tv Thomas Wright Aftershocks CSPAN November 24, 2021 2:03pm-2:57pm EST
jason emerson is in independent historian who's been writing about the lincoln family for over 20 years. >> on this episode of bookmarked plus, is available on the c-span now at wherever you get your podcast. ♪♪ >> c-span on the go. watch today's political offense live or on demand anytime anywhere at our new video app. access top highlights.s. listen to c-span radio and discover new podcasts all for free. download c-span now today. ♪♪ >> my name is edward, i'm associate editor of financial times and i am delighted to be here at this club of california. his new book, pandemic politics
and the end of the old international order. i have read it. i strongly recommended, but if a friend writes with him i quickly find humor as an excuse and this is an instance like a timely book and it looks at the context for the handling or mishandling of the pandemic since 2020 and what will likely entail. it's going to be is a senior fellow of the brookings institution, a writer for the
atlantic monthly, he's written a previous book that came out in 2017, in many ways it's a precursor to this because it looks at the new era of politics so let me start by asking you you mentioned in the book some of the articles you written about the book the beginning of the pandemic, one of those strong years in history, modern history much m like 2008 financl crisis 2001, 9/11 1989, the end of the 8 cold war it's something we should pay attention to and elaborate on.
what is your position on covid-19? >> it's great to be doing this with you and thank you for this cover of california thank you for the opportunity when you look at when we co-authored this, we spoke in doing a book, it was an incredibly important year, there is a global crisis no international cooperation with national government popular is him, totalitarianism and leaders speaking to each other. it was interesting to document and study in real-time to see how the world would cope and having been through 2020 now,bei do think it's lived up to that
because itus related show us the cost of the crisis without cooperation. it accelerated u.s. china rivalry and will have repercussions in many parts of mthe world that doesn't get a t of attention in the developing world for many years, if d not decades. c it sets the stage for dealing with future pandemics and the global health system between the major groups. it might be an article, 47, 48 and 49 edits competitions shaped by 2020 and 2021. >> a lot of people in the formulation of the pandemic
celebrated pre-existing trends but i think you're going a step further saying he created a new trend in terms of the nosedive in u.s. china relations. could you elaborate more on that? >> there's something to the argument a china coming back bui don't think it captures i everything. populism was on the rise prior to covid and we can talk about it but arguably covid set up back so it might have reversed the trend in the case of populism. it's relatively popular come out of the pandemic but is a stumbling block. it wasn't an acceleration of the trend, in the developing world, it reversed decades of poverty
and plunged those countries back so to me, i don't think acceleration reallyal captures t where it might be most thinkable is with the u.s. and china but even there a dramatic acceleration is not the continuation of trend, it's a dramatically different scenario. if you take it forward rapidly, it has a momentum and character on its own and that's what happened in 2020 with the u.s. and china. in china's case, we might come to this in a second, it reversed 17 years or so on global public health where it was more cooperative,e, relatively more transparent for the most part with some bumps and 2020 brought that to a halt and reverse it so i think it. is a separate dynamc
is not just a continuation of what we had previously. >> in a second i'll get to the subtitle, and of the old international order but on the u.s. china, fascinating material about china's corporation with the who, i'm not sure the language was. >> the audience evidence quote. >> he said something about what xi jinping has done to him personally but talk about what you discovered in terms of who politics. >> entrance case, the shock to him of having tohe shut down the economy in turn with a vengeance and xi jinping in the
administration wanted a more comprehensive continued approach but after who questioned, this is fascinating, the who finds out they have this global crisis in the dictator in china, they believe it swimming to tolerate criticism from the community's and in 2003 with sars. it'swn their own persuasion if e thinks he can navigate this by personal leader to leader p diplomacy he will pray for leaders publicly in exchange for the hope of getting concrete cooperation in a practical sense and that leads him to say
certain things, they are at odds with what the who assessment is in cooperating but privately from documentsts reported, we kw that is not true and that led the u.s. to react and say if not, you have to criticize them at least describe what they're doing and if you praise them, it is counterproductive and sets the stage and they are on all sides from the u.s. tried to withdraw the true in the middle of a global pandemic which is an astonishing thing to do but trying to stay close to the leaders in trying to work with
the system between that and what was needed. >> if you are the who, this is a sobering case and would apply to any other multinational institution. it is perhaps your two biggest and at worst with each other. if you are a believer in multinational corporation, what lessons can youon draw from the disabling of the who like to tha common challenge so we should work together easier than
cooperating in their career or afghanistan but it is getting into the sovereignty the country's inquiry why they have no outbreaks and how they handle back demanding transparency by regimes that could be up. all of that came to a head and blessing to me, there is no reason to believe if there's a future pandemic that may be works, china's behavior or the behavior of others would be different. it's not china, who part, they believe they handled it pretty well. they have where you have a president rejecting theam previs presidents are kept to pull out. i think the lesson for me, we should work with the who but we
can't count on the who being effective because we can't count on china's cooperation and wel can't even fully count on the u.s. being supportive either so if there's one big take away, nationalism rivalry are not necessarily going away but we should try to change that if we want to domestically in our own countries but we need to be ready for a world that is problematic, politically speaking dealing with these difficultnd challenges despite e constraints. >> i should have mentioned in the beginning we will have q&a later but it will be me reading your questions, put it in the box on youtube. is it fair to say given china still hasn't fully fesseda up
with all the data that it must have had december, january and even before our 20192020 that we still can't root out a lab leak? >> this is one of the most sensitive issues out there and we talked about how to deal with this and we agreed on a few things, we knew a few things for sure. the first is from we are not scientists and we wereoo not gog to play scientist in the book or try to assess the science on either side so we didn't do that but what we did do after talking to a number of experts and officials from all parties and the who and the u.s. and other governments, this is the position of the who currently as
well, we don't have the evidence assessment so given that from a matter of policy, we should proceed to see if it's true. we should be worried about animal to human transmission and we should bury worried about a lab leak in the future so if we don't have enough evidence, both are plausible from a public policy perspective so that's where we comeom out but i thinkt is plausible, the experts have not seen the necessary information to draw a conclusion. the director general who, that is his position as well. >> it strikes me that if there were a lab leak china with covid
up and a lot of people are maybe incorrectly promote the idea of the lab leak is higher than if china cooperated with the who. >> which therefore makes sense but it's pretty irrational on china's part, a self-defeating one. anytime china acknowledges that, they might be learning from it? >> there is no sign they are t acknowledging it. as you know, it is difficult to draw judgment for them to cooperate, leaders can have our reasons for not cooperating with inspection but it is definitely not positive they're not cooperating. to me, thee. main take away i dw
from it is not whether or not it makes a lab leak more or less likely, it's not getting cooperation from china and we shouldn't expect to have transparency in the future. and the implication is, what do we do about that? that is more important than where it came from because we should know now in the future contingencies like this, we won't have cooperation either so we need to prepare on cooperation one way or another or to accept that will happen so i think that's what people avoiding it because they are getting focus on the question of transmission. you may never know, we should continue to press but we do know
the reason we don't know which is cooperation. >> you know the reason we don't, a good way of looking at it. the last telephone call with xi jinping, it was followed by his comment in late march of 2020, followed by an extraordinary propaganda campaign between the trump administration and xi jinping's t people saying this s a virus that has come from the united states and fake news from wuhan. the trump administration, mike pompeo and others with the china virus and implying heavily that
is a biological weapon. what did this sinister propaganda between china and united states tell you about the strengths and weaknesses of each country? >> the most remarkable thing you have in the middle of a global pandemic with virtually no international cooperation are the two leading want engaging in different ways, the primary objective is disinformation and a propaganda war, to most of the country it seemed crazy. with the secretary of state, there were legitimate questions about the investigation and legitimate questions about the official story and the lab leak hypothesis but to have the middle of the pandemic, u.s.
secretary of state basically blow up different international meeting like a g-7, they will use the words china't virus, it boggles the mind given there is so much needed to be done and i think that's what upset the europeans and others to the extent there are legitimate questions that can be dealt with the we areh in the middle of a global pandemic but can we talk about that? can we talk about diagnostics and treatments and faxing cooperation and the developing world and the economic side? all of these things basically were set aside not was the most remarkable thing. on china side, there was a shift in their propaganda technique.
it became more russian. the prudent mo is to basically say i'm saying the same about you, you say the lab leak i say i will come up with stuff on that. they embrace apple inc. now it was counterproductive. it is interesting to compare to the united states because europe was opposed by what trump was doing in many respects, they were quitete open to working wih china on the pandemic china's actions on the diplomacy and propaganda in the course of the pandemicou, alienated them causg the change in terms of their attitude toward china so that gives a clearer illustration of how counterproductive it actually was. >> australia which initially
called for the international investigation suddenly had whatever exports to china. >> right. and australia was interesting in terms of u.s. china relations in 2020 because china cap tightened the screws on them because of the investigation and a number of other things they were doing in terms of combating interference and on the 5g side so that was very tense and australia had its own almost unique experience continuing with this. and travel restrictions and lockdowns. >> you mentioned earlier we know china isn't going to cooperate, that's an actionable take away
from this, china cooperate in the future and investigations. is not confined to the origin of the pandemic? are you making broader points about china's more general noncooperation with the community? >> i think they will cooperate on some things that i think it's worth preparing for the possibility they want but the transparency for investigations, it is very clear they don't want to but on other pandemics we should test the hypothesis but if you just look at it once even, it is interesting the biden q administration has reacd a top position for china but they have also reached out and
president biden and the phone call last week to emphasize that even though the u.s. is competing with china in rivalry, two countries cooperate on x essential rations like crime and pandemic in the chinese possession at every a level has been not so fast, we cooperate with you, you need to unilaterally create conditions for which thes relationship is more trendy so we can cooperate we agree we just cooperate shared interests you do with china trade and everything. that is the current position so we try to change that out and engage in it might change next year after congress but we also need to be ready but if they don't change their mind, we can
tackle these shared problems without full participation in cooperative endeavors so i'm not saying we shouldn't try, i'm saying we should try but we also need to be ready if there future answer is what their current answer is. >> chronicle very well in your book how u.s. china relations on the trump nosedive significantly, the pandemic isn't a hoax but it is going to necessitate a shutdown, a lockdown in the u.s. and therefore it puts them in jeopardy. they've been arguing not only are they winning inin the white house from then on but you also say biden inherited that it hasn't really changed it so if you are china, maybe that's what you are looking for, you
mentioned china has been linking corporations to change u.s. behavior and other human rights, hong kong, maybe that is what thene chinese are looking to do setting the clock back in the rest china relations to pre-pandemic? >> the roots were there before the pandemic and may have ended up there to some degree but i think they could change it back but i think the one thing, we are careful not to criticize the administration for being tough on china in some respects in the rhetoric, i think we are all but it was a w response to what chia did so china did fail to refuse to o cooperate and become more assertive and did crackdown in
hong kong so even though trump sort of changed because of that, china gave plenty of reason to respond in that way and think by the time biden came in, i don't think it wasen obvious that he s going to pursue policy but when he came in from of the situation was such but that's what wasse presented, it varied and he needed to push back. the big question is how to re- get to the equilibrium where you can compete responsibly and you also have coordination and that is the big challenge i think they china have to figure out how to get there. we are not there yet, it could
take some time. >> i do want to ask u.s. china questions and maybe the viewers do, to and they can post questions but sticking for a second to the u.s. china situation but how itt looks tody from the biden administration's view, biden has stressed as you mentioned were going to compete and cooperate, there is a rivalry but they are working together and that is a complex nuanced approach that biden wants to take to china. in the meantime, we have a world where in wealthy countries, for the most part the united states are getting vaccinated but the developing world is woefully behind. you got 90% of shots people's arms taking place in wealthy
countries. is this an area where there is competition between china and the u.s.? china reading about competition and maybe the russians, too? vaccines are nearly as good as the ones in the west but they are spending a lot more from abroad, is this a problem for isthe west? >> it is a huge problem. not just geopolitically but we both agree on that, it is a huge problem and also a geopolitical problem but first, it's a global public health problem. it boggles my mind really that it's estimated the cost of the pandemic would be around or just over i think 22 or $23 trillion between the start of the pandemic 25 tort -- 2025.
when you thinknu about tha number, the marginal cost of the vaccinated world, we are talking tiny amount of money. the overall cost of the pandemic in comparison with the pandemic continuing and vaccines and continuing for many years so we should be b willing to throw everything at this in terms of getting the world vaccinated and it's not just about vaccines sent but talking about distribution around the world, i think there's a great start on that but we have not just to put money but resources, i'll leave you with one thing, much was
made about the fact that the t7 agreed to send 807 new vaccines around the world. 500 million are from the u.s. 370 from the rest of the g7 and the who estimated we need over 11 billion and that was before less than 10% of the total and we were patting ourselves on the back for this extraordinary act, it is a good start but only a start. the other narrow window if we don't get this done in the next year or two thank it's going to be too late because it will be beyond what we see now we have consolidated the unvaccinated world. >> it strikess me that america
put it in. i believe the monitoring fund, it would cost $60 billion to vaccinate 60% of the world by mid- 2022 which would be an ambitious but achievable goal, it's less than president biden proposes to spend on amtrak modernization so you referred to the boxing summit next week which is very good news, biden calling a virtual summit of international leaders including xi jinping next week. can we expect pledges like that clauses like that rather than pledges like that in yourn view from the biden administration and its partner? >> i don't think they would have agreed to do a summit without big proposals ready so i'm sure
there will be significant proposals and commitments forthcoming. it is the right time to do it so i hope they do turn to that. i think the problem, it's a situation from the start and president biden took office, domestic challenges are so all-consuming, it can be easy to think of the problem as a developing problem as opposed to an existential challenge. it is notl a matter of being generous, it is an additional front on covid and the pandemic so it will be interesting to see what they come up with and it's not just biden, it really is also the eu, japan and many others we all need to significantly see them just in
terms of the chinese and russian part, this is one area where competition is positive. if they can get vaccinations out, that is a good thing they may not work as well but they are better than nothing so we should not be discouraging that, should get more vaccines distributed in shots in arms. >> let me change the focus a little bit, you mentioned before the pandemic when there was global assessment of each country's preparedness for health emergency on this scale, number one was united states and number two was the united kingdom. they work very well prepared or if they were, they didn't do very much with the d preparatios done because t these two countrs
notoriously amongst the worst on mortality so has the pandemic taught us to be less complacent or has it changed your view of what we think we know, not necessarily being what we do know? >> it has been a revelation. just like folks say, a war reveals its true power before a major m conflict, may have an assessment of which country is actually stronger from of the pandemic have the same effect on all of usso are pretty much evey country either did consistently bad or have moments they did very bad moments they did better in fact was repeated, the u.s. had moments where they were doing quite well the vaccine department, europe in the summer of 20201020 after that.
>> it's very good, donald trump is very much populous if italy had that government, plenty of countries elsewhere had what was considered to be high quality government but also perform badly s. is it fair to say populous are more damaged than other forms of politics by this pandemic or is it more complicated than that? you mentioned both scenarios remained popular in spite of everything, and brazil in his own do nihilism but what can you draw on the effects populism? >> two points.
the type matters but it's interesting if you compare eu to the u.s., basically at the end of the pandemic, hopefully a better moment of where we are now, the number of deaths in the u.s. -- you are higher than the u.s. so it's radically different and approaches and you and upset about the same level so that is interesting and suggests despite these different experiments wite u.s. and europe and between them, it's going to make a huge difference. i think incompetence was displayed and doit nihilism. what we didn't anticipate was they tapped into part of the
>> is the fact that the most of the vaccines did come from the west? >> i think there's a few, three things western democracy did that nobody else really could have done. theno first is vaccine departme, operation warp speed which i think brought extraordinary combinations of basically unlimited government money plus advanced pharmaceutical industries made in the u.s. but also europe and biotech and mrna technology in germany, that was one thing i don't think anybody else could have replicated, the so-called neoliberal societies and economies in the market
economy. the second thing was the economic response which we haven't mentioned for this extraordinary central bank response, you and others have written long-term implications, in the short term it was decisive. the third thing our societies did that china could never do was display an ability for self correction so we elected a leader who rejected the previous leaders mistakes that can happen in other countries also. there was some capacity for policy change and acknowledging errors and i think that is really important in terms of where we go forward. i know there is an argument author b because china suppressd
the virus early on displays our weaknesses and there is some truth to that but vaccines aren't ass effective promote thy are still struggling with the virus and the regime has no ability to acknowledge error so it makes a big difference. >> do you think trump would have been elected without the pandemic? >> obviously impossible to say but it was sufficiently close in the end, it was definitely a possibility. i think there was a huge dissolution in the mishandling of the pandemic rent i think he did benefit from this counter movement in the country
the conditions we are facing today? >> it's a great question, i think we dedicated two chapters to that in the book it was very important and overclocked becauseor locked up in the great war. and there were many contribute factors but having said all of that, we had a profound affect on that postwar. and it is interesting, it was a lot less institutionalized. we didn't have the institutions we have today but in some respects but the members were
higher because of the response with the exception of the vaccine being more accurate. it is like-minded societies and having to work in a more concentrated way together to sort of shape that post order and that is what broke down. today without saying we are not living the 30s but we are going to face ago wide array of challenges. pandemic, climate change and rivalry, economic volatility, we should try to work with all to deal with that but we also need to be ready to work with those we see eye to eye with if the broader efforts fail and that is
the main message. >> let me move to the question, the process, how much responsibility does mr. trump have for creating the international, of mistrust and noncooperation around the pandemic? what share in responsibility goes to trump? >> i'm not sure this is what it's asking but i'm going to say it anyway and then go to the broader part. the u.s. china cooperation, prior to the pandemic that trump pulled out a certain number of cdc officers in china and ended public health cooperation with china and that led to its unraveling, we dug into a lot of that in the book and servants and political appointees and others, they did withdraw some
officials but they were associated and they were redeployed to uganda and there were other cdc officials, the relationship was negatively affected by the tiered deterioration and relations so to some extent, it might have been reacting to trump but wasn't really the result of the administration deliberately trying to recap the public health cooperation efforts so i think at large with beijing, trump administration is not but i think we did see greater problems and then cooperating with the who trying to document that the book in the years running up to covid. generally i think the biggest made was deborah
f2020 because that was the time where he could havee used that o rally thehe country and make necessary investments to be ready but instead he felt he did enough with the travel ban he didn't need to do anything more and he didn't want to do anything additional without harming the economy and thousand the administration told him no, this was 100 years ago, we need to be ready for it so i think thatt was his single biggest error, more than the press conferences and disinformation because there is real consequences and couldn't be reversed. that time was spent just lost. >> next question, communist like xi jinping typically don't admit their failures. i guess the chinese have opened chinese fashion, what it require
chinese? >> is definitely not gorbachev. i think they worry about gorbachev announcing, we seen a greater degree of secrecy. i think from their perspective and his perspective, coming out of the pandemic because they've suppressed far fewer in the west, we've upgraded, they've organized, they not believe lack of cooperation is a problem so they have this cooperation with this assumption of conspiracy against them and they see an opportunity they believe so i just don't think we see, as far as we can tell, we don't see the
consideration of the. of it being a huge error or major mistakes in the the same way you do here so i would hope they would have a period of this but i think it's more likely certainly for domestic audience that they say we are over 50000 that now in the united states and about the same in europe. >> we've got about two or three minutes left to let me conclude with the question of my own which is, what your prediction is for this pandemic, by when do you think, it's up two-part question.s when you think it's going to be basically over and become and dominic and cease to become a
pandemic? one of the longer-term geopolitical consequences we haven't yetwe discussed? >> i was hoping we would be over it this year but i think really we may not be out of this for a couple of more years in terms of the world, we are more likely to see more restrictions in places in terms of back to normal, pre-2020, maybe a couple of years. i think that is quite concerning but i think we will be dealing with it is a major challenge or requiring special responses. the one thing we may be haven't talked about as much, just in the context of the vaccine, a major long-term implication, the effect of global inequality and the fact that we may now have a safean world and a non- safe
world. part of the world heavily vaccinated part of the world hasn't. part of the world can socially distance and work by zoom technical problems and can't do all of that activity. many other places because of their economic model cannot. i don't think we have enough -- i hope it comes up with the sonic practices in part about the type of world we want to live in, do we want to go back to the globalized world with modifications and mismanagement promote the notion that we are in this together and connected more are we likely to see the world devolve to this? concerned about the other parts? >> i thought that was a really
good theme of your book so thank you so much, tom. you should visit, i've got to give you the correct online address. thank you. ♪♪ >> thank you. thank you all. ♪♪ >> sunday december 5 on in-depth, historian and conservative commentator victor davis hanson joins us talk about more politics and citizenship in the united states. book titles include the father of us all, the case for trump at his latest, the dying citizens.
the idea of american citizenship, ideals associated with it are disappearing join in the conversation with your phone calls, facebook comments, texts and tweets for victor davis hanson. noon eastern on in-depth on book tv sunday. visit c-spanshop.org great your copy of his book. ♪♪ ♪♪ >> abraham lincoln and his wife mary were the parents of four boys. only one, robert, lived beyond his 18th birthday. author jason emerson spent nearly a decade traveling across the united states visiting and researching in numerous archives, museums and historic places. he was starting 82 plus years in the life of robert lincoln. he focused on the president oldest son is a union soldier, minister to great britain, u.s. secretary of war the president
of the chicago-based company. jason is an independent historian who's been writing about the lincoln family for over 20 years. >> on this episode of book notes plus, it's available on the c-span now apple or wherever you get your podcast. ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ >> i thought a good place to start, asking each of