Day: October 18, 2020

Background Briefing: October 18, 2020


We Need Dr. Fauci More Than Ever as Trump Embraces Quackery

We begin with warnings from Dr. Fauci that letting the coronavirus spread to achieve herd immunity “quite frankly… is nonsense, and anybody who knows anything about epidemiology will tell you that that is nonsense and very dangerous.”  Nevertheless as the nation enters a third spike with 17 states experiencing sharp increases and 41 states overall seeing infections rising, Trump is now listening to an unqualified radiologist who is prepared to sentence millions of Americans to death to have his quackery proven wrong. One of the world’s leading authorities on coronaviruses, Dr. Ian Lipkin, the Director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University whose team has discovered or characterized more than 500 infectious agents such as SARS, MERS and Covid, joins us. We discuss the call for Trump’s top scientists like Fauci, Birx and Redfield to resign which he considers foolish because we need Fauci when a safe and effective vaccine is available to convince a skeptical public to take it, given the irresponsible claims Trump makes regularly and the number of conspiracy-minded anti-vaxxers we have in the country.


Trump, The Ill Strongmen on the White House Balcony

Then we speak with Ruth Ben-Ghiat, a Professor of History and Italian Studies at New York University who is a specialist on fascism, racism, authoritarian rulers, propaganda and the politics of images. She joins us to discuss her article at The New Yorker “Trump, the Coronavirus, and What Happens When Strongmen Fall Ill” as well as her new book, out soon, Strongmen: From Mussolini to the Present.


Inside the World of Q-Anon and Trump’s Deadly Conspiracies

Then finally, we discuss Trump’s Thursday solo town hall in which he refused to disavow the lunatic Q-Anon conspiracy theories but in effect endorsed these dangerous delusions by claiming the group were against pedophelia, which is a laughable but deadly lie. In fact Q-Anon believe Trump is their leader and when the “storm” he initiates comes, the Democratic Party and the press who Q-Anon believers consider to be pedophiles who drink baby’s blood, cavort with demons and worship Satan, will be sent to Gitmo or rounded up and shot. Carl Hoffman, who has spent a lot of time at Trump’s rallies learning about the belief systems of Trump’s ardent followers joins us. He is the author of the new book, just out, Liars Circus: A Strange and Horrifying Journey Into the Upside-Down World of Trump’s MAGA Rallies.