Category: Uncategorized

Background Briefing: September 9, 2020

 

Our Spectacularly Stupid President Who Would Rather Let People Die Than Panic Them

We begin with the amazing revelations from Bob Woodward’s new book Rage in which Trump, who is recorded on tape, on February 7 admits how deadly and dangerous Covid-19 is. This at a time when he was saying to the American people the virus would magically just go away. Then on March 19, Trump explains to Woodward that he is playing down the threat because he does not want to create a panic. In other words we have a leader who would rather let people die than have them panic. Lawrence Gostin, University Professor and Founding O’Neill Chair in Global Health Law at Georgetown University Law Center joins us to discuss the spectacular stupidity and reckless ignorance of President Trump who was told as early as January the 28th by his National Security Advisor that the virus could be the “biggest national security threat” of his presidency. We try to understand why Trump took no action to contain the pandemic early as other nations had done, but instead offered rosy promises and ludicrous treatments while the death toll mounted and the pandemic spread.

 

The Unprecedented Wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington

Then we look into the unprecedented scope and size of the wildfires burning in the Western States of California, Oregon and Washington, along with Idaho and Colorado and speak with LeRoy Westerling, Professor in the Management of Complex Systems and former Director of the Center for Climate Communication at the University of California, Merced. An expert in the relationship between climate and wildfires, he joins us from San Francisco where the daytime sky is a deep dark red as if it were the middle of the night to discuss the many fires and the likelihood that the current wildfires now ablaze before we have entered the worst of the fire season, will look small compared what is expected in the future due to global warming.

 

An Expert on Voter Turnout

Then finally we investigate the possibility of a high turnout election in November which, because Americans traditionally have the lowest turnouts among advanced democracies, could overwhelm the predictions and models and change the electoral landscape.  An expert on voter turnout, Dr. David Hill, a Professor and Chair of Political Science at Stetson University and the author of American Voter Turnout: An Institutional Perspective, joins us to discuss how in 2020 voters are highly engaged but expect voting to be difficult.