Transcript: All In with Chris Hayes, 9/9/21



President Joe Biden announced a sweeping new vaccine mandate or a set of mandates that could get as many as 100 million workers vaccinated as part of a new initiative to curb the Delta variant. Los Angeles. Los Angeles County took a bold step in the direction of the majority and President Biden`s priorities with the school board voting to mandate vaccinations for all students age 12 and over. Today is the deadline for tech companies and federal agencies to comply with the January 6 records request. Justice Department sues Texas over Abortion ban.


JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: My message to unvaccinated Americans is this. What more is there to wait for?

CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC HOST (voice-over): The President speaks up and acts out for the silent majority.

BIDEN: We`ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin and your refusal has cost all of us.

HAYES: Tonight the White House goes big to bend the Delta curve with NIH Director Francis Collins. Then —

MERRICK GARLAND, U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Today, after a careful assessment of the facts and the law, the Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas.

HAYES: What the new DOJ lawsuit against Texas means for reproductive rights in America. And Congressman Jamie Raskin on where the January 6 investigation stands on the first deadline day for document production when ALL IN starts right now.


HAYES: Good evening from New York. I`m Chris Hayes. Just a few hours ago, President Joe Biden announced a sweeping new vaccine mandate or a set of mandates that could get as many as 100 million workers vaccinated as part of a new initiative to curb the Delta variant.


BIDEN: My job as president is to protect all Americans. So, tonight, I`m announcing that the Department of Labor is developing an emergency rule to require all employers with 100 or more employees that together employ over 80 million workers to ensure their workforces are fully vaccinated or show a negative test at least once a week.

Some of the biggest companies are already requiring this, United Airlines, Disney, Tyson`s food, and even Fox News. The bottom line, we`re going to protect vaccinated workers from unvaccinated co-workers.


HAYES: The tone of Biden`s speech today I thought was pretty striking. You know, it`s been clear from the beginning, right, from back in the campaign through Inauguration Day, to now. The administration has understood from day one, their number one mandate, number one goal was to contain, even suffocate the virus, to restore some sense of normalcy.

And it`s also been clear the best way to do that, the best tool they have that we have is vaccination. And yet, despite the fact that a big majority of eligible Americans are vaccinated, and that is true across lines of race and class, there are tens of millions who have not. And the cost of that has been enormous.

BIDEN: My message to unvaccinated Americans is this. What more is there to wait for? We`ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin and the refusal has cost all of us. So, please do the right thing.


HAYES: In order to make this happen, the President signed a string of executive orders he laid out a six-point plan to defeat COVID in the country centering around vaccinated the unvaccinated but also further protection for the vaccination through booster shots, keeping schools safely open, increasing testing and requiring masking, and protecting the economic recovery we`ve seen since Biden took office, and improving care for the many 1000s of people with COVID.

Biden also made it clear that he holds Republican officials responsible for the spread of COVID, the huge outbreaks we`ve seen this summer saying he will use the power of his office to make sure school officials who are trying to keep kids safe are protected.


BIDEN: All school officials trying to do the right thing by our children, I`ll always be on your side. Let me be blunt. My plan also takes on elected officials in states that are undermining you in these life-saving actions. Right now, local school officials are trying to keep children safe in a pandemic while their governor picks a fight with them and even threatens their salaries or their jobs. Talk about bullying in schools.

If they`ll not help, if these governors won`t help defeat the pandemic, I`ll use my powers president to get them out of the way.


HAYES: The President also announced he was cracking down on people who violate mask mandates and scolding the wildly anti-social behavior we`ve seen in so many videos that have gone viral in recent months.


BIDEN: I`m announcing that the Transportation Safety Administration, the TSA, will double the fines on travelers that refused to mask. If you break the rules, be prepared to pay. And by the way, show some respect. The anger you see on television toward flight attendants and others doing the job is wrong. It`s ugly.


HAYES: The directness with which Biden deliver the speech indicates to me at least that he and his administration, and his political advisors understand they are on the right side of both the politics and the substance here. They need to get COVID under control and it is not contained right now.


A recent Gallup found 61 percent of people approve a vaccination requirement traveling on an airplane. 58 percent approval requirement to attend events with large crowds, 56 percent approve of it to go to the office or worksite. More than 75 percent of Americans 18 and up have gotten at least one shot. So, this is not — I mean, it`s a country that`s divided on everything, but it`s not that divided on this. It`s not — this is not an abortion. This is not, you know, immigration. It`s 75 percent.

It`s a political fight President Biden should want to have. He clearly does. Unsurprisingly, there`s been a fair share of yelping from Republicans. Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky claimed this is absolutely unconstitutional. Arizona Governor Doug Ducey said this is exactly the kind of big government overreach we`ve tried so hard to prevent. Congressman Dan Crenshaw tweeted quote, “Are you people trying to start a full-on revolt? Honestly, what the hell is wrong with Democrats? Leave people the hell alone. This is insanity.”

Full-on revolt. What do you think he meant by that? It`s amazing how common it`s become for Republican politicians to threaten something like full-on revolt in the face of policies they do not like. We`ve got a lot of vaccination requirements in this country. I bet you, Dan Crenshaw, has had to get vaccinated for oh, I don`t know, his service in the U.S. Armed Forces or enrolling in school. And we have them all for the same reason. Because communicable diseases, communicate. They move through populations, even vaccinated populations. It`s just a numbers game.

Today, that was a clear message from President Biden, the summer has been brutal in many parts of the country, particularly throughout the south. Too many American lives lost, too many preventable deaths. And we had the fall and winter with the school back in session. It`s time to reset our priorities to battle this horrible disease together through whatever means necessary.

Dr. Francis Collins is the Director of National Institutes of Health, and he joins me now. I want to start, Dr. Collins, with something that you and I spoke about the last time you`re on my program. The National Institutes of Health runs a hospital and you told me somewhat surprisingly to me that because the vaccinations were under an emergency use authorization, you could not mandate it in your hospital. That has changed now. I imagine it has been mandated in your hospital. What are the results of that been?

DR. FRANCIS COLLINS, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: Well, I think it was very readily accepted by the people who deliver care in our hospital, which sees particularly sick patients, many of them cancer, immunotherapy patients who are very dangerously at risk for this virus. So, it was not a hard sell.

But the legal abilities to do so got a lot better when FDA gave full approval to the Pfizer vaccine. And that cleared away the one last legal hurdle in our being able to mandate this. And as you heard today, the president aims to act in that situation, I think, quite effectively and aggressively to make sure that we`re not missing out on the chance to try to do…


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