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we think we’re in a fight we are not actually in. start – cautious – vigilant – a new normal: these four phases of breakouts from the covid-19 shutdown are a wary attempt to return to normalcy. with massachusetts announcing their plan to reopen beginning with stage one, hosts tom scott and rp eddy discuss the questions of restarting daily life: how do we reopen? do we expect spikes in covid-19 cases, and what do we do about them? how do we get back to “normal” while protecting ourselves and those most vulnerable around us? tom has arrived in nashville, where he is visiting the muscle shoals, subject of a music documentary. he notes that most of the city has reopened, but also acknowledges the economic impact of the shutdown. rp eddy and tom discuss the impact of privilege and health on the likelihood of contracting covid-19, and strive to answer the best way to help ourselves and our communities while avoiding the spread of the virus.
tom scott is chairman & co-founder of the nantucket project. rp eddy was the architect of the Clinton administration’s pandemic response framework and the United Nations response to the global AIDS epidemic & is CEO of global intelligence firm Ergo. rp is co-author of the best-selling award-winning book Warnings: Finding Cassandras to Stop Catastrophes with Richard A. Clarke, Former National Security Council counterterrorism adviser.
Tom Scott [00:00:22] I’m Tom Scott. This is R.P. Daily. R.P., I am in Nashville today, Nashville. That’s the Ryman Auditorium behind me right there. I’d show you the front of the Ryman Auditorium, but they’re doing construction on the front in front of the Ryman Auditorium. So we couldn’t go there. But, you know, this was never intended to be a music trip. But, you know, just the way things turned out, we were across the street from Stax Records in Memphis. There was obviously all the influence of the music down in New Orleans and then throughout Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis. Yesterday, we were at Fame Records, which, you know, if you watch… If you want to watch a great documentary, I’m sure many of you have seen this. But the Muscle Shoals documentary is so good. It’s just such an interesting and powerful story with a lot of ironies in it that really make it beautiful. So after the show yesterday, we were in the studio. We got to sit in on a session. My friend Freddie Camalier, who made the film, connected us there. You know, we got to shoot in there. Powerful. Very cool. They can’t do that with masks. So they take their masks off. You know, it ruins the sound. And they were just able to reopen. And then we drove up here and we got to Nashville. And Nashville is fairly open, a fair amount of activity going on. You know, there’s a psychological thing. I feel very different. I can’t explain it. You know, I’m starting to see people move around. I start to feel more confident, comfortable, and I start to forget a little. There’s a part of me that sort of forgets everything we’re going through. And I know back where you guys are and I know in particular, R.P., you were able to look at some of the things Massachusetts and other states are doing sort of as a prelude to that. One, do you others understand the psychological description I’m making and does that worry you? And then two, tie that to some of the specifics about what you see and what’s happening with Massachusetts, et cetera. And I know it goes back to a show we had last week when we were talking with the folks from Nantucket about sort of how they’re going to manage things for them. And it makes sense. We can circle back on that to.
R.P Eddy [00:02:34] You know, we’ve talked a lot about the heart and the head and put more words on that, it’s like complex new science, deep rationality on the head side. Like, what do the statistics say? What’s this virus do? What’s a bacteria? I mean, like all this learning we have to do on one side and then the heart, which is partly, you know, I use the word limbic in the monkey brain and you know, all that. But that’s… that’s, or, I see something and our bodies, our brains merely have reaction. And and you see a lot of people walking around Nashville, a kickass city, and a lot of people walking around probably with smiles on their face. I don’t know if the blue joints are open or not, but to me, that’s seductive. And that’s awesome. And you want to go in there, you want to see those people and, you know, stop and get a hurricane or whatever the story is. That’s Louisiana, New Orleans. I know, but I’m sure they served in there, too. And, so you can there’s one answer which is like, the rational mind. The epidemiologist should tell us that that’s not what we should do. And that that’s just a monkey brain thinking, you know, like be safe, wear your mask, stay away. But a lot of what we’re learning is, hey, there’s aspects to this disease that mean that, you know, there’s a certain degree of socializing that we can do, quote unquote, safely. And we know in our hearts that we kind of have to do this. Like like humans will shrivel up if we don’t get to see other people. Humans will lose health care and the capacity to fund themselves and their families if they don’t get to work. And economies will fail if businesses aren’t moving. Right? Those three things have to happen in that, you know. And so, you know, you get back to: all right, the question everyone’s trying to figure out, how can I… can I scratch that itch as a human and see other people and socialize, which we all deeply know we need. And then how can we get business moving and economies moving and do it safely? So it’s you know, it becomes this head and heart rationality versus irrationality, jog in our head constantly. And that’s what we’re trying to figure out. And so everyone wants the solution. Is it this medicine, is it social distancing, is it a mask, is it protecting the vulnerable? What’s the solution? We’ll get back to normal. And I’ll conclude with it maybe gets back to that conversation in her head. Has to get back to the stock paradox, which is this is going to suck for a while. Deal with it. Understand that it’s not going to be easy. We’re going to take losses. Some people will die and some aspects of our lives are going to be different than they were before and in many instances, just worse. You don’t get to walk into the juke joint in Nashville on Beale Street. Hope I’m not confusing a bunch of places. I think that’s right. And listen to a band jam like you’re drinking a cold PBR surrounded by people with cowboy hats and sweats. Not gonna happen right now, as fun as it is.
Tom Scott [00:05:41] So let’s take that into some specifics. What do you see with Massachusetts, like what are the, what are the headlines and any surprises in there?
R.P Eddy [00:05:50] Now, it’s a good rational…well, I’m not going to say what’s good or bad. It’s a highly rational, highly researched plan. No surprise coming out of a state with more high quality medical institutions per capita than any other and led by a governor who’s got some medical background and just done a pretty reasonable job on this. A Republican governor worth keeping in mind. And it’s there’s a deck, you know, a PowerPoint deck you can read. He starts with public data. He gets right into it. We’re gonna be driven by public health data. We’re going to test and trace. Here’s what we’ve done. Here’s where we’re going. And we’re gonna, and he says, again, this can be driven by public health data (I’m reading the slide titles). And, look, this outline is what I wish the federal government had done a long, long time ago, 70 days ago. Seventy five days ago, in which case we could probably look like New Zealand or Australia or Germany. But anyway, he’s got sector-specific protocols and best practices anyway. It’s a four phase breakout. Right. So we went, we’ll have you remember a while ago there was the president’s initial plan about opening, which I think is a three phase breakout. We saw kind of the hidden CDC documents we talked about before, which also used phase breakouts. So all these experts, all these leaders are suggesting like let’s take it step by step and see how we’re doing. Let’s see where we are. Let’s see where the virus is and see where we are, let’s see where the viruses is, pounding it down and move forward. If it’s coming back, we recede. And he’s got phase one called start. Phase two called cautious. Phase three called vigilance. Phase four called the New Normal. And each phase is a minimum of three weeks. So right now, I guess you start Phase one. So if you’re Nantucket and we’ve spent some time talking them the other day, where you have zero cases on the island right now, you’ve done a great job with it. My read of this document and again, I’ve only read it quickly, my read of this document is you wait three weeks and then you can start limited openings, which do not include restaurants. Phase two, after three weeks, you can start these cautious openings that include business, recreational, sorry, lodging, open with restrictions. I think restaurants open for outdoor serving and nail salons, day spas, et cetera. So three weeks from now, a place like Nantucket that’s been clean can do that. Three more weeks after that. Casinos, fitness gyms, museums, other businesses, all of the businesses can resume except nightclubs and large venues. And then finally, you get to the full resumption six weeks from now. So we’ll start phase four. And by the way, if you recall, when we looked at the federal guidelines, which is described as three phases, I said there’s actually four. They just one came in beginning one. That’s what this is. So that’s the plan. It’s smart. It’s very detailed. It gets down into different sectors and talks about caring for children, transit, protecting the vulnerable. Still doesn’t appear to have a genius or highly assertive way to protect vulnerable populations. I don’t, I’m sorry, I do not understand why states aren’t getting that, why they’re not putting a lot more effort into figuring out how states will spend money and mandate protection from vulnerable populations. Because remember, once you get over fifty five or you start adding co-morbidities, illnesses, you take pills, you have diabetes, you’re obese, your chance of dying from this disease increases twenty to three hundred times more than people that are under fifty five and don’t have the disease. So those people…
Tom Scott [00:09:36] I look at some of these economic numbers, which, among other things, this is a very critical piece of that puzzle. Let me just share a few, okay? I’m reading this list and it’s not a good list. It doesn’t sound good. I say that, I’m laughing in frustration. I don’t think it’s funny, actually. But there are thirty six and a half million unemployed in the country. At the worst moment of the Great Depression, there were 15 million unemployed. OK, so we got double the number, double the number of people unemployed, more than double the number of people unemployed from the days of the depression. You know, the unemployment rate, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the real rate of unemployment is now at 30 percent. You know, a healthy economy…
R.P Eddy [00:10:31] You said a real rate, or 30 percent employed rate?
Tom Scott [00:10:33] Real rate, real rate. Yeah. Forty percent of Americans with a job with an income of less than $40000 a year, forty percent say they’ve lost a job during this crisis. One study shows that one hundred thousand businesses have already permanently closed. Hundred thousand permanently. Look at it. Retail here, U.S. retail sales were down sixteen point four percent in April. Those numbers, because I followed those numbers for years, you know, they’ll move three percent in a big year, up or down. 16 percent off in April this year. Industrial production production fell eleven point two percent. The GDP dipped 4.8 percent in the first quarter. Now, remember, first quarter is January, February and March. And then, you know, a recent forecast by the Atlanta Fed says the U.S. GDP could sink over 40 percent. So those are some bad numbers. I mean, this is this is serious stuff. And, you know, I think when you start to think of these solutions that these governors… you know, the first thought that comes to mind for me and obviously we want to talk a little bit about the economy here, is the spike, because the reemergence is about addressing these problems. Among other things, the reemergence will be curtailed by spikes. I don’t even know what that means. I’m being literal. I don’t know what what a spike is, is defined as, et cetera. But I’m just curious, do you expect spikes?
R.P Eddy [00:12:12] Yeah, I actually expect spikes in the virus. We’re going to see… we call it ping pong balls. So if you had a bucket of ping pong balls, you dropped on the map. You know, some will just roll, some bounce and so we’re going to, we are seeing spikes in cities across America right now, most in the Midwest. But we expect that we expect the total death number, total death number by August one will be about one hundred fifty thousand people. I think we’re now at 80. What’s the number today? We have a lot longer to go, 90, we’re at 90. And that’s going to be not because New York continues to be the dominant place. People are dying because it’s, it’s dropping off precipitously. But because the rest of the more of the Midwest is going to begin picking up a lot of cases around a lot of cities and obviously hope against hope that that’s not going to happen and hope that the weather tamps that down, hope that personal behavior, mask wearing tamps down. But we’ll see. So that’s the expectation of all experts right now. Literally, every epidemiologist that we survey, work with thinks that’s going gonna help the economy stuff. I didn’t realize we finally got to 30 percent. I had been saying we would hit 30 percent for a couple of months thinking it was really out there. That’s horribly high. I mean, the economic impacts are you’re, seeing it, you’re driving around. It’s just insane. And it’s going to get worse and it’s going to linger for a long time. And then I just I feel like we have to be responsible note. First of all, for privileged Americans, the change might be really small. Your son may come in and sit in your lap during work. I mean, literally, that’s going to be my impact today. You know, I’m working at home. My colleague, my coworker or my son kisses me in the office inappropriately, that’s my challenge today. The, but the people in America that are the least off are getting crushed. And then think about what’s happening over, what’s going to happen overseas in very poor countries. And even without the virus, the economic slowdown is going to kill. Millions of millions people like this is a big deal. And someone will write a study. They’ll be competing studies at the end of this that says, hey, you know what, if we just let the virus rip through the world, if we had done nothing as far as shutdowns, you’ll find some gradients. But if we’d done nothing like we’d said, go virus, go get them. We’re all going to stay at work, which literally impossible. Imagine trying to be that New York City. You couldn’t do it. Someone will argue you you’d have less death overall. I don’t know. I don’t think that… I’m quite sure those numbers wouldn’t be right because you’d be saying probably one and a half percent of the world would die. Is what would probably happen in that scenario over time. That was 70 percent of one and a half percent of the world would die. Is what that would be saying. But there are going to be real deaths because of the economic shutdown. Deaths of despair, suicide, opiates, obesity, delayed medical care. People not going to hospitals because they’re afraid of the emergency room. My cousin who’s about my age, just had a random health crisis and was really afraid to go to the hospital and was bleeding at home and his stomach had an ulcer. And he almost didn’t go to hospital because he was afraid of Corona. And if he hadn’t gone an hour, he had gone in an hour or two later he would’ve died. Literally would’ve died. And that’s a perfect example of you got into the hospital, you think you’re sick. And people some people aren’t. You’ve got to get your mammograms. You got to get your immunizations for yourself and your kids. All those things out to happen. William, when he sat on my lap, has a cavity in his tooth, it’s not life threatening, but it’s been bothering the hell out him or three weeks. He can’t go to the dentist and get it fixed. You know, these are, that’s a tiny thing and there’s huge things. So, you know, one point you made early on, Tom, that we have to keep in memory is, you know, this is not win, win, it’s not win, lose. It’s lose, lose. We have to to minimize that as best we can.
Tom Scott [00:16:19] So these, the Massachusetts plan, and by the way, how unique are these plans state to state?
R.P Eddy [00:16:28] Well, we had hoped they wouldn’t be unique. We would hope there would be an East Coast block, West Coast block, and the Midwest block. And they had all, said all those blocks had said that was what they were going to do. That might have been politicking against the White House. Remember, the White House at one point said a variety of things, very hard to know what the message was, but at one point the states felt under attack, Republican and Democrat states in some instances. Right now, the states are all making back to atomisation per state and then you’ll see atomisation per town. And that’s so, so the Massachusetts plan… if they had more in here in protecting vulnerable populations, I would say every state should look really, really closely at this. And then the modification would be, if you’re a county in Missouri where they’ve had no cases, for example, I’m not sure if Missouri’s had no cases. But there’s plenty of counties, America, zero cases. You probably should be… you can find a much more rapid way to get back to work if the disease isn’t floating around the population and you don’t have tons of visitors from New York and Wuhan coming in, then you probably can get to work pretty quickly. And a lot of the states are doing the opposite. A lot of states have much less restrictions. You’re walking through Nashville, people were on the street.
Tom Scott [00:17:40] I know this is just speculative. But if Laurie Garrett looked at that Massachusetts plan, how does somebody like that react? She’d like it.
R.P Eddy [00:17:50] Yeah, she’d like it. She’d probably… I’d hope she would say the same thing I’m saying about high risk people. So it says, you know, it does say “we’ll try to get more testing available for high risk populations,” but it doesn’t have that magic solution. Well, magic and horrible, right? Tell you what I mean by that. Hi, you’re 65. You live in a multi-generational household, 65 or older. You live with your parents. You live with your son and daughter and grandkids. Whatever the numbers are. And you’re 65 years or older. Oh, and you’re obese or you have diabetes. Like, you have a series of things. That means if you get the disease, you’re in really big trouble. But Junior has to go to school. And school is a petri dish. So we have to be pretty darn sure that, you know, you saw the 6 year old on my lap. Like, they can’t stay away from the other humans. He’s gonna go to school. He’s gonna come home. He’s gonna get exposed. He’s gonna give it to grandpa or grandma. We’ve got to fix that. So I’m looking for the state that says we now offer, maybe even mandate that you go to this facility or you follow these restrictions so that you don’t get sick and die. I guess mandate is not the right word. But we are now providing for you these opportunities for you to be safe. You know, you can go to this, which is what we did with some populations in the Spanish flu and to some success, isolate the vulnerable and pay for it. And right now, that’s not in the plans.
Tom Scott [00:19:15] Well, I just got a note. I’ll read it. And that’s why I brought it up. “I like following you on the trip. Anyway, I listened to The Laurie Garrett show on Thursday, and I was extremely bummed afterwards. I was so happy that you have both, you both addressed that in yesterday’s show. It made me feel better.” I think she probably has that effect on people to a certain extent or let’s put it this way: nowadays…
R.P Eddy [00:19:45] Cassandras carry bad news. No one wants your bad news. She’s been the only person I’ve ever heard of in history who is a Cassandra twice. And now she’s warning again, and we don’t want to hear bad news, particularly not now, we’ve had enough of it. We’re sick of this. And we’re getting divided at the seams. People are trying to divide us at the seams. And she’s got more bad news. And I didn’t want to listen to it either. And she’s been right. Right? She’s been the person who’s been right for 20 years telling me about what’s going to happen as relates to pandemic disease, epidemic disease. So, but, you know, if you think about what the worst news from her was, I think was probably around vaccines. And I think the Maderna of news yesterday is something we can be really happy about, stock market share was, stock market was up 3, 4 or 5 percent yesterday on this news that Maderna has passed the safety trials of their vaccine. That is an MRNA vaccine. Remember, she talked about two types of vaccines, MRNA and DNA vaccines. That’s an MRNA vaccines: memory RNA vaccine. And she was worried about safety. Well, according to this initial safety trial, a small, and, small number of people, it looks like it’s safe. Cool! So the one thing that she very wisely and probably correctly said, if we worried about vaccine safety, it looks like looks like the initial safety trial on that vaccine looks good. All right. That’s good news, it’s progress.
Tom Scott [00:21:20] So, so just so people understand, and I want to make sure I understand, if this Maderna vaccine becomes the solution or any part of the solution, it will be the first time in history that a vaccine like this… first all the fastest ever, but also be a new class of vaccine. Right? This is a, I don’t know if untested is the right way to describe it. Certainly never used in mass production. Right.
R.P Eddy [00:21:47] Yep. So, it’s, normally there’s, it’s called a kill vaccine. There’s another, I’m missing a word that’s called… kill vaccine? There’s a word in front of that… inactivated vaccine or killed vaccine. That’s what that’s what you’re normally used to. So, it’s virus particles that are grown in a culture and then they lose their capacity to effectively replicate. Right. So you, you take, anyways you get it right. So it’s a non replicating virus. You kill the virus, but it still has its outer membranes that trigger antibodies in our body to defeat the virus. So we’re used to that kill vaccine. This is a different type of vaccine called an MRNA vaccine, memory RNA vaccine, which as far as I know has never been used before. It’s not a whole cell killed antigen vaccine. And, but, there’s reason to think it’ll work. And now we have the safety, safety trial, there’s reason to think that it’ll be safe. But if we we should probably get a vaccine expert on at some point to really go well beyond my, my my weak science here.
Tom Scott [00:23:02] But, the recent, the response that you’re hearing even among the qualified, is that this is good news.
R.P Eddy [00:23:12] In our, like with anonymous as unanimous.
Tom Scott [00:23:18] Unanimously.
R.P Eddy [00:23:19] Unanimously, not anonymously. Yes.
Tom Scott [00:23:23] Well, so good. That’s, that’s OK. So that’s another thing again. Woman who just wrote, was asking for optimism. She can feel a little bit more optimistic. OK, so that’s one I want…
R.P Eddy [00:23:36] Maderna is scaling up production, right? Well, no, no. That’s not what it was like. So they did face phase one safety trials, then you had phase 2 and phase 3, which are dosing and efficacy trials. And, and then you go to a distribution, manufacturing distribution. And what’s also special here is not only have we gotten this far this fast, faster than ever before to get this far, this fast, the vaccine. But people are already talking about putting real capital at risk to build the production capacities for this vaccine even before it’s proven to work. Like Bill Gates and other people. And that’s, and BARDA and other government agencies are working on that already. So that’s that’s great. So like if it works, the factories will be ready to go. Plug and play. Ready? Let’s take it. Boom. Then off we go. Bite-sized will be, very, to be very honest, we’re still looking at, I would still say it’s gotta be 18 months till everyone’s vaccinated.
Tom Scott [00:24:38] Tell us what you make of Donald Trump taking hydroxychloroquine.
R.P Eddy [00:24:44] I, you know. I don’t know my… I was initially very keen on hydroxychloroquine as well. And we had talked to a frontline doctor who did his own study with like 80 patients, and he was really happy with what was happening. And he had a lot of experience in pandemics. And there was some optimism at the beginning. And then there was a number of studies that have come out that said it just does not work. And the president was obviously very keen on it working too. Why wouldn’t you be? And I think a lot of what we’ve seen from his leadership is something that leaders in the future will probably look at us not to do, which is underestimate the threat, overestimate the solutions before the science is in which we had probably like the the forewords about what he’s kind of done wrong. Like it ain’t so bad, the solutions coming really fast. Both of which were wrong. Hydroxychloroqine was one of his really exciting options that proves to not be correct. You know, one, I have had conversations before about the problems with being the doctor as the president’s doctor. I’ve talked to the president’s doctors over the years and it’s a tough job to have because normally the doctor gets to decide what your treatment is. Right. Like you can’t go the doctor and say, I want hydroxychloroquine, and I can’t do that. I can’t go to my doctor and order that. But the president of the United States can. He literally can say to his doctor, like, I want you to give me Valium, two bottles, now. The guy has to do it, you know, depending, you know, only thing left is the Hippocratic Oath. But legally, the President, you know, the president has the capacity to sort of force him to do it. I don’t think that’s the instance here. But, you know, you’re not you’re not going to say no to the president. So you can… similar debates happened with the Secret Service. You know, sometimes a president wants less obvious protection around him because he looks bad politically or whatever. The Secret Service says they can’t order him to do it. Similar with the White House doctor, he can’t order him not to take the protect, the presumed protection as medicine. So I hope it doesn’t hurt him. It’s certainly lots, lots people taken it in a proper dosing and hasn’t hurt them. But it also has cardiac effects and this disease also has cardiac effects. I think part of the challenge is, the two things actually can be dangerous together. Hydroxychloroquine in the disease because of the cardiac effect is one of the concerns. So I hope wouldn’t hurt him, but it ‘aint gonna help him as far as the best studies say.
Tom Scott [00:27:07] So just to leave a parting thought or a parting conversation quickly have which is, you know, there’s a… Jamie Diamond has come out and talked about the wakeup call, kind of about the haves and have nots that this moment has exposed, quote, “the last few months have laid bare the reality that even before that pandemic hit, far too many people were living on the edge.” That’s definitely something that we’ve observed on this trip. My, the thing I wonder about, and I wonder about this in a more general sense, but in this specific sense for sure. Most often in these moments, we tend to go back and get busy and just go on. And I read this and I want to believe it. It’s not the first wakeup call and I wonder if we will do anything about these things in our country. And as I said yesterday in my list of 10, it’s not that I’m not for systemic change. I just believe that culture change is what drives systemic change.
R.P Eddy [00:28:20] The conversation with Tom Shadyac. We discuss this a lot. And, you know, Katrina. All these disasters that have happened in America, hurricanes being a big one. You know, we look back and say, wow, the scales were lifted off my eyes. I didn’t realize how many of my fellow citizens live in poverty or as Jamie Diamond said, on the edge. Now I see it. I didn’t see it before. And thereby, now that I see it, I’m going to change the way I live and I’m going to give more to them. You know, William, who is on my lap. We were having this conversation about, we had this conversation about poverty and people who are who are much worse off than we are. And he said, well, we can share with them. And that’s what an innocent 6 year old believes. And that’s what we all want to believe that Americans are going to do now. We’ll share with other people. We realize that it’s there’s so much worse off, that we are that we’re gonna go help. But as you said, we kind of get back to work, we get busy and we move past those expanding circles of empathy that we create for ourselves. And I don’t I pessimistically not sure why we would think this would be any different than before. And the reason I kind of believe that is I believe at our core we’re very mimetic animals and we want what other people have. It’s a very deep core basis of how our monkey brains work. Like you have what I want. And particularly if and then then Rene Girard, the French philosopher, adds this thought to it. It’s not just if you have it, I want it. It’s if if an influencer has it or likes it, then I really want it. Right? So if Kim Kardashian says that Tom Scott’s headphones are just the must have accessory of the season, I need to have those at a deep, probably even DNA level to who I am. And overcoming that is an extraordinarily high level of human evolution. So you have to become probably a Tom Shadyac, who’s already made millions of dollars, doesn’t have to worry about taking care of himself anymore to really pour yourself back and helping other people or you need to be one of these amazing souls like your keepers and all the other nonprofit leaders and all the activists we know that have already come to that decision without having the material security to do it. Like they just give their lives over to helping other people. They recognize that service is the ultimate value for their life, and that’s a highly evolved thing. It doesn’t come probably very naturally to everybody. It’s extremely hard down that point of view when you’re under fire yourself. Maslow’s hierarchy, right? You don’t have food and water and heat. It’s hard for you to worry about someone else getting it. So, Tom, I would love to believe this becomes a big change in me. The scales quaff rise and we go out and help other people because we now revealed that there’s so many poor Americans. But let’s just say, how about this. I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen. But can you and I talk to more and more smart people and activists to allow that to happen? Can we be part of that change and try to make that happen? It’s absolutely worth the effort. And remember, you know, I do believe in the one starfish theory. Right? So like, even if one more person gets involved with service and they can help 10 people and that triggers one more person, you know, I think about some of the times I’ve had the opportunity to serve like really serve high impact solutions and possibly the initiatives that I’ve been involved with in the lives that were touched and changed. It’s the happiest thoughts I have other than my wife or my children. And if other people can get turned on to that, we can start a addiction to service. We can start a movement that it is so fulfilling. Now, maybe you that can be what comes out of it. But it’s going to require influencers like you and more people like your keepers to do it. Because it’s not going to happen naturally. Let’s like let’s not be Pollyanna-ish. This is not what humans are, not naturally going to fall back, fall into. Oh, my God. I get it. I want to dedicate my life to service. No, it’s not what’s actually is going to happen.
Tom Scott [00:32:16] Well, look, I think in the end, it’s not only is it not going to naturally happen. It’s unlikely to happen. You know, it’s more likely that it doesn’t happen. But again, and I say this a lot. I think the core of it is that we’re in a fight, that we’re in a fight that we’re not actually in. We have more in common than we realize.
R.P Eddy [00:32:39] Love that line, where, “we think when a fight we’re not actually in,” that’s really great.
Tom Scott [00:32:45] And because of it, it’s hard to really understand that you have to be in touch with the empathy and be in touch with, you know, the spirit of what would actually make our country a happy place, because that’s it. That’s that will be the net effect. You know, what I that, what I mean by that what I mean is if we get a sense of how much we care for each other, we’ll start acting in a way like we care for each other more. And regardless of sort of who has a little bit more, a little bit less, the overall tenor of the place gets happier. I mean, just to acknowledge… you know what, we were talking about this the other day. You know, money is talked about a lot on both sides of the aisle. Both sides, right? There’s a lot of talk about money. And we were talking about music and there’s a lot of it in music. You know, you look at the music of different times and our culture, the different things that it really talks about. It would be nice if our culture saying these stories, you know. And I mean that obviously musically. But I mean that more broadly, just through the telling of stories, et cetera. Enough said. I’m going off on a tangent here. But but I like reading something like this. It’s just I want to believe that whatever the there there appears out of this.
R.P Eddy [00:34:00] Well, I mean, look, I guess it would be worth noting that we now have we talked about many of the billionaires who were woken up to say the system is broken, they want to fix it. And now you have had, this isn’t the first time Jamie Diamond or other major heads of banks have said this. You’re the head of a, you know, iconic catalist institution and saying, effectively that the capitalist system so far is really leaving too many people behind. That in of itself is noteworthy. It’s happened before. You know, and that’s kind of also what they have to say. I can also be pretty, I won’t be, so we think we’re in a fight we actually are not in. I think that’s a really good point. I probably was wasting my time. The last 12, 24 hours. I started getting in a bunch of pitched conversations on Facebook with, like, deniers and trying to share information and deniers who had hundreds of people reading and posting, not Twitter, but even on Facebook. And sort of here’s the facts, here’s the facts. Here’s the facts. You know? And even betting people like you. You think that’s true? I bet you, bet your real money that you’re not going to have to wear a Bill Gates chip implanted in your body to get on an airplane. That’s what I mean. Just crazy stuff that’s going on out there. But the reason that I’m interested in doing this is this I tell myself, it’s clearly my monkey brain wanting to swing back at somebody, cause I’m just getting frustrated. But I tell myself, my rational brain tells me, no, no, I’m doing that, because though that guy’s allowed to have his point of view. And, you know, other people are allowed to believe him. But it it’s so corrosive to our sense of security and people, I don’t think people realize when they put these stories up there, like I have it on good authority that Bill Gates is gonna make you implant a chip before you buy food or get in an airplane. Yours is patented. You know, it’s literally what these guys are saying. And people believe it. And that creates more fear and more separation and more loneliness. It’s not just some crazy harebrained idea that might make Bill Gates’s life at risk. It actually pulls us apart and makes people sadder. It makes them do stupid, dangerous shit. You know, it’s so corrosive is the word. It’s acidic.
Tom Scott [00:36:11] It’s such a tough one that… Bill Gates, how did he become like…
R.P Eddy [00:36:15] Un-fucking unreal.
Tom Scott [00:36:17] The Lex Luthor of…
R.P Eddy [00:36:18] Oh, unbelievable, unbelievable. Unbelievable. There, I saw there was one billboard was like, I’m going to protect myself. I know I’ll protect myself by doing the exact opposite of what Bill Gates says I should do. Try that on for size. Then, of course, in your post and it’s the saddest thing. And you don’t want there to be any schadenfreude. And I don’t say it with any schadenfreude. The New York Post yesterday had a picture of a obese southern American man who had been protesting the virus and saying it was a hoax and people were to some extent listening to him. And, you know, you know where this ends up. He got the virus. His wife got the virus. His wife is, I think, sedated on a ventilator and he might lose her. And now, of course, he’s come to Jesus. He gets it. And that’s a horribly sad story.
Tom Scott [00:37:07] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Those are tough ones. And some of the people, there is a lot of schadenfreude on those kinds of stories. It’s a bummer. It’s a bummer. I remember reading some of the things about Boris Johnson when he got sick, some of the things people were saying like, do you really want that? Anyway, but we’re getting tight caught up into a part of it that’s probably not worth it or at least not worth it right now.
R.P Eddy [00:37:31] Now, I would like I said so. I would like us at some point to get some speakers back on to talk about some of the more powerful disinformation names out there so we can see them. There are some that are obvious. Bill Gates wants to implant a chip and there might be some that are much more subtle. And I’d like to be able to see them. Know them, I’m pointing out.
Tom Scott [00:37:52] R.P., thanks as always for your time. We will see you tomorrow.
R.P Eddy [00:37:56] Thanks, Tom. Great to see you. Travel safe.
Tom Scott [00:37:59] Great. So long.