tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC October 28, 2014 1:00am-2:01am PDT
this is not anybody you have heard from before. they have never spoken publicly before tonight. and where this person is quarantined may really surprise you. that's coming up in just a few moments here. that's an exkwlusive we've got tonight, which i think is kind of a big deal. i hope you will stay tuned for that. but we begin with major genderic a. williams, who has served in the united states military for more than three decades. he's a two-star general, winner of the distinguished service medal, the bronze merit, the major star, also the commander of u.s. army, africa. he's the head of u.s. army operations on the entire continent of africa. that means if the u.s. army is dispatched to any of the nations on any of the places on the continue innocent of africa, it's his job to make sure they have what they need. the u.s. military has a lot going on in africa right now. you might remember the u.s. troops were sent to uganda to help root out joseph coney there. they've also been sent to look
for elements of joseph coney's rebel group. they've sent around 80 groups to the nation of chad to search for the missing schoolgirl. the united states has a long standing anti-terrorism campaign in somalia and yemen, right across the gulf from somalia. a contingent against mill tants there. and, on top of all of that, there's this big new effort in guinea, sierra leone and liberia which is going to be a long-time deal. that effort is for the u.s. military to essentially build up the public health infrastructure of those entire countries. build up the public health infrastructure in those countries for those countries.
so that the out-of-control epidemic that those countries are battling there doesn continue to threaten the rest of the world. so being the head of u.s. army, africa, riegtsd now, means you're business i. it means you are in charge of a lot. it means a very complicatededly engaged person. a lot of life and death demands on your time. you've got a huge territory that's under your purvue. there's a lot of different things going on. all over that huge continent and you're the top dwie in charge of all of it. they were part of the setting up the first phase in that
country. they just finished that. now that they have left liberia and they're heading back, the army has made the decision to hold them under a three-week quarantine. according to the pent gone, they have not liked being quoted as a quarantine, but it is a quarantine. this team, including the two-star, what's head of u.s. africa, are being held by a low kwags that is not accessible by the public. they're not allowed to leave this location to go home. they're not allowed visitors. they're being monitored daily for symptoms of ebola. to be clear, none of the numbers of that military mission has exhibited any symptoms of ebola. they were not working directly with ebola patients. but they are being quarantined. and this is new. under previous public health
guide liberties, either contact with ebola patients while wearing protective gear or people who had been in areas where ebola is epidemic but didn't necessarily have direct contact with patients. anybody con soefblely at risk. before now, they were basically told to be aware of their risk and monitor themselves and make sure they do not have symptoms. they're supposed to take their temperature kwies a day. be in immediate touch with public health authorities. essentially, people are supposed to self monitor for symptoms and get themselves to qualified health professionals at the first sign that anything might be wrong. that's how it had been. but, in the last few days, including now, in the u.s. army, but not in the rest of the u.s. military, now we have a little bit of chaos in terms of what the rules are. we now have new public health rules for specific jurisdictions, being announced
every few hours on a state-by-state and agency-by-agency basis across the country when it comes to ebola. frankly, none of the new rules match. just in the last 7 hours, we have eve had announcements from maryland, georgia, pennsylvania, new york, nm nj and more are expected and probably more will come in tonight. and none of the things these states have announced are exactly like the other things that are announced. the very press conscious, ambitious governors of new york and new jersey. since then, that policy roll out as been a bit of a debacle. the first patient was diagnosed on thursday. that's when there was a long press conference with the mayor of new york city and other health department officials to
ensure the state and the country that america's largest city, that new york, was well-prepared for this eventually. everybody should remain calm and efb knows what they are doing. so that was andrew quomo on thursday. one day later, the same, governor andrew quomo and governor chris christie decided to hold another big press conference together. and at that press conference, they actually know that everybody doesn't nope what they're doing. spefbly the federal government's guidelines for how to manage ebola risk. they said those guidelines were not enough. they were not tough enough for new york and new jersey. and so these tough governors were not going to follow cdc guidelines anymore. they had a better idea. they had decided it was a better idea to impose mandatory 21-day quarantines of all medical professionals returning from west africa. ebola does not spread from people who are a simple maptic
or do not have the disease at all. but new york announced friday they were going to quarantine a symptomatic people anyway. why? because it seemed safer to them. and, as gov noer christy explained at that press conference, they had a chance that very day to prove that their way was better, health officials be damned. the reason they had a chance that day to prove that their politic 46 derived plans were weter better than the public hemt plans than derooefed before is because a health departmentcare worker, that very day, had traveled from seerra lics one to newark, nblg nj. so the governor said she would be the test case for their new policy. >> we've agreed that quarantine is the right way to go in this regard and we will work out the particulars as to where this particular individual will be quarantined, whether it's new jersey or new york. but it's the first application of this new set of standards
that we've developed over 2 last 24 hours and now have had the opportunity to impb leapt. >> now that we've had the opportunity to itch left et, we've developed this new course of standards over the last day. that's how long we've been working on it. turns out the first person to endue this application of standards developed over the course of the day, turns out she was not going to go along with this happily. she was skrg e having none of it. so the story of the weekend was is that the governor fought the nurse and the nurse won. her name is kasi hickox. the new jersey response to that nurse arriving at newark airport seems to have been one made uch in a complete panic, up to and including not even putting her in a normal isolation fa r e facile fill.
instead, nnk nk nej nj decided to build her her own kind of weird tent city. she was confined in her own tent and that was the plan, apparently. camping outside the hopt. isolation warts don't work? remember, this is a medical professional who is not symptomatic. she has no ebola symptoms. she is just a person who had the misfortune of getting off a plane in the great state of new jersey. and this is what they decided to do with her. they made it up over the course of the last 24 hours. and that nurse did not take it lying down. when these made-up, unscientific, bizarre policies were enforced on her. she wrote a piece about it for the dallas morning news. she wrote that she was basically being treated like a criminal and a prisoner.
she wrote that nobody seemed to be in charge of what was happening to her. she said it was chaotic. nobody would tell her what was going on or what was happening to her. she wrote the united states must treat returning health care workers with dignity and humanity. she hired lawyers to represent her. so that was all over if weekend, right? on saturday and into sunday morning. and that, apparently, caused another freakout from new york and new jersey, in this case, sort of a freakout in reverse. after that nurse took her complaints public, and the obama administration took notice, new york governor decided to change his tune. on thursday, we know what we're doing. on friday, oh my god, nobody knows what they're doing. on saturday, the nurse is complaining. on sunday, a new idea.
he announces that new york will not be doing what new jersey is doing all along. he says people can be quarantined and monitored after they return from west africa, but they can be quarantined and monitored at home. we don't have to build them little tent cities. and then, after, governor quomo changed his mind, then new jersey governor chris christie calmed down, as well. and he announced a big test case. instead, it was basically a policy in which if you didn't have a place to stay in new jersey and you landed at the newark air port, they would lock you up in a tent for a while. but then they've give r give you a ride to where ever. so, then, kasi hickox has been allowed to go home ef ep though governor christie said he was going to hold her for 21 days. governor christie after caving on this weird climb up, climb down policy, governor christie
is insisting that this was his policy all along. nothing has changed at all. it's plainly ridiculous. but that's kwhaps when we look to every jurisdiction in the country on leadership for something that ought to be guided by science. late this afternoon, the cdc put out their own, new guidelines, essentially to guide state pot sill-making on this stufld. the new cdc policies say that people should be evaluated not according to magical thing about where people have been or what kind of people they are. but, rather, people should be evaluated according to the real risks that they have been exposed to and the real risks that they might pose to others. but it should be noted that the cdc guidelines can't be binding federally. our regulatory structure doesn't work that way. so these cdc guidelines are basically set up to be vague enough to leave states' room to do it on their own with the best scientific device. and, as such, these new guidelines create a wide enough
range of policy that there's probably going to be quiet a bit of policy gibber jabber and uncertainty even now, even over the next few days. ef even after this cdc advise was released. but what is interesting, is even though they have a way of gaining attention for everything they say and it seems like states are rolling out the country over their new policies and because new jersey and new york decided to invent bad public health policies and e and response the day after that first diagnose know ses, actually, new york and new jersey are not leading the way here. whether or not you think this is leadership for good or bad, they're not the worst. the most draconian mandatory policy in the country is not new york and new jersey.
it's not a state that's really being talked about in the national debate at all. that state is actually connecticut. the democratic governor of connecticut, with very little national attention, dan maloy, three weeks ago, declared ebola to be a public hemt emergency and empowered connecticut's public health department mandatory quarantining orders. the leader leaves et up to public health department to deem by the commissioner to potentially have been exposed to ebola and to potentially pose a risk to others. the number of people this has effected so far is not totally clear. our count shows that eight people have been held under that mandatory quarantine in connecticut so far. these are people who are being held. this is an ordered stay fus.
we believe that quarantine is the right way to go. but it's the first application of this new set of standards that we've developed over the last 24 hours. and now have had the opportunity to implement. >> the governor announced a mand four quarantine for people who had been to west africa. even if they've had no symptoms of ebola. but then he changed his mind. his first test case for his new policy was sent home to maine after only three days. and, in part, because chris christie is a very high profile governor and in part because he announced his new standards in bombastic political terms. and that got a ton of attention over the past few days.
but nj nnk was not the first state to do something like this. it has been a much lower profile thing. but the first mandatory quarantine was put in place by connecticut. connecticut has approximately 8 people under mandatory quarantine orders tonight. yale ph.d. student ryan boyko is one of them. he traveled to liberia, set up a computer data base to help them in their fight against ebola. since returning to connecticut, mr. boyko has tested negative for ebola. but under state orders, he has been quarantined at home for the past 12 days and counting with an armed plif standing guard outside his door. he has decided now to talk publicly about his quarantine for the first time.
>> well, thanks for having me on. >> so, first of all, what were you doing in liberia? how long were you there and what were you working on? >> i was there for three weeks and i was helping them build their contact tracing system. contact tracing is essentially identifying and following up with everyone who's been in contact with somebody what's tested positive for ebola. and in every epidemic, contact tracing and immediately ice lating those contacts who had become sick is ending the epidemic. the same thing should ally. it's just larger and requires more effort now. >> when you were there working on those day-based solutions, trying to help them e them in that side, the administrative side of their response, were you in direct contact with people who were sick or were you around dead bad days at all and around in sort of a front-line setting at all when you were there?
>> no, it was reparkblely plun dane. basically going from a hotel to the ministry of health where i worked in an it office most of the time and back to the hotel to eat and go to bed, basically, every day. >> so as i understand it, you left liberia on october tent. so 2 1/2 weeks ago. when you came back to connecticut, when you came back to the united states, as far as i understand it, you weren't immediately put into quarantine. you were put into quarantine several days after you got back. what happened there? why did the state decide to quarantine you? >> so i arrived back on saturday and on wednesday, i had a low grade fever that eventually wound up to 100.2. so i was in contact with physicians at yale health per their protocol. and they made the decision to
send me to the hopt for testing for ebola. and that made the news. and the governor actually had a press conference for ebola already planned the next afternoon. it was such that the governor felt like he could make a political point by instituting the quarantines, then. >> once you were symptomatic having been where you were and working what you've been working on, were you worried that you might have contracted ebola? >> the thought occurs to you, but i really wasn't very concerned. i knew that i had no contacts that should have given me ebola and it really is, it's spread by drekt contact with bodily fluid with very sick and dead individuals. i wasn't very concerned. the thought crossed my mind and
it was certainly a big relief for my mom. >> so you got a negative test result. the state of connecticut issued you a mandatory order. >> it applied, actually, to a colleague of mine who went with me and was never exhibited any sittoms. at the time, the governor made that press conference. he released a statement and said that everyone coming to connecticut from those three countries would be quarantined. it seems like he's been following through on that policy ever since then. >> what is the circumstance of that quarantine? i've been told that there's a police officer standing outside
your door to make you think otherwise, if you decide to leave. or if anybody decided es to visit you. what are the circums? what can you do and what can't you do? what's it been like for this past almost two weeks. >> so i can't have visitors. i can't leave. it's very isolated. and you can't do most of your exercises. you can't go to work. you can't go to visit friend, family, anything like that. it's just been hard. just like what happened in new jersey, it wasn't clear right away what was happening or, you know, there was a miscommunication, i think. between the state and the local officials and the police and everyone. just like what happened in new jersey. i was kept in the hospital a whole extra day.
all the medical staff there had no concerns about getting ebola. they were joking that i'm the only person in new haven they could say for sure did not have ebola. but the state, of course, had different ideas. >> lots of states are rolling out policies like this. it's been very low provile that connecticut has been imposing this policy. as somebody who's very concerned about the spread of this disease and public itchly cases here, is there any reason to think that people are more safe in connecticut because you're locked in your apartment right now than if you were self monitoring and ready to call authorities if you showed symptoms at some point? or if yoush colleague showed symptoms. >> no, there's no scientific
evidence to suggest that people are more safe. in fact, they're less safe. this policy makes it harder for others to duoto west africa. it's a patch work of regulations that are constantly shifting. people don't know what to expected when they come back. most of these health departmentcare workers go for about four weeks. so when you tack on a three-week quarantine after that, you're nearly doubling the amount of time that they have to take off work, that they have to avoid their families and avoid the rest of their life. >> yale university ph.d. student quarantined ryan boyko for 12 days now under state orders in
connecticut december piet testing negative for ebola. as he mentioned, he is probably the only person in connecticut with a sure fire blood test guaranteed that he's negative. but, nevertheless, still in quarantine. thanks for joining us fontd. i appreciate you being here. >> all right, thank you. >> thank you. we should note. i should tell you that we asked the connecticut's governor's office for a statement tonight. and they told us the protocols are not a punishment. we're operating out of an abundance of caution to limit any potential public health risks. the question is whether or not it makes public health sense. all right. lots more ahead from here in san francisco tonight. just how much local goeft can one of the richest corporations on earth buy for itself? a test case coming up. just a moment.
if i like i'm full of mexican food, it's because will're doing the show live from san francisco. this building may not seem like a whole lot to look like from the outside, but this office spark, one of the suites inside this office building is at the center of a campaign mystery this jeer. year. and it's definitely very, very brazen. and that story is coming up next.
toward the city of oakland, the thing that divides the two cityingses is why people call the whole oakland, san francisco region the bay area. but there's another less-famous city across the bay from san francisco. not too far from oakland, but further up. it's called richmond. and when you are in richmond, here's the view from richmond back to san francisco. see, you can even see it. the lovely bay bridge way off in the distance there between the hills. but here's what happens if you turn the camera the other way around from that vantage point. ahhh. that's a giant chevron oil refinery. takes up nearly 3,000 acres in richmond. processes nearly a quarter billion barrels of crude oil addai.
that refinery has been there for a serve re. if you were there two years ago, this is what you would have seen. the chevron refinery on fire. in august, 2012, a corroded pipe ignited and seventh a huge cloud of black smoke across the city of richmond. it caused, ultimately, more than 15,000 richmond area residents to seek medical treatment. that fire in 2012 caused the city council to sue chevron for damages to the city and its residents. since that explosion, the city council and chevron have, essentially, been at war with each other. but, conveniently, for chevron, there is an election one week from tomorrow. a whole bufferin of seets for city council are up as is the seat for mayor. chevron has shown an extreme interest in those races to say the least. chevron is now dutching millions of dollars in those rations to try to hand-pick a favorable slate for the city council. and their favorite candidate for mayor. when you drive around richmond, as we did while we were here,
you can see the evidence of chef ron's big spending. these are the billboards you see around time. pretty much everywhere you look affixed to every available surface. and here's the guy that chevron wants to be richmond's next mayor. that's a giant billboard for gnat beats. as you can see on the billboard in tiny font, that billboard is not paid for by the gnat beats campaign. it's paid for by chevron. and there's all sorts of glossy mailers promoeting their favorite candidates. >> so this is a bunch of junk mail that we've been receiving on a daily basis about the election that's coming up. >> how many would you say you get? >> i want to say at least five
to six. this isn't even all of it. there was a good chunk that we threw away because it was getting so ridiculous. >> and does it say who those are paid for? >> oh, yeah, it does. they all do. >> it says here paid for by moving forward, a chevron provider. >> so they're putting up billboards and sending out leaflets. they're going after candidates they don't see aligned. she's part of a coalition called richmond working families. that's a relatively new group that formed within the last few weeks to try to counter this huge flood of money that chevron is pumping into these local races in this town.
again, the name of the group that was just formed locally to try to counter act chevron's influence, they decided to call themselves richmond working families. not hard to remember, but remember that. richmond working families. right around the same time that that organization was formed to combat chevron's influence on the race, chevron formed another group to counter richmond working families. and they've decided to call their group richmond working families for jobs, 2014. tada. that's like if the republicans decided to run a presidential candidate and they found a guy named banack obaima. >> its's funny because they use a name really similar to richmond working families and it makes me think that, you know, they're trying to steal our thunder. >> and what effect do you think that has? >> i'm pretty sure they're trying to fake everyone.
>> the group that's trying to confuse people with their name, that pac is not actually located in richmond. this is it. you're looking at it. they're located at a non-dript office park about 30 min you wills outside of richmond. chevron's favorite candidate for mayor is gnat bates. the guy that he's running against is this gentleman, who's been on the richmond city council for 19 yearsment he's now trying to run for mayor against this whole huge wave of chevron money. >> like a lot of large corporations, they like to be in complete control of their destiny. and it doesn't sit well with them that they have to deal with regulators, whether it's the city of richmond or the state of california or the united states
of america. they want to be above all of that. i'm not sure if they could invest anymore. if they put $10 million in this race, they probably couldn't buy anymore tv ads. i know they bought all the billboards in richmond. >> they probably maxed out on their spending. >> what do they think they're going to get? >> they'll get undying loyalty. they'll get whatever they ask for. they always have. >> how much money have you raised for your campaign personally? >> i've raised about $40,000. >> so that's a little bit less than what your opponent has spent on his behalf. >> well, it's a lot more than a little bit less.
it's a whole different world less. >> that that is an understatement. the candidate has raised 40 x $000 for his campaign so far. his opponent, nat bates has had $1.4 million spent on his behalf. >> chevron, being the largest corporation and taxpayer in the city of richmond have engaged in protecting their interest. and they have selected candidates, not just me, but others, who they think they can works with. >> what do they think they want from you? >> i think the thing anyone wants is an opportunity to open the door and sit down and discuss with them their concerns. and i'm committed to that.
>> chevron's favorite candidate for mayor, nat bates, the first thing he will do on his first day in office is stilt e sit down with the krerks oo of chevron to hear what they want for and from richmond. despite all of that money spent on his behalf, he says he'll remain completely ind pen dent from that corporation that's funding so much of the support from his campaign. >> chevron do not vote. they provide finances to campaign, but they do not vote. >> i'm nobody's boy. and i will never be anybody's boy as long as i live e live. i know one thing, chevron can be with you today and they can very well be against you tomorrow. my commitment continues to be with the people who put me in office.
>> we reached out to chevron while we were out here. we weren't able to interview anybody while we were there. >> we also received a statement from the chef ron-funded paek tonight. it reads -- >> we're going to post both of those statements in full on our blog tonight. we also hope to speak with a representative from the chevron itself on the air on this show in the coming days. but joining us now is robert rogers. he's an instructor at the ucberkley school of journalism and is a resident of richmond, california. thanks for being here. >> thank you,ment e. thank you for having me, rachel. >> so you've covered richmond
for a lot of time. you lived there. is this a normal richmond election? >> absolutely not. what we have this time in richmond is an escalation of campaign spending that had already been on the way up in previous election cycles. but this time, we have an amount that is unprecedented. and then we see a demonstration of what $3 million + can do in a relatively small, socioeconomically disadvantaged city. it can stuff every mailbox, line every boulevard with billboards and create a viert of web sites. it can be in your free streaming music when you're in richmond. it's a very sophisticated campaign that ultimately advances chevron's interest. >> so the candidate who is not the favorite candidate for mayor, who has the amazing name of tom but. the guy with the memorable name, you usually think people are going to remember his name when
he gets there. he says, essentially, they've bought every billboard in richmond. everybody if i had more money to spend, i don't know what i'd spend it on. chevron has been able to dominate the industry. particularly, folks who live in the socioing no, ma'amically disadvantaged communities that are perhaps not abreast of all of the political issues. they are going to see chevron's billboards, chevron's fliers and chevron's candidates every day. that has value. >> there's some speculation that it may not be just that they want the best economic environment for all business in richmond. that this may specifically be about this pending lawsuit against them. that they may want the city council to settle.
and that a friendly city council might do that. is there any reportable truth to do that? the truth is that chevron has a lawsuit pending against it by the city of richmond for the first time in history. they retained a very formidable law firm. so they picked up, you know, some real attack dog attorneys. that is a very real possibility a settlement in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars. if that could be stopped in its tracks, it could save them a lot of money. >> robert rogers, reporter for the contra costa times. thanks for being here. appreciate it. >> all right, still ahead, a
programming note! in just a few minutes, i'm going to be racing out of our studio in san francisco and going to the airport for denver, colorado. today marks one week until election day. and there is a governor's race that has been absolutely off the hook. so if you are going to be in denver tomorrow, there will be details online about where we are going to be. best new thing in the world, next.
and it's a way to fill out the fantasy of being a real-life ball player, but they're not real life ball players. 60 feet from home plate. the pitcher's mound is higher than it looks. so when the pitcher throws down off that mountain, it's like flinging yourself down a hill toward the batter while you are simultaneously throwing as hard as you can. regular people don't do that in life. so ceremonial first pitches are almost always disaster. it almost always adds up to embarrassing, even if you're like a big strong rapper named 50 cent. he threw the ball sideways. a young singer called carly ray jepson forgot to let go. president obama threw one way wide and way high at a national's game. they put together a chart showing the location of some of these famous pitches. president clinton and bush do pretty well as do snoop dogg and
justice sotomayor. look at this one, michael jordan, michael jordan, really? if you have a choice between playing baseball against him or basketball? you know what to do. that's the disappointing world of mortals. even famous and talented mortals, when it comes to ceremonial first pitches. and then there's what happened this weekend. saturday night, i'm at my parents' house. mom's cooking dinner. dad's got his gear on. we think this is going to be terrible. half listening, apparently they've got a 13-year-old kid going to do the first pitch, this is going to be terrible.
pressure, pressure? what pressure? no big deal. 13 years old. didn't stand in front of the mound on the grass like everybody else. took the actual mound, fired away from full pro distance, took in the full capacity of roaring world series crowd, threw an effortless, hard strike right over the plate. little fist pump. done, nonchalant, flawless. should have paid attention as to who it was. and i would have known it was coming. monet davis who became a nationwide sensation at the little league world series, i should have known she would be able to nail a ceremonial pitch like that at the world series. she will not even be allowed to drive for three more years. come on. best new thing in the world
today, by 60.5 feet, right at the plate. best new thing in the world. that does it for us tonight. we'll see you tomorrow from colorado where we have a big show lined up. now it's time for the last word with lawrence o'donnell. colorado where we have a big show lined up. "first look" is next. >> right now on "first look" cdc releases new guidelines on people who come in contact with ebola. as new jersey's governor defends his decision to force a nurse into quarantine. a disaster creeps towards dozens of hawaiian residents in the path of a lava flow. >> britain's prime minister has a run in with a jogger raising concerns about his security detail. walmart apologizes for an offensive section on his website. >> the tortoise that swallowed a turtle. good morning. thanks so much for joining us today. right now quarantined out of africa and now in isolation, the u.s. military team is being held in