The Rachel Maddow Show weeknights at 9:00 Eastern on MSNBC. Thanks to you at home for joining us this hour. Happy to have you here. April 11th. This past year was a really dark time, if you remember. And my my birthday's right at the beginning of April. And I remember when my birthday happened this year, I was like, I don't much feel like celebrating. By April 11th, we were just a few weeks into nationwide lockdowns and the streets just emptying out all over America.
April 11th was actually the day the US passed one a half million cases of coronavirus, half a million cases that day. By April 11th, more than twenty thousand Americans had already died from covid. And we all knew that it was going to get so, so much worse. The future was really looking then and would turn out to be incredibly grim. But on that same day in April, this past year, April 11th, a woman in Missouri said publicly that she had made an important discovery, one that, if true, could turn the whole pandemic around.
This Missouri woman, her name is Patricia Dargis. She was licensed in Missouri as an assistant physician. She'd done med school at a school in the Caribbean, but she hadn't been accepted into a residency. She wasn't a full bore doctor. The rules in Missouri, say a person with a kind of mid-level professional accreditation like hers, can only practice medicine if they do so in collaboration with a fully accredited doctor. There's nothing at all wrong with being an assistant physician.
There's lots of room in our system for lots of different kinds of licensed professionals. But I think it's safe to say that, you know, the April 11th, just about a month into the coronavirus pandemic, this is not the person you would expect to be announcing that, in fact, she had discovered a cure for covid-19. But there she was, April 11th on Facebook, quote, This amazing treatment stands to provide a potential cure for covid-19 patients that is safe and natural.
And wouldn't you know what? She would be happy to sell it to you? Just direct message or she'll cure you. It's on Facebook. So I'm sure it's vetted, right?
There was no cure for covid-19 back on April 11th when she wrote that there still is not a cure for covid-19 today, but here was this woman in Missouri saying she had found the potential cure and she was happy to sell it to you. And she described it to people. Her marks not just on Facebook, but on local TV in Missouri and on local radio shows and informational seminar. She conducted it. She allegedly described this magical potion as a, quote, stem cell shot.
Well, according to prosecutors, it turns out that this magical cure all she had wanted, she wanted you to to pay her to inject into you not only was not a cure for covid-19, despite the fact that she was calling it a stem cell shot, it actually didn't contain stem cells at all. But prosecutors say she was marketing it as a stem cell miracle potion that would work on basically anything pain, step right up back pain, step right up.
She said it could cure, quote, tissue damage, kidney disease, COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Also, it could cure Lyme disease and erectile dysfunction naturally. Also, she said it was a cure for urinary incontinence.
And of course, potentially it was a cure for covid-19, a safe and natural one, just pay her and she'll shoot you up with it and we'll see. Prosecutors now say she got people to pay her nearly two hundred thousand dollars for injections of her fake stem cell cure all, which didn't contain stem cells and didn't hear anything. Well, Patricia Dargis of Missouri has now been federally charged for marketing her fake covid cure. She was charging people, according to prosecutors, up to fourteen hundred dollars for one of her miracle shots.
She's now facing 20 federal felony charges, including eight counts of wire fraud, which each carry up to 20 years in prison. That's a lot of time. Plus multiple counts of distributing opioids and other drugs without valid prescriptions, naturally, plus multiple counts of lying to investigators. If convicted, she faces significant prison time, potentially decades. She has pleaded not guilty. This revelation is all outlined in a federal indictment unsealed this week. And it is a worrying thing for the great state of Missouri, for a whole host of obvious reasons.
Right. I mean, imagine being the person who went to this woman for treating your hip pain or your erectile dysfunction or your incontinence or God forbid, your covid-19 you fork over all your savings to have her inject you with this magic potion that she keeps in her desk or in her glove compartment or whatever. And then you're left with, well, a lot less money. You still have your medical problem. You still need treatment. But then you have to presumably untangle this all with real doctors who now, among other things, have to account for the fact that you've had this random woman inject random fluid into you because she said it was stem cells and it would cure everything.
Just astonishing. The unveiling of this indictment against she's pled not guilty. But the charges are repulsive, right? Hawking fake cures for covid while tens of thousands of Americans dead, we're turning into hundreds of thousands of Americans dead.
And if these charges bear out, this woman was lining her pockets from people desperate and gullible enough to believe her scheme, her fake cure just turns your stomach. But then there's the other reason. This newly unsealed indictment is a problem for the good people of Missouri. It is that the woman who has been charged in this alleged scheme has just started a new job as a Republican state representative back in April. And Patricia Dirt was just trying to get her fake covid cure scheme off the ground.
Prosecutors say she was also planning a run for elected office in Missouri in August of last year. She won the Republican primary in her Missouri district. This is while she was taking people's money for her fake coronavirus cure. Republican voters picked her to represent their party in that district as the Republican nominee. She actually ran unopposed in November. She was sworn in last month when the federal charges were unsealed against her this week and she made her initial court appearance.
The Republican House speaker in Missouri responded by stripping her of her committee assignments. He then asked her to resign her seat in the state legislature. Representative Burgess, however, said she believes she has the support of the other Republican leaders in the House. And so she is staying put.
She's refusing to resign if she does end up going to prison for decades during her term in the Missouri house. That'll be something for the Republican caucus there to really chew on. Can they record her votes from federal prison? And we'll see. But for now, she is a Republican state representative in Missouri who, according to prosecutors, has been running a fake covid cure scheme on Facebook. And she's been indicted for 20 federal felony charges and is facing decades in prison if she's convicted.
Hope she does your proud Missouri Republican Party, she's part of what you represent to that state as what you have to offer the people of Missouri in the in the legislature, in that state. So that's Missouri, then two states over Wisconsin. They've got their own issues. Yesterday, the Republican controlled legislature in Wisconsin repealed that state's statewide mask mandate, not starting in a year and not starting in a month, not starting when some benchmark has been reached about transmission in Wisconsin, no, its immediate repeal, no more masks in Wisconsin.
They also apparently did not notice that in ending the mask mandate, they were also trying to cut off food assistance to a quarter million people in Wisconsin by a lot, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says. And the Republicans haste to kill the mask rule. They also didn't notice that they were making a change so that a low income elderly person in Wisconsin who's currently getting, say, two hundred and four dollars a month in food assistance, that would now be reduced to from two hundred and four dollars a month to sixteen dollars a month.
Republicans said they didn't actually mean to do that part of it, but oops, got to get the mask thing done. Got a break. A few eggs. Wisconsin's Democratic governor, Tony Evers, issued a new mask mandate as soon as the Republicans got rid of the previous one. But this is going to ping pong back and forth here because Republicans insist their most important priority in politics right now is no masks. Tonight in Iowa, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds unilaterally repealed not only all the mask rules in Iowa, she has also lifted all social distancing requirements and capacity limits and all other rules related to covid for businesses in her state.
If you saw the phrase covid, Kim trending on Twitter tonight, covid, Kim would be covid Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds. All the covid related rules in the state of Iowa are being lifted by the governor as of Sunday morning right in time for Super Bowl parties. Iowa just this week confirmed that the new, more transmissible variants of the virus are circulating in the state of Iowa under Gov. Kim Reynolds. His leadership, the state of Iowa currently ranks forty seventh out of 50 in vaccine distribution.
But to celebrate that occasion, she's decided no more rules at all in Iowa and that tip top Republican priority, apparently no more masks. Today, the CBC's flagship scientific reports, MMW, are published two new reports on the effectiveness of masks against the pandemic that has killed nearly a half million Americans. One of the new study shows clear results that after mask mandates were instituted, hospitalization rates dropped noticeably in those jurisdictions.
Republicans in Wisconsin and Iowa state government have received this news by trying to kill their existing mask mandates.
And so, you know, President Trump is gone. We no longer have a president who is making the White House a coronavirus hotspot and mocking people for wearing masks and telling the public that they don't work, but the impact of that kind of Republican leadership continues, certainly still visible among Republicans in the states. And frankly, the clean up continues from that mess. It was only this week, for example, that this guy pled guilty to multiple felonies for defrauding government agencies, that he convinced to pay him for millions of ninety five masks that he didn't actually have.
He never had them. He never had the prospects of having them. But he convinced the Trump administration to pay him thirty four and a half million dollars for mask's he couldn't produce. Why did the Trump administration decide that the federal government should try to buy and ninety five mask's from a guy with absolutely no track record or history in the field whatsoever and no evident access to any of the materials he was supposedly selling? Why did they pick him? I don't know.
But they did that while doctors and nurses and respiratory therapist and all the rest were saving their ninety fives and paper bags and using them over and over and over again until the straps broke. What was the Trump administration doing to try to remedy that catastrophe and American health care on the face of a pandemic that would go on to kill a half million of us?
Well, they found this guy. They just assumed this guy would find them somewhere. Sure seems legit now, charitably, it's possible the Trump administration was moved by this gentleman saying that he was a decorated US Marine. That, of course, is impressive. Maybe that's why they made him their chosen mask, procurer for the federal government. He did, in fact, tell them he was a decorated US Marine, but he's not one. He was not actually a decorated US Marine.
He actually was not a US Marine at all, decorated or otherwise.
So bad guy, right. Scammer, liar. But if you're the federal government, I mean, if you're a five year old with an Internet connection, these are the kind of things that can be checked. But maybe you should check. Before you decide that this guy with absolutely no history in the field is the US government's plan for getting us and ninety fives. Today, sorry, today at the White House, the every other day public covid briefings they're doing now included some, to my mind, very interesting news and very welcome news from the guy who the new administration has actually put in charge of getting us.
And ninety five masks and getting us the other things that we need in terms of critical supplies for fighting covid.
And it turns out he's not like cut from the same cloth as the people the last administration put to this job.
He's not like a bunch of guys Jared knew from college. He's not a fake US Marine who's just pled guilty to multiple federal felony charges when the Biden administration needed somebody to fix the medical supply lines that have crippled our response and made it the worst in the industrial world. They instead picked this guy. My name is Tim Manning, I'm the national supply chain coordinator for the covid response. I'm an emergency manager having done disaster and emergency response for the past twenty five years.
And I've worked at the local and state level and served as a deputy administrator at FEMA for eight years. I've also been a firefighter and EMT and I know firsthand the importance of having the equipment and supplies you need when you need it on the front lines of a crisis. Today, we're announcing we're expanding the priority ratings for Fizer to include filling pumps and tangential flow filtration sked units, critical components. Fizer needs to manufacture the vaccine. Its actions like these that will allow Pfizer to ramp up production and hit their targets of delivering hundreds of millions of doses over the coming months.
We told you that when we heard of a bottleneck on needed equipment, supplies or technology related to vaccine supply, that we would step in and help. And we were doing just that. Second, we're using the DPA to increase our supply of at home covid tests, we're already working to increase the availability of in ninety five masks to frontline workers.
But another critical area of concern we hear over and over is surgical gloves. Right now, we just don't have enough gloves, we're nearly 100 percent reliant on overseas manufacturers to export to us our country surgical gloves that protect health care workers. And that's an that's unacceptable. And we're using all of our authorities to fix it. Over the past two weeks, we've pushed forward an effort to expand domestic manufacturing of surgical gloves. And I'm pleased to announce that we will build plants to make the raw materials, the nitro butyl rubber for surgical gloves here in the United States.
And we'll help build factories to make those gloves right here in the US as well. And by the end of the year, will produce more than a billion nitrile gloves a month right here in America. We'll now make enough to satisfy half of all the US health care community demands right here on US shores. They're building plants to make the raw materials, they're building factories to make those gloves here in the US. There'll be a billion of them being made in the US by the end of the year.
Remember when China set up those brand new hospitals that they built from the ground up in like five minutes at the outset of their crisis, or at least finally trying? That's Tim Mening, national supply chain coordinator for the new Biden administration, covid response team, somebody with decades of response, decades of experience in this field, announcing new agreements to provide unpronounceable technical equipment. That's apparently the bottleneck in Pfizer's production lines for its vaccine. They need specific equipment that's proven to that's crimped the supply in terms of how much they can produce, how fast the US government is going to get them that equipment.
They say they've now got plans to get tens of millions of home covid tests out by this summer. And they're going to make a billion surgical gloves per month by the end of the year. We basically, all of them from abroad right now, by the end of this year, will have half of what we need here at home made on US manufacturing lines that currently don't exist, but will by the end of the year. That seems good. That seems good.
That's apparently all in process. Mr. Manning also said today a bunch of what they want to do requires Congress to approve the covid relief bill. That, of course, is underway. It was a dramatic night. We spoke with Chris Murphy last night on the show late in the hour. And I told him I was thankful to him for being with us so late. I needed to thank him for being up with me at 10 pm because they were all there until five thirty in the morning today with a a tie breaking vote at five thirty AM cast by Vice President Harris.
The Senate cleared the way to get the bill passed by only Democratic votes, if that's what they need to do. A whole bunch of Republican senators actually succeeded in getting their own amendments added to the covid relief bill. And the budget resolution that makes it process makes it possible. Theoretically, that means those Republican senators might vote for it in the end, I suppose in real life, nobody actually thinks that. Technically speaking, though, it is now a bipartisan process with all those Republican authored provisions in it.
Now, even though Republicans will definitely denounce it as a party line, Democrats only thing CDC director is still getting lots of heat for her assertion this week that schools can safely reopen even before teachers are all vaccinated. She said today at the White House that the official guidelines on school reopening will come next week. That will be fascinating to see in terms of what they set as benchmarks that need to be met at schools.
Before you can say that a safe reopening is possible, CDC recommendations next week are a landmark moment and that big policy fight as we head into Super Bowl weekend this weekend, the NFL today said that all its teams are going to make their stadiums available to become mass vaccination sites. If the government wants them to do that, that's potentially a big deal. Today, the White House announced that more than 11 hundred active duty US service members have been approved by the secretary of defense to deploy inside the United States to help US vaccination efforts.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is reportedly weighing an additional request from FEMA for up to ten thousand more US troops to fan out across the country to help vaccination efforts in California. The White House this week announced two new mass vaccination sites, one of them in East Oakland at the Coliseum, where I grew up, watching Oakland A's games with my dad and where I watch from the bleacher seats when they were really, really cheap with my friends who I cut school with.
Don't tell my dad about that. The other location in Southern California announced this week is on the campus of Cal State L.A. at Cal State, Los Angeles. Lynnwood, California, is a city just south of downtown Los Angeles, about seventy two thousand people live in Lynwood. The average income is very low there excuse me, the average income there is low for the surrounding area, about fifty three thousand dollars. Almost no one who lives in Lynwood is white and in one of the hardest hit cities and one of the hardest hit states in the country.
That little pocket of South Los Angeles has really just been pounded by covid. Of the seventy two thousand people that live in that South L.A. neighborhood, one in every six people have court covid. Of the seventy two thousand people who live in that neighborhood, one in every four hundred of them has died from covid. And like I said, L.A. has been hit hard, but not every part of L.A. has been hit that hard. Zoom out on that map for a second and you can see Linwood there and that deep, deep pocket of of purple, the darker the color on this map, the greater percentage of the population has been infected.
And as you can see. Right, not every part of L.A. is purple is in the worst state. Take Beverly Hills, one of the richest parts of L.A. and quite famous for it. About 80 percent of the people who live in Beverly Hills are white. Average income there is north of one hundred thousand dollars, double what it is in Lynwood compared to the roughly one in every four hundred people who died of covid in that South L.A. neighborhood of Lynwood and Beverly Hills.
It's not one in a hundred. It's one in fifteen hundred people who have died of covid over in Brentwood, which is also 80 percent white compared to the one in every four hundred people who died in Lynwood. In Brentwood, it's one in three thousand people who have died of covid just very, very stark differences. And this is this is the rule, not the exception. The splotches of purple on the map, the areas hit hardest. They are predominantly poor communities of color, made up of people who are getting sick and dying at a higher rate than anywhere else in L.A. And obviously, this is not just a Los Angeles problem because of racial and economic disparities in this country.
White Americans are just getting sick and dying less than Americans of color are in this pandemic. It's been like that since day one of the pandemic, the the present fight, the thing we ought to be able to stop even before it starts, because we know to watch for it and we can see it take shape at the early days, is that we're seeing exactly the same inequities play out right now when it comes to access to the vaccine. We haven't been rolling out the vaccine for very long.
Right. But look at the disparities. We've got already something that's taken place just over a matter of weeks. Look at Pennsylvania. Eleven percent of the population in Pennsylvania is black.
But black Pennsylvanians make up three percent of the people who've been vaccinated. Look at Louisiana. Thirty two percent of the population in Louisiana is African-American, but they make up only 13 percent of the people who've been vaccinated. Delaware, we're. Twenty two percent of the population is black. The percentage of people in Delaware who got the vaccine is six percent. And yes, some vaccine hesitancy in communities of color may be partly to blame here, but beyond that, there really are very clear barriers for entry to getting a vaccine that really do disproportionately affect people of color in most places.
To get the vaccine, you need to register online. Well, in order to do that, you need to be able to afford access to the Internet, can't afford wi fi, don't have a smartphone. Good luck getting the vaccine in those places. Other vaccine sites are drive through only you show up in a car, roll down your window, roll up your sleeve. For that, you obviously need to own a car just to access a lifesaving vaccine.
More people of color have been getting sick. More people of color have been dying. And now, right now, fewer people of color are getting the vaccine. Vaccine inequity is a problem all over the country right this second. It is not a longstanding problem because we only have this vaccine for a few weeks, but we are already making the same mistakes as a country that we did throughout the pandemic that got us to these terrible health and death disparities that we've seen over the course of the past year.
But it's not happening that way everywhere. It's not the same problem, it's not that bad everywhere, there are places that can show us the way. This is Kedron Health, located about 20 minutes down the road from Lynnwood, that pocket of L.A. I talked about earlier, the one that's been hit so hard by covid Kedron serves that neighborhood, Linwood, as well as other poor, densely populated, predominantly non-white neighborhoods in the surrounding area, all areas that have been disproportionately crushed by covid.
Now, in normal times, Kedron is mainly a mental health clinic. It was founded in the nineteen sixties after the Watts riots in L.A. to bring psychiatric care to an underserved community. These days, though, Kedron has become a covid hub. Access to testing and vaccines brought to that neighborhood into the neighborhoods that Kedron serves to make sure that those neighborhoods are not overlooked by the health system, which did almost happen to the community served by Kedron. This is amazing.
This is Dr. Jerry Abraham. He's a family doctor and epidemiologist working at Kedron Health. And he says in December, when the FDA first approved the covid vaccines, the health department just never called. Ketron never called his clinic to set up their deliveries of the vaccine. So eventually he picked up the phone and gave them a call to ask where his clinic's vaccine allocation was. Turns out Kedron had just slipped through the cracks. The health department had forgot to allocate vaccine for Ketron, but he called and made it right and they fixed it right away.
And Kedron Health now has the vaccine. And yes, it's nuts that Dr. Abrahim had to surmise that on his own and call them and get them to fix that, to get his hands on the vaccine. But what he's doing with it now that he has it, that's the real story here. And that's potentially the real template for clinics like his around the country. Dr. Abraham is in charge of vaccine distribution at Kedron Health. He's doing it in a way that makes sure the vaccines are given out equitably, that vaccines in a predominantly black and brown community are going predominantly to black and brown people and to make sure that happens.
Dr. Abraham has deliberately, consciously, carefully stripped away some of those barriers for entry we just talked about to make sure the vaccine he has gets into the arms of the people in his community who need it most so that they're not held back by artificial barriers to entry, don't have the Internet, don't have a smartphone.
It's OK. At Kedron, they will hand you a piece of paper and a pencil to register for the vaccine, even if you can somehow get to a computer or a smartphone. But you're not that comfortable using it. You're not that great with technology. No problem. At Kedron, a volunteer will take the time to input your information online for you. They will sit with you and get it done that they will operate the machine. If you are not comfortable doing it, don't have a car at Kedron, you do not need one.
You can walk up and get the vaccine on your own two feet. What Dr. Abraham and his colleagues have designed here, what his health center is doing is working. And it should be seen as a national model at a time. We need one and fast. Kedron is vaccinated about fifteen thousand people since December. Almost all of them are people of color in a community that is almost all people of color, unlike in most parts of the country. If you took a snapshot of the people that live around Kedron, the demographics of the people who live there actually match up with the Democrats, with the demographics of the people who are Breguet, who have been getting the vaccine.
That's what we need. That's the way it's supposed to work. That's really, really, really not how it's going in fifty states in the country. But Dr. Abraham and his colleagues, they have figured out how to do it. And that remarkable success story out of one small pocket of underserved L.A. should be national news because everybody around the country should be copying this. What's so stunning about this story is not that it's happening at this one tiny clinic.
It's the fact that it's not happening everywhere else, that this isn't the playbook being run and every single place in the country that's administering the vaccine.
It's worth understanding what's the secret sauce here, what Dr. Abraham is doing at Kedron Health in South L.A. and why can't we do that everywhere that needs it? Dr. Abraham joins us live here next. Stay with us. We're an institution that started in the nineteen sixties during the Watts riots, when there was no place for black and brown individuals with mental illness to go, and that's how we ended up being the only black psych hospital in Los Angeles. So that's kind of our story.
That's who we are at. Our core is answering the call. And there was a need here and that was to figure out how black and brown Los Angeles, black and brown, essential health care workers, seniors over 65 needed a vaccine and they didn't know where to go or how to navigate some of these challenges. And that's where we came in and said, we'll figure it out if we can get to 70 percent plus of our community with the vaccine in their arms, we will get the herd immunity.
We need to end this epidemic.
We'll figure it out. He says that is the very impressive. Dr. Jerry Abraham is a family physician, an epidemiologist and a man with a mission to do whatever it takes to figure out how to deliver as many shots of covid vaccine into as many arms of the vulnerable people of his community in South Los Angeles as he can as soon as possible. We are a country that is not getting the vaccine to everyone equally, and this is not some ancient problem.
Yes, the things that make this a current problem have ancient roots, but we're screwing this up right now. We've only been rolling out the vaccine for weeks and we're already doing it wrong. We're doing it in such a way that black and brown people, communities of color, are underrepresented among the people who are getting vaccinated. But here's Dr. Abraham and his colleagues in his community who seem to have figured it out. Everybody get ready to take notes.
Let's copy more of this place. Joining us now is the man who oversees vaccine distribution at Kedron Health Center in South Los Angeles, Dr. Jerry Abraham. Dr. Abraham, it's a real honor to have you here. Thank you so much for your time tonight. Thank you for having me, Rachel. Let me start just by asking you if I've got any of this this wrong, I've tried to give sort of a reasonable snapshot of how you and your colleagues have been approaching this work.
Let me ask you if I missed anything crucial, if I got anything wrong.
Now, I really appreciate you telling the story. I think it's so important to hear where we were and then how from the very beginning we've been extremely solutions oriented and that's how we've gotten to where we are right now. Eighteen thousand doses into the arms of Angelenos.
How have you been able to beat this vaccine equity issue that has been terrible in every state in the country? We've got the proportion of people of color getting the vaccine significantly lower than what their proportion is of the population. How are you beating that pattern? Did you know in advance how you were going to tackle that problem or has it been a trial and error evolving process? Sure.
I'll just start by saying a few things. We've felt nothing but cooperation and solidarity with our colleagues at the Department of Public Health. We've been in complete lock and step partnership and we appreciate everything that they've done, everything that we've asked for from the state. And we've been in close communication with the CDC and others. And so I think that's been extremely helpful. But I truly believe we're all in this together and I get that sense and that's critical. At the end of the day, there's just three things that really are the challenge, and that's not enough vaccines, not enough hands to deliver them and just not enough resources and funding.
In terms of the specific problems that I think we're having with communities of color around the country, there's been a lot of attention to vaccine hesitancy, understandable vaccine hesitancy among lots of different communities of color for lots of different reasons. And clearly, that has to be some piece of the puzzle. But it does also feel like there are barriers to entry in terms of how you get yourself a vaccine appointment, how you get your mom or your dad a vaccine appointment or some other elder in your community.
How we sign people up, how we ask them to come to sites where vaccines are available. And it does seem like you've cracked that code a little bit. Yeah, so kind of going back really quickly, you know, you mentioned how why are we effective and are we actually delivering vaccines to people who are in most need, particularly communities of color, black and brown, where the heat maps show the highest rates of covid infection are when we look at how it was distributed in D.C. or you look at Chicago's maps and then you showed us the maps of Los Angeles, we really wanted to prioritize the most vulnerable here in South Los Angeles.
So our first mantra was, you know, we need to put on our oxygen mask first. And then we were going to make sure that we turn to our neighbors and make sure that we offered them this life saving essential medicine. So we actually vaccinate our three hundred to four hundred employees. And then we went to black and brown health care workers throughout South Los Angeles. And they really didn't have places to turn because they're not part of large health systems.
So we really became their safe haven, their safe harbor to be vaccinated. After that, we said that's not enough. We weren't in it just to vaccinate ourselves. We really wanted to make sure that we can get to every grandma and grandpa, every vulnerable senior, every essential worker that needs it when they are eligible. And so that is the commitment that we've made to kind of get to where we're at. But, of course, you know, just not enough vaccine.
So at the end of every day, it's just this constant struggle to try to get through the day. And we work so lock and step with the county to find expiring doses in our montera here at Kedron is no drop will go to waste and we make sure that every drop goes in someone's arm. But that needs to be our seniors. That needs to be our black and brown health care workers. It needs to be all of our health care workers.
And then there are times we have expiring doses and we don't have folks lined up. And that's where we're partnering with politicians offices, community based organizations, faith based organizations. We need to figure out better ways to get those who are shut out. And that's where our solutions came in, making sure that there were workarounds for the website, workarounds for not having a cell phone, not having email, maybe not having a driver's license because you're an undocumented worker or an undocumented grandma in this community.
What if you don't have a car? We live in an area where predominantly our patients don't have access to transportation. We made it very clear that we were going to be a walk up site because not having a car should not be a barrier to not getting a vaccine, not having an email and not having a phone is not a barrier. Not getting a vaccine, not having Internet is not a reason to not get a vaccine. And Kedron here, we were so focused and committed to overcoming those barriers.
We've also been very positive. I think the optimism that you feel and sense and you've seen the stories, we've got music, we're dancing, we're happy, we're smiling because we know that this is the solution to overcoming this epidemic, to reopening our economy, to getting back to work, to getting back to loving our loved ones and hugging and all the things that we did before this epidemic began. So we're actually joyous every day that we can be a part of the solution.
We just don't have enough vaccine to do the job and do it the best we know we can. Dr. Jerry Abraham, the man in charge of Kedron Community Health Centers, Vaccine Distribution, thank you so much for your work in helping us understand it. Thanks. Thanks for being here tonight. Good luck to you and your colleagues.
Thank you so much, Rachel. All right.
We've got much more ahead this Friday night. Stay with us.
After the January 6th attack on the US Capitol, the FBI's Washington field office put out this poster seeking information from the public on this woman, the woman in the notable pink hat for her involvement in the violence at the Capitol. And it's more photos and videos started surfacing from the Capitol attack. It became clear why the FBI was looking for her in particular with such urgency here. She was captured on video, instantly recognizable, in part because of the hat using a pole as a battering ram to smash in the Capitol building's windows as other rioters fought hand to hand with Capitol Police just a few yards behind her.
Another video surfaced of her with a bullhorn appearing to direct other rioters who'd already breached the Capitol about how they could best maneuver inside to take over the building. Yeah, if you're the FBI, that's somebody you probably want to find as quickly as possible. But weeks went by without anybody identifying this woman or knowing where she was, despite those FBI wanted posters. Until this week, when The New Yorker's intrepid reporter Ronan Farrow and a team of online nosy parkers figured out who she was and found her.
They discovered that she is Rachel Powell, a 40 year old mom and farmer's market cheese seller from western Pennsylvania. Mr. Farrow interviewed her by phone for two hours, but he wouldn't she wouldn't tell him where she was. She said she was in an undisclosed location. Her whereabouts did remain unknown. Yesterday, the FBI raided her house in Pennsylvania, but she wasn't there. Now, today, just one day shy of the one month anniversary of the Capitol attack, Rachel Powell is in custody.
She turned herself in to an FBI satellite office north of Pittsburgh today. She's being held in jail at least until a detention hearing on Tuesday. Prosecutors are arguing that she should stay in custody all the way until her trial, in part because they're calling her a flight risk. That is not a stretch. After all, she fled once already after the FBI had started looking for her. She stayed in hiding for almost a month. Prosecutors are also arguing that she's a danger to the community because of the violence she's accused of, like, say, smashing a US Capitol window with a battering ram.
Her lawyer says she's neither a danger to the community nor a flight risk, but a judge will make that determination at her hearing on Tuesday. One of the things to keep in mind about the pink hat lady, though, is that she says quite clearly that she came to D.C. on January 6th because she was told to because Donald Trump told her to. She told Ronan Farrow with The New Yorker that Trump's words played a part in her decisions that day.
She went to Trump's rally on January 6th. She heard him tell the crowd to march to the Capitol and fight like hell. And then she did it because he said to. And she is one among many, many who are facing serious federal charges now and next week, Donald Trump will be on trial in the US Senate to see if he should face any consequences for inciting racial Powell and thousands of others to attack the US government on his behalf. We now know more tonight about how that trial is going to go.
That's next. Stay with us. Tuesday, 1:00 pm, we think that's going to be the start of it, but things could change. It was actually one year ago today that Donald Trump was acquitted by Republicans in the Senate in his first impeachment trial. But you might remember that in that Senate trial, there wasn't much going on. Mitch McConnell and the Republicans were in control. They decided there would be no evidence presented in the Senate trial. There'd be no witnesses in the Senate trial, and there'd be no question of Trump testifying in the Senate trial.
And then they all voted to acquit him, except for Mitt Romney, this time for his second impeachment. That last point about whether or not the former president will testify. That's sort of a live issue. Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin wrote to President Trump this week asking him to testify under oath at the Senate trial. Trump's lawyer said no on his behalf. For what it's worth, I continue to believe that he would love to testify and they should find some way to ask him directly, because if he's able to answer on his own behalf without his lawyers interceding, I think he definitely would say yes.
Meanwhile, CNN and the Associated Press are reporting today that while Democrats technically have the option to try to subpoena him to testify, it's not expected that that will be the way that they go. What should we expect? Joining us now is Dan Goldman, who you will recall served as the lead counsel for the House during Trump's first impeachment. Again, that came to a close a year ago today. Dan, it's been a remarkable year. Thank you so much for making time to be here tonight.
Hard to believe it's only a year ago.
So one of the obviously the charges charge charges are different against the president. But this is the first time in US history that we've had a chance to learn lessons from the first time the president was impeached in terms of thinking about impeaching him a second time. Now that the Democrats are in control of how the Senate trial is going to be run. What do you think the lessons should be from what happened last time in terms of how they should conduct this trial?
Well, it's not an apples to apples situation, but just the flip version of who's in control, because the Democrats don't want this to take so long, because it takes away from the time that they have to focus on the legislative issues that President Biden has been so focused on now that he is the president. So I don't expect there to be witnesses. It just will prolong things too long and don't want witnesses. I think the Democrats also at this point just want to move it along.
It's it's also different, though, than last time, Rachel, because last time you needed the witnesses to explain what happened here. We have the speeches. We have the tweets from the president. We have the recording with Brad Raffensperger, the secretary of state in Georgia. And we have a lot of affidavits filed to the FBI that you referenced earlier and other social media videos. And I expect the House managers to weave all of that material together to present a very powerful case just based on the public record.
So I don't expect that the president will testify, but I do think that that letter was a very smart, strategic move because it really hamstrings Trump's lawyers from trying to dispute facts and argue what was in Trump's head and essentially launder Trump's testimony through the lawyers without putting him under oath. He was given the opportunity to testify and he is now declining it. The lawyers can't testify for him. Is there anything that precludes the president's defense team from standing up in front of the Senate and saying he won this election in a landslide, it was stolen, there was tons of fraud?
It's been proven. I mean, is there anything that is if he tells his defense team that that's the way he wants them to defend him, is there anything stopping them from essentially getting up and acting out the my pillow guys soliloquies on the floor of the Senate trying to sell that to the country? If you ask me what lessons were learned, the biggest lesson I learned is that a Senate impeachment trial is nothing like a courtroom trial and in the courtroom, that, of course, would not be allowed.
There are a lot of things that would not be allowed in a courtroom that are allowed in the Senate trial, and that includes arguing that the election was a fraud. There's nothing there's no one who can limit what they say because there really is no judge in the Senate trial. There's a presiding officer. But even Chief Justice Roberts last time didn't make a single substantive ruling. So, no, they can argue that. They can argue anything of what I do expect that they're going to hang their hat on.
Is this legally baseless argument that it is not constitutional to have a Senate trial after someone has been removed? But it is. Remember, we are here because the House impeached before Donald Trump was out of office. You don't need to have an indictment or trial before the statute of limitations runs out. You simply need to have an indictment. And that's what the impeachment was. So the problem we have here is that's a legally baseless argument that a judge in a normal courtroom would preclude anyone from arguing.
But here in the Senate trial, we already have forty five senators who seem to believe that that argument is dispositive of this case. They're going to try to base their factual findings on that legal conclusion. And that is really a dodge of accountability by the senators themselves that would not be allowed in a courtroom and it should not be allowed in the Senate trial. Yeah, and whether or not they truly believe that it is a legal way out for them here, they certainly know that it's their political way out to try to avoid the substance of the accusations and ultimately what will see the substance of the evidence stand.
Goldman, former lead counsel for the House during President Trump's first impeachment, which came to a close one year ago today. Dan, thank you so much for being with us tonight. Nice to see you. You, too, Rachel, thank you. We'll be right back. Stay with us. I have moved the light beer into the fridge for its one time of year appearance, I have purchased the avocados and the potato chips. I have cleared my calendar.
I will see you on Monday. Fatter, slightly worse for wear, but very happy for having done what everybody else is also going to do this weekend.
That does it for me tonight. I'll see you again on Monday after the Bucs win the Super Bowl.
The Rachel Maddow Show weeknights at nine Eastern on MSNBC.