Blue Apron CEO; Republican Suburban Women Share Thoughts On Trump


From NPR and Wbz I'm Tanya Moseley. I'm Jeremy Hobson. It's here and now Vice President Mike Pence speaks at the Republican. National. Convention tonight. Last night. First Lady Melania trump broke with other speakers and acknowledged the racial strife in the country as well as deaths from the coronavirus. I want to acknowledge the fact that since March. Lives have changed drastically. Visible enemy covid nineteen. Swept across. Our beautiful country. And impacted all of us. My deepest sympathy goes out to everyone. WHO has lost a loved one. And my prayers of those who are ill or suffering. Joining us now is NPR White House correspondent Hammer Keith ten the first lady spoke from the White House Rose Garden, which is unusual and president trump's staged a naturalization ceremony in the White House. Last night for this convention he also gave a surprise pardon to convicted bank robber who's turned his life around. Tell us about the unprecedented use of the White House and presidential power in a very political convention. A complete and total blurring of the official and the political. You had the White House at the White House the President conducting this naturalization ceremony yesterday as we understand it during the day than the White House posted the video to the White House Youtube page that video was then picked up and aired as part of the RNC convention it. It is unusual. It is unheard of there is a law called the Hatch Act that is meant to prevent the blurring of these lines and prevent public officials from doing. Electoral politics on on government time and and using government resources the the White House is trying to skirt around these rules. We should just say that. President trump and his staff have have been accused of violating the hatch. Act many times before during his administration and and they've largely just brushed it off. And on that note, by the way, there was another speech last night that's raising some Red Flags Democrats in Congress. Say They will investigate Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, forgiving a political speech to the convention from an official diplomatic mission overseas listen I'm speaking to you from beautiful Jerusalem looking over the Old City. I have a big job. At Susan's husband Nick's Dad. Susan and Nick are more safe and their freedoms more secure because president trump has put his America first vision into action. May Not have made in popular in every foreign capital but it's worked. TIMRA secretaries of state don't speak at political conventions. A purposely avoid it. They sometimes go to other parts of the world to be nowhere near the convention of course, Secretary of State Pompeo was in Jerusalem, and the State Department has said that no official resources were used for that video and as you heard there, he said my job is to be Susan's Husband in Nick's Dad Wink wink nod nod. To say, no, I'm not here as the Secretary of state I'm just here is a guy. You know this is just yet another example of the blurring of these lines and you know there's a reason why secretaries of state have have avoided this, which is that you know politics is supposed to stop at the water's edge there you know the the the the State Department. Frequently, tells other countries that they shouldn't have this sort of use of the apparatus of government for politics and yet here it was happening. What does Mike Pence the vice president to do tonight he of course, has led the coronavirus task force in more than one hundred and seventy eight thousand Americans have died from the disease so far. Yeah and he'll be speaking from Fort McHenry in Baltimore, which is the site of the battle that inspired Francis Scott key to write the star spangled banner. He is. Vice President and people generally know him the thought is that he may. Try to show a little more teeth or or a little more criticism of of former vice president biden and his running mate we will. We will see what that speech actually contains. But You know a Mike Pence is not traditionally known as as the attack dog of the administration. Traditionally, president trump has just taken that on his own with relish. We'll, and we'll probably hear from president trump again as we have the last couple of nights keith. Surprise. That's right. It will be a surprise. Tamra. Thank you. You're welcome. Let's go now to Kenosha Wisconsin where two people were killed and a third injured last night at a protest Jacob Lake, a black man who was shot by police as he was reaching into his car where his three young children were waiting for him. Blake alive. But partially paralyzed in the city of Kenosha is in the midst of unrest and for more let's bring in Alderman Anthony Kennedy who represents the tenth district of Kenosha Alderman thank you for being here. Thank you for the opportunity. And last night as as I mentioned, we saw another night of protests two people were shot and killed and a third injured hearing There were protests earlier in the day a peaceful march and a protest near the courthouse, and then later in the night, another more chaotic scene after that eight PM curfew tell us what you know. I was able to witness a good deal of that second incident in the evening my friends, Ray, Roberts, and my friend county board supervisor Andy Bird set up A. facebook live feed where they were discussing issues and bringing up different feeds that see what was going on in the city of Kenosha and one of the feeds they brought up showed the situation just about twenty to thirty seconds before the shooting happened, there was a confrontation in that confrontation. See People coalescing around that. You hear the shots fired and see. that. That little crowd disperse and the shooter walks. Past the person who is filming and. Close to a up the street, he trips falls the crowds that was near them starts to converge on Him. The person started shooting from the ground and I saw this as it was happening because of the feed that my friend Ray Roberts Andy were broadcasting, there were no Kenosha police officers in the vicinity they're line that they had set up was about four five blocks to the north of where this was happening So any narrative that talks about the Kenosha police were involved in this or complacent or allowed to happen. That is a weaponization of information that is literally GonNa Destroy My neighborhood. You said that you're heartbroken over what is happening there in Kenosha Blake sister his has said. This is nothing new though she's not sad she's actually angry and protesters have said this to. You've been in. One of the tenth district since two, thousand eight, where is the breakdown between police and communities there that protesters are contending and and do you feel a sense of responsibility in this at all as an Alderman? As a city Alderman, I absolutely feel a sense of responsibility I am part of the system it would be A. Falsehood for me to try to divorce myself from this watching the video of Mr Blake and his engagement with my police department was absolutely heartbreaking. There is no way you have any kind of humanity. And not be affected by that shock. Disbelief disbelief because the Police Department that is being pictured on that. Video Is a disconnect foam, the men and women that I have worked with WHO I have asked to help improve quality of life of my constituents for the last twelve years the people who It was almost as if I'm watching a fiction and. That was not an indication of what I thought I might police department was about. Alderman. There has been though a contentious relationship between Kenosha police and residents. There was another death that rocked Kenosha sixteen years ago the death of Michael Junior. He was a twenty one year old white man who was also shot by police and because of that incident Michael Bell's father pushed for reforms that now. Where the state to investigate cases involving Kenosha police. Do you have faith in that process. I have respect for what Mr Bell. Done. Taken a tragedy that I, I cannot imagine any father. WHO's their son? And he's taken that tragedy and he has made some reforms happened in the state of Wisconsin and I thank Mr Belfer that effort because we I think we are in a better place because of it. In a better place but the call from protesters is more they want more to happen. This is this is a small city with one hundred, thousand people I can hear in your voice that you feel a tremendous amount of sadness about what's happening to your community. But what conversations or actions do you see coming out of what's happening now? What do you want to see happen? One. And this might be Pollyanna Pie in the sky but. I have been accused by the people I have engaged in the in the neighborhood in the community that I'm a liar that I am the puppet for the system. I work at a certain level I don't have the luxury of just being angry I have to be angry an productive and I'm GONNA ask my constituents to please join me in that. That was Anthony Kennedy Alderman for the Tenth District in Kenosha Wisconsin where people were killed and a third injured last night at a protest over the shooting of Jacob Lake. At last night's Republican National Convention, Culturally Conservative women were, front and center with strong opinions against abortion bathroom bills for transgender students and a general appeal by first lady Melania trump to the mothers of this country. To mothers and parents everywhere your warriors. In my husband, you have a president who will not stop fighting for you and your families. But polls show a significant portion of women have deserted trump a recent NPR PBS Newshour Mayor's poll released in June shows sixty, six percent of women disapprove of the president. I connected with two longtime supporters of the president who believe despite the polls that trump actually does have a second chance Susan, Sherman of Lake Mary Florida, just outside of Orlando and Sonia mcmasters of round rock. Texas a suburb just outside of Austin I started by asking Susan, what issues are top of mind for her and her neighbors. Well, many issues for myself in those in the central Florida A lot of their issues is the country may be turning towards socialism concern defending the police. Rioting, happening. So there's there's different topics that have truly have come up since covid. Never really heard anyone really talk about these three until after covert really started. Do you see those talking points is really showing the reality the truth of where this country is headed and really the conversations that are being had about defunding police organizations your against defunding the police. But president trump has also had in his twenty nineteen budget plan. The trump administration was proposing a nearly fifty percent cut to the COPS hiring program, which hires local police officers. We hear that in his twenty twenty, one budget plan there also plans for cuts. What do you say to that? He has to do it budget just like anyone else. So if he has to. Reduce that budget and move it to other areas then. It's just like running a business with that being said, then has to go back to your state your county in your city to do their budgeting Sonia do you want to weigh in here city of Austin defended our police department in the city of Austin already in their budget? We've had major riots in Austin and then they get matt because they want protection while they're doing this. But you mentioned Austin City Council cut the police department budget by one third they did not defined the entire police department and so in thinking about that I mean, I'm thinking about how polarized we are as Americans. And the conversations that we're having seemed to be we're we're we're not talking to each other even though we're talking about the same things I, mean, this is one example of this. Do you see what I'm saying here? It I I can see your point on that, but at the same time. They want money taken away from the police department they really don't WanNa Police Department 'cause they WANNA do whatever they want. They want to go back to the olden days of the Wild Wild West that is my opinion on it. May Not be everybody else's opinion but I respect my police department. Sonia some are calling this election a referendum on how President trump has handled the pandemic in the US There are more than five million cases now, more than one, hundred, seventy, five, thousand people have died. And the president has gone back and forth on mask-wearing as a means of protection. Are you happy with trump's response to this health crisis? Oh. Yes I'm very happy because. You gotta remember we survived the swine flu. We survived the Spanish flu we have survived. Other flus that have surpassed in here and we've never had to treat it the way me tweeting this one Yeah it's good to be careful. But at the same time we gotta move on and we gotTA survive out of it So what you're saying there though I mean the swine flu, some would argue it was the the measures that the Obama administration took to stop that from becoming a pandemic. What are your thoughts on this? China is already up and running in with walking around with no masks and stuff. So. I know in the future it's GonNa. Come. For us. Susan I heard you agreeing with Sonia on this point. That we have been in this position somewhat before and that we are able to survive it. But to what Sonia, saying though about other places, the differences is that leaders in those countries took swift action. Are You satisfied with the way that the president has handled this pandemic to be quite honest we still don't know the numbers every day they come out different if it's a false positive if it's positive. So my concern is, what are the numbers of how many are truly new testing being done I think we're doing the right things that we need to but yes, I think the administration is doing right with the numbers in with the information that they ever receiving. Susan you're the president of the suburban Republicans. Women's Club does trump's assertions that we need to defend the suburbs an idea that was reiterated on the first night of the RNC by the mccloskey's resonate with you and if so why what does suburban living mean to you? So how I would put it for the State of Florida in particular is. We have a thousand people moving to Florida a day. So when you have a thousand people moving into Florida Day, it is concerned because now we're going to need more housing. We're going to need more apartments are more single family homes. The individuals or families that are moving from the bigger cities are moving from New York New Jersey California. So they're moving from democratic states into the state of Florida, and so with that comes different different views of what that would look like somewhat say this definition though and what you're trying to protect is the idea of an all white suburb I mean is racial diversity. What you're protecting the suburbs from. I don't I don't view it as race I view it as the ideology wouldn't when others are coming from other states what their views are and how it will affect our our state or county in our cities doesn't matter. Mace, it's more of how we will change our school districts. We have great school district's here here in some county. So when you bring that ideology and it's going to stir it up and that's the change that they're afraid of Sony. I think I heard you try to pipe in their former yes. What what were you saying? Yeah, I highly agree with what her response on this because I'm GonNa Tell You I. Am a Hispanic Latina woman. We are in the state of Texas. Still seen a lot of people moving from California State of Washington Illinois. A lot of people of those states are moving to Texas and they are going to need housing and not tell you from experience I said I sit on the Housing Authority board in town that I live in and I see how hard it is for us to try to. Help the needy and at the same time. When you have a little town, the doesn't have no more boundaries to grow on how are these people are going to find places to live Sonya I wanna ask you more about that because the suburb you live in is just outside of Austin you grew up by the border. What's your opinion about the trump immigration policy and calls to make a wall I mean, what do you want to see him do? I want that wall to completely protect the United States it's not for reasonings of. Trying to separate two countries from each other I wanted to separate the criminals from coming into our country. The thing that hurts me the most is that. The media surpasses this to become a crazy wild thing when it not it's not what you mean by that people are willing to comply I mean I've seen pictures and videos of people that are waiting in Arizona waiting in new. Mexico, waiting in the borders cities. Texas where they're waiting for their documents, they're filling out their documents to get permission to come across instead of doing it illegally. Susan I. Hear you agreeing in part to what Sonia has said I want to also ask you more about. Trump's statements. So we've heard from some GOP voters who are turned off by President Trump's twitter specifically, the company itself has had to flag many of his statements as inflammatory or misleading. How do you feel about? His twitter. Account. I do hear that all the time. I actually even have a lot of voters to say they don't want to vote for him just because the twitter. And, I, and I always tell everyone when when you vote you, Oh should have three issues of whoever you're choosing because you're never gonNA, have a perfect candidate and that's only one issue. Twitter in my opinion, he uses because he gets so frustrated with the other side trying to make. Laws passed make deals work whatever it happens to, and he gets so frustrated. They don't work that he uses twitter and it's Kinda like here. Let me throw something out there that you can talk about this via get something done. Is there any part of you? That thinks that what he says on twitter is representative of his ability to lead. I think any I mean he's a human being just like all of us and we can say we to say. He can use twitter just as much as you and I can use twitter. Do I think. He should maybe back off little. Yes. Does need to be using it every day should responding to everything no. But using it cutting him off completely I would say now for both of you, you know in the end when Americans cast their ballots, this November they're voting for for what they want the future to be. So for both of you, what is the America you want to see and I'll start with you Sonya I want everybody to stop aiding each other when they don't need to hate. Each Other Susan I agree with that that we still have our free speech we still have our second amendment and everyone that lives here can live their dreams. They have the ability, no matter, their background, their race, their culture, any of that does not matter. Everyone should have the right to provide for their families to give their children whatever they desire but Susan Sherman of Lake Mary Florida. And Sonia mcmasters of Round Rock Texas. Thank you both for taking the time with us today. Thank you Tanya. Thank you Tanya we. that. Idaho lawmakers are back at the Capitol today after police, they're wheeled anti-government activists, Ammon Bundy out of the complex yesterday in an office chair he's been charged with trespassing and resisting and obstructing officers all amid protests over the state's special legislative session related to the coronavirus pandemic NPR's Kirk. siegler is in Boise Kirk people remember 'em, and Bundy for his armed occupation of that wildlife refuge in. Oregon in two thousand and sixteen reminders of who he is and how he's connected to these recent protests. Well, right Bundy. was acquitted for his role in leading that forty one day armed siege that you mentioned of Federal Bird Sanctuary not far from here over in Oregon and also a separate but related case over an armed standoff near his family's ranch in Nevada collapsed and mistrial so. Jeremy, he's free and you might say emboldened and the pandemic has really brought new life into his so-called Patriot movement that he is a leader of you know they're always looking for something that's perceived as government overreach. So bundy who lives in Idaho now has been leading all kinds of controversial protests lately since the lockdowns hit disrupting a public meeting in defiance of mask orders trying to get the governor here recalled over a statewide stay at home order implemented and when the. Legislature met in special session. As you mentioned this week here was Bundy saying his people and their voices were being shut out well and his arrest or his his being wheeled out. I suppose his being wheeled out of xactly of the complex yesterday was after things got out of hand earlier this week on Monday protesters who were not wearing masks for covid nineteen pushed through police to get into the legislative chamber glass door was broken and it was caught on video listen to this. This is our house. What were these people protesting? Well right and Bundy was front and center there. It's sometimes an open question and never black and white to be honest with Bundy But there were a lot of anti sers, conspiracy theorists of which there are many in Idaho remember the state is famous for far-right extremism and there are plenty of far-right elected officials here who would sympathize with Bundy to sum it up the main. The main thing they seem to have wanted is the state to not be able to enforce corona virus restrictions. And did the police just stand by and let this happen earlier this week initially sort of, but you keep mentioning the wheeling you know it was a chaos and disorder and there was pressure to do something by yesterday even a lot of the Republican leaders here seemed pretty furious. So at one point, the House Speaker ordered a hearing room to be cleared and most of those protesters you heard there in civil disobedience they left but there was Bundy and two others they refused to leave. He was sitting at a table that was ordinarily reserved for press and it's Truly bizarre scene he was on this swivel office chair and the state police came over handcuffed him to the chair, moved them out to an elevator, wheeled him down to the first floor and literally right out onto the street and into a squad car that was waiting for them, and so then he was transferred, of course booked into the local county jail. So just a few seconds left here but what is the legislature trying to do this week and is this putting pressure on them to not do it or to do do it more? Puzzling me because some of the bills that are going to consider you might expect the far-right with like including one that would strip authority away from local health districts to enforce things like mass restrictions and other things and give that back to local school boards, and the governor has for the most part. A lot of the restrictions have been lifted. That is NPR's Kirk Siegler in Boise. Kirk. Thank you. There are some companies that have actually done better during the pandemic than before think. For example or the meal Kit Delivery Company. Blue Apron has so many more people are cooking at home. It reported ten percent profit growth in the second quarter this year compared to the same period last year blue apron president, and CEO Linda Finley Kozlowski joins us on skype is part of view from the top our series of conversations with leaders Linda welcome and for people who have never used a meal kit delivery service tell US briefly how blue apron works It's interesting because I think a lot of people giving kids are still so new are quite clear exactly what they're four or they they they wonder is it just really about convenience or not going to the store and the reality is the reason people find meal kits attractive actually sorta falls into three buckets. One is is meal planning. It's actually the primary reason that people. Find our kids to be very attractive. Is Because that stress over four PM? What are we going to have for dinner tonight families argue about the time feeling like they're in a right so it's really just helping with that planning and removing that stress with with really great recipes that provide a lot of variety for your family or your loved ones that you're cooking with. Number two is actually about Canadian said having some of the best ingredients delivered straight to your door. We have very very high sourcing standards and were directly with producers to make sure that you're getting quality food, and then the final piece is actually lack of food waste your a lot of complaints from people that in their homes, they bought too many carrots for her recipe and they don't know what to do with the rest of them. They wind up throwing out too much food that feels really stressful of the reality is there's a lot of food waste in the industry. In general. So we've really focused on reducing the food weights spoke in our supply chain, and then also in people's homes. So you're getting great meals but you're not feeling like you're having to buy a giant jar of sauce for something where you only might need a small amount or or buying too much produce that goes bad to quickly at the same time you you say you're reducing food waste. There's also the issue of packaging though and I know that this is something that's come up over the years with blue. Apron, how much of your packaging at this point is recyclable? More than eighty percent of our packaging is recyclable and reusable, and we continued to optimize that and try to make more and more of it. Recyclable but the interesting part about it is the University of Michigan study that actually found that even with the packaging were still a third lower carbon footprint than a going to the grocery store because of not just food waste, but the packaging in the supply chain as well of traditional grocery. So even though we continue to strive to make the packaging better and we are participating in the how to recycle grandma, I, get to do that. We are actually seeing benefits already from the fact that we have narrowed down our who'd waste and our packaging quite a bit. What about the fact that China for example is not taking a are recycling anymore after that two thousand, eighteen banner you confident that the packaging that that you give people that is recyclable doesn't just up in a landfill somewhere our hope is to make sure that. Are Really doing everything they can to continue recycling programs and we big advocates for making sure that we're keeping all recycling channels been not just frankly for blue apron materials. But for materials in general, you know as people are buying more at home from the pandemic, we are seeing more packaging out there. There's another part to recycling though that's really important education about how to recycle, which is why we've participated in this program because many people don't even know. That things that say they're compostable aren't always compostable based on different city and county regulations in different programs. So we WANNA make sure that people know how to make sure that their materials get to recycling effectively Okay and then you mentioned the carbon footprint let me just press you on that for a second because obviously the things that are being delivered to your customers have to be moved from from one place to another year saying that even given that. There's still a lower carbon footprint from blue apron products than if you went to the grocery store, right. So that's again the the independent study that was done by the University of Michigan last year that that actually traced including the transportation aspect of it. Because again, think about the food that comes into the grocery supply chain does need to be transported as well. But food waste really is the biggest culprit and a big part of what we do is because we use technology to understand exactly what people are ordering. We can source exactly what's needed for the. Same customers exactly what they need. If there is any overage, we offer that first employees through a farmer's market program, and then the rest goes to donations city harvest to make sure that it's feeding people directly. How has your supply chain been affected by the pandemic? So because we have such a very tight supply chain. have people ways that we can be flexible if we need to based on availability and freshness of ingredients because of the fact that we are using fresh ingredients in our realities, we wanna make sure that if something isn't the best quality that we can adapt the recipe and switch to a different ingredient that flexibility has worked well for us during the pandemic because we're able to manage to work with our suppliers to make sure. That we have minimal disruption in our supply chain. What we're particularly proud of is because of the quality of ingredients that we source, we have long standing relationships with suppliers and also audit them for the same safety and sanitation standards that we have in our facilities, which is extremely high, and so we're very confident that we're able to manage through that the fluctuations in supply chain without impacting the quality what we send that the customers. So we mentioned that you've seen a revenue growth this year especially as more people have been cooking at home during the pandemic. Do you think that your growth will sustain after life returns to normal which I assume at some point it will. Let's hope that it does return to listen as possible. What we're hearing from our customers what we're also seeing that third party research out there is that habits are changing. And what people have been doing during pandemic. I, cooking at home more etc. At least a third of people planned to continue to cook at home even more so than they did during the pandemic, even after things start to open up again, they started to see value in the connection with family and the the cost savings that comes from cooking at home, and so all the research points to the fact that people will continue to cook at home more after the pandemic even they did during the pandemic beforehand. So the meal Kit Industry is getting a busier as you know, you've got hellofresh played Sun Basket Purple Carrots just to name a few what do you have to do at Blue Apron to stand apart from the competition? So we feel very confident that one of our best assets is our culinary authority. So the reality is we constantly create new recipes. We have an in house team of culinary experts that really know how to layer flavor. We're able to include more unique ingredients in our kits that you might find it more specialty stores if you were actually shopping for them and more unique ingredients than than what we necessarily see from our competitors, you can layers of flavor in your recipes, really high quality proteins. That meet high animal welfare standards great quality produce the kids beyond that. We try to give people a lot of choice when it comes to flexibility around what their health needs are. We offer different sort of low carb options of we're partnered with the American Diabetes Association ww. We also offer Mediterranean options that people can use to mix and match choose their own path when it comes to health and enjoyment. So even if you're being healthy, you don't feel like you're sacrificing anything in the process. So I have I have a question just out of curiosity and I'm sure that you have the answer although maybe not at your fingertips but I'll try anyway, what is the most popular recipe what are Americans into these days when it comes to Blue Apron. That's actually a very interesting question. So we are known for our burgers. the combination of the quality of the meat that we use as well as the the rest of these techniques were were big believers in not just giving you what you need in order to make something teaching you how to make it better and we definitely have some really great potato bonds that we. Back in as well, I will say it is interesting during the pandemic you're seeing a mix of people wanting to look at some comfort foods that you are seeing a lot of pastas, noodles, and that sort of thing. Then also a lot of people during the summer are very focused on health and so are fish dishes are some of the best dishes out there in it's one of those dishes where people feel really confident cooking fish. After using our box. So we're seeing an interesting split in our customers where. The comfort food side of the menu and the health side of the menu are getting a lot of love. In the process and what's the thing that probably will have to come off the menu because nobody wants it. Well, we try not to have too many of those things because we do collect quite a bit of data and we really focused on our customer reviews. We continue to adapt our recipes based on that but honestly, there's not many things on the menu that have to come off at this point because we're were pretty good about managing that based on customer reviews are our customers love our product and they also tell us when they don't like a recipe as much. That is Linda. Findlay Kozlovsky, the president and CEO of blue. Apron. Thank you so much for joining. US. Thank you. I thought she was going to say something involving Brussels sprouts although Brussels sprouts are hot now. So people like. A. At, least five states have rolled out APPs to help people alert their contacts, they've contracted covert nineteen. Twenty states and territories plan to release their own APPS covering forty five percent of the US population that's according to Google which helped develop this technology. The I called covert. Made a debut in Virginia earlier this month and let's bring in Jeffrey Fowler Technology columnist for The Washington Post with more high Jeffrey. Hi there. So you and your team of staffers at the Washington Post have been testing this APP covert wise and how is it supposed to work? Does it seem like it does what it's promising to do? Well, the idea is that if you run this APP in the background on your phone. It just is running all the time and it's keeping track of other people that you come in contact with within at least six feet for fifteen minutes, and if one of them later gets a positive krona virus diagnosis, the system will anonymously send an alert and you'll get to know on your phone that maybe you should get a coronavirus test as well. That is the honest. It's like the world's most stressful. Kind of alert, you could possibly get from your phone says you may have been exposed. The big question is, of course, does it work and the truth is we still don't really know. Thirty five Washington Post. Staffers and this data Virginia that were. Helping me test this APP. And over two week period. None of them got any alerts now that could just mean that. Washington Post efforts. We're doing a very good job of remaining socially distant that could also mean. That just not enough people out there have been using the APP yet for people to be exposed to to folks who might. Get a positive coronavirus. Diagnosis so we just don't know. Yeah. These apps used technology from apple and Google but they were developed for public health agencies. Where is the data going? Are you confident that tech companies are keeping their word about not using this technology to track users for ads and those sorts of things? Yeah that is kind of the core question. Here I think the real stumbling block to people in the United States in particular brawl around the world to trusting these sorts of APPs is that we don't really trust either. The government to track. US. And with good reason, right I mean we learned from Edward Snowden that the government tracks the lives of citizens in lots of ways people might not like and we've all learned from using facebook and watching Mark Zuckerberg in front of Congress that tech companies aren't to be trusted either I'm someone as a columnist for the post to recommends being very wary about installing apps and browsers might track you. But in this case, I was very pleasantly surprised we looked beneath the the code on. These APPS and they're actually not collecting any information about your location at all. Instead, they're using this really kind of sophisticated trick of using the Bluetooth signals on your phone to keep track of who you you might come nearby and then deleting that record after fourteen days. Okay. So then I mean on the other hand, you also right that the focus on privacy also means health officials get almost no useful data from these APP. So can they be used for contact tracing in this way? Yeah, that's been one of the most controversial elements of these APPs among public health officials say, okay at best this is an individual alert system might let you know as individual you should go get tested, but it doesn't really help public health officials as a whole figure out where hot spots are and also do what's called contact tracing right where they go and they find the exact individual people who might have been exposed. These APPs can't let them do any of that in fact when you get an alert. Through one of these exposure notification APPs you won't it won't tell you when exactly it happened or where exactly it happened or who you might have been exposed to. It just lets you know that that you should go get a test. Okay. You mentioned how you and your colleagues have used this APP. These APPS are supposed to encourage people who might have been exposed to someone with the virus to go get tested. Is there any evidence that they're pushing people to get tested who wouldn't otherwise have done so? So far the state of Virginia hasn't reported. How many cases that they think where people who? Got Notified through the APP, they've said that about ten percent of the state of Virginia of the adults in the state now have the APP running and some scientists estimated would actually take up to sixty percent of the population for to really be effective. So that's part of the. We just don't know part of this equation and it raises for some folks a what I think is an important question like if this technology is unproven. Why are we all installing it on our phones? Why do we believe that phones can actually help us combat the coronavirus and look I? Think those are important questions to ask but the truth is we're now at a point where a half dozen states have invested in this technology, they've made these apps through their state health departments and so you know my advice to folks is if it's available, let's give it a try and let's find out because at this point, the money has been spent and we might learn something and you know if you or just a couple of people do get these notifications I'm sure you'll be glad you got it. That's Jeffrey Fowler Technology columnist for The Washington Post. Thank you so much thing. And here now is a production of NPR, in, WB you are in association with the BBC World Service I'm Tanya Moseley I'm Jeremy Hobson this is here and now.

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