it is pure politics. What is the governor's patients that he needs if there are so many people who say this guy didn't commit the crime and he has been in jail for 40 years? Don't rush this thing and slow down.

The only thing I could say is politics. There is a race in Missouri where the Senator Roy Blunt who has been in office for quite some time is not seeking relation. Mark McCloskey is running, as is the disgraced governor and the attorney general.

The Governor jumped in and ignored the innocent men in person like Kevin and Mark, and moved through the McCloskeys. It is pure politics, as I said. He once asked if this is an endorsement from the governor himself.

Is the governor aware that Mark McCloskey has been pardoned? He is running on this wacky fame that he got from pointing a gun at protesters. He said right out the gate that he was going to split them up as soon as he was reelected.

In my opinion, this is an endorsement for a lot of people in Missouri. He says he supports these people and believes they are more important than the innocent people. This man has been in prison for a long time.

There is not a financial benefit for him in our state. He shouldn't be in prison because everyone who's been involved in the case says he shouldn't be there. The governor once said he was trying to get more people out of prison as a result of criminal justice reform.

It is shameful that this discussion is still going on. pardon would be good, but what else is happening with Kevin? Legislation that will go into effect at the end of August will allow the prosecuting attorney in Jackson County, Jean Peters-Baker, to file a petition in order to get him out of jail. We are hopeful that when the law goes into effect at the end of the month, Crystal Quade will be able to get some justice.

We would like to thank you for joining us. Crystal Quade is the leader of the Democrats in the Missouri House of Representatives. We are just weeks away from the United States completing the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

You are not going to want to miss this because the fate of thousands of Afghans who worked with the United States remains uncertain. The fighting between the Taliban and the U.S. troops was intense in October of 2010. In a small district in Helmand province, over 100 U.S. and British troops died in action.

Major Thomas Schueman, a Chicago native, believes that the battle of Sangin was the most important battle of the entire war in Afghanistan. He knew he was there during the worst of it. The platoon stared death in the face, but they had a secret weapon against the Taliban.

Major Schueman calls the interpreter, Zak. That is not his real name. Zak was a young man when he joined the U.S. troops in the battle of Sangin.

Zak risked his life to help the U.S. troops because that particular area was so dangerous. Zak heard a radio conversation in November of 2010 in which the Americans had intercepted a Taliban commander. They dispatched a unit as soon as they could but Zak knew he couldnt wait long so he crossed the field on his own and tackle the Taliban commander.

Zak helped U.S. troops and battle when he picked up the rain of a wounded American soldier. Zak worked for the U.S. Marines for nine months before going to work for a contractor who provided services to the U.S. Army. The contractor is no longer working.

Zak couldn't find them. Major Schueman.Zak did not apply for a visa in 2016 but he has heard from the Taliban. Zak is seen by the group as a traitor.

They want him to be dead. He received a last letter two weeks ago. Since then Zak has been hiding.

Major Schueman, an active duty marine who wants to keep Zak alive, is helping him in his individual capacity as he waits for official recognition from the U.S. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): Im going to send you from the articles, Thomas Sherman and Schueman, rather, he talks about the fact that The situation for hundreds of Afghan nationals who fought alongside our troops is in limbo now that U.S. forces are departing the country. He served two tours in Afghanistan, as well as Zak, who worked as an interpreter for the United States government in Afghanistan. He is waiting for the approval to come to the United States.

We are protecting Zak's identity and location because he is not his real one. Please tell our viewers the threat to you is right now. The Taliban knows your phone number.

They know where you were. They made it clear that they will kill you and your family. I want you to know how much I appreciate you putting my words out there.

The Taliban know about us because they are looking for people who have done work for the U.S. forces. With the help of Major Thomas Schueman, I have my promise, and I'm living in Kabul, in an apartment for leaving (inAUDIBLE), and it's all the situation. I don't have that, but they want me to send an updated chart, but I don't have it.

I don't have any contact with the team that I worked with. I have an email, but I don't have contact. They say that the email is not in the system.

The work I have done with Marine forces in Helmand province, district, I had their HR and recommendation, but they did not accept because it is for nine months. You're trying to get a letter or confirmation of your work, but you can't find him. ZAK: Yes, the email which I work with the army in our province, but this email is not working right now, because the U.S. is not authorizing you because of that.

The email is not in the system when I contact them. To prove that, (InAUDIBLE) wants to meet with the army. I dont have it.

I just started my SIV process in 2016 and the email is not working, so I'm wondering how to contact them. Major Schueman, I just give you my promise. Four Americans were wondering if you could do a test for us.

Is it possible for you to attest to what your team tells you? Thomas Schueman is an employee of the United States Marine Corps. Zak went above and beyond as an interpreter, he risked his life and limb.

Zak has made more sacrifice for this country than most of our citizens, and he has nine months left. You would think that nine months would suffice during the most lethal battle that the marines fought in Helmand Province. We haven't been able to push his keys forward for over five years because nine months is not enough.

The Taliban have made great gains in the province where you both work. For people like Zak, Mr. Schueman, this is a matter of life and death because the capital is under attack. I am praying for the soldiers fighting there.

The province that Zak is in is now under the control of the Taliban. It took a lot of money to get Zak's family out of this province, so I had to support him with about $9,000 over the last week. Zak is potentially not going to be evacuated, even with that, since he is still not safe.

We are fortunate that Zak was able to assist us. I would say thousands of interpreters are in this case and they don't have the same support right now. People are curious about this story.

They care about interpreters who helped American troops. What message are you giving right now? For the president of the United States, and for Americans, about the situation that you and others like you face?ZAK: First of all, I say to the President Biden, we are respecting you, because you are the leader of America.

We were your allies on the field, and the mission of the United States, we help the mission of the United States, now it is your time, our American friends, our American partners, to help us, and get us out of this crisis because the enemy are looking for it. Take us out of this crisis now. To help us.

My message is to the President. We cannot stay if he succeeds in taking us out of this crisis. One of our former interpreters was killed by the Taliban in Herat province, and it is possible that they will target and kill us in the future.

When we can't go out, we just get our vest and go to the town in the city to get some food for our children, because we are interpreters of Americans. It is our time to help you Zak, as an American, and take us out of this crisis. We will continue to work for your cause.

Its for us to stay with us. We are going to see you tomorrow. "THE LAST WORD WITH LAWRENCE ODONNELL" is now available.

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