1/27 Holding The Crooks Behind The COVID Response Accountable w/ John Nichols

January 27, 2022

Emma hosts John Nichols, national affairs correspondent for The Nation, to discuss his recent book Coronavirus Criminals and Pandemic Profiteers: Accountability For Those Who Caused The Crisis, on how the pandemic has forced a moment where we see if we are a country that will continue to refuse to hold its elites accountable, or if we are willing to look to a problem, see those who caused it and those who were hurt, and actually provide responsibility and reciprocity. Nichols begins with the Trump Administration’s active undermining of the early-pandemic messaging from international health organizations and their own health agencies, deliberately downplaying the risks of COVID to reduce fear in the populace, ultimately hoping to funnel them back into the crashing economy – and ultimately making 40% of COVID deaths during his presidency largely preventable. He and Emma dive into the multitude of reports, from Bob Woodward to Peter Navarro, that expressed the administrations early and unabashed drive to repress information on the pandemic, alongside the management of infrastructure, including Kushner taking charge over the supply chain by funding corporate imports and Pompeo’s rejection of international cooperation, to explore how the limited action the administration did take, worked to serve corporate interests rather than public health. Next, they look to the story of Mike Jackson, a Milwaukee union manufacturer and father, who was forced to return to his “essential” job making lawn care products in the winter, with little to no COVID protections, ultimately leading to his early death, and how his name has been central in Wisconsin activists’ fight for accountability. John Nichols then brings us back to FDR’s Pecora Commission in the wake of the great depression, looking at how it genuinely took the crooked economic response seriously, taking on a Mobster prosecutor in the fight against corruption in the banks, and centering the process in the public eye. They wrap up the interview by touching on the Biden administration’s failure to engage with the pandemic on the level that it should have by now, from their late arrival to providing testing to the hesitance to push against the international vaccination apartheid on the part of Pharma and its IP, before touching on a few steps we can take to move towards a culture of genuinely holding the elite and powerful to account when their actions result in devastation for millions. Emma also touches on Kayleigh McEnany listing all of the Black female politician (yes, singular) she knows, and covers some updates on what Democrats are (Breyer) and aren’t (Feinstein) retiring.

And in the Fun Half: Matt Walsh goes all-in on his incel fanbase, Matt Binder announces another drop in crypto – but this time it’s a good one (his new “Scam Economy” podcast) – and Brandon joins and he, the Matts, and Emma take on a Tuxedoed Jordan Peterson’s reminder that the climate is too big to fail, so why bother! Candace Owens comes at the masculinization of women via pantsuits, in a pantsuit, the crew admires MTG being scolded by her own constituents, and Dominique from Baton Rouge explores the problems with national investment in unlikely races, plus, your calls and IMs!

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