Assessing the Risk of COVID-19

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S1: Following recording may or may not include instances of words being said that the FCC would find me for their long arm could ever reach.

S2: It’s Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 from Slate’s The Gist. I’m Mike PESCA. Yesterday, I spoke to my parents. If you look at the high risk categories, it’s basically a straight flush for my dad.

S3: Yeah, he had it all. He had the cancer. He’s got the lung. He’s got the age.

S4: So when the 69 year old apparently pale lieutenant governor of Texas says, I shall sacrifice my body on the altar of commerce for my grandchildren.

S5: I say, hold off their horse, though.

S4: What if it turned out that the actual carcass of the actual lieutenant governor of Texas could be mined for tantalum? You know, the element used in mobile phones and hard drives and maybe his his fluids could be used as a sort of heating oil, like a like a sperm whale. And just simply harvesting the lieutenant governor’s body would support, say, 200 jobs. Good union jobs. That I think would be a harder question to answer, a tougher choice. But anyway, I did speak to my mom and dad. I have been tried to do that most nights, hero. I wear that lightly. Anyway, they tell me how they’re doing and like the rest of us, how they’re dealing with essentially being quarantined, being at home. So what they tried to do is they tried to rearrange some of their investments since that’s their income now trying to get an annuity. But to do so, they needed a signature because apparently it’s still the 11th century and the electronic signature thing befuddled them when they got it to work for one of them. But then it erased the other one and they got it to work for the other one. And it was just no way to make the electronic signature work. So as they tell me they have to drive down to the Fidelity office to provide their actual signatures because we’re still using Quill’s and papyrus and they wear gloves when they do it and they don’t talk to a human being. He’s left the materials in the lobby and then they peel off their gloves and cut them up and drop them in six different dumpsters on the way home, the perfect crime. And then my mom said, you know, she she’s not going to the store. So they tried Instacart. Have you heard of the Instacart? Indeed I have.

S6: But everything that they put in the Instacart, it was missing. They wanted to substitute with other things and they kept changing the date of delivery. So she didn’t understand what’s going on. So she tried to reach customer service by calling them. Can you call Instacart? Didn’t even have phones. She couldn’t get through. So she went to their Web site, but she couldn’t get the chat feature to work. So I did what I could to help, which wasn’t to interface with their computer. Give them tech advice. I just made a joke. I told them Instacart more like a venture card. They laughed. Oh, they laughed. They were tickled, hungry, but tickled. It does strike me that we have this virus where the most vulnerable to it are also the most dependent on the very technology that they will need to get through it. It is most alien to them. I was thinking of an analogy. It’s as if there were an outbreak of a virus that mostly or most acutely affected English speakers.

S4: The Anglophone virus. But don’t worry, you just have to shutter yourself inside and live your life via services that are only available in Spanish. Percent of people might be bilingual, but not most. We never really stopped and cared to make technology understandable to the old. What we did was we made jokes about it. Amy Schumer had that funny video with her mom, and every comedian in the 90s had a joke about the 12 o’clock blinking on their grandpa’s VCR. And really, what kind of monster simply makes a joke about such things? But when it comes to actually adapting or thinking about this audience now, they’re not our target demo in the history of humanity. Have we ever been so eager as to simply write off a generation from the tools of modernity? Have we ever been so blithe about it? I mean, sure, every new contraption always confuses the old a bit. Refridgerator. I’ll stick to my ice box. Thank you. But never has so much depended on learning the new tools and has so little care been given to those at a disadvantage. And at a time when we’re living longer than we ever have before the old people of today. If you look at the actuarial tables, we’ll spend more time in technological obsolescence than they did in their actual schools.

S6: So the way to sidestep the virus, it is technology. You have to live your life via zoo meeting and Instacart and Amazon deliveries and texting. And the people for whom it is most vital that they retreat to technology are also the people least able to do so. And none of us, of course, can go over and help. So sorry, mom and Dad, when this is over, I will make it up to you by Venmo in you, a private key for some bitcoin on the darkweb. I’ll get some on the show today. Our president said that the South Koreans told him they were really impressed by our testing protocols. Uh-Huh.

S7: And he also added, it’s hard not to be happy with the job we’re doing that I can tell you fact-check untrue.

S6: So some say it’s time to stop putting this guy on TV. I actually disagree. And that’s the subject of the spiel. But first, Ian Bremmer is a political scientist and gallivanting globetrotter whose wings have been clipped like the rest of Mars by this whole koruna thing that allows us here at the just some time with him.

S8: Ian has an interesting way of looking at the president, this president, and I’ve got a lot out of the conversation in the least despondent observer I know of of the man and the administration that we both agree is the worst in our lifetime. How does he strike that balance? Find out next.

S1: So one way that I deal with questions and questionable situations is talk to fascinating people who know a lot. And the best kind of fascinating people who know a lot are people who themselves talk to other fascinating people. What a guest I have with me. Ian Bremmer is the chair president of the Eurasia Group, and he’s also the host of the PBS series G-Zero World, which literally has him going around the world talking to the most expert people. And now things have pivoted to the pandemic. Hello, Ian. Thanks for joining me again.

S9: Good to be back with you, Mike.

S1: So I want to just talk about the Eurasia Group. What that business is, is a consulting business. You kind of tell smart people who maybe want to invest. What are the risks? So how do you even assess a risk with something as unknown as this? What depth of expertise can you hope to bring?

S10: Well, what do you mean by unknown? I mean, we if you mean that we don’t understand the parameters of the virus fully yet, that we’re understanding more about it every day. That’s certainly true. But we understand a lot about the political responses both around the world and inside countries.

S11: We understand a lot about the economic and the financial responses, the social responses and those things very radically. And by the way, I’m gonna tell you a hell of a lot about what kind of a world we have as we get through this. So, I mean, there is obviously an awful lot to say and not just in terms of your political preferences on cable news.

S12: Good. So what’s the evidence pointing to the best way to deal with this?

S10: Well, I’ll tell you, I actually posted on my Twitter feed a couple days ago a video from Nanjing in China that shows what life has been like as they’ve moved from an explosive epidemic that they covered up initially to containing it in a country of 1.4 billion people faster than anyone else possibly could at that scale. And it’s a very detailed video. It shows lots of aspects of life from what it’s like in restaurants to dust, infection of taxicabs to public infrastructure, to the surveillance system and apps and technology. And on the one hand, it’s a little dystopian given the level of intrusiveness of Chinese technological empowered authoritarianism. But on the other hand, it’s incredibly humbling in terms of seeing what the Chinese have been able to accomplish in every aspect of people’s lives to fight this virus. And it makes it very clear why we will not be able to do that in the US while the Europeans will not be able to accomplish that in Europe. There’s no question.

S13: I mean, you can point to Singapore, to Israel, to a bunch of tiny, well-managed, rich countries that have been able to respond fairly effectively with, you know, lots of controls over borders and the rest. But at scale, no one is close to China.

S1: Right. So I’ve been looking at the same evidence and I’ve kind of discounted China and discounted Iran, a failed state. Let us look at the unruly democracies and the and the good case and the bad case. And so that South Korea and Italy, what lessons can we learn from each of them, how they did it right, how they did it wrong?

S13: South Korea and Japan and Italy and the United States.

S14: Let’s broaden it out a little bit, because it’s different, because in South Korea, they got at it early and they tested a hell of a lot massive transparency.

S13: And so even though they had a substantial outbreak, they were able to get a bead on exactly where it was real fast.

S14: In Japan, they didn’t do that.

S15: They closed down the schools, but they didn’t closed down the rest of the country. And nothing like the lockdown that you’re seeing in many American cities right now and across much of Europe. But what they have. Both Japan and South Korea, societies that actually go along when the government says do stuff. So the South Korean Japanese government says you should all wear masks. They all wear masks.

S13: If they say don’t go out for dinner, don’t go to the parks. They don’t. And in the United States and Italy, not only have our responses been late, so the cases got out of control before we started really standing up surge capacity and health care system, for example. And in Italy, we’ve seen their health care system get overwhelmed as a consequence. That may easily happen in some municipalities in the U.S. in the coming weeks, but also our citizens just don’t listen.

S15: Right. I mean, which is wonderful in terms of entrepreneurship and individuality in great societies with fun and fascinating creative people. But when it comes to responding to a crisis of a global pandemic, it’s really bad to have all this unfettered individualism.

S1: So a lot of the critics I’ll concede this point that a lot of the critics and the specific criticism has been overblown or inaccurate. And since Trump is criticized as both being an autocrat and an anarchist, that is the full continuum of leadership. So someone’s going to be wrong. I’m just worried that, again, the places where it hasn’t hit, it seems like New York understands what the stakes are. And California and the cities in Texas, if not fairly large places like Frisco, but if there’s places where there are only a few cases, if they conceive of it as we don’t have Corona yet. I think that the appropriate steps can be taken. But if they conceive of it as, oh, we barely have Corona and Corona is not really a problem for us, then that’s a lot more troubling. And I’m not sure what signals to go on to see how they are conceiving it.

S10: So let’s play it out in a few different ways. First of all, one of the most important things we need right now is time for the parts of the country that are farthest up the curve in terms of explosive cases in two to three weeks.

S9: We are going to be in a much better position to ensure that our health care system will not be overwhelmed the way that Italys has been.

S14: That’s important. That’s a positive thing that’s happening across the country. Number one. Number two, let’s imagine that we get three, four weeks out and the government decides that they are now going to take the foot off the brakes on the economy.

S10: They’re going to let the economy start again. And most of the blue states say, no, we still need to quarantine.

S15: And the red states say yes. Well, a couple of things are going to happen when the red states say yes. First of all is if that is premature, you’re going to see first further explosions of cases there and you’ll see a whole bunch of individuals that refuse to restart the economy. They won’t go to the restaurants. They won’t go to their places of work because they’re scared. And you’ll need very quickly, as you see those explosions of cases, local leaders having to put quarantines back on now. Yes, that’s worse for the economy and it’s worse for the markets. But there will be a corrective feedback loop. So just be it. It’s important to be aware of all of that going on as as backdrop for what what’s gonna be playing out in our country over the coming weeks.

S1: Yeah. Here’s the thing. If this were another kind of issue, we could wait for that to happen. But if the places that take it less seriously than others and want to get the economy going, if they do it and then there is a backlash, that backlash would be a backlash of deaths. And it can be a death toll of tens of thousands that you wouldn’t know or hundreds of thousands that you wouldn’t have had otherwise.

S14: You’re right. But again, let’s keep in mind that if the health care systems are overwhelmed, the death toll from Corona virus is likely to be five to 10 times greater than if they’re not.

S16: And I’m not trying to minimize this, but I am trying to say that if we fix that and if we have lots of testing in the next few weeks, we will have a better sense of what the parameters are.

S10: We can be much more educated in terms of making a decision of what the implications are, the costs and the opportunities.

S14: Because, you know, Mike, it’s important to recognize that there are costs.

S16: And I mean, human costs, not just economic costs of keeping the economy shut. People will die.

S11: Right. I mean, there people people will die if we if we keep this economy shut off for a significant period. I mean, the suicide rates will go way up. Right.

S15: I mean, other chronic conditions will be exacerbated. So that’s very clear. What I think will be true is that within three to four weeks, we should be in a. Much better position to make an educated series of decisions around that which we can’t do right now because we just don’t know what this the curve of outbreaks are going to look at. We don’t have the testing being done.

S17: We don’t know if our health care system is going to be stood up. Now, let’s imagine a few weeks time that the costs of opening up the economy vastly outweigh the economic benefits. The human costs. And and Foushee makes that argument and loses it because Trump doesn’t care. And let’s be clear that we want a president that is assessing the costs and benefits and making a decision. We want that. But the problem is that many of us do not trust that Trump cares enough about human beings compared to the state of the markets and the economy. To make that decision in ways that reflect the well-being of the American nation. So if Trump were to take that decision and put Americans in harm’s way, I have no doubt in my mind that Foushee resigns and he goes public. And I think the impact that would have on the population and on decisions of red state governors and mayors would be significant, wouldn’t be everyone, but would be significant. And so, again, I’m just putting another thing out there that talks about the feedback mechanisms when there are lots of lives at stake that will play out in a country like the United States that isn’t an authoritarian state, that doesn’t have, you know, sort of just a leader who says jump and everybody jumps. That’s actually not the way it works in America, even though that’s the way it’s frequently presented in the media.

S1: So I think about some past decisions that this administration has had to me make. And you have a couple of the same dynamics in place. Let’s talk about pulling out of Syria to pretty much allow Turkey to overtake the Kurds. And for years, this was an active debate. Trump’s inclination was, I want to get out. I want to get out. And people. There are some people in the administration who supported that, but a lot of people in powerful decision making positions. Mattis Bolton, who said that that would be a bad move. Once those people were sidelined, he did give in to that inclination and those members of his administration who are advising that. Now, maybe it’s not the best analogy, because the Worst-Case scenario is a bunch of Kurds get slaughtered as opposed to a bunch of Americans.

S15: And yet that didn’t happen. The Kurds very quickly. Who knew for a couple of years that they were going to get sold down the river by the Americans that didn’t care. Ended up flipping to work with the Russians very quickly, because what choice did they have? And as a consequence, I mean, yes, some ISIS family members and fighters were able to escape from jails, and that was a problem. And that’s mostly a problem locally and regionally and to a degree in Europe, not for the United States, but that’s bad. And you also saw significant additional refugees and people get internally displaced, mostly in Syria. Those some additional coming into Turkey and making their way to Greece, Bulgaria, other countries.

S18: But but this worst case scenario of Kurds getting slaughtered, which everyone said, well, this is gonna happen if Trump pulls these troops back, never actually happen now. Why is there no accountability for that?

S1: Why is there no follow up? Why isn’t that part of the story?

S18: Well, I mean, yes. Since you since you’re throwing that out, I mean, and I don’t think you’re doing that uniquely. I mean, I’ve seen this all over the place. But the people who all talk in these worst case scenarios about this is what’s going to happen when Trump does decision X, Y and Z and it doesn’t we kind of move on to the next thing we’re breathlessly criticizing about. Look, I but I believe that Trump is the least fit for office president of my lifetime. And yet I find myself needing to police this shit all the time because there’s no fricking accountability.

S1: So you’re saying that Trump granted a bad president, bad thinker, worst inclinations, has yet to embark on a policy decision that had such a parent negative consequences to most people. He has not yet done anything and given in to his worst instincts if they are his instincts when ever the majority of Americans would turn against him, and obviously causing tens of thousands of people to die needlessly would with Corona would be such a case. He hasn’t done anything that bad so far.

S17: I don’t know what I’m actually saying.

S16: Something more simple than that, which is that Trump as president, irrespective of his impulses, his childishness, his lack of factual orientation. He’s massively constrained by all sorts of things, not just by the deep bureaucracy which does exist, although the deep state doesn’t, or by the media or by whistleblowers or by Congress or by just the. Stations of what a president one man can actually do and his own lack of expertise and facility and capacity to really like follow through on big strategic issues, I mean, he’s made bad mistakes. But I’m simply saying that the idea that it’s catastrophe, that it’s cataclysmic. Which is what you know, that everything is on a one to ten dial.

S12: Everything is an eleven from a Trump tweet to a Trump policy to a Trump press conference is usually radically overstated.

S1: Huh? So when he toys with the idea, as he has, that maybe after the 15 day period, we all go back to work. Does that actually give you pause or does that factor into your view, which you just articulated to me? OK. It’s pretty expected, given how he vacillates in public and doesn’t like to be constrained. You kind of expected some sort of public murmuring about that. You don’t really worry about it until the decision time has come.

S9: Well, politically, at least that’s going to be more useful for him to be able to blame kicking and screaming the Democrats for destroying the economy as opposed to Trump. So some of this is just a tactical feint.

S1: Oh, so he. Right. Right. So he gets to say, you heard me. I wanted to bring the economy back. Like, let’s say, uh-huh. So the coveted death toll is horrible, but, you know, not in the tens of thousands. And the economy is in bad shape. Then Trump has an argument. Look, covered was not that bad. And I was the guy who wanted the economy to get back in gear, for example.

S5: Yeah. Interesting.

S1: And so then when he does, though. Think about it. Do you say, oh, this is a step down the wrong path or do you not even say that because you take you know, you’re thinking a few steps beyond where he is right now?

S19: It’s definitely a step. But I mean, a lot of this is the drunkard’s walk. So those steps frequently wash out over the course of a week or two weeks.

S20: They’re not necessarily consistent. He he stops. He forgets what he said. He changes what he said. What he said gets fixed by other people. And and, you know, then just have to deal with the fact that there’s inconsistency, which provides the media plenty of gotcha moments. Because I you see, you didn’t say he didn’t say this.

S9: You know, we caught him in a lie. Well, yeah. OK. I mean, you have to 15000 lies being caught by The Washington Post. You think that that would stop being the top headline? Right. It’s not. It’s a game that everybody’s playing. And, you know, I just I don’t need to play it. And it’s useful to be in a situation where I don’t have to. I’m more interested in trying to help people figure out what’s likely to actually happen. Right. And sometimes that’s not so exciting. It’s not such a massive headline. It’s not a sexy. It’s certainly not as polarizing. And people, you know, want to feel polarized because they want to get, you know, angry at the side. They don’t they don’t agree with. But especially in a period like this where we’re facing the biggest the legitimately biggest crisis of our lifetimes, the biggest economic crisis since World War Two. I think it’s really important to have folks out there that are, you know, more dispassionately saying, here’s what’s likely to happen. And that’s I mean, I know, I know. That’s why you want me on your show. But I mean, you know, more relevantly, that’s what I’m really trying to bring to the equation here.

S1: I actually like it. I like it a lot. I appreciate it.

S21: Ian Bremmer is the president of the Eurasia Group and the host of G-Zero World with Ian Bremmer on PBS. Hey, thanks a lot, Ian. Good to talk to you guys.

S6: And now the schpiel. The problem with the lies of President Donald Trump are to some extent the lies, but mostly that he’s the president. And as president, he commands a platform and the media has traditionally granted the president this platform. But not always. And maybe not for much longer. Today, KUOW, the public radio station in Seattle that I’ve been on many times and have friends who work for, announced that they shouldn’t be covering Donald Trump’s press conferences any longer. They wrote, We will not be airing the briefings live due to a pattern of false or misleading information provided that cannot be fact checked in real time. That’s sure. Trump does engage in false statements, misleading statements, retributive statements, hurt statements, ignorant statements and scads of self-justification the fly in the face of reality. And yet I think these press briefings are still a good thing. I say this as someone who has watched every minute of every White House Corona Task Force briefing that has occurred from the White House podium. There are lots of bad things about them, but they are outweighed by the good things. There are bonafide medical experts informing the public up there. There are reporters getting to ask real questions to the president. It is simply a good thing for the public to be seeing its leaders leading. Even if the leadership is imperfect and at times worse. Now, you may say, OK, tell that to the people who drank aquarium cleaner. I can’t because one is dead and his wife is probably not a listener to slate podcasts. Also, she’s probably not a viewer of CNN or MSNBC. The two entities that might plausibly declined to take the briefings live. But Trump still has Fox and C-SPAN and all of the Internet and Twitter and your uncle’s social media page. So he’s going to get the message out there. Let’s take one example. The deadly ingestion of chloroquine. Yes. Trump did irresponsibly tout it in a press conference last Thursday.

S7: But this has been used in different forms, a very powerful drug, in different forms. And it’s shown very encouraging, very, very encouraging early results.

S22: But within minutes of that, the head of the FDA was right there to offer his actual scientific perspective.

S23: We need to make sure that he said the sea of new treatments will get the right drug to the right patient at the right dosage at the right time. As an example, we may have the right drug, but it may not be in the appropriate dosage form right now, and that may do more harm than good. Those are the things that that’s our job to look at. And that’s why it’s really important we have these dedicated professionals looking at these aspects of therapeutic development at the same time. We’re also working through different mechanisms to actually get drugs into the hands of providers and patients. The president mentioned this, but one of the mechanisms called compassionate use. Let me just tell you about this. If there is an experimental drug that’s potentially available, a doctor could ask for that drug to be used in a patient. We have criteria for that and very speedy approval for that. The important thing about compassionate use, and that’s what the president meant. This is even beyond right to try, is it? We get to collect the information about that, because one of the things is our promise to American people is we will collect the data and then make the absolute right decisions based upon this data about the safety and efficacy of the treatments.

S22: The next day, Anthony Foushee was asked about the drugs. And if you were watching these live press briefings live, you would have seen America’s most respected infectious disease expert in this whole pandemic. Answer. Those drugs aren’t ready yet.

S24: Is there any evidence to suggest that, as with malaria, it might be used as a prophylaxis against co-design? The answer is, is no.

S22: Still, the next day, Trump tweeted Hydro, oxy, chloroquine and a Rothera myosin, taken together, have a real chance to become one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine. Hopefully they will both be put in use immediately. People are dying, move fast. And yet in a media environment that allows for Trump to say that to spout off unchecked, the high priests of journalism are arguing that what we need to shut down is the form of media that actually allows Trump to be reined in in real time by an expert standing six feet away from him. Actually, given the poor spacing of these briefings, three feet away from him.

S6: Jay Rosen, a professor of journalism at NYU, has been saying we need to invoke, quote, emergency measures by not playing the briefings live, quote, real news companies with real journalists should not be a pass through for misinformation that could be deadly. Well, I mean, every time an American president has spoken from the Oval Office on the brink of war, it will certainly be about deadly information. And anytime a president makes a speech and advocates for economic sanctions on another country, those can be deadly. Health care policies are deadly one way or another. I don’t know that that’s a criteria. Rosen then goes on to write quite dramatically. We plan to suspend normal relations with the Trump White House. That means we won’t be attending briefings. We can watch them on TV. We won’t join in any off the record background sessions with administration officials. We won’t enter into agreements of any kind with the Trump team, which includes those nameless senior advisors who mysteriously show up in news stories. Huh? Sounds like he’s agreeing with Trump a little bit about the so-called unnamed sources. But overall, it’s as if Jay Rosen was visiting some sort of hypothetical media circa 1952, where two or three responsible parties can get together and deprive the White House of the oxygen it needs to get its message out. As if CNBC and CNN is power of alternative programming has the ability to stop people from hearing about what Trump says and what Trump tweets. What Trump says as carried live on Fox News and C-SPAN. Hey, if we’re gonna live in a hypothetical world, why not just construct one where people aren’t compelled by Trump’s message in the first place? And let us take his point about we won’t be attending briefings again. I want to say I’ve watch every second of every briefing and the press has largely been excellent.

S22: In fact, it was after one of those chloroquine collar squeeze that Trump snapped after a tough and fair question from Pete Alexander. It’s a form of accountability, I say. If anything, the presence of the press and the formality of the briefings have kept Trump in check. Have you seen him when he’s freed of the formal meeting? Here he was yesterday on a Fox News special live from the White House.

S25: This is a New York governor. Cuomo rejected buying recommended 16000 ventilators in 2015 for the pandemic, for a pandemic, establish death panels and lotteries instead. So he had a chance to buy and two thousand fifteen sixteen thousand ventilators at a very low price. And he turned it down.

S6: I’m not in accurate death panels. Low prices. Any actual thought to actually order the sixteen thousand ventilators as a panel assembled, then even 16000 wouldn’t be enough. New York State didn’t even have enough people to operate them. It just what’s called a lie. And it was from the Gateway Pundit, which is a discredited, paranoid Web site. So did Fox News even ask? Just even. What’s your source, let alone? Is that true? They did not. That is what happens when responsible media chooses not to go in for the questioning, but just watches on TV. Guess what TV channel they’re going to be watching on. And also, if we’re pulling the plug on the president during this crisis for falsehoods while, by the way, allowing him the freedom to spew forth an irresponsible media. But if we’re doing that, if we’re clamping down on the live briefings of that, then surely will have no trouble shutting up the governors. I mean, here is Florida Governor DeSantis at a press conference today.

S26: I think there’s a question about whether the school closures have been effective. There’s really no evidence.

S6: Yeah, actually, there is quite a lot of data from a few countries.

S27: We see that you’re in Japan. It was announced today that schools are closing nationwide.

S6: So let’s compare the US to Japan in the last three days. The death toll in the US has increased by 120, 230 that 200. The death toll in Japan has increased by one every day for the last three days. And South Korea, which is widely seen as the exemplar of response.

S28: South Korea has delayed the start of the new school term by two weeks as it continues to battle the largest Kurata virus outbreak outside of which has extended through April 6th.

S6: So it worked. Lots of studies say it works as study in nature in 2006 found that closing schools during the peak of a pandemic could reduce the peak attack rate by 40 percent. 2016 study in BMC Infectious Diseases says that it reduces the rate of new cases by more than 50 percent. So what is that add up to that DeSantis was wrong and he’s gotten things wrong before. So I guess no TV for him. Well, I have to say, before that one misstatement near the end of his press conference today, he actually delivered informative, useful, accurate information. He explained the 14 day quarantines that he imposed on travelers from New York. He laid out how it was going to. Being forced I have been critical of DeSantis because he’s too pro-business and anti-government, didn’t shut the beaches down in time, but I am glad the citizens of Florida got to watch the press conference, the full press conference in real time. And if you want to say, oh, just tape, delay it and then fact check it later. That’s not going to happen. That is not how programming works. If you don’t take the full thing live, you will not hear the full thing. And I think Floridians needed to hear the full thing. Also, we’re going to be punishing for false statements. No TV for you. Well, remember when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said we might need to shelter in place and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo pandemic Paladin’s said this deep breath time.

S29: There’s not going to be any quarantine where we contain people within an area. We block people from an area. Individual mobility is what we’re all about.

S22: That was one week ago today. And I speak to you from the basement of a house. I have not left except to get medication once and groceries once in the last week.

S6: So shut it down for Cuomo if we’re gonna be consistent or accept that politicians sometimes get it wrong and that our current president often gets it wrong. A lot more than sometimes. But the good still outweighs the bad. Today in The New York Times, Ted Koppel was quoted as saying training a camera on a live event and just letting it play out. Is technology not journalism? Of course, Koppel has also said that if C-SPAN technology, not journalism. He also said that as opposed to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, WikiLeaks, quote, that is in journalism and at a Shorenstein Center at Harvard.

S22: In 1996, he was asked about live coverage of war, any war, the Gulf War on TV. And he said the essence of journalism lies in the editing process, not in training a camera on an event that is not journalism. He’s against live TV. He’s not wrong. All of the things he said that are in journalism aren’t. Maybe WikiLeaks can be curated into some form of journalism. But guess what? There are reasons to air an event other than the notion of journalism. There is the public interest. There’s the public good. There is the value of information rather than silence. Did you watch all those Republican debates in 2016? I wouldn’t call them journalism, but they did help voters decide on who to vote for poorly. But that’s what happens in a democracy sometimes. We all would rather have a president who is accurate and precise and truthful. That is not the president we have. So can we just not cover him and not attend his press conferences and surrender coverage to those who will? If we do that, I say we are not acting in the public interest, though we might be embodying some high concept of journalism. The real problem that journalism’s high priest, Jay Rosen and a lot of critics of President Trump have with the coverage of President Trump is that Trump is president. I hate that also. But those who wield a pen or point to camera, but also think that putting down the pen or putting the lens cap on the camera will stop Trump from being president are simply wrong. He will, I believe, be a worse president. Absent the scrutiny. And the country will be more misinformed without these press conferences, because shutting our eyes will do no more to constrain him than closing our minds will wish away the virus itself.

S2: And that’s it for today’s show. Priscilla Lobby is the assistant producer of The Gist. She’s worried that now that the president has gone to a nighttime schedule, it cuts in to her Wolf time and Priscilla needs her time. Daniel Schrader’s, producer of The Jest.

S4: He doesn’t care about Trump live 20-20 cause he was there for Dawkins beast from the east or in 88. Nothing could touch that.

S2: The geste. Where is fout G? Where is he?

S30: He wrote. He wrote.

S6: How are you today, sir? Don’t eat any fish cleaner.

S2: Wrong way round. No way. Emporer adepero Dupré. And thanks for listening.