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tv   Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta Nightmare Scenario  CSPAN  November 9, 2021 1:34am-2:31am EST

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area. i'm sure you're trying to manage that but w what was that like to write about you were recording on? >> that's a great question. it took a big emotional toll that was part of the day today and then just to brainstorm and to do a lot of interviews over zoom you can only make that a little easier for your meeting in person to build trust that way we were cold calling and not able to meet them or see their faces and then we are all stuck at home and scared for so much last year l we were really scared for our families and parents and friends living in parts of the country that were hit really hard and then we hear the
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stories and i wrote a bunch of them with you how no one knows who is in charge and a number of ain task force and how surreal things are. it is simple stressful than covering other aspects that did not affect us so directly because you see that things are not going well. i think the winter was really hard because at that .3000 people a day were dying not even focused at the pandemic at that point. it hit home to document what happened and why and he lost is great and in the middle of all this and it was directly impacting a spent a lot of people suffered a lot more than we did. and it was hard for us. so that hit home how important it was to find the unvarnished
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truth to get people to talk to worked in real-time especially after the election to better understand what happened. >> i would add to that remember the first time you walked into a grocery store and everyone was wearing a mask or the run on toilet paper? there was a moment in the spring my daughter was at the dentist we get a cough the next day saying her hygienist had coronavirus andco the sheer panic of waiting for the test results. we were living this. this is not abstract. it made us even more invested to get to the bottom but was happening when it affected everyone in the country. it changed everything. people lost their jobs or businesses shut down. it just made this feels so
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real and the fact and to investigate i think that more one _- made it more personal for us. >> somebody put in the on _- so did you write that you spoke with more than 180 people for this book? and how to their stories change over the course of your reporting? it was after the inauguration was afternoon on _- often the case or the colleagues were talking to you? >> . >> it's interesting and it's a moving target and there were times during the year they tried to defend their actions more than after the election.
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there was that the four element to their decisions. nobody knew whatld we are dealing with at first. it is understandable. there were times they feltob they were doing the best they could especially the scientist they were learning as they went with them masks and they had no idea initially if they worked. the stories changed and that was understandable but there's definitely a point after the election or after the inauguration when that's for this then began and to be meticulous and the fact checking so many contradicted we wanted to give viewers an accurate presentation because these need to be remembered for decades to come. there is a lot finger-pointing at the end.
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i did b the best i could but i think the knives p really came out after january 6 andnd i felt my destiny felt f initiation was going to the ground. >> that make sense. you said you made at least one very deliberate choice to begin eachon number with covid cases and deaths. as a reader it was powerful because it reminded me what you are about to lay out the next chapter wasn't just an counbelievable story but we overall devastating consequences five.deeply cases and 180,000 death andhe by the time i get to the final chapter 9 million cases and
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230,000 death to tell me how you decided to make a small decision but powerful? >> we started to write the book we did not know the course and now we were wondering if things would ease up over the summer? would it be a distant memory that people do not want to remove anymore? that's not what happened. but damien was looking at it from the case count and economic perspective to watch the dow jones club and then crash down because these meetings and doc on _- anecdotes you need to document their performance but instead of seeing the petty rivalry of
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people are still at each other's throats because of a rivalry and that is because it drives home the point that lives are on the line and the and that has real consequences and we found it alarming. we were covering in real-time so we were watching the case count pickup and the death count and then that accelerated in the winter and it drives home how important what is and is not happening at that point in time. >> the one thing we've talked kabout is read write a weekend story but it doesn't run until sunday and you need a blank space for harmony americans were dead because we didn't know friday through sunday to
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give efi a couple thousand. buffer how many people would die in 48 hours? but another take away is. >> having the benefit of hindsight, so what would it be? what is the es biggest difference? >> i think there was a window from mid-march through the end of march when the country did rally together. i think the president's approval rating was the
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highest it had ever been. he announced the air travel ban, deliberate on _- daily briefings he was talking through stuff and was in charge. and doctor fauci was at the peak of their power at the time. >> then the president became obsessed with the idea of reopening. and then a lot of his economic advisers convinced him this will question in the long term but it was an economic mess. so he rushed to reopen but then it became as state there were weapons government and
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the country just exploded with that periodun when and it is a crazy virus spreading from asymptomatic people. there was no easy way to do this but that opportunity was lost in it. and then you have the art that there is noen second wave and then the denial really set in may and june and things unraveled from there. >> following up, there were several inflection points during the year when the administration almost made one decision but then he ended up doing something else. was a president getting sick himself in the final confrontation between the
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doctor and the vice president so walk us through the inflection point. >> you have the first two months with a try to figure out what theyes are dealing with and that was the best opportunity would never be contain because it actually came from doctor fauci describing what kind of virus this was because it can spread a symptomatically from that made it harder to treat what to do. and the nightmare in every way but it was the best opportunities and then to make sure there was contact tracing unfortunately people would always dine a matter who was in charge but but some
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countries ramped up testing quickly but they never had the devastating outbreaks in the way that we m did and then we look into the whole cdc test and then there was then asked debate and march were there was a t proposal that the companiesca and every household and then they say then that he stopped short when he says we are not doing this. and then you have the summer where cases start picking back up that was a pretty good opportunity.el >> it was a primary decision-maker?
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>> i think it was probably the decision maker to go to the vice president because the hhs emergency preparedness team who came up with the idea to freelance on hadn't gotten approval from the white house and how much it would cost. there was a point in august we are back down to 20 or 30000 cases that was before they pick back up in the fall because they were focusing on the campaign again and then of course they think it's a turning point and it is not and then to tell people to wear a mask and then it is six
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days after the election when there is nothing to lose. so we are pretty stunned by the number of opportunities to turn things around. >> so there was a brief help to put into this orbit to emerge as a changed man to be better equipped to handle the pandemic. that never happened. but inep your reporting could have somebody that almost got through to him that he had taken an alternate path? >> great question. he was very sick at the white house. and he does the long walk
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across the south want one _- the south lawn like the moonwalk it is an amazing move on _- moment i will never forget it. and jared kushner all their in the presidential suite with the mass he was put back on oxygen with a heavy cocktail drugs it seems like it jacked him up to make them feel like superman. the stairways saved his life and made him think he beat it. here most did not have a chance to reflect and had that weird drive around with the secret service. he couldn't sit still and fauci was making sure he gotth the care that he needed.
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they did not know what would happen. every step the president's check and acknowledged this words real and we would change course. then they knew itie was over was one month from the election and obsessed with not losing. and he just said immediately don't be afraid. we can beat this and then everybody knew it was over. >> scribe the moment he can liberate michigan and minnesota was a mask in the
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face to wake me up how? and how did it change for everything he was doing with going forward? >> our understanding was he saw that as a point of no return but the doctors did have some influence they convinced him but then to say if this doesn't work anymore. but when hete wrote to the liberate tweet that they were just stand it was the most date on _- overt way to divide the country and we cannot come back fromen that. and then of course talking earlier people storming the capital and it broke the country into and how much he
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thought things should reopen there was no middle ground you are all in your mask ever socially distance or you believe that this would trump i think he thought it was impossible to come back. but he did not fully appreciate how much trump supporters hung on his every word i think a lot of people appreciated that. and heha said that he knew people would take it to heart. next few months allergy becomes much more outspoken sort more blunt and contradicting what trump and his aides are saying. it's probably because he thinks this assessment he's going to talk to whoever is going to listen to him. >> speaking of dr. fauci he and
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dr. birx came -- became two of those controversial character controversial character in the book. profiles in both of them and doesn't so much about dr. birx when she was young when she was competing in science fairs. i'm curious you agree that's an accurate reading that they were the most complex characters in the soul disaster? being such complex figures who were grappling with such different inputs and you guys can talk more about this but dr. birx was a military person searching the command is of utmost importance to her. how did that equipped them or maybe complicate again how they responded to the virus? >> we spent so much time talking about dr. birx between the two of us. we really wanted to try to figure out. it's funny we talked people who have known her for 40 years and they still don't completely understand it. she's an incredibly complicated person.
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i feel she's a very private person. she does, she doesn't really flinched when the president said she was sitting beside him when he said we need to reopen by eastern she didn't flinch. she was sitting by when he said the whole bleach thing and she didn't flinch. but i know, we know that she was burning inside, at times anger at times discussed. she could see her reputation dissolving before her eyes. she knew she could see the mistakes happen real-time. she did not challenge the president of public and she felt like ship more influence on the inside. she knew she could be fired at any second. so whereas fauci was a more indestructible politically she could be fired. we felt like she didn't kind of tactically have a brilliant move in late march when she publicly praised the president and then
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right at the 15 15 day to slow the spread clock was winding down she with tony fauci marched into a meeting on saturday night and the yellow oval room which i've never even heard of before but since the residents of white house upstairs, and the president was completely on the ropes come one of his best friends was in a coma with coronavirus. the president watches tv all the time and can see the hospital in queens people laying in gurneys in the hallways. he knew the was bad because it was all over new york. and she brilliantly said, mr. president, that's going to be every hospital and the united states if you reopen. that was a genius thing to say to him. he said okay, okay, we will extend it for 30 days. in that moment she kind of played her role perfectly but that only lasted a moment and then as soon as the aides got away from him he was preaching to reopen again. then we saw the kind of slow
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reputational destruction of dr. birx which ended with scott atlas in the picture in late july and august. she was treated much different than tony fauci. he was bobble heads and -- >> on 14th street. >> exactly. signs in people's yards and nancy pelosi, the house speaker am after deborah birx, just incredible the way she was treated differently. we tried to portray her as a three-dimensional person who was republican and he needs to be understood better. her role in this because we felt something that was quite historic. >> to continue with the doctors one more minute. you describe a very vivid moment where fauci sits down with his wife i believe that the kitchen table but correct me if i'm wrong, and he debates with her or not he should resign. if you like i have covered trump long if you realize just about
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everyone in his orbit at some point or another has had conversation with a partner or with a friend with themselves. fauci like just about 90% of people in trump world makes the decision to stay. people do that for all sorts of different reasons. dr. birx also had that internal question makes the decision to stay as well. what do you think or what you understand the reasons to be for staying? also how does this track with again the choice that almost everyone in trump world again for better or worse can justify to themselves why they believe they need to remain in that orbit? >> i thinking about than any of us that most of the time people justify to themselves that they're protecting the worst from happening. when you're watching for the outside you like what do you mean protecting the were some happening? all this awful stuff is still happening. but when you learn about an
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incident like in proposing people go to guantánamo bay and well i kept that from happening. one of the things dany and i were so struck when we tried to piece together how things get to the point did it at the end of the year it was people would say come say, they asked for something so crazy and i didn't give them the craziest thing they wanted but he did have to give an inch to get them off my back. of course that gets worse and worse and worse as soon as you open that door. in that moment with dr. fauci one of the things that's important to explain is one thing damian and and i were excited about in reporting this book is that we look at the relationship both dr. birx and dr. fauci because they made the cruise and hiv/aids as hiv/aids activists were you help into account and '80s and 90s when aids was upended and it felt like the government didn't care and wasn't doing enough, and anything those relationships for 30 and 40 years. when covid came around a lot of the aids activist turned their
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attention to covid activism and they figure we've got an open line. they had an open line to fauci not so much to dr. birx once she went to the white house but what happens is one of activists whose very close with fauci you know if remember we are covering it at the time the white house put out that list on fauci with this it were concerned about the number of times he's been wrong. came from the official white house indications office. >> that was going to be one of my questions. talk for a minute but the people just how unusual is it for an administration to do it on the record on whether public health officials. >> i mean, i think you're probably better position to answer that. it was crazy because usually when you do these stories about a relationship between the president and one of his aides deteriorating they put out some generic statement like this person is a trusted partner in water might have disagreements
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they're here to protect america at the end of the day. instead they did this list like we're concerned about the number of times he's been wrong and they kick off a dozen instances. of course sort of selectively taking quotes and the activist called fauci andes talking to them on a pretty regular basis a couple times a week and he says what are you doing? why are you still there? what difference are you making anymore? ..
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class they ultimately decide who should stay because otherwise it's not going to be that sort of strong voice pushing back against a lot of business statements from the white house . there might have been people who thought they could do it behind the scenes but there was nobody who was doing what he was publicly and he felt he would lose that megaphone >> it was clear in retrospect crystal-clear but trump was obsessed with fauci . they were kind of polar opposites . one is big, one's little, one has a history as an anti-vaxxer, from new york . an hour before trump is saying i'm throwing it out into a stadium, he was upset with him and there's a scene in the book in early august when trump calls burks and fauci into the oval office and he says every time birx
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you open your mouth , i have spent half my day answering questions about tony fauci and fauci is here we are . he was obsessed with this guy wouldn't go away and he couldn't fire . i think they're kind of like we're things that they continue throughout the year was something that drove the president crazy where right before the election the president promised to fire him and he became so obsessed to try to overturn the results he never got around to . >> i guess one question is you guys in your book recap this epic fight between the cec and office of management and budget where the office is trying to wait and see the guidelines and can give a specific instance where they're trying to define what social distancing means for restaurants these in this example the cdc ends up keeping to this political pressure and growing up in
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the area , i assume most people i've always understood the cdc to be an apolitical agency really is this our from being an apolitical agency so i'm curious how does the cdc come back from something like this ? institutionally, with their relationship with the white house and the public can potentially view them in a different way . >> that's such an important point and it's something where continuing to cover all the cdc reveals itself and how they regain the country's trust there's still a lot there . that's going to be an ongoing process . it was so scattered last year to its needs in a way that stunned everyone especially public health and scientists who rely on the agency . one important thing about the seed that makes his job heart is it's not a regulatory
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agency . it essentially like advice for the state so they don't have any power to enforce guidelines but people rely on the supposed to have the most up-to-date sites . one of the greatest disasters was because the white house was so involved in the agency's guidance which on his face is not super unusual . when you're dealing with something that with political implications like when reopened schools or businesses of course the white house will weigh in . but the degree to which they wait in and like, the nitty-gritty they weighed in on was so unprecedented . despite what you said about what social distancing meant in restaurants they didn't want restaurants to have to base their tables fix the park because you have lower capacity the economy wouldn't come back . people saw this and what happened was the agency couldn't get it started out in time states instead of having something to build on just it was like they had
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different reopening plans . sometimes you can learn from that life it worked well here but the way it happened was so scattershot and disorganized there was no way to look at what was working and what wasn't, it was such a disaster . it's going to take a long time for the agency to rebuild trust . it's the only medical appointee there is the director . everyone else is pretty much a career scientist or a career with that you saw the agency totally batter drove home so the importance of his . it's not all on the director number of people there you see the white house or corrects what happened . is this difficult problem to solve . you can see to solve the science but because something like this is not just the science you have to take into account . >> i see questions piling up in that he was so i will ask
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you more in terms of audience questions if you have a question with it in the chat on your screen . but these are questions i love for each of you to take a crack . the event is without virus do you think trump would have won the reelection ? >> i think you would have, yes . >> knows how the rest of the year would have played out in january when he had been in the economy that was doing well, democrats were in disarray . you remember the iowa primary was such a factor . he was looking pretty unstoppable i think . even with coronavirus , it still wasn't as big a market as you might think . >> that last question before questions, what lessons did you learn writing this book that you would import to a future administration rattling with the pandemic ? >> i think yasmine and i talk
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a lot about lessons learned towards the end of writing the book . obviously there's a lot of things that need to be done in terms of updating stockpiles and research and development but at the end of today , the most important thing is honesty. you know, if the public trust you, they will give you the benefit of the doubt and they will let you kind of let you leave . if the public believes what you're saying . there's just so much conflicting information coming out of the government that people decided they had to believe one side or the other . eventually that just doesn't work when half the country believes one person and half the country leaves the other is a deadly virus that doesn't have a political party . that was the most dangerous thing so the lesson is just be honest know it's hard
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distance isn't always popular honesty would have helped a lot especially . >> i completely agree with damien . there's more systemic issues that are maybe for policy experts and epidemiologists to debate and talk about what the country needs but at the political level , i think so much could have been prevented if like damien said , they would just level with the public and then honest . since messto being able to academic science and data they learn the hard way that this is impossible situation like this . you're always going to be outmatched by a virus . >> there are so far 11 questions in a few minutes left . the first one is from rj . how much of the virus response was written by the ideology of political appointees in the trump administration ? given that many conservatives
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were in the small federal government . >> it was a huge issue in initially. the big debate about shutting down the virus from china . there was a real reticence from people like nick mulvaney and others to have the government interfere with trade and commerce . they brought people like pottinger were scaredy cats that they shouldn't be listened to so there was a reticence initially. it was very about the constitutional right to not have dictate that sort of thing so i think this played a big role . the president wanted to downplay this because he was afraid of the political repercussions of it there were times when he would over correct to say i can tell the states what to do, i'm in charge . this like super federalism idea that a lot of them were with so i think politics
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drove a lot of the thinking . >> this question is from nancy . did your reporting indicate trump at any concerns for the health of the american people was it's all a political calculation ? >> we obviously don't presume to know everything he was thinking but from what we can gather our reporting , it was very much a weekly focus and public relations focused . outburst with the doctors that damien mentioned is a good example of that . it's the way you are talking about the problem, not the fact that the virus even once he gets gets upset because he had this thing with goldstar families the day after the white house event they had had four amy barrett which ended up being a super spreader that and he's telling his staff you're getting people too close to me. of course disregarding the had been a number of instances where he could have gotten sick . he's not so concerned about
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other people's 80, is concerned about his own vulnerability i think a lot of what we understand about his presidency in general to . >> this is from fletcher, what was the role of the political side of the white house ? it appears every decision was with an eye towards how the base would react . >> i can think of one incident in particular where there was a meeting in the oval in july. it was with his campaign staff actually they were talking about masks and jason miller another campaign advisor were saying listen, pulling on masks with republican republicans is not bad . 80 percent of republicans are fine with it because they think it will help the republicans to reopen. they were trying to lead him to water and kushner was in his favor, he thought it was a no-brainer once mark meadows i guess said we
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cannot do this the president agreed with meadows . so i think the president thought meadows a good sense of what the base would go for . at the beginning of the book one of the reasons is alex cesar is out-of-favor is because he tried to almost lure trump into banning these cigarettes and flavored baking at the base went bananas over that so it varies for policy changes in how they would affect the base . a lot of times he ended up bending in whatever direction they wanted . >> this next question from krista . i'll optimistic are you about our ability to combat the coronavirus over the long-term with the dangerous variance that keep on emerging the stalling in us vaccination rates ? what barriers and in our way ? >> that's a great question . i think obviously the country is in a much better place with the vaccines unfortunately the vaccines
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shown to be highly effective against all the variance so far but i think with the delta variance especially across parts of the country where they have less than 30 or 40 percent of the region vaccinated that's going to be a big problem in health officials are anticipating outbreaks in the fall . then the tricky thing is the coronavirus is a highly efficient virus so the market and spread even if your vaccinated, people are highly acceptable and is going to keep mutating among on vaccinated people because as we've seen over the last year and a half , new variance coming up and not necessarily more deadly more transmissible than the one circulating before it . as long happens no one and relax and put their guard down . talking about re-implementing mass mandates in the next 12 months as the variance spreads so there's reason to be hopeful but i think the low pace of vaccinations in parts of the country is cause
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for concern does mean that more transmissible virus argument he . >> this question is from george and i'm going to guess you don't have an answer . during late spring of 2020 what was president from doing to make sure he maintained his relationship with vladimir putin as the pandemic began to spread ? >> pass . >> that's outside my wheelhouse . >> this next one is from jerry . in your reporting did your research what the obama administration had for their pandemic plan that the trump administration either ignored or recommended or and the shorter version is how much time might have been lost if they didn't act on the existing administration . >> that's a great question. a few days before trump was inaugurated there was a meeting in the eisenhower
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executive office building with essentially all of obama's candidate all trumps incoming cabinets and it took a tradition that had started a couple administrations before they walked through various catastrophic events to try to prepare the new cabinet for how to respond one was to take an active shooter in a college campus . one was a tornado or hurricane and the third was a pandemic , like a flu . and someone shared with me a photograph of everyone in the room . it was like mike flynn, mattis, all these people and what was striking about it was almost all those people were gone when the pandemic came. the first health secretary lasted like a year. i don't even know if they were paying attention during the briefing but so many
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people who the obama administration and try to help work on either beginning of year 4 when this pandemic happened . so they never really even had the playbook . they never even had the background conversation to know the questions to ask and who to call . >> that reminds me of kelly and and her office had this amazing photo everyone taking the pledge on inauguration day . and literally as you would go in her office and you would see each person was whited out . she would like say, no longer in the white house so it was this last man standing of jared and kellyanne. this was from rj again . the republican party has tried to use doctor fauci as a bogeyman to motivate voters . how much damage does this do to the coronavirus response ?
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>> i think it does a lot of damage . these are presidents the medical advisor . he's still out on tv trying to tell the country what to do but you can see the damage . his approval ratings were high last year and you can see they taken quite get because the conspiracy theories about him and the son of eight towards him was combined last year to a specific part of the republican party and it's become way more widespread . doctor carlson is calling for him to be criminally investigated , for what i'm not sure at the rally over the weekend , marjorie taylor green they were mocking him . it's gotten really bad . it's kind of unbelievable how much they fixated on him all because he was inconsistent on masks more than a year ago now. and i think it did a lot of damage . he's kind of one of the most prominent scientists in the country .
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he's not the only one, there are lots of great scientists out there but because so visible people associate him with both governments responses, if your bill arising him that overall brings down a lot of trust in science and scientists generally you can see these scientists on twitter all the time getting harassed if they talk about anything slightly controversial . >> this question is from jerry. do you guys think anyone from the administration will be held accountable for the 400,000+ avoidable deaths ? >> that's a tough question. one of the things that compelled us to do the book was we knew that there had to be some journalistic accountability for what happened last year . after 9/11 there was a 9/11 commission where they went through everything like a big report about what happened and it appears there will be nothing like that after this ,
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one of the biggest catastrophes in american history . we felt it was important to hold people accountable . there were this many deaths, there were a lot of victims , innocent victims who never got to say goodbye to their families died alone in a dead with a nurse squeezing their hand so we felt like we owed it to people to get to the bottom of this and i guess let history sort out the rest i think that was one of the things that kept us going . >> there are three more questions in the chat that i think we can get to . so from caroline , she's saying she thinks that trump received regeneron while he was in the hospital, that's correct question is digital recording from his doctors and hospitals and staff suggests it was the steroid helped him rather than the regeneron and i know you also added the question i was going to ask to susan . there was this kind of amazing seeing where the commissioner gets this
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frantic phone call from the white house asking if his agency can sign off on a compassionate use authorization for a monoclonal and antibiotic treatment and it turns out he's calling on behalf of president from . sort of a question about regeneron versus toronto and i'm curious about that back story to get him the anti-money . >> so he did get regeneron, that's right at the time it was an experimental drug . it had been authorized for use so that's why they call the fda commissioner asked for this authorization the fda has to provide it within 24 hours for a patient's they don't need the patient's name of the duty of their medical history , all of the drugs there on so they can make sure whatever drug they sign off on is going to react adversely something already on or exacerbate some underlying condition so the white house is calling steve on saying and you do this in a few hours and receive
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hondas to the career officials they don't know it's trump yet they say we need to go live book on this . the white house basically wants them to cut corners and speeded up and when he realizes it's for trump he's like you want us to cut corners for the president, that's insane . but i think one of the people we talked to who was the trumps condition said they were all positive it was the motto monoclonal anti-bodies that were responsible for his quick turnaround because it's one of these drugs if you get early in the course of the infection can be either effective . we don't know for sure but it seems like the steroids kept him up for that return to the white house . this moment of ripping off the mass essentially gave him a burst of energy but the people we talked to you about his medical condition and information that they thought it was the drug that really turned him around . >> this question is from kavita the question is clearly checks and balances need to be implemented .
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whose role is that, is that congressional oversight and what sort of restructuring should occur , should the cdc to hold our hhs ? >> i think that you know, it probably all needs to be modernized . it's one of the benefits of doing a review is especially structurally so when you have these agencies , when you have a health secretary like a czar didn't really have the respect of the agencies like the leaders at the fda and the cdc, that just as bad set up or something like this . whether that means you need to organize the agencies differently or make sure these people have a good working relationship i'm not sure it needs to be some kind of your product soul-searching before the next time this happens because it will happen again. i think the sooner they have that conversation the better . >> i think a lot of people
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would love an oversight report they can get access to all sorts of information but it doesn't seem like it's going to happen right now . >> why won't that happen right now ? >> it's such a dark spot for the republican party . it was obviously not handled well and it was a huge reason why the president lost the election and it was probably would reflect poorly on a lot of them that more of them didn't speak up on masks or against him of the residents begins that were misleading or not true . there are just a lot of people who would come off poorly in a review like that . it was obviously a huge disaster , i think that's what inherently makes it very political . >> that's just an emergency flood alert . final question from nancy and one last question for damien and we will be done . did your reporting indicates that mark meadows, mulvaney
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and the whole crew, they have any regrets about their role ? yasmeen, i have a final question for damien . >> that's a great question. i think we found some instances where mulvaney for the short period of time he was chief of staff said some things publicly that were weird and not in line with what they were doing privately where he said that the democrats were using virus in trump in late which are reporting the same time, there were already starting to donate a euro travel ban and they wanted trump to take it more seriously and he told the president at one point you think you're running on the economy and you're not in early march . it's hard to say for people like mark short and mark meadows . their approach to this was in line with their general belief and approach to
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government that the government shouldn't have a heavy hand in these type of things and it should be up to people to decide . i think they would probably not change their minds on how they felt about mask mandates because they feel like that individual choice and not something that should be imposed by the government and we know throughout the year they bought a lot of this was the overblown and that the doctors were just advising things that were too draconian . >> i was told that damien as a cheesy story about how he always wanted to write a book since he was a little kid and now that your dream has been realized i was wondering if you could share with us . >> thank you. when i was 12 or 13 i was on an airplane and i was or some reason not sitting with my parents but there was a stranger sitting next to me and i was reading a book and he was talking to me like what's your favorite book and i told him at the time my favorite book was a boy in the girls bathroom .
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so i walked off the plane and the guy is like i wrote that book . and so as a kid with that access to the internet , it's true. i wrote him a letter five years ago because my son was reading lewis schachter . so just meeting and author as a kid and we're sitting there like normal people with scuffed jeans and just like us riding back in coach. it always made me think it was possible to write a book to . then you kind of forget and you're midway through your journalism career . then this opportunity came for yasmeen and i what was so fun about this window was the dark experience writing was that we let the book come to us. i have economics background, she has a policy background .
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it was great. for the crisis that we face . even though i have experienced all those years ago as a kid needing a famous author we were able do the book on our own terms . i think that's what made it almost such a better experience for us at this point . >> i will just say i love the book. i'm so glad you guys did but i'm so glad to have you both back at the post . >> that's not only cheesy stories damien, that was wonderfully inspiring . great moderating, ashley has always and yasmeen and david, there's so much to tell and why in your book . you laid a rich factual foundation to help us all determine ultimate accountability and as you your story shows once again, leadership really counts in a crisis and in this pandemic
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was certainly lacking at the national level so let's all hope that the right lessons learned in this next time many more lives are safe . orenstein
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find a line from the bubonic plague to covid-19 . >> my name is audrey stewart and on behalf of our bookstore i am so excited to welcome you to tonight's event with jeff and nicholas wiley discussing their book until proven safe, the history and future of quarantine . they're joined by cynthia graber. through good times and bad our bookstore will bring authors in their work to our virtual community .
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we have an amazing summer season that is in full swing so make sure to check out our event schedule. you can also sign up for our email newsletter and grabbed a shelf from home


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