Background Briefing: August 23, 2020

An Update On the State of the Pandemic and its Impact on the Election Campaigns

We begin with reports that COVID-19 deaths are being significantly undercounted by as much as 12% and get an update on the state of the pandemic and how it is impacting the election campaigns particularly after Michelle Obama’s takedown of Trump and his reckless incompetence in allowing the pandemic to get out of hand, along with the powerful statement by a young woman in Arizona who lost her father to Covid, remarking that her father’s only preexisting condition was that he voted for and followed the advice of Donald Trump. Dr. Kavita Patel, a Nonresident Fellow at the Brookings Institution joins us. She was previously a Director of Policy for The White House under President Obama where she played a critical role in policy development connected to health reform, financial regulatory reform, and economic recovery issues. And prior to that she was a senior advisor to the late Senator Edward Kennedy.


How the Biggest Digital Companies are Decimating the Economy Turning People into Assets

Then we speak with Douglas Rushkoff, named one of the world’s ten most influential intellectuals by MIT, he is an award-winning author, broadcaster, and documentarian who studies human autonomy in the digital age. The host of the popular Team Human podcast, he has written twenty books, including the bestsellers Present Shock and Program or Be Programmed; written regular columns for Medium, CNN, The Daily Beast, and The Guardian; and made the PBS Frontline documentaries “Generation Like” and “Merchants of Cool.” He is a research fellow of the Institute for the Future, and founder of the Laboratory for Digital Humanism at the City University of New York in Queens, where he is a professor of media theory and digital economics. His latest book is Team Human and we discuss his articles at Medium “The Biggest Digital Companies Are Decimating the Economy” and “What Happens When People Become Assets.”