New York City, United States, Greg discussed on Slate's Political Gabfest
From new haven. Hello Emily Hello Nice to see you on zoom and John dickerson of CBS's sixty minutes and his bookshelf. Hello John and you have of your book to. I do and I would show people. But this is not a visual medium. As I've been led to believe and I just enlarge the screen and looking at all I can say. Is I apologize? You Look Great. What do you mean what? Could you leave me so nice to see you guys? It's just nice to see you guys and to see Jospin Bridget. So it's great to see you again regardless of how how unshaven dirty. Any of US looks on today's Gab. Fest the tug of war over how long the shutdown should last. And why will the president a bet a public health catastrophe by encouraging? Americans to get back to normal life too soon and do we have even the remotest sense that this pandemic is beginning to change that we are beginning to get any of it under control even as New York sinks into what appears to be an absolutely disastrous situation. We will talk to an epidemiologist Greg Gonzales. About all of that then. The largest stimulus bill in world history attempts to forestall economic collapse here in the US but is two trillion dollars enough. We'll talk about that and then we will hear from civil war historian. David Blight about what history can teach us about living through catastrophe. David is one of my favorite people. Talk about anything and I can't wait to hear his historical perspective. On this plus of course we will have cocktail chatter. There is a raging debate going on in this country stoked by president trump over how long the corona freeze should last. The president said this week. Idiotically that he wants people in Stores Churches by Easter which is just a couple of weeks away. Meanwhile there are a couple of other people. There's a group of other people who are arguing in a in a similar vein that social distancing be damned. Let's let the disease run. Its course through the young and healthy. Keep the economy humming. Tried to protect the old during that. Greg Gonzalez is an assistant professor at Yale University School of Public Health epidemiologist. He has a somewhat different perspective. On this so greg can you start with the what do you think are the major fallacies of the let's get back to business? We've done enough already proposals. That were hearing from the president and others so first of all. Start off with where we are. We're in the midst of a raging pandemic and ET National Public Health. Response that nobody thought could be and so we're in a situation where I see us all over the country particularly New York in northeast but slowly across the country or are going to be full capacity in people making choices about who lives in does so the projections are maybe between one in two million deaths. If we relax social distancing in the absence of a vaccine Retreatment for for Kobe. Nineteen we are stuck with. Social distancing is the main way of protecting herself now public health experts and epidemiologists all realize the ask is a big one. And we're all doing the same thing as as people are doing all over the world following these guidelines. We also realize we have to think of a way out on. This can't go on forever. The more weeks we accumulated of this sort of social isolation people be chomping to to get out of their houses. Meet their friends and family on the Jim normalize so these discussions are happening in the world of public health. Not just sort of in the in the greater sort of public discourse what. We don't need her for false choices. The idea that we have to pick the economy versus protecting the public health. I've been speaking to both my public health colleagues colleagues in economics people exact cooper-hewitt gale and others. Who Don't see a conflict in this at all the way to save the economy the way to save our friends and families lives is to beat this virus Greg. One way you came to our attention was a twitter thread. That was in particular response to a piece in the New York. Times by David Katz. I think his name is which argued we can let the Let the young get this disease. Protect the olds. And that'll be fine. Talk about why it is why. It's not possible for that model to work. Which I think. Emily and I both played with and we're tempted by and wanted to believe in and emily. I shouldn't speak at least just wanted to explain to our audience why that's a fallacy out. It's interesting too because it was very appealing to Jim. Dow In and Kim spent at the New York Times. There is an easy out. There's witty get through this without the pain that I think. Many are contemplating overlong creator social isolation we are dean of our school of Public Health. Stand remind myself started homer who runs the global health and Becca Levy. Another professor here at at Yale wrote a piece in the time too short letter saying why this is in part why. This is not a credible plan for addressing the epidemic. One is the idea that we can sort of sequester all the elderly in the United States and their caregivers Safety over the course of months while life goes on outside outside of sequestered existence. It's not credible. We don't have a safety net. That's going to be able to sort of sustain this for the elderly in isolation over time the other pieces of don't know you know many of you probably know a people in your social circles or one or two degrees of separation who were in the ICU or been sick who are not seventy five. Eighty five years old so as many of us know David Latte above the law a lawyer in New York City who is his been been in the ICU. Marathon runner physically fit. I all other standards. Who has the disease if you let younger people out to go to work with the idea that let them diskette exposed and they'll get a mile illness or they won't get anything all Discounts the fact that a certain percentage of killing people will get serious disease and die. And you just have to the mass right. If there's a big difference between a one let's say one percent chance of serious illness when you have one hundred people one person out of a hundred will get it. But if they're ten thousand people a million people. Ten million people any multiplies by when percents Huge absolute number of young people ending up in the ICU. The other thing is that This could be a seasonal coronavirus infection. Snow seating at across the American landscape by letting everybody get it except a small group of people doesn't bode well for trying to radically this this sort of a recurring infection. That comes up with some have flu. End Corona virus season which means you know hundreds and hundreds of thousands of debts on annual basis. Those are the main meets the cats editorial with wishful thinking so wrapped in insignificant near of Science I just want to say you were brought up my friend. David Latte who I'm really worried about. He is on a ventilator. And I think sedated according to the latest news that I heard and just been thinking about him a lot and there are other people like that as well so I think the way in which this viruses starting to touch us especially in the northeast or I don't know maybe that's not even true. Start starting to feel very real at least to me if we're looking for an evidence based approach to this. What are the next things we should be watching for? And what are some of the time horizons that we can be paying attention to as we determine how to go forward markers. Maybe there's a rational case being made for going forward and it's coming from both public health and economists people at Gabriel's within a manual says from Berkeley Hall Romer Economists Bunch people are saying we can stem the economic damage that this this crisis caused by under girding economy from the bottom up to eighty eight hundred fifty billion dollars worth of corporate subsidies but really figuring out how to support new all the four of us to five of us in our daily lives in terms of social visiting income support. All the social services. We need to make sure that people who are less fortunate than us able to do this. And then we watch and we continue. The social distancing end will see the peak of cases starts to lessen hopefully we'll have millions and millions of tests in a few months so that we can understand the sentence a the epidemic that still lingers in the United States in have antibody test. We can understand who's been exposed and WHO's not been exposed. If one of US has antibodies to the virus never had symptoms. Maybe we can go back to work or be part of the volunteer effort In so this is going to be a very step by step process to get people back to work. It's not like one day we're gonNA flip a switch and it's all going to be over to be a gradual gradual scaled-down of social distancing interventions over the course of months and it's GonNa take a massive investment of public health resources in order to do it. We're not prepared to based on the status quo as it exists today Natural the scary thing is because there's an absolute failure leadership from the top which is interested in denial and and and sort of misinformation. So we have people up and down the chain of Management. Not really willing to do the wrong thing. Doing the wrong thing needs telling your boss doesn't WanNa hear Greg. I wonder if you have any sense about whether New York is which is now the epicenter of the pandemic in the world whether it is a harbinger for the United States uniquely bad place and and death that question a different way one of the things. I've been wondering about and I'm interested in your professional take on is for the most part. Americans live pretty far apart from each other. We're big country. We're not that densely populated and except for a few cities we are. We don't have places where people really live cheek by jowl. New York is one of them and are we likely to have some protection from the fact that that many Americans actually are socially distant how they live to begin with so new. York is not a bad place. I think as a New Yorker. I think it's a fine place to live. I think the population density is one reason why we might be seeing more severe epidemic there but it's also just luck of the draw right. It's a major transportation hub the future for the country If you start to look at the map say the New York Times. You'RE GONNA see this sort of start to rise up think of Miami Rhonda Santa's. The governor said are not ready to sort of tell people to stay home from work. he he dilly-dallied in terms of closing the beaches. So you're GONNA see other cities around the. Us start to have their cases mount particularly in in states where governor to. It's basically all delete of the White House in downplaying the risk for their community but also think of it not a function density but a social network think of communities that are tightly unwilling together the Amish Mennonites in in rural Pennsylvania and others who depend on a lot of social contacts of May not be about density could be about density social network. One thing. I've been wondering about is how heartened to be by the drop in rising cases in Italy. So I've been hearing for weeks. That Italy was like a couple of weeks ahead of us and they seem like us to you. Know initially resisted or struggled with social distancing but then really gone on much more of a national shutdown and now it seems like a couple of weeks after that. There is starting to be a fallen. The rising case rate. There is that something that suggests that if we can really do the social distancing for two or three weeks. We can expect a similar achievement. Or Am I kind of exaggerating here in grasping at straws? So look I mean. I think what happened? In Italy's that once they saw the rising death tolls age. They sort of went into lockdown And if we look at what happened on in other places South Korea a mixture of testing social distancing. There's been a way to sort of Flattened occur but also to sort of start to control the epidemic. We have not taken the route that Spain or Italy or other countries that have been hard hitting Europe done. We don't have a national lockdown. We have a lock down in New York State. We have our orders in Connecticut and other states around the country like California to institute strong social distancing measures. But it's not all fifty states and it's not even across the country. The stag thing is we. We sink or swim together and you know viruses. Don't understand the borders between New York and New Jersey or Mississippi Mississippi sneakers and so unless we figure out a way to do more rigor social distancing across the country for sustained period of time. We're just piling infections. Acquired infections were building new chains of infection across the United States. And it's not going to be two or three weeks are we can be two or three months of hardship and didn't have to wait through this You know staying in our own houses. Not Seeing you know for a long time. It's not hard to do. We're going to have to think of ways to build. Social connections may be ourselves for a couple of weeks alone and then maybe try to trigger waste. We can combine our social circles over. Not At that point at it all greg to endure that couple of months process..