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August 03, 2021
America Dissected
The Green New Heal with Rhiana Gunn-Wright

In This Episode

We can’t think about infrastructure without thinking about climate—and we can’t think about climate without thinking about racism. Abdul dissects the indelible link between infrastructure, climate, and health. He interviews Rhiana Gunn-Wright, Climate Policy Director at the Roosevelt Institute (and a long time friend!) about that link, and what this moment should teach us about where our public policy should go from here.

 

Transcript

 

[ad]

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: The CDC revises indoor mass guidelines for vaccinated people. President Biden announces a vaccination requirement for all federal workers. Major companies like Facebook, Google and Apple followed suit. And Dr. Anthony Fauci pushes the federal government to fund a broad effort to prototype vaccine candidates for what could be the next pandemic. This is America Dissected. I’m your host, Dr. Abdul El-Sayed.

 

The last few months should have been a wake-up call for anyone who doesn’t believe that climate change is real and is barreling down on us. Whole German towns were wiped out.

 

[news clip] More than 100 people have died and hundreds more are still missing after the worst flooding in parts of Western Europe for several decades.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Historic flooding hit China too:

 

[news clip] More than 200,000 people in Hunan province have been evacuated to shelters and safer areas, where it’s reported a dam could collapse at any time.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: There were killer heat waves in parts of the country known for their temperate climates.

 

[news clip] Cities like Portland, Spokane and Seattle are preparing for an unprecedented heat wave.

 

[voice clip] This is going to set records. This is going to be the hottest that’s ever been experienced in human history in this region of the world.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: In fact, June of 2021 was the hottest June on record, in the history of our country. For many of us, these climate-related events hit really close to home. In my home state of Michigan, it rained a lot. Like, a lot. And while Michigan is known for its winter precipitation, we’re definitely not known for our rain. Inches upon inches of rain don’t usually happen here. So when it rained, it flooded, not once, not twice, but three times.

 

[news clip] Homes near the Ecourse River were underwater just three weeks ago. Tonight, they are swamped once again.

 

[voice clip] This weekend’s flooding has been so devastating, it has led Governor Whitmer to have to declare a state of emergency.

 

[voice clip] Nobody I’ve talked to can remember ever seeing flooding like this out here, which may explain why so many people thought their cars could get through.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: And here’s the thing, flooding didn’t hit every home. It hit specific homes in specific parts of cities that have been heavily segregated. Some communities that tend to be whiter and with bigger homes were fine, but poorer communities that tend to be home to Black and brown folks, that’s where the flooding hit hardest. Don’t believe me. Here’s AOC talking about it from the floor of Congress:

 

[clip of Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] One of the things that we saw recently was just unprecedented flooding in the Detroit area and particularly in this area of Dearborn, Michigan. There was one part of Dearborn that was completely flooded, and on the other side of Dearborn, it was fine. You would have thought it was just a small storm. Now, what we know is that years ago, the local government decided to put almost all of the water pump systems in the affluent area of Dearborn, and almost none of the water pump systems in low-income, immigrant, working-class, white—white working class, Black, brown-working class communities, they had almost no water filtration systems, leaving all of their homes to flood.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: The thing about climate change is that while it threatens the planet we all share, its consequences won’t be felt equally. Indeed, just like the pandemic, climate change is going to take its worst toll on people who don’t have the means to protect themselves. I mean, billionaires are already trying to figure out how to get off this damn planet. That means that the very people who are society’s marginalized the most, are going to suffer the consequences first and worst. Part of that equation is infrastructure. Remember Hurricane Katrina? Katrina’s worst toll was on Black folks living in the Ninth Ward, in communities that relied on levees that weren’t invested in or maintain enough to be able to protect them. Those levees, they’re what we talk about when we talk about infrastructure. You can think about what happened in Detroit and Dearborn in the summer as a smaller version of the same thing: Black and brown folks segregated into communities into which precious little investment is made, leaving them in places where public infrastructure, like drainage basins, is shoddy to begin with, poorly maintained, and fails in the face of extreme climate events. Who suffers? People of color and the poor, who were segregated into those neighborhoods to begin with. Chances are you didn’t even hear about the flooding in Detroit before now, so think about how many of these kinds of events are happening all the time that you’re not even hearing about. These communities, big and small, are where climate change, infrastructure, and structural racism all collide, flooding basements, displacing families, killing loved ones and destroying livelihoods. Right now, Congress is debating a trillion dollar infrastructure package, and because we seem to care more about, quote unquote, “bipartisanship” than solving actual problems, we’re being held hostage by a GOP that doesn’t actually believe that climate change is even real. Hence, the original climate legislation that had been proposed as part of this infrastructure deal has been stripped out and put into a separate package that Democrats will try and pass through budget reconciliation where they don’t need Republican buy-in. But all of this misses the point. You can’t pretend to care about infrastructure without caring about climate, and you can’t pretend to care about infrastructure or climate, without caring about racism. And thinking about those things together, it’s the heart of the Green New Deal. Though it’s been completely demonized by people who don’t believe in climate change or structural racism, it is a critical framework for thinking about how to solve climate change, infrastructure, and racism at the same time. The Green New Deal centers climate change, but then it also recognizes that we have to center infrastructure, structural inequity, and jobs. It came to prominence in 2018 when it a centerpiece of climate action from AOC and the Sunrise Movement, a collective of young activists who understand the centrality of climate in everything we do moving forward. Inspired by FDR’s original New Deal, the Green New Deal posits that if we’re serious about taking on climate change, we need to rethink our economy around building green infrastructure. And to do that, we need green jobs. And we should guarantee them. The folks most harmed by climate change need to be the folks at the center of the fight against it. Our guest today is someone who’s been at the forefront of the Green New Deal, Rhiana Gunn-Wright put together the original framework for the Green New Deal, working with AOD and progressives to craft the framework by which we could solve our interlocking challenges all at once. I sat down with her to talk about this moment and what it means for our future. After the break.

 

[ad break]

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: OK, can you introduce yourself for the tape?

 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Hi, I’m Rhiana Gunn-Wright. I am currently the deputy—oh wait, I’m not the deputy director, I’m the Director of [laughs] I’m the Director of Climate Policy at the Roosevelt Institute.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Like, that was the, that was the perfect Rhiana Gunn-Wright introduction.

 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: [laughs] I like forgot where I was. Where am I, what’s happening? [laughs]

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: You know what I am the boss. Actually, you know what, I am the Director! No caveats or provisos here.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, narrating: That there are few voices that can fully speak to all the ways that our national crises, the pandemic, our failing infrastructure, our unequal economy, climate change and structural racism, interconnect and make each other worse. Rhiana Gunn-Wright is one of those voices. I met Rhiana when she was in grad school and invited her to come work for me in Detroit as the health department’s lead policy analyst. When I ran for governor, I asked her to bring her perspective and talents to my gubernatorial campaign, working together to forge people-centered policy around infrastructure, climate, health care and criminal legal reform. Since she’s emerged as a leading voice behind the Green New Deal as one of its original authors, I wanted to invite her to share the connections that we too often miss between climate, infrastructure, racism, and the economy.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Thank you for joining the pod, really excited to have you. Rhiana, obviously, you and I go way back to when you were in grad school. Tell us about your evolution as an environmental justice and climate equity leader.

 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Well, I mean, I honestly didn’t think about environmental justice, hadn’t even really heard the term until I started working in Detroit at the Health Department. And you were my boss [laughs] and we did a lot of work on environmental justice. Like my first project was about the incinerator in the middle of the city and trying to figure out ways to, to get it shut down. And then you, I just remember you talked a lot about pollution and the role that environmental factors had in health. And that was really the first time I had learned about that or heard about that. And then I worked with epidemiologists, for some reason the one policy analyst was with all the epidemiologists [laughs] in the department. And so, you know, I worked with someone who, the wonderful [Haifa] who worked on maternal and child health, and we were working on like asthma. And so that was the first time I had really understood environmental justice and really saw how unjust our built environment is, and can be, and the ways that that actually can just really like, upend and ruin people’s lives. And so then you ran for governor and you were still my boss. I became your policy director. And then after that, essentially, I was like looking for a job. I thought I was just going to get a job for a year and then go to law school so I can finally make my mother happy. And like, lo and behold, AOC had endorsed you, and I had met her and reached out to her team just to see if they needed some policy support, and learned about New Consensus, who was working on a Green New Deal. And they recruited me to come help them develop a Green New Deal because the two leaders of the think-tank were organizers and they sort of needed someone with a policy background to help put it together to figure out how it works. And so I went and did that. And then, [unclear] happened and then that sort of just shaped the rest of my life for the last—how long is that now? Three years? It feels so long.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: It does.

 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Not in a bad way. Just, like a lot has happened in three years.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: There are a couple of pieces of that that I really want to unpack that I think are really important for listeners to understand and appreciate. Those three years and really the year before it, they signal a market shift in the way that we’ve thought about climate. When I was in grad school, the conversation about climate was about melting Icelandic icebergs and polar bears, rather than being centered on people. And your evolution as a climate policy leader comes through a space where you started thinking about these things in an actual health department. Can you talk to us a little bit about what the implications of that shift from centering the conversation about climate to be about wildlife and conservation, to being about our cities and our people, what that means for the way that our policy is actually changed, and where we go from here?

 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah, totally. So I’ll be honest, like I, so I went to Yale for undergrad and there was an active sort of youth climate movement there, but I never got involved in it because it seemed really honestly white and upper class to me. It seemed to be about like solar panels and like you said, still polar bears and melting ice caps. And I knew that that was bad, and I knew that that was a problem, but even back then, my interest was in social policy and my background, like my professional background up until the Green New Deal—I mean, with the exception of the work that we did on environmental justice at the Health Department and some of the work on the campaign—is social policy. Like I started out working on welfare, had like a very keen focus on poverty and policies related to that, and just really the social safety net. And so when I was working even at the at the health department, outside of environmental justice, it was like we’re talking about people who are trying to, like, feed their kids and figure out child care and, you know, balance all these competing forces and oppressors in their life, and you want me what, to talk to them about solar panels? Like this doesn’t make any sense. This doesn’t, that doesn’t matter. And so I think that shift away from it being about wildlife conservation, and also really technical solutions like a carbon tax, right, like let’s just put a price on carbon—I think the shift from that to it being about people has opened up a lot of space, both for like the belated recognition of environmental justice and environmental justice advocates and activists who have been pushing this definition of climate change and climate policy for a really long time, but were honestly ghettoized, right? They, still environmental justice gets probably, it’s changing, but historically gets like less than 10% of all of the funding that goes into climate and environment. Right? So we’re talking about folks who really got shunted off to the side and largely marginalized in discussions about climate change. So that’s opening up and their sort of definitions, the way that they have talked about environment and climate the way that indigenous folks have talked about it—it’s just creating space for a lot more people, I think, like myself, to see themselves as part of this fight and to understand how it connects and how this isn’t like a far-off problem that’s just about polar ice caps, but it’s about the fact that—and I mean, and I feel like we’re seeing in real-time that like, look at what extreme heat does, right? How it disrupts people’s lives, how poorer communities are more likely to be heat islands and to be incredibly overheated. What does that do to like asthma attacks when that cooks air pollution and makes it worse, right, and makes air quality worse? All of those things, it’s making it easier, I think, honestly, to have a fight about climate that actually goes somewhere and it doesn’t end up being just the province of DC insiders. And I think it also makes the shift, I think is also making climate policy not just sort of “environmental policy” quote unquote, but getting folks to understand that this is very much about social policy. That this is very much about economic policy. That is not just one siloed area, but instead this is really about how do we sort of change our systems so that we have a more livable world because it’s not, climate doesn’t exist in a silo. When you think about like carbon emissions of greenhouse gas emissions, those are the result of economic activity, which is the result of our entire economy. So when you’re talking about how do we deal with climate change, you really are talking about how do we deal with our economy and what are we going to do about that? And how do we support people through a transition to a different kind of economy?

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: One of the things that I think was a hallmark of some of the policy we put together together, when I was running, was how do you help people see themselves and find themselves inside a policy?

 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: 100%.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: And one of the things I think you’ve done really well with the Green New Deal is to empower people to see themselves, no matter who they are, inside of this fight for an economy that both fights climate change and also fights poverty, one and the same. There’s a lot that that goes into a conversation about the green New Deal. Obviously, it’s a gigantic policy platform. But what are the core elements, as you see it, of the Green New Deal, and why is it so revolutionary as a means to rethinking and reframing climate change?

 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah, so I think in the past, like we’ve talked about, climate policy was seen as sort of a silo type of environmental policy, and also really about how do you sort of nudge the market. The idea of like actual public investment or the role of government in tackling climate change was very, very limited, right? It was really limited to the role of like what do you, how do you price carbon, right? Or how do you get companies to do, to change the way that they do business in some ways to lower their emissions? And I think the Green New Deal has widened that out. So we often talk about it as it’s about the intersection of jobs, justice, and climate. So it is about de-carbonization, right, and the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases, but it’s also about how do you do that in a way that advances environmental justice and redresses historic oppression to the extent possible, particularly those oppressions that have happened during economic mobilization. Because a Green New Deal, as we talk about a lot, is an economic mobilization, which is just a fancy way of saying it’s, an economic mobilization as a time when basically all of government tries, along with private industry, to change the focus of an economy for a time, to change the shape of an economy for a time. It’s like a real “all hands on deck” situation. But in the past, historically in the US, economic mobilizations have, yes, changed the shape of the economy, but often re-entrenched oppression, right? And so you can think about the New Deal, the way Black and brown folks were excluded from Social Security. You can think about World War II, which was a huge economic mobilization and the ways that, right, that shape things like home ownership. 99% of loans went to white folks, right? And the ways that that entrenched the racial wealth gap. So historically, basically, the shape has changed but the power dynamics have stayed the same. And I think something that is incredibly core to the Green New Deal is the desire to change power dynamics, to change power relationships in our economy, to make them more equal. Because one thing that we do now know, we know a lot of things about the ways that economic inequality, racial inequality hurts our nation and honestly hurts the globe in general, but we also know that unequal power relationships really make de-carbonization very difficult. And deep divides in economic equality and wealth really do help drive the climate crisis. When you look at who is driving pollution, wealthy folks by far generate the most emissions. And also because of those differentials, it also makes it difficult to decarbonize because the power, the desire not to, right, is all stacked on the side of folks who are wealthy and powerful. And so those two overlap. And then the last bit is about jobs. How do we decarbonize, right, and work towards justice while creating millions of good-paying jobs that again rebalance the relationship between employers and employees, which is so out of whack now, and rebalances the relationships between corporations and small businesses, right? And so that’s what the Green New Deal sort of aims at. Those three interlocking—I was going to say Venn diagram.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Legs of a stool.

 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah, legs on the stool. And I think that way of thinking about climate, and that really intense focus on power relationships is very new. That was one of the things that I didn’t see growing up or when I was in college or grad school and talking about climate. We didn’t really talk about power. It seemed like there was an idea that we could fix all this and basically the world could look the same, just like put a little tax, you do a little thing and everything stays the same. And I think the Green New Deal really tries to disrupt that and say that, like the issue of climate, the issue of carbon emissions is also very much an issue of power. Who has it, who controls it and what are they using it to do?

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: I want to step back, and we’re having this conversation as, you know, America, and not all of America but parts of America are starting to emerge from the worst pandemic in over a century, arguably the worst naturally-occurring disaster that we faced in our lifetimes. And in some respects, folks are talking about this pandemic as a dress rehearsal for a lot of the ongoing types of climate disasters that we might see as climate change barrels down on us. And it’s shown us that we’re not particularly good at collectivity, and that people with power and means can often evade the worst parts of these kinds of collectively-experienced traumas. I want to ask you, how has the pandemic and the pandemic experience changed your thinking on the way we need to engage and center people in the climate movement, and maybe in some respects how we need to be thinking about climate mitigation above and beyond slowing climate change?

 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah, that’s a really, that’s a really good question. I think in some ways, I mean, in lots of ways it didn’t change the way I thought, so much as confirmed some of the things that I had already believed. So, for instance, like I don’t remember—I’m sure you actually remember—but like during that first wave of the pandemic, when the hot spots were like Chicago, New Orleans, Detroit, New York—if you laid a map of like air pollution and front-line communities over the map of the hot spots, they corresponded so well. So to the point that it was clear that the pandemic, COVID-19 was certainly wreaking havoc, but it was doing so along fault lines that we had cre—we, not, I didn’t create—but that have been created, right. That these two were dovetailing. People were dying and getting sicker because they lived in environments that predisposed them to be quite vulnerable to respiratory illnesses, like that. And in some ways, when I say it reaffirmed what I thought, it was that interlocking nature that it reaffirmed. That climate isn’t this like, separate thing, but it is a thing, and environment and environmental justice is a thing that underlies basically all of how we experience life. And it is the background conditions for what we’re going through. Which again was for me, that’s still a relatively new shift in my thought. Like, that’s the way of thinking that I’ve only really had since like 2018, 2019. So to see that, and I say that because, you know, a lot of people have told us, folks that we were working on the great deal, that we were wrong, that this wasn’t how climate worked. That we were conflating too many things, that that’s not actually how—and we were saying that that’s actually how people experienced it in real life. So to see that was devastating, but also was like, OK, well, we’re on the right track of how we’re thinking about it at least. The way that it changed, I guess how I thought about it—so I did see the way we were inhibited on collective activity but at the same time, it actually made me a lot more hopeful for how we can act collectively. Because for all of the protests about “open up, it doesn’t matter” which were essentially—I’ll talk about this in a bit—but for all those protests, I thought about all the people I knew who were staying home for months and months, not seeing their families, who were wearing masks, you know, all the time and that, all the folks who started mutual aid funds, right? Who started donating to mutual aid funds for the first time, all the folks who did go out and protest during the pandemic for the first time maybe in their lives around George Floyd and Black Lives Matter, there was, I didn’t know that we were that willing to act collectively on people’s behalf. And that was great. The thing that I think that changed for me was really, really focusing on the role of white supremacy in this. That’s what I really took away, was seeing tha.t like we talk a lot about politics and what are the things in the way of the Green New Deal book, coming out of COVID-19, the biggest threat to our ability to do this is white supremacy, point blank, period. Right? Because the protests about open the economy didn’t happen until all of a sudden we know it’s Black and brown people dying more, now we can open up the economy, those people are OK to sacrifice. Right? The inability even now to, we talk a ton about why there’s not more uptake in vaccine and vaccination for Black communities, but there’s peeps about the fact that really the most resistant populations are white Republicans and evangelicals, right? And but we aren’t even, where’s the public relations campaign for that, etc.? So it just made me realize that, like, the thing that we are least willing to speak about openly and tackle openly I feel like in the US, which is white supremacy, is really the thing that inhibits collective activity and collective action. And until we tackle that head on, including in the Green New Deal, and the ways that we engage people in the climate movement, then we’re always going to hit a ceiling in which action stops being possible at the scale that we need it.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Now, that is a profound point because I live in the world of public health and the operative word in public health, of course, is public. And the thing about public things is that they have to be done together and that forces us then to be asking what are the forces that tear us apart? And I think the point that you made about white supremacy and the fact that it does tear us apart, we saw a dress rehearsal of the way that white supremacy can take collective lives in the context of the pandemic. And the worry is that if we allow that same force to divide us on addressing climate change or mitigating the consequences of climate change, the catastrophe could be even worse. And it leaves me both thinking fondly on the times that we got to work together and also grateful that you are working on this issue, because I think if we fail to center the well-being of people and to center the forces that hurt people, even independently of climate or pandemics—namely white supremacy—in the conversation about climate change, we will fail to take on climate change. And tinkering around the edges or adjusting fundamentally broken power differentials as they land on our economy, just doesn’t get us there.

 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Yeah, and like the, and the data bears it out, right, that the group of people that is least likely to believe in climate change is white men, largely wealthy white men, right? People of color are more likely to believe in climate change and want to act on it, right? And so, and I think we also saw in COVID-19, at least in my personal experience, people of all races were willing to act collectively, but white friends I knew were the ones talking the most about, I have a family member that won’t wear a mask. Right? Or this or that. And so I think the conversation is both about how white supremacy divides us, but we also have that talk about how does white supremacy shape our ideas within groups even, about collective action, about our responsibility to other people. How does it inhibit the ways that we can imagine that? How does it, you know, how does it affect our behavior and how does it affect in particular white people’s behavior, and how do we tackle that, right? I think that, we, white supremacy, like we talk about, we see it and we see the ways that it shapes systems, but we also have to talk about the ways that it shapes peoples, including white people’s individual experiences of the world and their responsibility to it.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: We got a lot of work to do. I’m really grateful that you’re doing it, Rhiana. And thank you for joining us here on American Dissected. That was Rhiana Gunn-Wright. She is the Climate Policy Director at the Roosevelt Institute and a genuinely good human being, doing incredibly important work on the Green New Deal. Rhiana, thank you so much.

 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Oh, you’re welcome. It was a, it was a pleasure to be with you forever boss.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: [laughs] Well, I don’t know. I’ve always said that at some point I was going to be working for you, so I’m just waiting for when that happens.

 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Oh, yeah. I’ve got to get the budget. [laughs]

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Thank you again Rhiana, I really appreciate you.

 

Rhiana Gunn-Wright: Bye.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: As usual, here’s what I’m watching right now:

 

[voice clip] The surge in Delta infections prompting the CDC to make an about face on mask guidance, saying vaccinated people in some areas with high transmission should wear masks indoors.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Here we go again! Just as we were about to cross the finish line, someone turned the 5-K we were running into a 10-K. Like you, I am so profoundly frustrated. But the CDC’s new mask guidelines are based in new science about the transmissibility of the Delta variant by vaccinated people. As the CDC conducted outbreak investigations across the country, they found way too many vaccinated people in the trains of transmission. When they analyzed how much of the Delta variant vaccinated people harbor in their nasal pharynx, they found it was about as much as unvaccinated people, which likely explains why the vaccinated, we, can pass this new variant on. Importantly, the vaccines are still extremely effective at protecting people from asymptomatic illness, hospitalizations and death. You’ve likely heard a lot about breakthrough infections, but I want to remind you that 99.99% of vaccinated people have never tested positive for COVID-19. But while they’re still extremely effective, vaccines appear not to prevent against the transmission of the Delta variant in the same way they did for garden variety COVID. And this is a numbers game, the more Delta there is around us, the more likely we are to be exposed and the less protective the vaccine becomes. After all, even if the vaccine is 88% effective, that other 12% becomes a lot bigger when there’s more COVID to go around. And there’s a lot of COVID to go around. A leaked PowerPoint slide deck from the CDC ranked Delta as infectious as chicken pox, one of the most infectious diseases among humans, whereas wild-type SARS-CoV-2 could infect two to three people per person, Delta can infect five to nine. So in three rounds of infection, the original virus might 27 infect people, Delta could infect as many as 729. Which points to a bigger issue: too many people remain susceptible. Because they still aren’t vaccinated. And the only way we fix it is to make it harder to be unvaccinated and easier to be vaccinated. That’s exactly why this was a welcome step:

 

[clip of President Biden] Every federal government employee will be asked to attest to their vaccination status.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: Not only does this vaccine requirement affect four million Americans, but it creates a precedent that empowers other employers to do the same. Will it be enough? It’s one thing to require vaccinations for employees, but what about customers? That’s a much harder ask. And it’s why I think widespread vaccine verification is perhaps the most important thing we could do right now to increase vaccination rates. On the plus side, vaccination rates are ticking upward again as the reality of Delta sets in. So that’s a start.

 

Finally, as the responsible public health leader that he is, Dr. Fauci is already looking ahead to the next pandemic. He announced a plan that would direct the government to build out a series of vaccines for classes of viruses that could likely cause the next pandemic disease. That way, rather than wait a year to generate a safe and effective vaccine, we could head a pandemic off at the curve. It’s a great idea if, of course, people take the vaccines.

 

That’s it for today. On our way out, do me a favor and please go to your podcast app and rate and review our show. It goes a long way to putting in front of other folks. And if you really like us, go on over to Crooked Media store and pick up some merch. We’ve got our new logo Tees and mugs, our Safe and Effective shirts, and our Science Always Wins shirts and dad caps.

 

Dr. Abdul El-Sayed: America Dissected is a product of Crooked Media. Our producer is Austin Fisher.  Our associate producer is Olivier Martinez. Veronica Simonetti mixes and masters the show. Production support from Tara Terpstra, Lyra Smith and Ari Schwartz. The theme song is by Taka Yasuzawa and Alex Sugiura. Our executive producers are Sarah Geismer, Sandy Girard, and me: Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, your host. Thanks for listening.

 

America Dissected