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tv   Thomas Wright Aftershocks  CSPAN  November 6, 2021 9:05pm-10:01pm EDT

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booktv.org. >> my name is edwin luce, i'm associate editor and financial times and i'm delighted to be here at this california club to talk to thomas wright about his
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new book which you should all read, "aftershocks: pandemic politics and the end of the old international order." it's a great book. i have read it now and i strongly recommend it. tom is an old friend but he knows have a friend writes i mediocre book one invites to have a conversation with him, the commonwealth club of california and i don't like the book but i will quickly find a dentist appointment or and uncles funeral as an excuse, and this isn't one of those instances. it's a very timely book. it looks at the international context for how the world handles and is handling or mishandling the pandemic since 2020. and what the likely geopolitical
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longtail of this is going to be. tom is a senior fellow at the brookings institution. he is a contributing writer for "the atlantic monthly." he has written a previous book the came out in 2017, all measures short of law which in many ways is the script looks at the new era of great power politics. it's a great pleasure to be here in conversation with tom. tom, let me start by asking you, you mention in the book and some of the -- you've written around the book that 2020, the beginning of the pandemic, is likely to be one of those strong years in history, in modern history much like 2008 financial crisis, 2001, 9/11, 1989 the 89 the end of the cold war. this is a seminal date that we should pay attention to. could you just elaborate on what
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is so paradigm shifting about covid-19? >> thank you so much and it's great to be doing this with you and thank you to the commonwealth club of california, for the opportunity. i think when we spoke sort of inmate, april, may of last about doing a book i think we thought at that time that 2020 was an incredible important here because it was the year in which there was a global crisis and there was no international cooperation. instead there was nationalist governments, populism, many world leaders without even speaking to each other. we thought this was sort of interesting to document and study in real time to see how the world will cope, and having been now through 2020 i do think that it sort of lived up to that
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sort of rather grim at doing. because it really did i think show us the costs of global crisis without any cooperation. it dramatically set amid u.s.-china rivalry and will have repercussions in many parts of the world the don't get a lot of attention, you know, like the developing world for many years if not decades to come. i think it also sets the stage for dealing with future pandemics and the global sort of health assistant is a zone of contestation between the major powers. i think will be one of the, may not of been in the book but it might be one of the articles, the same way that the cold war shaped by the events of 47, 48, or nine and that mattered come future rivalries and competitions will be shaped by the events of 2020, 2021 and maybe beyond. >> so a lot of people have said
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this pandemic accelerated pre-existing trends. but a think you're going a step further in thing actually created a new trend in terms of the nosedive in u.s.-china relations. would you elaborate a little bit more on that? >> yeah. i think there's something to the acceleration argument, and particularly with the u.s. and china. i'll come back to that in second but but i don't think it really captures everything. populism was on the rise prior to covid and arguably, we can talk about it, but arguably that would set it back, as a setback for trump and so might have actually reversed a trend in the case of populism. some of the populace you know like bolsonaro come out of pandemic that is a big stumbling block for those populace that were in power. so in that sense it was a sort
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and acceleration of the trend. in the developing world it reversed decades of poverty alleviation and sword plunged those back. i don't think acceleration really captures it. what might be most applicable is with the u.s. and china. i think in china's case we might come to this in a second, it actually reversed 17 years or so of reforms on global public health where it was being more cooperative, relatively more transparent for the most part with some bumps throughout that period, and what 2020s did was
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bring it to a halt and reverse it. i think it is a separate dynamic and not just a continuation of what we had previously. >> i get to the subtitle but just on the u.s.-china stuff, china's lack of cooperation with the w.h.o., trump's got a very salty, not sure what the rules are on the commonwealth -- >> in the audience, probably the -- >> trump says something very spicy about what campaign has done to him, to them personally. but talk to us a little bit about what you discovered in terms of the w.h.o. politics. >> in trump's case the shock to him of having to shut down the
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economy really cost him to turn reinventions on xi jinping and doors those in his administration wanted a more comprehensive continued approach. but as to w.h.o. which is your question, this is fascinating. the w.h.o. in january winds out that the really have this crisis. crisis. on the one hand, a dictator in china who they believe was less willing to tolerate any type of criticism from the international community than the chinese were in 2003 with sars. on your page of donald trump. you have general to basically believed in his own power persuasion that he thinks he can navigate this by personal leader to leader diplomacy, and he will praise the leader publicly in exchange for in hope of getting
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concrete cooperation in a practical sense. that leads him to say certain things that in january about china that are manifestly at odds with what the w.h.o.'s own assessment is when he says therefore cooperating, it's a perfect approach but privately from document said event reported we know that was not true. that really led the u.s. to react with fury and say you have to if -- i could describe what they're doing and if you falsely praise them that's, productive. that set the stage for this epic battle which in some part was a comedy of errors on all sides with the u.s. accident to withdraw from w.h.o. in the middle of a global pandemic which of course was just an astonishing thing to do. but throughout it trying to stay
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close to the leaders and try to work the system to get some cooperation but there was an enormous gap between that and what was actually needed. >> if you are the david weigel this is a pretty sobering case study that would apply to any other multilateral institution of just how disabling paralyzing it is director two biggest members at loggerheads. if you are in any way a believe and multinational corporation what -- [inaudible] from the w joe? >> one thing we learned was global public health, and i'm sure the people who work on this new this all along but it may be one of the most sensitive areas of international cooperation. we like to thank this is a
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common challenge so we should work together and it's easier than cooperating on north korea or afghanistan. but actually it is sort of about getting into the sovereignty of other countries, inquiring about why the had no outbreaks, how they handled that, no demanding levels of transparency about machines regimes they can be pretty secretive, and all that came to a head here. i guess what the lesson to me is there's absolutely no reason to believe that if there's a future pandemic that maybe worse, that china's behavior of the behavior of others will be different. it's not as if in china we think what, we handle that part badly. they seem to think they handled pretty well. there has been rethinking american way of the present his ejecting the previous president attempt to praise but the previous president of someone like him could be well prepared next time as well.
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i think the lesson for me is this weird we should work with the w.h.o. but we can't count on the w.h.o. actually being effective because we can't count on china's cooperation and we can even full account of the u.s. being supportive either. and so if there's one thinks of take away from the book i think it's this. nationalism and rivalry are not necessarily going away, like we should try to change that if you want to change that domestically in our own country but we need to be ready for a world that is very problematic, politically speaking, and are prepared to deal with these difficult challenges despite those constraints. >> i should mention at the beginning that we will have q&a later but it would be me reading your questions, so please be thought to pose a a question o tom put it in the text box on youtube and they will be relayed
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to me. is it fair to say given the china still hasn't fully fessed up if you like, or the data printing like all the data that it must have had a simmer, january even before hand of 2019, 2020 that we still can't rule out a lab leak? >> yeah, we sort of, this is one of the most sensitive issues obviously out there and we really talked about how to deal with this. we agreed on a few things, or we knew a few things for sure. the first is that we are not scientists and we were not going to play scientists in the book. we were not going to try to assess the science on either side. so we didn't do that, but what we didn't do after talking to a number of experts and officials from all different sort of interested parties, the w.h.o., the u.s., some other
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governments, was, this is a position of the w.h.o. currently as well, we don't have the evidence to be able to make an assessment. so given that, from a matter of policy we should proceed as if both theories are true. we should be worried about as not a keypad, animal to human transmission, and we should be worried about a lab leak in the future -- zoonotic event. >> we don't have enough evidence where to be prepared for both eventualities because both are plausible from a public policy perspective. so that assert will become out. i think what is plausible theory but we just haven't, the experts have not seen the necessary information and data to be able to make, to draw a conclusion. the director-general of the w.h.o., that's his position that. >> it strikes me that if there
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were a lab leak, china would be incentivized to cover it up and, therefore, a lot of people are deducing, maybe incorrectly, that the likelihood there was a lab leak is higher than it china had cooperated with the w.h.o. and other investigations. is there any -- which therefore makes this a pretty irrational act on china's part, a self-defeating one. is there any sign that china acknowledges that and might be learning from it? >> there's no sign that they're acknowledging it, no. it's obviously as you know, you know, it's difficult to draw a judgment from the failure to cooperate because like in iraq as well, leaders can have odd reasons for not cooperating with inspections. it's definitely not positive
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that they are failing to cooperate. to me i think the main take away i draw from it is not whether or not it makes a lab leak more likely or less likely, it's that we are not getting cooperation from china and we shouldn't expect to have transparency in the future. that's the policy take away. the implication of that dan is what do we do about that? so that i think is more important actually than where it came from because we should know now that in a future contingency like this we won't have cooperation either, so we need to be prepared to act without their cooperation one way or the other, or to accept that we just won't have it. i think that's what people are sort of, it is staring us in the face but people are avoiding it as well because they're getting so focus on the question of was that a lab leak or was it a zoonotic transmission?
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we should continue to look and continue to press, but we do know that the reason why we don't know, which is that there was a failure of cooperation. >> it sounds almost rumsfeld in. we do know the reason why we don't know which is a very good way of looking at it. the last telephone call that trump had as you report with xi jinping was at spicy unprintable one that was followed by his spicy unprintable comment in march, late march of 2020, followed then by an extraordinary sort of propaganda counter propaganda campaign between the trump administration xi jinping's people, the wolf warrior sang actually this is a virus that might have come from the united states. and it is fake news that came from wuhan. then the trump administration, mike pompeo and others branding
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it china flu, the china virus, and implying very heavily that this was perhaps even a biological weapon. what did this sort of quite sinister fake news sort of war of propaganda between china and the 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 what is virtually no international cooperation. you have the two leading powers engaging in different ways with their primary objective is disinformation and a propaganda war, which is just, i think to most other countries seemed absently crazy. when you with the secretary of state, like the legitimate questions about investigation and there were legitimate questions about the official story and the lab leak as a
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plausible hypothesis. but to have in the middle of a pandemic the u.s. secretary of state basically blow up different international meetings like a g7 ministerial, because the other ministers won't use the words china virus in the communiqué, it just boggles the mind given that there's so much that needed to be done. i think that was what upset the europeans and others who believed to the extent there e legitimate questions those can be dealt with but we are actually in the middle of the global pandemic, so can we also talk about that? chemic talk about diagnostics and treatments and vaccine cooperation and covax and helping the developing world and the economic side axle all these things basically were set aside, anything that was the most remarkable thing. the other thing just on the chinese side was there really was a shift in their propaganda
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technique. it became more russian. the putin m.o. is based as you say you are saying this about me but i'm saying the same about you. you say was a lab leak, i'm saying it's it's for dietr, put stuff on that. they usually do not do that and they embraced that fully. what's quite counterproductive, i mean i always think it's more interesting to compare its effect on europe and the united states because europe was actually appalled by what trump was doing in many respects. they were quite open to working with china on the pandemic, and china's actions and its wolf warrior diplomacy and propaganda during the course of the pandemic hugely alienated them and cause real change in europe in terms of their attitude towards china, and so that gives you a clearer sort of illustration of how counterproductive it actually
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was. >> and, of course, australia which initially called for the international investigation exports to china, banned wine, uranium, whatever it might be, they just stopped buying them. >> right, and australia was a really interesting canary in the coal mine the route in terms of u.s.-china relations, throughout 2020 because china kept tightening the screws on the because of the call for the investigation and also because a number of other things that they were doing in terms of combating illegal interference, you know, on the 5g side. so there was, that was a very tense throughout the year. and then of course australia had its own almost unique experience just continuing covert with this great severe set of travel restrictions and lockdowns. >> you mentioned earlier we know
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that china isn't going to cooperate. i mean that's the actionable take away from this, that china isn't going to cooperate with the future such investigations. is that it point that is just confined to the origin of viruses and pandemics, or you making a broader point about china's more general noncooperation with the international community? >> yeah. i mean i think it's possible it'll cooperate on some things but i think it's worth preparing for the possibility that they won't. i think on the transparency for investigations it's very clear that they won't what you don't want to. but on other aspects of the pandemic we should test the hypothesis. but we should also have a backup plan. if you look at just the last month even it's quite interesting, the biden administration has reached out. the biden administration has a
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tough position toward china but they also reached out via the japanese secretary of state and john kerry and president biden in the phone call last week, to emphasize that even though the u.s. is competing with china and in a rivalry that countries should cooperate unshared sort of existential questions like climate and pandemics. the chinese position at every level has been not so fast. if we were to cooperate with you, you need to unilaterally create conditions to which the relationship is more friendly so we can cooperate, so we don't agree will just cooperate on issues where we have a shared interest, if you are doing what we're doing in taiwan and hong kong and trading everything else. that is its current position, and so we should try to change that and we should engage them in the hope of changing their minds, and it might change next year after the 20th party of
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congress but we also need to be ready that if they don't change their mind, that we can tackle these shared problems without their full anticipation in cooperative endeavors. i'm not saying we shouldn't try. i'm saying we should try but we also need to be ready that if the future and is what the current answer is. >> you chronicle very well in your book how u.s.-china relations under trump nosedived really significant after trump realizes this pandemic isn't a hoax, that it really is going to necessitate a a shutdown, unle down in the u.s. and, therefore, his reelection hopes are in jeopardy. at that point onwards the china hawks basically who had been argued but not always winning in the white house, from then on they won. but also make the point that biden inherited that and has really changed it.
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so if you are china, maybe that's what you are looking for. you just mentioned the chinese have been linking cooperation to change his behavior and other fronts, human rights, hong kong. maybe that's what the chinese are looking to see, setting the clock back in u.s.-china relations to pre-pandemic? >> yeah. i mean i think the roots of that were there before the pandemic and the may have ended up in a similar spot to some degree but i think they did hope they could change it back. but i think the one point though, we're careful in the book not really to criticize the administration for being tough on china in some of the respects that it was. there were elements of the rhetoric that i think were off but some of the laws were justified and it was a response to what china did. china did fail to sort of refuse to cooperate.
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it did become much more assertive. it did crack down on hong kong, it's a even though trump sort of change because he thought politically affronted, china was giving plenty of reasons to the international community to respond in that way, editing by the time biden came in, for president biden i don't think it was obvious that he was going to pursue very tough on china policy but a think when he came in the situation was such that that was what he was presented with, that he had chinese activity in a range of areas that he felt was unjustified and he needed to push back. .. to that point, we're not
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there yet honestly. it could take sometime . >> i do want to ask on us china questions, maybe the view is better to and as i said i just compose questions but how it looks today from the biden administration's point of view. because biden has stressed as you mentioned to compete and cooperate. there's rivalry but there's also potential working together there and there there's a complex nuanced approach that biden wants to take to china. in the meantime we have a world where the oecd of wealthy countries including for the most part the united states are getting vaccinated but the other part of the world is woefully behind. you've got 90 percent of
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shops shops in people's arms taking place in wealthy countries. isn't this an area where there is competition in china and the us? the chinese are leading in thatcompetition and maybe the russians to . their vaccines aren't nearly as good as the ones developed in the west but there's something more from abroad. isn't this a problem from the west? >> it's a huge problem and to be honest not just primarily geopolitically but for us we would both agree on that. it's a human problem and it's also a geopolitical problem but first and foremost i think it's a global public health problem. it boggles my mind really that the imf estimates the cost of the pandemic will be around or just over i think
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it's 22 or $23 trillion between the start of the pandemic and 2025 and when you think about that number which could well grow, the cost, marginal cost of our unaccented world we're talking about tiny amounts of money in comparison with the overall cost of the pandemic. and certainly compared with the pandemic continuing and various emerging resistant to vaccines continuing for many years. so we should be willing to throw everything at this in terms of getting a world vaccinated and it's not just about sending vaccines. it's obviously as one of your colleagues wrote the other day and the times about distribution, about getting those systems of distribution around the world. this vaccine summit is a great start on that but we have to pool not just
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resources but money where our words are. really just one thing at the g7 meeting there was much hullabaloo that the g7 was agreeing to send 870 million new vaccines around the world and 500 million of those were from the rest of the g7 and the who estimated we need over 11 billion and that was before producers so it's less than 10 percent of the total and we were patting ourselves on the back for this extraordinary act. it's a good start but it's only a start. and we have a narrow window here. if we don't get this done in the next four to it will be late because there will be variance and a lot of these problems will have
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consolidated in the unvaccinated world. >> it strikes me as a wide open golf america could put the world into. i believe the national monetary fund estimates it would cost $60 billion to vaccinate 60 percent of the world i'm a 2022 which would be an ambitious but achievable target if it were a priority. $50 billion is less than president biden is proposing to spend on amtrak modernization. so you refer to the vaccine summit next week which is good news. biden is calling a virtual summit including xi jinping next week. can we expect pledges like that in your view from the bidenadministration and its partners ?
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>> i don't think they would have agreed to do a summit without having the proposals so i'm sure there will be significant proposals for commitments forthcoming. and around the time of the un general assembly is the right time to do it. so i hope they do turn to that. the problem is unless it's a situation from the start where president biden took office the domestic challenges are still all-consuming. it can be easy to think of this problem as a foreign assistance development problem as opposed to an exit essential challenge. it's not a matter of being generous. it's really an additional front in that wider war on covid-19 and on the pandemic so it will be interesting to see what they come up with. it's not just biden. it really is also the eu, japan and many others that we
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all need to specifically obligate and in terms of the russian part this is one area where competition is positive but if they can get vaccinationsout , that's a good thing and they may not work. the chinese ones may not work as well that they're better than nothing so i think we should not be discouraging that. we should be trying to our game to get more vaccines distributed and get shots in arms but hopefully others will be to do that to. >> let me change the focus little bit. you mentioned for the pandemic when there was assessments done of each country's preparedness, health emergency on this scale, the best in the world and one was the united states and number two was the united kingdom. i have to say in practice
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they were well prepared or if they were they didn't do much with the preparation being done because these two countries notoriously all are amongst the worst on the more mortality list . has this pandemic us to be less complacent about howgood we are ? has it changed your view of what we think we know not necessarily being what we do know ? >> it's been a revelation because just like folks say the saying that war reveals the true balance of power before major conflict, we may have an assessment of which country is actually stronger. the pandemic has the same effect on a lot of us. so pretty much every country either did consistently badly or had moments that they did badly and momentsthey did better . that's sort of repeated. the united states had moments it was doing quite well with
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vaccine development in the summer of 2020 then plenty of trough after that. >> it's a very good point that boris johnson and donald trump are both populous but it's a democratic government. plenty of countries elsewhere in europe, sweden included and what was considered to be a high-quality government. but also performed badly. so is it fair to say populous have been more damaged than other forms of politics by this pandemic or is it more complicated than that? i appreciate you mentioned both scenarios remains as popular in spite of everything in brazil as it was for his own version of denial is in. but can you draw us to the broader conclusions about the effects on populism?
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>> i think i'll make two points. one, i think the type of government matters but it's interesting if you compare the eu to the us particularly at near the end of the pandemic when we were hopefully better moments not overall but where we are now. the number of deaths in that eu are higher than in the us and the population is roughly the same so you see these radically different approaches and you end up netting out at sort of the same level. that's just interesting. and suggests that despite all these different experiments, within the us and within europe and also between them, it's going to make a huge difference in terms of where we're at. for populists, i think incompetence was displayed and the denial is in particularly with trump and
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bolsonaro but what we and didn't anticipate was a captain to a part of the population that didn't want the restrictions or felt the costs to their livelihood were excessive . the social distance maintain livelihoods. they resented those who were fortunate enough to be able to stay at home and work and began to flock to populist leaders. on the course trump lost the 20/20 election decisively but it was closer than manypeople anticipated . i think bolsonaro remains populist despite everything. and it is a setback for populism and ultimately trump might have won the election if it wasn't for covid but at
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the same time i think it did reveal a new sort of partisan divide and a new populist centrist divide on public health and on pandemics. >> would be going too far to say it's been a setback to the west or does the fact that the most effective vaccines did come from the west play against that? >> there are three things western democracies did that nobody else could have done . the first is the vaccine development operation work speed which was extraordinary and an extraordinarily combination of basically unlimited government money with massive funds, advance the pharmaceutical industry in the us but also in europe with biotech and the mrna technology in germany and that was one thing i don't think anybody else could have
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replicated and that was the outcome of called neoliberal societies and economies in the market economy. second thing was the economic response. the sort of central bank response. extremely swift, overwhelming . as you and others have written early and often the long-term obligations that were mixed or its effect in the short term wasdecisive . the third thing that our societies did was again is trying to display an ability for selfcorrection . we did elect a leader who objected to previous leaders mistakes and that can happen in othercountries also . so there was some capacity for policy change for acknowledging errors and that's really important in terms of where we goforward . i'm not so sure.
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i know there's an argument out there that because china surpassed the virus earlier on the displayed weakness but they have vaccines that aren't as effective. they're still struggling with the virus and they were seen as having no ability to acknowledgeerror . that makes a big difference. >> do you think trump would have been reelected without the pandemic west and mark. >> obviously impossible to say but it was sufficiently close in the end to think it definitely was a possibility and i think there was huge incompetence in handling the election but he did benefit from this counter movement in the country which is with us
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as well in terms of protests and resistance to some of the lockdown measures. it was more complicated than the pandemic was just a net minus for him politically. >> we have questionscoming in but let me ask one more before i relay those to you tom . which is you make the analogy or comparison really between today and the great influenza of 1919 and say that there are parallels. including the sense that the old world order is gone and of course the title of your subtitle of your book. what can we learn from the great influenza which wasn't until this pandemic as well-known as it should have been because it had been overshadowed by the great war . what can we learn from how to manage a disintegrating old
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order, from back then given the conditions we're facing today . >> it's a great question and i think we spent, we dedicated to chapters that in the book to realize that it was very important and relatively overlooked because it was as you point out a stop in the great war in world war i, the fatalities were extraordinarily high but the world is already in a terrible place and then there were many contributingfactors , fascism and the like. but having said all that we do think it did have sort of a profound effect on that postwar period and the main ... it's interesting, the war was a lot less institutionalized than.
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we didn't have more institutions than today but in the some respect we were not better at this time then we were then. the numbers were higher in terms of deaths cause of particular circumstances but in terms of the response we work necessarily with the exception of the vaccine much more rapid . the main lesson is that democracies and like-minded societies including some non-democracies have to work in a more concentrated way together and hold together to sort of shake that post pandemic, postwar order and that's what broke down inthe 20s and 30s obviously . today what i'd say is we are not in the 30s but we are going to face a wide array of challenges. pandemics, climate change, nuclear proliferation. we should try to work with all major powers to deal with those but we also need to be ready to work with those we
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see eye to eye with. get those broader efforts and that i think is the main lesson of the post-world war i period. >> let me move to the question, the first is how much responsibility does mister trump they are for creating the international climate of distrust and noncooperation around the pandemic? what share of responsibility goes to trump? >> we are not sure if this is what the questioner is asking but i'll relay it anyway and here's the broader point. there's an argument that with us china cooperation prior to the pandemic that trump called out a certain number of cdc officials out of china and ended public health cooperation with china and that led to its unraveling. we dug into that a lot in the book and talked to a lot of
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different civil servants and political appointees and others at sort of found it didn't hold up because they did withdraw some cdc officials but they were associated with hiv-aids and they were redeployed to uganda and other cdc officials in place were working on access. the relationship was negatively affected by the deterioration of relations and to some extent it might have been a reaction of trump but it wasn't the result of the administration to deliberately try to eke out the public health cooperation efforts. i think there it largely lies with beijing. the trump administration is not blameless in this we did see greater problems and then cooperating with the who in the years running up to transport covid. i think the biggest mistake
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he made was february 2020 the cause that was the point where he could have used that month to rally the country and world to make the necessary investments to be ready for its spread in march and instead he felt he did enough with the travel ban he didn't need to do anything more he didn't want to do anything additionally to harm the economy. those in the administration told him this is 1918. this is 100 years ago and we need to be ready for it and i think that was his single biggest error. more so than the press conferences and this information because it had real consequence and it couldn't be reversed. that time was just lost. >> communists like xi jinping
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typically don't admit their failures. today i guess the chinese have opened a chinese version of glasnost or would that require a chinese gorbachev? >> well, xi jinping may be many things but he's definitely notgorbachev . they worry about gorbachev and that analogy in glasnost. we've seen a greater degree of secrecy. i think from their perspective, his perspective they come relatively well out of the pandemic because faces breast far fewer deaths in the west.we looked very disorganizedthey were organized . they don't believe the lack of cooperation isn't there problem. the crisis now is domestic consumption, there there's a conspiracy against them and they see an opportunity that the us is in decline . you don't see as far as we can tell from the reportage a
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dialogue. you don't see this consideration of a period that that was a huge error or we made major mistakes and that in the sameway you do here . i would hope that they would have a reflection on how to handle the pandemic but it's more likely certainly for a domestic audience they've crossed this line and we are over 650,000 dead in the united states and about the same in europe. >> we've only got two or three minutes left so let me contribute the question of my own which is what your prediction is for this pandemic. i wendy you think and this is a two-part question but by when the event this will be basically over and become endemic and cease to be a pandemic?
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and be, a short time to answer a big question but what of the longer-term geopolitical consequences we haven't yet discussed ? >> i was hoping it would be over this year that we may not be out of this for a couple of more years in terms of the world being out. we're more likely to see more restrictions in place. in terms of we won't be back to pre-2020 maybe for a couple of years at least. and that i think is quite concerning i think we will be dealing with it. we will also be dealing with it as a major sort of challenge requiring special responses . i think the one thing we may be having trouble with in march is we do talk about it in the context of vaccines but it will be a major long-term implication is the effect on global inequality and the fact that we may have
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now sort of a safe world and an unsafe world. part of the world has been heavily vaccinated, part of the world hasn't . part of the world can be socially distance, can work by zoom, technical problems notwithstanding. can do all of that economic activity and many other places because of their economic models just cannot. i hope this comes up at the vaccine summit but i think this is in part about the type of world that we want to live in. do we want to go back to the type of globalized world with modifications and with greater management of the excesses but basically the notion that we are in this together and we are connected or are we likely to see the world devolve into blocks that protect themselves and are sort of concerned about those other parts of the
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world outside the block. >> that's the theme also of your book that we're facing so thank you so much tom. for being in conversation with me and to the commonwealth club of california which you should visit us. i've got to give you the correct email address, commonwealth club.org. and thank you as well from the commonwealth club. >> thank you all.
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