Episode

7/19 The State of the Virus w/ Dr. Michael Osterholm

July 19, 2021

Sam and Emma host Dr. Michael Osterholm, the Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, to discuss the state of COVID-19 as it stands here in the States and around the world. Dr. Osterholm walks through the dual pandemics facing the globe right now – the one we have at home in the U.S. being tacked with vaccines, and the raging one going on in countless largely unvaccinated countries with no resources to take it on – and looks at the current spikes occurring internationally, including Tokyo, Iran, South Africa, and countless more. Then, he, Emma, and Sam explore the three main concerns with the Delta variant – including rises in infection rates, illness severity, and evading immune protection from vaccines or infection – they walk through differing mask efficacies, and how the patterns of this pandemic drastically differ from the pandemic of 1918. Lastly, the three of them look into how focusing on boosting the currently vaccinated population, while a legitimate concern, is not as important in preventing the further progression of variants as helping to bolster vaccination rates in countries with no pandemic infrastructure. Emma and Sam wrap of the first half by touching on the right’s reprehensible disinformation campaign around COVID, from Alex Berenson’s presence on Tucker Carlson and Ron DeSantis’ destructive role as, you know, Governor of Florida.

And in the Fun Half: Meghan McCain says #NotALLfoxhosts, defending Fox’s vaccine coverage on the grounds that one host admitted to getting vaccinated, Sam looks into Joe Biden’s response to Facebook’s COVID misinformation and the importance of anti-trust solutions in pushing back on big tech, and Pradip from India picks up on the discussion of slavery as economically unviable and spitballs some takes on welfare. Then, Guy from Quebec chats political strategy in Canada versus the U.S., Fabio from Colombia calls in to inquire about the best debaters on the Left, the crew discusses the violent gap between American opinions on right of return for Cubans versus Palestinians, and Sam gives us one of his best name-drops yet. Kovidh from Iran calls in to discuss anti-imperialism, propaganda, and international left strategy, plus, your calls and IMs!

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