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we need to talk. tom scott, co-founder of the nantucket project in conversation with rp eddy, CEO of Ergo, who is on a cross country road trip stopover at Mt. Rushmore. tom details plans to travel the length of the Mississippi in service of gathering people in this country for conversation. he plans on driving from Itasca to New Orleans, with nine stops in between. furthermore, they take a look at the controversial release of the john bolton book, various national security advisors, the white house, classification, and more.
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.
[00:00:24] I can I know where you are. But if you look over RPs left shoulder, which is to your right. You look perfect. Wow, look at how that focus is in, you know, RP. I was there. I want to tell a story about it, but I want you to talk about it first. Better than I would have guessed. Like, I really loved it there. Tell me tell me what you. What do you think?
[00:00:50] Well, yeah, definitely, you know, I drove I drove right through this area in 1993 with my best buddy on our kind of in college. Let’s Travel Across America trip. And we drove right by here and didn’t stop. And I think we thought it was probably a, you know, a big tourist attraction. And I think we had read some stuff about Wounded Knee and we decide not to stop and which is kind of crazy to me, drive all in all the way across America, not spend nearly five minutes going up the road and seeing this. It’s amazing. It’s beautiful. It’s stunning. I wish it didn’t have the negative history that it has. But I guess a lot of things in America do.
[00:01:39] But it’s a it’s stunning. It’s amazing. And it’s it’s a pretty neat story. And it’s gorgeous to look at.
[00:01:46] Yeah. Yeah. And I think, you know, it’s hard to tell from images, but the size is just stunning. Yeah.
[00:01:54] We’re we’re staying at a hotel that’s six miles away. And we have this great profile of George Washington from the hotel. And you can see this from a long way away. That’s part of why they they pick this mountain. It’s also part of why why this was Holy Mountain to the Native Americans. It’s very prominent, as you can tell from the visit you have there. It’s the highest mark around.
[00:02:15] Yeah. So I was there 17 years ago, and the reason I know it was 17 years ago is because my son was one years old. He was one year old. You know, we had one child at the time and the same thing I was thinking, yeah, you know, whatever, Mount Rushmore. No big deal. We can skip it. And we said, now let’s do it. And we came in and I just remember right away thinking, oh, I’m so happy. I came here for a whole variety of reasons. I remember the day we were there. So it’s very quiet around there. Does it feel quiet today?
[00:02:48] Yeah, it’s quiet and it’s it’s probably pretty low, you know, low number of tourists because of the Corona. It’s but it’s also just a big, gorgeous area. I mean, you know, so as great as the view is behind me, the view in front of me is looking across the Black Hills of South Dakota. You know, we spent all day, all day yesterday driving across South Dakota. So talk about just humongous flat plains of grain, you know, and the crops were in the end of spring. So the crops are still a foot high at max. And it was stunning. I mean, Kelly and I and the boys, three little boys, all were just sort of taken aback by how gorgeous the middle of America is. And now we’re into the Black Hills are beginning to get into the geological formations in the mountains of the west. And it’s it’s amazing. And it also reminds me, well, I love living on the East Coast. You know, I live there for kind of I don’t know what’s the right word sort of sort of efficiency reasons. I live there like really good schools business. But I feel like this is a more gorgeous and soulful place in America as far as you get further west. Maybe before you get to the coasts.
[00:03:55] Yeah. So, you know, one of the things we’re working on and this will just was really just won’t be very informational other than if you can just see it, which I know the lighting isn’t great.
[00:04:08] We’re going back on the road. We’re gonna do it in late July, early August. We’re going back down the Mississippi. And we’re gonna do a traveling gathering for conversation, just for conversation.
[00:04:25] So we’re going to bring people together and a whole bunch places from the northern tip of the Mississippi, once again, right down to the southern.
[00:04:33] And literally, we’re going to gather in a tent on a nightly basis with different people to have a conversation. The center of the conversation will be a lot about race in America. That’s gonna be the focus. More to be determined on all of that. But what the what you just described.
[00:04:51] I mean, unfortunately, you know, it’s the problem with language. You know.
[00:04:55] I think you said the soul of America is that he said something like, yeah, soulful, soulful.
[00:05:03] It’s exactly the way I feel. It’s exactly the way I feel. There’s a and it by the way, we’re. You’re talking about. It’s diverse. You know, it travels from all the way on the left to all the way on the right. It travels from racial diversity, political diversity, financial diversity.
[00:05:20] But there’s just something about.
[00:05:23] Feeling the pace of the place that really changes the way you feel about, you know, the country. But more importantly, the people in the country.
[00:05:33] My 11 year old son and I met his age, his little boy, and he said, isn’t it amazing that there’s one country that has this as he pointed to the fields of South Dakota and New York City?
[00:05:45] Yeah. And I think a very similar thing, you know, that that we we all the amazing, disparate, gorgeous parts of this country and special parts and dynamic parts this country all fall under one nation. And that gets back to this whole e pluribus unum thing we talked about. Right. How hard it is to those are, you know, go from Hawaii to Alaska to L.A. to San Francisco, to the plains of America to Wisconsin, down to Mississippi, to New Orleans, to Miami, up to New York, up to me in New Hampshire. I mean, we’re talking about unbelievably different people, different places, but we all try to knit it together into one nation. The other thing I think that’s amazing. And I guarantee you, you’ll you feel this a little presumptive, but let’s see the people in. Soon as we got to have sort of maybe Wisconsin on there, just much kinder. They have more time for you there. It’s not as transactional. Right. The woman at the ice cream store last night really wanted to say hi and talk. She wasn’t trying to sell us a triple scoop. She wanted to say hi where you’re from. You know, I have all these great stories about people in the Midwest just being so extraordinarily kind and thoughtful and really caring about who you are and where you are from and to the point where, as a you know, having spent 20 years in New York, a lot of it feels I get an immune response initially, like, whoa, like what do they want for me? Why they being so nice and where’s my wallet? And it’s it’s it’s very different.
[00:07:15] Very different. You know, I always tell this story. I was we were going to the first beverage conference of Nantucket in actors who was probably 1990, 1991. And we went to Chicago and we drove. We rented a car and we drove to Chicago. Four of us in a car and. When we got there, we went to a bar to eat and have a few drinks and these guys came over and started talking to us. Well, I was convinced that this was a fight. They came over to tool on us and to provoke us. And it took me a little bit to know they just literally are saying hi. Like, they are literally just being nice to us. And I remember being thinking, wow, is the world so different in that regard? And, you know, because I live so close to 95. Like, literally it’s right out here. I can hear it. A lot of the time during Corona, you felt like a quiet.
[00:08:07] And then I can also see Kennedy Airport and, you know, the planes are gone and the place is quiet. And it pace, I think, is a big part of this. Arpey I think the pace of movement just doesn’t leave room for these things. And there’s something about that that is, you know, depressing to me.
[00:08:23] But I think, you know, the thing that I feel more strongly about than I’ve ever felt is that conversation is the answer.
[00:08:33] And our world has set itself up in such a way that conversation is so difficult. Now, I know this sounds self-serving, but I feel more strongly about it than I’ve ever felt and that we’re realizing it. The more I talk to people, the more they say, you know, I want to be in a conversation. I want to go on the road and be in a conversation. You know, some of this is a luxury, but just the opportunity to speak and interact with other people is the answer to so many of the challenges that we have in modern times. And I think people are waking up to it. And that’s part of what you’re able to do when you’re when you’re in a place like that and even in an ice cream store like I am used to it. I’ve done it so many times, but there’s something so great about it. I want to talk, you know, as a reminder, I want to come at this in the right way because, you know, I’ve been speaking out pretty strongly against Donald Trump. I stand by that. Yeah, of course, it becomes political. But I think some of the things he’s done, particularly the last few weeks, I just I can’t I’m I’m out like I was out before, but now I’m really out. That’s a bit of a of a disclaimer on what I want to talk about now, because I think you may have interesting insight on this. You know, John Bolton’s book is being held up. Right. And and he’s not the first person to have the book held up. Right. And, you know, like when Trump takes an executive action to do this, that or the other thing, everyone’s gonna go crazy. But people go crook went crazy when Obama took executive actions as well. And that’s why it’s like, I don’t want to fight over, like, the detail of this stuff I got.
[00:10:01] There’s more interesting stuff to me. And I don’t want to create noise. I’m just interested about this Bolton book and like the process that he’s going through, because I’m guessing you had to go through a certain amount of this process with your book. How do you see it? How do you see it? Is this just this is a good and necessary process that you’ve got to get this stuff?
[00:10:19] Now, I know this is ridiculous. So there’s that’s I guess say there’s two two parts this story that are fascinating, maybe three. So one is John Bolton is a fascinating, enigmatic character. I was on Fox News talking about him right when he was nominated or asked to take that job. And if you recall, people from the left thought the sky was going to fall and this was the end of it because they thought John Bolton was this crazy conservative and that he and Trump together were going to declare war on the rest of the world. And by the way, these helicopters are not going to stop. So we’re going to probably power through it. Okay, great. And so, you know that the left thought John Bolton was an absolute crazy man and we were in real trouble. I got on Fox News, which I don’t do anymore, though.
[00:11:05] They ask me and I I said, look, you know, he’s not a crazy man.
[00:11:10] He’s just at the far right of what I would kind of call the Council on Foreign Relations sort of spectrum of policy, meaning an establishment group of people who’ve been in and around government for decades who have, you know, edges. So there’s far left members of the Council for Relations or let’s sort of say like the editorial page, New York Times, including the Tom Cotton op ed. You know, why do the far edges of what comes up in there? He’s just on the far edge of that conversation. But he’s in the conversation. He knows that government works. He knows what’s useful, what’s not. And he’s actually a very, very bright man.
[00:11:43] If he’s also a very annoying person, but he’s a very bright person and and and a he did as I had hoped. Right. He he actually kept Trump in check. He showed him how government works. He understood the constraints of government. He’s definitely an American firster, which I don’t have a problem with. And in his role as nationals criticizer probably wasn’t that bad. It’s hard to know the history. Natural divisors lives are not as public as secretaries of state or defense or other positions. They don’t have to testify as much. It’s not a Senate confirmed position. You’re really the CONSIGLIO heir to the president on national security issues, depending on how it works. So there’s not as much history to look at yet. There will be later. But I will I will bet you when we go back and look at how John Bolton did his national security adviser, given the circumstances he was and he probably did a great equate it, OK, job, let’s say at least. OK. Right. When you’ve worked in the White House or you have a security clearance at all and you write a book or anything for publication, you have to send it to the clearance office for them to go through it and make sure it’s not classified. They are absolutely, positively not allowed to make any edits based on anything other than classification. So if you write us a sentence that says, you know, we have a secret nuclear missile silo in the top of my on the top of Mount Rushmore, well, that’s a secret.
[00:12:58] And we don’t you know, that’s a secret. And you can’t write that. But if you write, I think Donald Trump’s a complete jackass. And I don’t like him. That’s not a secret. That’s just a point of view, obviously protected by the First Amendment. So there’s an office you submit your document to and they review it. And yes, we did it with our book. They turned it around really fast. I was surprised. I mean, like weeks. They took a couple of things out of our book. I guess I was surprised what they did take out didn’t take out. There is one thing I wrote in there that I knew wasn’t classified. It was about me and an intelligence asset in Europe. And I knew it wasn’t classified the way I’d written it, but I thought they would come back and ask questions about it and they didn’t. And they they did a great, very professional job. My coauthor has written dozens or many, many books, and he’s never had a problem with them being political. So I don’t know what Trump’s tried to do right now, but there’s no way he can use that classification office to slow down Bowden’s book. The First Amendment should protect just about everything else in that book. And I’m not quite sure what Trump’s legal argument is other than just to slow things down. I’m sure Bolton is laughing all the way to the bank. This is great. Great press for him. Here we are talking about it. I would have, you know, known he had a book coming out. If I hadn’t seen all the news around Trump trying to stifle it.
[00:14:12] Yeah. You know the line. I’ve always. So Bolton was at Yale Law School around the same time as Hillary Clinton and Clarence Thomas. I mean, there’s like a group of people who were sort of in that world at the same time. The thing I always read about Bolton even, you know, in modern times as well. And I know a couple of people who know him, they describe him similarly, sort of a pain in the ass, very extreme in his views and strident like he’s a very strident kind of guy. But I’ve also been told he’s a philosophical kind of guy and also a very honest guy.
[00:14:46] Like he’s going to he’s going to call it as he sees it, and he’s going to tell it as he sees it. And that there was good reason for Trump to be particularly concerned during the impeachment hearings if Bolton had testified. But, you know, as I also understand it, he’s sort of a legal process kind of guy. So, you know, he was going to participate if he was called and he wasn’t. If he wasn’t. And that’s how that was going to go. And, you know, people sort of hate him for doing this or that. Like my general sense is you may disagree with him on his politics and his style, but generally speaking, his philosophy is what it is and his but his integrity apparently is good. Now, that’s what I heard and what I’ve read.
[00:15:23] Yeah. I can’t speak to his integrity. I’ve never heard an anti, you know, a story against that. But I can you know, he’s a lawyer. He’s very legalistic. And I can tell you, since I began foreign policy in 1994, 95, he was a constant part of the dialog in every job I had, even when he was out of power. So when he was a he’s a politically appointed Republican, obviously. So when I worked for Democrats, John Bolton was always on the sideline. His point of view was well known. And he was, you know, they thought really a pain in the ass. And then. When I worked for Republicans, you know, he was he was in there swinging. I mean, he’s he’s been in middle of this forever. He’s in America first. His core position is that international treaties shouldn’t bind the U.S., right. That the constitutions are ultimate law and that if just because we sign a national treaty, the American constitution, American presidency, decisions should come first cetera. And you’re very against multilateral organizations, stuff like that, you know, and there’s some value to those positions. Those aren’t crazy. Back to my point, he’s not some loon. You know, Donald Trump’s foreign policy points of view, I would put sort of as lunacy. He’s an isolationist, you know, anti anti American leadership guy. And that those positions haven’t been real in the foreign policy debate in decades and decades. There are a couple senators who have that point of view, actually, you know, in a couple of congressmen. But that’s that’s really an outlier position in the history of American foreign policy. So I’m psyched to see the book now. Right. So this is great PR for him. Not our show, but all the news about the book. And it’ll come out. It’s no way they’re gone. Yes. No Waler, press it.
[00:16:56] Okay, so Arpey last night, six. I go to my gym outdoors. I’m taking classes outdoors today. My gym opens indoors. And, you know, if you go indoors, there’s distance rules, but there’s not a Mascaro, you can be in a class without a mask. I’ve got to tell you, it was. Very exciting. We are all were so happy to see each other last night and I felt so good being back with a group of people and working out now. I’m not going to go inside.
[00:17:31] I’m going to do. I’m going to only do it outside. Thank you. Well, that’s what I was going to ask you, because I want to talk about what’s going on in China. I mean, there’s action in Beijing, but.
[00:17:42] But it was a pretty monumental moment.
[00:17:44] And, you know, the conversation that you and I had earlier earlier in the monumental, monumental so that the the.
[00:17:55] By the way, I’m starting to feel is that we’re gonna be in a struggle for a long time and the struggle. I. Because I thought a lot about our conversation that we had earlier in the week and then the aftermath thinking about it, that we’re gonna be in this struggle for an extended period of time and it’s gonna be a push and pull between numbers and outcomes. And then a need to stay open. But that does seem to me, and I know I’m just one citizen, that the likelihood of us shutting down again is relatively minimal, relatively now. You may tell me otherwise. But the the but the push and pull of the things we do and don’t do. I would imagine is gonna be a dance for a long time to come.
[00:18:37] So I’m glad you didn’t do an class. And please don’t. I think indoor gym classes are a horrendous idea. Your respirator is very hard. You’re shooting spittle all over the place. That’s a designed to spread the disease. But from the biology, what we’re learning, we don’t know. Remember brand new disease? Look, just to be clear what I mean by that, it’s highly likely in one year from now. So call it 18 months after the disease first emerged that we’re going to have a peer reviewed meta analysis, meaning lots of studies are reviewed.
[00:19:08] Meaning like the macro study, everyone trusts that says, well, let’s call it two years from now. This disease did X to people and that X, we don’t even know yet. Right. So that X might be some things we do know is it can destroy your sense of taste and smell. Not so bad compared to it destroyed your liver. But we’re gonna find something about this thing in a couple of years that we don’t know now. It could possibly even be a good thing. Of course, that’s highly unlikely. So there’s a lot we don’t know about the disease. What we’re learning more and more about the disease is and I need to be. I want to be extremely careful what I’m saying here. But it appears that surface contact is a lot less likely a way to get the disease than airborne contact from someone else who’s close to you, facing you and exhaling. So if you. Now, if that person exhales on a on a bicycle at a gym and you swipe that and you touch your face here, you’re now exposing yourself to disease. One thing we know, again, airborne contact. The second thing we know is it appears to be that the amount. And we said this in the first call we had, Tom, because it’s the way most some respiratory diseases work. The amount of insult to the amount of virus you get exposed to right away could govern if you get infected or not. It appears the body can fight off a small amount of insult. So if I walked by somebody, a little bit of the virus gets in my nose. A small, small amount. One quick insult. There is a chance my body can fight that off and I won’t get infected. My initial immune response. So all that means is far is going to a gym inside. Bad idea. Don’t do it now. What’s happening today? Even before we get to China, the disease is coming back, just like we said. Like I think it’s worth noting every single thing we discussed about the future of this disease and this call has come to pass. And it’s not because you and I are brilliant epidemiologists, because we’re not at all. It’s because this is a fairly predictable trend. Right. The disease, you know, gives no quarter to use a mixed expression right now. It doesn’t care what you’re doing. But if you are in front of somebody and they’re breathing on you, there’s a chance you’re going to get it. Period. Full stop. And the disease is coming back in America now. So there is a report out recently that the second wave has begun. I think that’s exaggerated. I don’t think it’s begun yet. And by second wave, I mean another large peak. So if you can picture it pictured epidemiological graph of the disease. We had a large peak that finished about one month ago. That was one third New York City. The remaining one third was old folks homes across the country. And that was a very large peak where we had up to two thousand dead per day. That death per day curve is coming down. Now we’re about five, six hundred dead per day, I think. So it’s that amount of dead per day is coming down. A second peak would be going back up to a thousand a day or fifteen hundred per day dying. Now there’s coursers measures of no infected, no hospitalized or no dad. I’m using no dad because it’s much harder to argue with those numbers. Right. So that second peak, meaning we really start having panic’s health care systems get overloaded. That’s not happening yet. Arizona is getting there. They’re at 80 percent capacity, maybe higher today. Other cities aren’t. But we are seeing what we call ping pong balls. So a variety of little small spikes across the country. 21 states are beginning to have these little small spikes. So that’s what’s happening. And it happens because you went to the gym yesterday and there were some people went inside and out of class. Here’s the thing about Connecticut or New York. I’m in South Dakota. There’s a very little amount of the disease here, but I’m in a tourist attraction, South Dakota. So are people who are on this at this does at Mt. Rushmore right now with me. Are they carrying the disease? Is someone here positive for Corona? People from all across the country. All across the world, almost. Suddenly, people in Connecticut at your gym is there’s someone there who’s positive for the disease. More likely than where I am. Because remember, if there’s no disease to spread, it doesn’t matter where you are. So, anyway, we’re getting back to a second wave now, so we’ll have a conversation probably within a month. Tom, where we’re looking at a graph and we’re saying, well, the second spike has begun.
[00:23:15] Here’s what it is. That’s that’s my unfortunate prediction for right now. So it’s coming back. And I do think now previously I said I don’t think there’s a political appetite for further lockdowns. I’ve talked to some Republican leaders about that. I think that there is going to be some appetite for lockdown’s maybe not Republican states, but in blue states. If the problem comes back hard. Final reminder, fall’s coming flu season. Kids back to school. And, of course, that happens right as we get into the political election, presidential election season. It’s going to be an insane time. And the disease will spread a whole lot more than than it is right now.
[00:23:48] Yeah, yeah. I mean, I’m I’m reading. A new MILING study suggests that in the absence of a vaccine, combination of self isolation, household quarantine and contact tracing could be a viable ongoing strategy for controlling the pandemic, could reduce the transmission by 47 to 64 percent plus masks. That’s part of what it doesn’t have it in that range. It’s here with the right. But that other part of it. Yeah, I mean, it’s it’s more than once people have asked me we talked about this earlier in the week, you know, do you regret postponing our event are bigger than the fall? And, you know, there are moments where I sort of feel an emotion about it.
[00:24:31] But then I also goes back to what you were saying a few moments ago, or that to me, it’s like it’s kind of math like that many people together in that place for that period of time. Everything I understand is that it’s a dangerous choice and that. You know, making the decision at this time seems to be the wise one. That’s not an easy thing to say or an easy thing to do. Easier said than done.
[00:24:56] But then I start thinking about schools, which more and more what I’m seeing is schools are going to go for colleges, too, that they’re going to go for it. Yeah. And that that’s a very interesting one. I mean, that one in particular, you know, it’s funny, I never thought about these things in these ways that you think about schools as these intense gathering prefer places, places for people on a regular basis relative to other things. It’s a very interesting trend. You know, the other thing I would say, Arpey, is that, you know, albeit the thing we heard in the that that meeting with the big business man aside, the more I keep hearing about businesses and plans go forward, is that I’m hearing more often than not a redo of the way they’re going to do business. That distance participation is going to be a big part of what people are doing.
[00:25:43] Well, there’s a study I forded I read yesterday that I think you all may have seen. You recall in our last conversation we were at Field of Dreams that one epidemiologist in one survey question in New York Times article mentioned it appears a disease that children don’t contract the disease as easily as adults. And I thought that was fascinating because I hadn’t seething about it. The study just came out yesterday and it I don’t know if it’s peer reviewed yet. And that’s a huge issue if it’s peer reviewed or not. And we probably can confirm that pretty quickly. But it’s sad that children are half as likely to contract the disease. Now, of course, we know children are hundreds of times less likely to get seriously ill or die from the disease. And that’s great news. But the fact that they might be half as likely to contract the disease is also great news because they are the ones that can go back to school and they’re going to sit around in the petri dish of preschools and middle schools and junior high and high schools.
[00:26:49] And they’re going to spread the disease among themselves. They’re going to carry it home. But if they’re half as likely to get it, that’s less carriage back home to become vectors, to contaminate multigenerational households where people can die from this thing. Not to say children can’t die because they can. So that’s Baer could be really good news that kids are less likely to contract it, thereby less likely to carry it. And schools are going to open. It’s going to be an unusual school that doesn’t open. And it’ll be a a well resourced school, a school with a lot of money that will be able to do some crafty things, like opening up with smaller kids, smaller groups of children per week. Right. So half the class goes one week and during that week, the other half stays home and distance learns and they swap that around, for example. And you add testing. So thereby you have social distancing. You have testing. And ideally, you have, you know, less contamination. So but that’s not can be possible for four schools that don’t have a lot of money and the ability to distance learning and testing. But we have to get schools going for the economy to start because mom and dad can’t go to work of Junior’s home. Right.
[00:27:54] You speculate or do you know why it is the case? I mean, look, this is bad science, but when I was a kid, I got the flu a lot as an adult. I don’t get it as much. Why? What is it about kids that makes them less susceptible? Or is that just an unknown new I?
[00:28:08] I’m not really qualified to give it an answer worth listening to. But since you asked, I’d say one possibility could be that perhaps children have had more recent novel exposure to coronaviruses. Right. So, Curda, viruses morph and change. There’s a new kind of cold every year. You don’t know. You do get some immunity to colds. Coronaviruses calls our corona viruses. Right. And we all if you’re calling your little you’ve got a cold every year as you’re older, you don’t get the cold as often as because you build up some immunity over time to whatever the AXTON coronavirus. The cold viruses that’s floating around. And as we also know from this virus, other coronaviruses, the conferred immunity from getting exposed and then recovering for Croner viruses is not always lifelong. It’s only a couple years, sometimes or less. Is it possible that children get this novel introduction? The Body is novel introduced to coronavirus. They’re novel Mooner immune response, then prepares them to be more aware and were able to protect against this. Covered the SARS Kobe two virus. Meaning if you and I get exposed to, like, you know, cold. No 1085 goes flying by us in our body. You can fight it off. It’s because it’s got a bunch of old troops standing by with an old gun and they shoot it. And that’s fine. Perhaps when you’re not fully exposed to that virus, which a child would be, you’d generate brand new healthy troops that have bigger guns and they fight it. They fire away at it and kill it. And perhaps those troops are around when stars. Kobe, too, shows up so that they’re able to fight it down. And you and I were exposed so long ago that our antibodies to fight against Corona virus writ large isn’t as strong as it is in a child. That’s one option that could literally be physics of physics, of nasal cavity, as in lungs. I mean, that could be any number of things. It probably has to do with the immune response and how their immune system is set up.
[00:30:08] I’ve read so the Trump administration vaccines, when they start talking about vaccines, I mean, there’s a few things. I’m just a one I’m sorry, one this year.
[00:30:16] The other thing to remember is if this study is not peer reviewed, the whole thing could be wrong. We got it wrong. And hydroxyl chloroquine that was non peer reviewed, non non completed, non completed science. The same thing could be here. I just want to make sure we don’t leave with the idea that we’re sure children are less likely to be infected. We don’t know yet for sure.
[00:30:37] So I read where the Trump administration and I want to know how standard this is. You know, first that Voller Americans would be made free vaccines would may maybe be made free to those who can’t afford it. They plan to prioritize. The most vulnerable from a health perspective as well. And, you know, as I read this, I thought is this sounds like the right thing to me. But is it also the standard thing that happens in these cases where the how the vaccine, how the vaccine gets distributed is going to be a huge question?
[00:31:17] So the thing we have sort of relevant here is organ donation, right? Who gets who gets on the organ list for the kidney transplant or the liver transplant? Who gets that? Who gets the organ? Who doesn’t? Similarly, the medical the medical field, the government society has to come together and figure out who’s going to get the vaccine first. If we get one in, ideally it will go. I very much suspect the first doses would go to what’s called ACG extension of constitutional government. So you would give it to the president? The vice president? You know, the speaker of the House, etc.. The line of succession after it’s proven safe, obviously, you don’t want them all to die by mistake and then you would ideally give it to the vulnerable populations. We know who those are, people over 65 people with some of the diseases that make this a much more deadly disease. And then from there, it gets more complicated. Now, this whole thing gets much more complicated. If you determine if we if we don’t know what country gets the vaccine first. Right. So if China comes up with the vaccine first or that’s one complication and they may not you know, they’re obviously not could be as motivated to help Americans, nor in any country, nor would we do them. That’s one challenge. The other challenge is just to pile on topic. We’ve talked about this a lot is what if we rush ahead with a vaccine, with an emergency youth use authorization for a vaccine in EU A before the vaccine is proven effective or safe? It that would be a real crisis. And because if you look at the way the president responded to hydroxy chloroquine, the idea that hydroxy chloroquine could be a real savior of a drug and he went crazy, you know. He went on and on from the podium of the Oval Office about a drug that was not proven. He claimed it was proven. He claimed he would take it. I have friends who started taking it, which I think is ridiculous. And my sister, who has lupus, couldn’t get the medicine, which is it’s a matter of treatment for lupus and other things, because so many folks were hoarding it in the hopes it could help prevent or treat stars. Kobe, too. Turns out it doesn’t work. Yet the president was up there pounding the podium at the Oval Office saying it does. How is he going to behave if we have positive news about about a vaccine? Even initial positive news? Will he force us through a process to get a vaccine out district into distribution that’s not fully safe or not fully effective? I would hope that not fully safe thing, that there’s enough safety breaks inside the government, inside the FDA, inside CDC. I would imagine Anthony Fauci and others would fall on their sword saying there’s no way we can release a vaccine that’s not safe the way the trials are set up. I think that’s that’s you can be optimistic about that.
[00:34:04] But the same thing doesn’t hold for being effective. So if you’ve been not fully effective vaccine being spread around, you’re using manufacturing capacity to distribute it as you’ve been to make it. That could be used for another vaccine, that could be more effective and distribution capacity, et cetera. So this is going be a very, very complicated issue.
[00:34:22] You know, prepare for it. There are some thoughts.
[00:34:25] Last question, Arpey.
[00:34:28] Beijing numbers are going up.
[00:34:31] They’re canceling flights to two parts to the question one. Just any comment you have on what’s going on in Beijing. And in my second part is, are people going to be flying from the United States to Europe this summer or anywhere else to do whatever? Or would you do you see the summer being restricted internationally, kind of across the board?
[00:34:52] Well, RV rentals and sales in America have gone up through the roof. Sales of boats have gone up through the roof. Car sales have gone down, obviously. So I think Americans are recreating it home. I think Americans are doing what we’re doing there. Maybe some are traveling across the country, although this is not very full where I am right now at Mount Rushmore.
[00:35:13] We had some trips overseas planned this summer that we canceled.
[00:35:19] I’d say, you know, basically, no, people are not happy traveling to Europe this summer, remember, it’s possible that the moment of lowest viral growth in America was about three weeks ago. Right. The virus is going to get stronger and stronger now as we’ve reemerged and as we’re mingling and particularly as we’re being unsafe about how we do it.
[00:35:43] So that means there will be more restrictions to come, probably not less. Maybe it’s not locked down state by state. But will it be air travel back and forth to China? Well, Trump would love that. Will it be shutting the borders with Mexico, which I think there’s already a large restriction on there? Trump would love that. Those are both things he can do on his own with a stroke of his pen. Would it be traveled to and from Europe? If you recall, what he initially did was a travel ban to Europe that he said would happen in a few days. Four days after he announced that was coming. But he then excluded the U.K. That was for political reasons because he doesn’t like the EU and he likes the UK. And it also is very dangerous because in those ensuing four days, everybody rushed home to Europe or rushed back to the United States.
[00:36:30] It’s quite likely, and we’ll know this, that the huge insults that came into New York City that started the big spike of New York City being a third of the cases in America and the hot zone of the world was from European travelers and people in Europe coming to New York, coming home after Trump announced that in a few days, Libya, a travel ban. The way that the studies are able to figure that out is because this disease mutates so rapidly. You can actually find various strains and say, oh, this cluster. Let’s take the Westport cluster. You know, 40 people at one cocktail part, one dinner party, 38 people we know who gave that to them. He had traveled from Europe. And you can happen to know that there’s a contract tracing, contact tracing. But you also can know that from biological science by testing what strain of the virus we will have.
[00:37:16] So anyway, that’s a lot. But no, I don’t think as we a lot of traveling to Europe from Americans this year, the summertime and then and then the airline travel is a huge deal.
[00:37:24] What you know, people own airports, be blown airlines. It’s what’s happening. There could be a big, big question.
[00:37:30] Yeah, I think that’s one of those. I mean, we were talking the other day about what’s going to happen next in terms of financial packages. You know, there’s not a lot of people and it’s OK sitting around worrying about what what we do 10 does on a day to day basis. But I know there are people sitting around worrying about what airlines and hotels do for business, and they’ve got big lobby organizations. And the truth of the matter is those businesses are going to suffer in a big way for some extended period of time. So it’ll be interesting to see what happens. Huge employers. Huge. Yeah. Now I know. And these these are very complex issues. And, you know, there was a debate earlier in the week about the bonus for unemployment insurance. They want to create disincentives. This stuff gets really complex. And, you know, you may not like Trump and the Trump administration, but that doesn’t mean these issues are any easier to deal with and that the complications that are there are big.
[00:38:22] I mean, he did this. So if you were to plop anyone into the presidency to day right now, this is as hard a challenge as anyone’s had since I don’t know what or two. This is a really hard one. But we’re here because he completely blew it.
[00:38:39] Right. You know, look at Australia. Look at New Zealand. Look at Germany. Look at South Korea. And that list, there’s 50 countries in that list. There’s actually a hundred countries. Analysts have done better than we’ve done. We have a tough country where very large, we’re porous. Lots of borders, lots of travelers. But we blew it hard. You know, we are the poorest performing large modern economy in the world when it comes to this disease.
[00:39:06] Sweden being worse than us, but that’s because they actually thought about what they wanted to do and they made their own decision. We just, you know, bungled into it, denied the science, you know, use there.
[00:39:18] There is a cognitive bias called magical thinking, like something bad’s going on. I magically believes that good will happen. And this White House showed a lot of magical thinking. Like, literally just quotes the president saying it’s going to go away like a miracle. He said that. Well, no, it’s not. And it hasn’t. So we’re you know, and now it’s endemic. It’s spread throughout the whole country. It’s been every state and almost every county. And that’s a very expensive, very complicated, very hard probably. Get your hands around. Here comes flu season. Here come school season. Here comes the election season. And we have the George Floyds situation, the George Foyt protests going on the same time. It’s an unbelievably dynamic time in America. It’s going to get worse next couple months.
[00:39:57] Arpey where to go next?
[00:40:00] We’re trying to find a dude ranch to go to for a couple days. And that’s hard because most dude ranches want you to stay for a week. And then we’re heading towards Idaho to court, Alane, which is a big, beautiful lake in Idaho. We’re going to visit some some friends who have also been completely isolated. So between the end of the year, we have to drive through Wyoming, ideally find a place to get the kids on a horse. Some horses for a little while and then on to Idaho. So we have, you know, maybe two or three more days, nights on the road until we are plopped down somewhere for a few weeks.
[00:40:33] If you have the appetite, I recommend going through Yellowstone, exiting at the northwest corner. And then there’s a there’s a road in Idaho that’s the most beautiful road I’ve ever been in. I want to warn you in advance. It is a dirt road. It is a well, you can travel at least 45 miles an hour on it if you have the appetite. Let me know. But it’s some. Have you been to Yellowstone ever?
[00:40:58] No, I haven’t. Again, we skipped out on that that that college trip because we thought was too touristy in Yellowstone.
[00:41:04] It looks like someone made it up at Disney. Like just the thing after thing. You’re like, that’s the most beautiful river. That’s the most beautiful mountain. There’s a geiser. There’s a buffalo. There’s an elk. There’s I mean, it just goes on and on and on. You can’t believe what you’re saying.
[00:41:17] Anyway, I got to Yellowstone, but you asked me before who my favorite is. My. They’re all amazing. Thomas Jefferson obviously loses a tremendous amount of points for his owning 600 slaves. But Teddy Roosevelt as a human has been inspiring to me since I was a little boy and I got to go to his home called Sagamore Hill and Locust Valley, Long Island, Oyster Bay, Long Island. And he’s inspiring to me because he was an unhealthy, very small little kid. And through force of will, he became one of the great leaders in American history.
[00:41:56] And he had this thing called the Long Walk, where he would just set a compass line to go in whatever direction he was motivated to go, and he would go straight in that direction. And if there was a tree in his way, he would cut down the tree. If there is a river, he would forward it. And if there was a mount, he would climb it. But always in that straight line, I mean, unbelievable example of just grit and strength and sort of, you know, the American self-reliance, Western attitudes embodied in one human being.
[00:42:27] So. So as an individual, I’d say Teddy Roosevelt as a leader, I would say, you know, George Washington and then how can you forget Abraham Lincoln? I mean, three three unbelievable leaders up there. Thomas Jefferson was a great leader, but a hard, hard man.
[00:42:43] Yeah. You know. OK. So so Washington, I think of giving up power, like the humility of that is so pious. One term turning down the offer to be king.
[00:42:53] Yeah. Lincoln, you just think of his determination because he had a very painful reign. I mean, it was very difficult. And he did some pretty incredible things. The thing I’ll say about Roosevelt, I always think of him is like because I always think Owen Meany, if you’ve ever read that book, like he started his life like Owen Meany and he turned into this thing. He’s also such an interesting mix of, like, libertarian progressive. You know, he yes, he had such an interesting political point of view. And he was pretty critical of big business in a way that I just find very interesting. I mean, cause he would he walk that line in a really powerful way.
[00:43:34] And he was also relevant during the George FOID era. He was also commissioner of the New York Police Department. Oh, I didn’t know early on.
[00:43:43] He’s he’s one of the great naval historians ever. A fantastic writer, obviously an unbelievable sportsman, hunter and conservationist, conservationist. I hated the national park system, created the New York Museum or most of the animals in that. What’s that big museum in New York? A camera in the name of it.
[00:44:05] Natural history?
[00:44:07] Yeah, most most like a huge percentage of the animals, the stuffed animals, and there were warheads that he collected. Yeah. What a life.
[00:44:16] Yeah. And that’s where you’ll see if you go to Yellowstone. I mean, that’s that’s his legacy.
[00:44:22] You know. Among other and we’ll go to Yellowstone, I got it. Yeah. All right. Thanks, everybody. Thanks, guys.
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