tv Book Discussion on The Next Pandemic CSPAN September 3, 2016 8:00am-9:01am EDT
>> you'll also hear a profile of the first ladies since 1960, and booktv visits denver to speak with local authors and tour the city's literary sites. plus, the science used toism prove the effectiveness and safety of the u.s. military, trent lott and jon meacham talk about presidential politics, we discuss why the mix has lost faith -- why the public has lost faith in their political leaders. and finally, jean edward smith discusses his most recent book on the presidential tenure of george w. bush. that's just a few of the programs you'll see on booktv this weekend.
for a complete television schedule, go to booktv.org. three full days of nonfiction books and authors this weekend, television for serious readers. and now we're going to kick off the weekend with a look at the fight against pandemics. >> well, good morning, everyone. i'm joanne meyers, and i'd like to thank you all for beginning your morning with us. we are delighted to dr. ali khan and c-span's booktv to this breakfast program. dr. khan will be discussing his book, "the next pandemic." as former director of the office of public health preparedness and response at the centers for disease control and prevention, dr. khan has been on the front lines in the fight to contain the world's deadliest decides. throughout history, humans have been waging deadly and never ending wars against rampant and
violent contagions. in fact, there has never been a time when humans were not affected with microbes and fought against them. during dr. khan's time as a self-described disease detective, our speaker has had his own brushes with viruses, infectious diseases and contagion. for example, in 1995 he worked in zaire for the first ebola crisis. after 9/11 he was called to washington to prevent the spread of anthrax spores in the senate office building, and in 2003 he was called to hong kong to quarantine victims of sars. as an epidemic intelligence officer -- a disease hunter, if you will -- his mission for over two decades was to lead the u.s. government's efforts to prepare the public for disease outbreak and health emergencies. he has seen it all. while dr. khan tells us rogue microbes will also be a problem,
he also writes not all epidemics and pandemics are inevitable, in fact, most can be mitigated, if not prevented. but the question is how and do we have enough resources. to help us separate the hype from the facts, what diseases pose the greatest risks and what we need to do to prevent the next pandemic, please join me on a public health journey to the four corners of the earth by welcoming dr. khan to the carnegie council this morning. thank you so much for coming. [applause] thank you. >> thank you very much. good morning, everybody. >> good morning. >> let's put this over here. there we go. so as you herald, i've spent a career in the preparedness business, and usually that meant for talks, you're ready weeks in advance.
over time it became sort of getting ready just in time. and at this point in my career, we're at the realtime speaking process which is i pretty much make it up as i go along. now, one of the things i've been told when you speak to an audience, you start with a joke. but as you can tell, there's nothing about my career that starts with levity, but i do promise sex, lots of sex. it'll -- [laughter] it'll be mosquito sex, but besides that, it'll be lots of sex. [laughter] i'm really delighted to have this opportunity to share a whole bunch of stories with a broader audience of what it means to be a disease detective and hunting down these diseases. you know, you hear about patients, you read the papers, all the popular press, the movies, etc. but, you know, what is it from the perspective of somebody who's been doing it every day with lots of other amazing public health practitioners? also it's nice to give a talk when, if you read the paper this morning, you're either reading
about zika, ebola or yellow fever. it's topical, so it makes it easy to start a discussion off about emerging infections. so let's just start there. the idea of why is this always in the paper, and why are we always hearing about these types of diseases? now, our classical diseases, think about smallpox, think about measles, you know, those all started pretty much around the agricultural revolution when people sort of came together. because you needed to have enough people to to spread disease from person to person. so that's when i start my story of infectious diseases. everybody has their own story of when the world starts, but for me, that's when the world starts when some row dents carrying -- prodents carrying some version of smallpox moved into somebody's home. well, let me fast forward you to the industrial revolution, germ theory. we realized infectious diseases
were due to infectious agents that spread from person to person and a lot of enthusiasm that occurred around the beginning of the 20th century with sanitation revolution, vaccines, antibiotics and people thought, okay, we're done with this whole infectious disease problem. all we have to do is pop a shot in somebody's arm, you know, give them a couple of pills, they'll be all better. well, if that was true, we wouldn't be having this conversation today, right now, right? what's happening is even though we've taken care of a lot of these classical scourges, we have these continued emerging infectious diseases, and there's a lot of factors that drive this emergence of those diseases. some of the key factors are just around microbes. there's collectively -- i'm somebody who thinks that they're smart collectively, and be they evolve. they have multiple generations with a single day. humans, be we're lucky -- if we're lucky, a generation in 35
years before we can swap out our genetic materials. microbes, no problem at all. they get smarter all the time. that's why you read about these drug-resistant microbes, because that's what they do. they sort of move around, they find a good set of genes, and they go, oh, this will protect me from this set of antibiotics and, boom, you get your superbugs. so the microbes evolve. humans change their behavior. so a hundred years ago nobody had a kidney transplant, okay? so we change, and our risks to infections change. the other thing that happens is we change our environment, and this is a big driver in why we have emerging infectious diseases. it should not be surprising that when i talk about zika, when i talk about ebola, somehow very quickly the animal connection comes into play. zika, obviously, it's with mosquitoes. with ebola, it's bats which are the original cause for where this virus lives. it affects somebody, and then
you spread the chain in humans. 75% of the diseases that you hear about, the new diseases, these emerging diseases have an animal connection. and so if you move people out into the environment, into the jungle, you know, they get infected. and that decide has the potential then to cause person-to-person mission as we see we bowl lahr or -- with ebola or, let's say, with mers. it's not a surprise when we think about those emerging infections, they tend to come from africa or south america or southeast asia where you have a lot of connection with animals. bird flu is another good example where you have people in china and southeast asia who live very close to their pigs, their birds or fowl, chickens, and and there's a great opportunity for these viruses to swap their genes and eventually infect humans and then become global pandemics.
so those are the environmental, some set of environmental conditions why, that lead to these infections and why we keep hearing about them. i want to do a special callout to climate change as one of those environmental factors that lead to emerging infections. first, i want to say often climate change is framed as either an economic issue or as an energy issue, somehow energy issues. and i think over the last year or two we've been doing a better time reframing this, actually, as a public health issue of what's happening with climate currently. so april was the hottest record on year -- hottest year on record since 1880. and people ask me, how do you know what was going on in 1880? and believe it or not, if you're a farmer, it's really important to you what the temperature is. so there are excellent records about what temperature looked like at least for the last 100, 150 years.
the same thing with marine temperatures, was if you're out as a captain, you're doing your daily log, one of the things you would be logging is what does water temperature look like. so we have excellent records. and be then if you pass through that historical, sort of documented records, you can look at all sorts of other information that looks at temperature, thousands to millions of years ago. but april was the hottest record, hottest year on record, and it's the 12th hottest year or in a row. okay? this isn't a coincidence, what's happening with temperature, what's happening with climate. and if you look at car fox, you know, we're -- carbon dioxide, you know, we're now -- we should be about 200 parts per million, sort of pre-industrial level, we're now at 400 parts per million. so the thought that by 2100 we're going to only cap increases to 1.5 degrees is highly unlikely. but let me tell this story from a different way.
i got into the climate change business 20 years ago almost, and it had to do with a mosquito-borne disease in africa. if you're in africa, you don't have a 401(k), okay? you have your cows, you have your goats. that's your 401(k). [laughter] so if a virus, if a mosquito-borne virus comes around and your animals die and are aborting, that is bad news. so that's rah fellly fever, it's a biblical disease, and what we've recognized over the past come of decades of studying this besides the fact that it's moving out of sub-saharan africa and into northern africa and the middle east, is it actually depends on climate when these viruses -- when this mosquito emerges, and you sort of have to have these great, heavy dry periods followed by wet periods to cause this to happen. and to protect your animals and this virus also causes bad
disease in humans. it causes abortions in humans, hemorrhagic fever and brain infrom a nation and blindness in -- inflammation and blindness in humans. but the farmers don't have the money to vaccinate the animals every year. if you had some sort of tool to say, you know what? this is the bad year, get vaccinated, that would really benefit them. people have spent a lot of time what happens with climate so they can help protect these farmers and protect their animals and, obviously, the community. that's how i got into climate change issues, was understanding what the dynamics were. and what became very clear right now is when we talk about climate change, everybody's like, what's going to happen in 2100? no, it's really what's happening today. so if we look at diseases, the biggest disease in the united states that's caused by art
pods -- around no pods is lyme disease which everybody in this audience knows very well up here in the northeast. vectors are spreading over the last 20-30 years across the united states where they're almost in about half of the u.s. counties. so we're seeing that already today. there's a fungus, there's a tropical fungus up in vancouver causing infections of humans and animals. it doesn't belong in vancouver, it belongs in the tropics. there's -- we're getting infected oysters from the northwest. so we all know -- any oyster eaters here like me? oh, you don't pay attention to all the good public be health messages about oysters, okay. [laughter] i'm an oyster eater. gulf coast, right? you eat oysters in cold month, and one of reasons you eat oysters in months with r in them is to protect yourself from infected oysters, especially gulf oysters. but that shouldn't be a problem
if you're getting your oysters from the alaska area, because be they should be nice, cold waters. but we have now started to see outbreaks reported from those oysters in cold waters, because the waters aren't as cold anymore. so, you know, contemporary examples of today where we're already seeing because of climate change. let me shift you from the u.s. to europe. if you go to sweden they have this tick-borne disease called, very simply, tick-borne encephalitis. [laughter] we doctors, we give it back to you as a medical term, and you think it's so smart. [laughter] it's called tick-borne brain inflammation, and what we've seen in sweden is that this disease has been spreading over the last couple of decades. there's a lot of factors in addition to where the heck we're living, but climate is one of those. rest pri story --
[inaudible] virus little kids get infected with rsv which causes this severe respiratory illness. usually they're okay, but not always, and what we're seeing is those seasons in europe are becoming shorter -- are becoming shorter and shorter because there's less cold months. so those seasons are becoming shorter. so, again, contemporary examples right now that are only going to get worse when we think about heat waves. what's happening in india right now? 128 degrees or something like that, heat wave. and, yes, less people will die from cold, but proportionately more will die from heat. when we think about heart and lung disease from all the air pollution and then, obviously, all the infectious disease. anything that has to do with the mosquitoes and ticks and where things are, climate plays a big role in those and be then there's food-borne illnesses, water-borne illnesses that are an issue as we get flooding,
obviously, severe storm ands and mental -- storms and mental health illnesses. now, the biggest factor after all of these, and all of these are important -- because what's happening to microbes, what's happening to us, what's happening in the environment is actually more political/social factors. and if you look at these outbreaks, these diseases will continue to emerge as i hope i've convinced you over the last 5-10 minutes. but i think we play a role in keeping them from becoming epidemics and pandemics. a good example would be the recent outbreak of ebola in west africa. it wasn't new, right? we've known about ebola since 1976. we've known about the science of ebola since 1976, and i had the opportunity to help support that science in the mid 1990 when i did an ebola outbreak in zaire. so what happens? you get infected with ebola, usually probably with a bat, and
if you're out way in the bush, you die 85-95% of people die. unfortunately, maybe a family member will die with you. but you're out in the bush, you're done. let's say you change that dynamic and you decide to seek health care in a hospital. unfortunately, in a hospital that doesn't have infection control. so when you're infected with ebola, you essentially become a virus factory, and you get infected, and your immune system doesn't kick in, you're just increasing the amount of virus you're producing every minute until you die. when do you have the most possible virus in your body? when you die. well, as you go to the hospital because you're sick, and you don't have more than when you die, okay? and i can give you a ten with lots of big numbers around it means hundreds of millions of billions that happen to be in a milliliter of your blood. here you are sick, dying in a
hospital, and somebody doesn't wash their hands as they go from patient to patient. what's going to happen? you're spreading ebola from patient to patient. so hospitals have always served, and we've known this for many years, as a reservoir for how these diseases get amplified and spread. somebody's sick at home and you're the family member taking care of them, you're at risk. they die, unfortunately, and then you decide to wash the body, can kiss the body, hug the body, invite all the loved ones. one of the practices we saw was they would wash the body, and then they would use that water to allow little kids and other people to wash their hands to take on the attribute ares of this sainted person who had just died. this is not a good idea. [laughter] okay? let's admit, let's admit that. so, but that's the science. we know the science, right? but the science isn't the issue. so when this outbreak occurred, and i think this was the 4th, 25th, something like that of
ebola we've seen since 1976, many people had thought, oh, this is going to be just like what we've been seeing in east africa. uganda shuts them down within a couple of days, they have a system in place to identify the case. teams rush in, they don't even need international teams anymore. the locals rush in, they test everybody, they follow everybody who's potentially sick, and they extinguish these outbreaks very quickly. and this outbreak occurred in west africa where it's never occurred before, so nobody had seen the disease before, and be it very quickly spread to urban areas, large, metropolitan, dense urban areas with slums. and the thinking was, oh, more of the same, you know, rush in, take care of everything, and this ebola outbreak will go away. what happened? that's not what happened, right? so 11,000 deaths, each and every one was a needless death, i would say. an inadequate global response. inadequate local response, obviously, but inadequate global
response. and be so politics and our public health systems play the biggest role in whether or not goes from a handful of cases or small outbreak to whether or not you now -- what we had was, essentially, an epidemic across west africa with seeding of cases across the world including, obviously, we know what happened here in the united states. and be one of the reasons we had that case in the united states is another factor, social/political factor that plays into inpeck white house diseases that we -- infectious diseases that we didn't have in the 1800s. how many people have read around the world in 80 days or have heard of it? how quaint. 80 days. [laughter] to get around the world, okay? so for 22 years, i wore a public health uniform. and on my public health uniform was an color. i would get -- an anchor. the public health uniform looks very much like a navy uniform,
and the reason is we started about 200 years ago providing care to merchant marines. and one of the chores of the public health service, which we still have right now, was essentially to fly quarantine flags when the ship came into port and there was somebody with yellow fever or smallpox on it. well, if it's going to take you 80 days, by the time you showed up in new york city, we knew if you had smallpox or yellow fever because the incubation period was always shorter than the time it was going to take to go from point a to point b. well, we've turned that upside down now. so you could now go to your mother's funeral in liberia, right? so you fly to liberia, go to your mother's funeral, engage in the usual acts that you would around a funeral, you know? you're distraught, your mother's died, you're kissing her, you're hugging her, and then the next day you get on a plane up
through amsterdam to new york city. okay, so we've got, what? 18, 24 hours, maybe 48 hours, incue base period of 5-7 days? well, it's three days after you show back up in new york before all of a sudden you go, you know what? i've got a headache, i've got a fever, and i'm not feeling well. you show up at a hospital. if it's a good hospital, their number one diagnosis will be malaria, one, two and three. and if it's not malaria and they miss this, it's very easy to the see how you get hospitalized for something, and you can spread decide within the community. we saw this happen in texas. exact same scenario. somebody showed up, came home, infected two local nurses. i have spent a lot of time in places across the world to let you know that our health care system is not better than toronto when they had the sars outbreak, singapore when they had their sars outbreak, hong kong or -- i mean, i just spent some time in seoul. seoul had an outbreak due to
mers which is a stars relative -- sars relative and, again, excellent health care systems like ours. but they're not ready for these patients coming in with high-hazard viruses. so travel has played a big role in how these diseases emerge currently. so so let me now -- so now i think i've started giving you a sense of why you always hear about this, but what we can try to do around the associate/political -- social/political aspects. i did want to spend a couple of minutes talking about ethics matters. and in this an observation -- i guess i've recognized it my whole life. if you think about hiv and who gets infected with hiv, it's often marginalizedded populations. but as i started to write the book, it sort of dawned on me how almost every chapter you could pull out the marginalized population that was increased risk for emerging infections.
there's a disease that's due to row bents, often to -- rodents, and the most likely people to get infected was against native americans. some of you will remember when this outbreak occurred in the early 1990s, there was this group of young navajo kids who had come to d.c. for a capitol tour, and they were denied a tour of the capitol because, oh, you happened to come federal the southwest. -- from the southwest. there was nothing in anything we knew that these kids were at risk, and they weren't. they didn't pose any risk to us. but often these diseases affect marginalized populations, and it helps increase some of the prejudice against them. i've already talked about hiv, you know? i've talked a little bit about ebola and the sort of poor, marginalized populations in west africa. and in today's day and age,
we're talking about zika, right? poor pregnant women in brazil. brazil has about 1.1 million cases i think is what they're calculating now of zika virus and over 1500 women who have been infected, and their babies have gotten congenital zika syndrome, and this is a severe illness of babies where they get small brains, other developmental disabilities including hearing loss and vision problems. and what we've learned now is zika is, essentially, a laser-guided missile for neurons. it looks for your neuron cells, and it kills your neuron cells. and be it's not just -- and it's not just true in babies. so when zika was first described, what we were told was, yeah, about 20% of people will get sick, and if they get sick, they'll get a fever, they'll get a little headache, some itching, some red eyes, and they'll get better. be then very quickly it became clear that, you know, this was a problem for pregnant women.
but now we know even for adults because of this sort of laser-like focus on neuronal cells, we have this disease calledgy yam beret syndrome -- gilliam beret syndrome, and it can cause infrom inflammation oe coverings of your brain. so even in what we should think otherwise healthy adults who are not pregnant, this virus is a problem. this virus shouldn't be a problem, okay? the virus is spread by something , a certain type of mosquito. this mosquito is not new to us. it's the exact same mosquito that spreads yellow fever that causes about 30,000 deaths a year. this is the exact same mosquito that spreads dengue, and if we were having this conversation about five years ago, we'd be talking about this large dengue outbreak that's occur anything south america.
this is exactly -- and dengue causes i think about 30,000 deaths a year, something around that. this is the same exact mosquito that causes chikungunya virus. that one doesn't seem to cause any deaths. but because of the failures since the '70s to keep up with these efforts to decrease mosquitoes and kill mosquitoes and not paying attention to the people dying from yellow fever, from dengue, now all of a sudden we're all up in arms that, oh, we have a disease that seems to be infecting pregnant women. so is it's this lack of action over the last 40, 50 years against a known threat that has put us in this current position. at least if you happen to be in south america these days. i heard yesterday that zika now has not just moved throughout the americas, but is now at cape verde. so it's essentially knocking on the door of africa to say, hi,
i'm next. you're next. and so think about what's going to happen as that virus then sweeps through africa and the risk to pregnant women there in africa. auger chen, who's the head of who, brilliant woman -- did some amazing work in her time in hong kong -- has admitted a major policy failure over the last 40 years in addressing this mosquito. be also she broadened it to talk about major policy failure as we think about protecting women in contraceptive rights because there's a big issue in brazil and other places where they don't have the same sort of contraceptive rights as you take for granted here in the united states and other parts of the western world. so why did it take all this time, people dying of dengue, dying of yellow fever which has a vaccine to say, oh, you know what? we need to pay attention because now we may get some cases in europe and north america of women who may have this disease.
we will see zika in the united states. so i'll preempt that question. hopefully, we will not see a whole lot of cases, but we will likely see it. let me -- the i had -- oh, thank you. you gave me a lovely comment the other day. the ethics of a delayed response, and i think that goes back to something of what you talk about here amongst your audience. if you think about these marginalized populations, you know, why do we see these delayed responses. and we're seeing it today. so the stories the last couple of days is this conversation, there's probably better terms for it than a conversation between, you know what? let's protect the united states against zika. and nobody can decide whether they want to do it and how much they want to pay for it. and i often get asked, ali, should it be $500 million that the congress wants to give, the $1.9 that the president wants to give? i don't care what it is, but why are we having conversation six
months later, right? we mow what's going to happen. we also know that mosquito control in the be united states is not a federal function, it's not even a state function. it's a city and county and district function. and you need to get the money out to these people so they can be doing what they should be doing which is eliminating mosquitoes and making sure they're identifying cases. and, you know, do you have the money to think about, you know, hopefully a long-term strategy would be a vaccine strategy to protect pregnant women. do you have some sort of thoughts about funding a vaccine development for a long-term vaccine strategy. why are we still having this conversation six months later, right? why are we not already doing that? why are we sort of robbing peter to play paul? so my old program at cdc was essentially responsible for keeping all americans safe from all public threats no matter their nature, chemical disaster, biological terrorism, and as part of that my passion was for the public health preparedness programs which put money out
into state and local health departments. to help pay for the zika response, we essentially pulled back some of that money to help support dire activity in other places including puerto rico where they've already had 1100 cases, believe it or not. tragic enough. but why are we taking what i've -- my analogy is taking the bricks out of a foundation to build the second story of a building. if this is our preparedness infrastructure to support the u.s., why are we taking money out of that to do something like zika? we should be putting money into the preparedness infrastructure, and what i'll leave you with is a number because i'm all about observable measures. 6.7. so in the last three years, the robert wood johnson foundation has been doing great work looking at how prepared the united states is for public health emergencies. and every year it gets a little bit better, i think we started at 6.3. 6.7 out of 10. that's just not good enough for
us the if we really want to make sure americans are protected against public health threats. as far as i'm concerned, the responsibility of government is to protect us against threats, and that includes public health and health threats. and how can we make sure, you know, i'm old enough now to realize you can't completely strip politics out of policy decisions x it's not always about the science, but maybe sometimes we need to be stripping a little more politics and thinking about what are the health needs of our population. thank you. [applause] >> well, that was fascinating. you seem so calm though. what keeps you up at night? [laughter] >> yeah. i think i'm calm because i decided 20 years ago that fear is not a public health strategy. and i know be it makes, i know be it makes for great press, you know, the sky is falling, but really it's about education and good science. now, what keeps me up at night is what the next pan pandemic's likely going to be.
and it's -- zika is a pandemic. needless to say, it's not causing hundreds of thousands of deaths. what's likely to cause hundreds of thousands of deaths in the future is flu. we already know that from 1918, so we get flu be every year. i'm going to tell you right now my public health message of the day is get vaccinated. it changes a little bit which is why we need a new vaccine every day. but unpredictably, flu just takes off its overcoat, and all of a sudden you have no protection against it at all. and if we repeat the same thing we saw in 1918 today, 7.5 million americans would die. okay? 3.5%. think about the number of body bags. think about how this would completely disrupt our society if within a couple of weeks to months we kill 7.5 million americans. so flu, mers and diseases like mers keep me up at night. i do know, i've seep these health systems. our health systems are getting
better, our ability to respond to diseases are getting better. part of my job in nebraska with the national ebola training center helps hospitals get better. but we know the risk of health care acquired infections here in the united states. so i worry about mers as another example. a third example, and i'll stop at the third example is the next hiv/aids. so, you know, hiv/aids, another -- nowadays, you know, you think of it in terms of sexual behaviors or iv drug abuse, but let's remember hiv/aids was another one of those nonhuman diseases. it came from be primates, and one time it was the right version that made its way into humans, and then it spread from human to human. i worry about another stealth virus hike that that's -- like that that has a long incubation period, and by the time you discover it, it's already spread be widely. those are some of the things that keep me up at night about what the next pandemic could be that would have really
significant immortality. >> well, thank you. i'd like to open the floor for a discussion, and when i call on you, please introduce yourself. we'll start over here with susan. >> susan gedolph. that was too fascinating, especially in the morning. [laughter] we have to be concerned about what can be done, and here you're the most experienced person. so the question is, first of all, what is the cdc doing to educate people and control the diseases? as soon as there's an indication a they might be serious. and on the other hand, you're now in nebraska. what is the difference between control measures in an agricultural state with a small, relatively small population and washington or new york, the large urban areas? how can the u.s. do more and cdc do more to prevent these outbreaks?
>> thank you very much, susan, that's an excellent question. how we can do more starts, for me, at multiple levels. and i -- you always tell people they're more powerful than they think they really are. so let's start with something very simple, health care acquired infections and drug resistant microbes. so a paper came out last week that suggested one-third of all the antibiotics we're using are unnecessary. one-third of all the antibiotics we're using are unnecessary. so as a patient when you go in and talk to your patient and talk to your doctor, you are powerful to say do i really need this antibiotic for my cold, doc, or is it something we can work out for a couple of days, and then if it doesn't get better, i should take an antibiotic. you have that power. you have that power when you walk into a health care facility and a doctor or nurse or respiratory technician walks into the room to say did you remember to wash your hand, okay? you are powerful, do not forget
that. you have the power within your community when you think about personal preparedness issues. so are you -- if, let's say, a pandemic runs through your community or natural disaster runs through your community, are you prepared personally for that? not just in terms of having a kid in your home and being ready, but are your vaccines up-to-date? how many people in today's cell phone ages actually know a physical phone number? the only phone number i've forced myself to memorize is my wife's number. if somebody asks for a number, i pull out my cell phone. so if my cell phone dies, not so good, right? in terms of numbers. am i part of a response team in the community? have i taken a cpr course? i could take care of something small myself or help somebody else. am i a blood donor? and then it's things we should expect from our government, and that's where we're powerful. so if tomorrow morning in new york city we decide canned, you know what?
let's lay off half the police force. my guess is you will tar and feather that mayor because you think public safety is so important. but the same thing is happening invisibly to your public health safety work force here in the united states where it's not fully funded, and nobody is tarring and feathering anybody when you get a score of 6.7 in how prepared your community is or how prepare your state is. so to demand the same thing from your local representatives and demand the same things from are your national representatives that we want a little less politics in what is happening in our health. why are there still to 30 million uninsured -- 28.6 million uninsured americans in the united states right now given the fact that we passed the affordable care act? nineteen states have not passed medicaid expansion. so i think you are powerful, and you need to expect more and ask for more at every level, including your own level. when i was at cdc, i did a
tongue in cheek thing about the zombie apocalypse to try to get people to be prepared for natural disasters, because somehow they weren't paying attention to the real natural disaster, but you mention zombies, and everybody wants to know what to do for zombies. [laughter] don't ask me. but we took a popular meme and converted it. but one of the things i did use the meme for, i said, you know what? the one thing you can do with zombies is outrun them, so please stay personally healthy so you can outrun those zombies. again, something you can personally do. and that changes, whether i happen to be in nebraska, an agricultural state, or whether i happen to be in washington, d.c., what greater risk of importation of international diseases from travel. the local health entity needs to take the things into account including, for example, climate change. we're not coastal, you're coastal. what is that implication going to be for, you know, flooded water supplies and stuff like that. thank you.
>> mike -- [inaudible] long island university. longtime inveterate news scientist reader. and i remember an article, an opinion piece some years ago to the effect that if only silent springs publication had been delayed for about three years and if ddt use had continued for another two or three years, we wouldn't have malaria. and, you know, you stressed mosquito control. so i was wondering what your take on that thesis is. >> so we need to use every tool available to us when we think about mosquito control. so we were fortunate here in the united states to -- actually, cdc, so cdc is the only or one of the only federal agencies outside of washington d.c. and it always took me a while to figure out why that is. and the reason is malaria. malaria used to be in the southwestern united states, and
there was a malaria in war areas program. and we were sending our troops down to be getting trained in the south, and they were getting infected with malaria. we don't need that. so this program was set up, and that program became cdc, and malaria was very quickly eradicated in 1945, '46. but let's look at dengue right now. so we see dengue on the texas border due to mosquitoes. we see it in mexico, we don't see it in the united states, and it's not due to ddt. it's due to screens and air-conditioning, actually, which is one of reasons that will protect us against zika. so you're right. when we think about what does it take to protect us, we need to use every tool. for mosquitoes, it's about killing the babies, the adults, and then it's about source reduction which means find all the little sources of water out there and get rid of it. so we need to be thinking about every tool that is available to
us. and and i think including ddt and others. and people are thinking that way what is the right tool for the right area. what are mosquitoes resistant to, or what are they not resistant to. >> i'm christian -- [inaudible] thank you for this presentation. dr. khan, i wonder, as you know, a number of societies have had prohibitions against consumptioning of certain animal proteachs. in the faith -- proteins. in the faith be i grew up in, beef and pork were por or bidden. and -- forbidden. and you made the connection there's a lot of connection between these kinds of viruses that came from animals, and i wonder if any studies have been done to show that societies where the consumption of animal probe teen is -- protein is limited or not at all, ability to resist some of these illnesses, the ability to take antibioticses and have it effective, if there's a connection between our
consumption and the likelihood of our continued ability to cope with the consequences of these illnesses. i wonder if you can comment on that. >> that's actually an excellent and extremely complex question. so there's -- let me break it down into these two quick pieces. so one is we to know that people who have a predominantly vegetarian life live longer and do better. that's pretty much been well established at this point. and let me get to this beef and animal consumption. the other issues are zoo nottic infections, and they have to do more with the close contact we have with animals, not necessarily consumption. because when you think about it, and i say this all the time since i don't eat pork either which is if you just heat it to the right temperature, there is no risk, right? you hear this about your burgers, you shouldn't be eating burgers that are rare or immediating them medium rare -- eating them medium rare. all you have to do is just heat it to the right temperature.
the risk comes from the daily interaction with the animals, the routine set of interactionsment even if you're not eating them, if you're milking them, if you're keeping them in your houses, that risk is there. the same thing with fowl. a well-cooked chicken fillet isn't going to tell you, but handling these chickens that have chicken flu will potentially kill you. >> [inaudible] >> could you just wait for the microphone to come? thank you. >> marlon madsen from wild cornell medical college. i appreciate the clarity of your presentation and the impressive work you're doing. one of the things that came to mind was the delay in identification and response to ebola. and so my question really is what does the cdc do to try to increase collaboration with countries, health departments in countries around the world to begin to do something about
early identification and and response? and then something maybe about the world health organization in terms of whether it plays a part in this area. >> that's a great question which links back to the earlier question about what can you do. so the u.s. government has embraced something called the global health security agenda, and so should we with. that is a way for us to work with countries internationally to make sure that they have right tools and systems in place for the early diagnosis. you know, you want to find the first set of cases. there's a number of countries that have bought into this including who. and, remember, cdc is a technical agency that does this work, and cdc has people all over the world to help with this, but who has a global mandate to do this. they are the world health agency. and they have been very introspective and have recognized the failures of ebola and what happened in ebola, especially not just the failure
from the early detection, but, you know, six to nine monthses before they called it an international, a public health event of international concern which is their official term to say, oh, my gosh, this is a problem. in the spring of 2014, they misread to think that things were getting better when they really were just a lull before they got worse. so they're in the midst of a complete reform process right now to be able to better respond to these emerging infections including for the first time putting some teeth into the international health regulations to actually go and do country-level assessments. and if they're ready. and you showed the me the lovely article from the world bank today. the world bank is setting up a brand new pan dem cantic response fund -- pandemic response fund. i have a story in my book from a really good friend of mine who was asked to come to respond to the ebola outbreak in sierra leone, and he had no resources to do so. he just wanted a handful of
cards and some dollars to do some work, and there was no ready sense of resources. so we cannot a afford for an outbreak to get out of control because somebody can't get their hands on a couple hundred thousand dollars to go do some surveillance and put systems in place in hospitals. >> i'm helen thurston with the bryn mawr club of new york city. one of my clients has city mosquito inspections, and they put traps out. new york city is actually looking for mosquitoes. you know, you mentioned the political aspect of the health situation. we have two candidates that are, i think, diametrically opposed on a number of health issues -- more care, more insurance care for many people and also on the issue of women's reproductive rights which are really, in my opinion, not women's but all people's rights because everything that happens to a family happens to everybody in
the family. be could you comment a little bit on that and how this issue can be brought up in a way that affects the political outcome? >> so you know i'm the health person and not the politics person, right? [laughter] >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> opened the door. >> i opened the door. i'm going to look for the expertise in this audience maybe for the that answer. so mosquitoes in new york. new york's my home. i grew up in brooklyn, went to ps-130, went to college and med school before i realized i could leave brooklyn. i actually have aunts and uncles who have never gone to the city, because why would you go to the city? everything you want is in brooklyn. [laughter] so i know a little bit about the city from having grown up here: mosquitoes though, you are very fortunate in having some of the best public health practitioners in the world here. and i'll do a shoutout to marcy
leighton and annie fine. in 1999 west nile started where? right here. west nile's another good example. west nile, it belongs in the west nile. it doesn't belong in new york, okay? another example of a disease somewhere else that sort of came and decidedded america was home. decided america was home. so you need, we need as individuals as we make choices about who we elect and who we support and the op to eds we write -- op-eds we write to find people who say that health is an important factor. and you're much more eloquent than i can ever be about reproductive rights. you're right, it's an everybody right, it's not just pregnant women, and we need to make sure women have the appropriate reproductive rights. we talked about brazil, but let's not forget the united states, you know? there's a lot of things going on across the united states, and we need to make sure that women really do have a full set of rights. >> ron baronpersian im.
i want to ask a question about a developing global problem and also potential developing response to that problem. and the problem, of course, is refugees, and i'll just leave it at that. and as far as the global response and what has been overlooked has been the role of pharma and the hack of incentives -- the lack of incentives in the pharmaceutical business for responding to these kinds of emergencies and to make a really wild suggestion that perhaps it's time for pharmaceuticals to be considered pretty much as a public utility, a public good like the military, like the water system and like all the other things we have that we take for granted and that are not incentivized by
profit. >> thank you. so i assume the refugees was an issue to infectious disease issues -- >> yes, absolutely. >> and so my comment to that always is i know people often in terms of what risks do i have because of refugees, i like to reframe that in terms of how do we protect the refugees, right? i don't want them getting measles, that's a horrific disease. what are we doing to make sure the refugees are are protected themselves. how do we make sure they're protected. and in any screening and other processes we do to make sure these people are protected. pharma. so they're actually -- people have recognized this problem for a very long time, so i'll bring it to you from some of the stories i tell about anthrax. there is zero incentive for anybody to build a medical countermeasure against anthrax, you know, due to bioterrorrism or against smallpox which is something else that i worked on. and the u.s. government actually established barta, biological
advanced research and development agency, for that specific purpose in the department of health and human services to make sure that somebody understood how to work with big pharma and make sure we have these excellent products that now are available to us against things like anthrax and, you know, we have enough smallpox vaccine for everybody in the united states if somebody decide cans to reengineer -- decides to reengineer smallpox and make it in a lab. so we do have some mechanisms that are available to us, but you're right, it's a challenge. drug-resistant antimicrobes, how do you make sure you continue to have new drugs available for these bugs that just get smarter and smarter all the time? thank you. >> i guess you have addressed the biological threat issue just now, i was going to ask you about that. i would just like to thank you for an exciting journey you took us on. it was a wonderful talk. the book is available. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. >> thank you. really, it was terrific. thank you.
>> to evade and or avoid paying taxes. former nightline host ted koppel's "lights out" examines the vulnerable of america's power grid. and john mar cover's "machines of loving grace" reports on the current and future relationship between humans and robots. for the full list of ralph nader's summer reading recommendations, go to blog.nader.org. booktv has covered many of these authors, and you can find them on our web site, booktv.org. >> this photo was sent to me in an e-mail in 2012 just weeks -- actually, days after president barack obama was reelected in 2012. it was at the top of an e-mail from the christian coalition of america, and i was struck with it at the time because it came right on the heels -- it was in between the election and thanksgiving, and it had this caption underneath it.
it said: family at prayer, pennsylvania be, 1942, right? it's the image here. of course, it's a black and white photo, it's a white family saying grace before a meal, and then it had this line of text further explaining kind of the transition from the photo to the message of the christian coalition of america. it said this: excuse me. it said we will soon be celebrating the 400th anniversary of the first thanksgiving, and god has still not withheld his blessings upon this nation, although we now richly deserve such condemnation. we also need to pray to our heavenly father and ask him to protect us from those enemies outside and within who want to see america destroyed. and, you know, at the time i wasn't really work on the book quite yet, but i immediately
saved it, because it seemed to me a symbol of this visceral reaction to the re-election of barack obama in 2012. so part of the book is about unpacking, like what is that about when we see this kind of reaction. and this kind of throwback energy, what's behind that sense of nostalgia and loss and grief? the book is called the end of why is christian america, and i want to say to kind of prevent some confusion be, what i mean by white christian america really is a metaphor for the whole cultural institutional edifice that was built not exclusively, but primarily by white protestant christians in this country. that really did set the tone for our national conversations and really shaped a lot of american ideals. i mean, it wouldn't be hard, you know, many of you may have walked here, to walk very far without tripping over an institution that was started by
white christian america. the ymca, the boy scout, you know? it would not be hard or to kind of find these things. and yet these kinds of institutions and the world that they were really a part of has really passed from the american scene. and so that's really what the book is about, and you can see this in a number of demographic ways, you can see it in architecture. i'm going to focus on demographics just for the set up of the conversation here. if i can show you one chart -- and unfortunately, i'm going to show you a few more -- [laughter] but if i could show you just one chart, it would be this one that really shows us some real changes that happened just oh the last -- just over the last eight years. i've got shaded in light gray the period of barack obama's presidency. this is all white christians together, the prang that all white crisp chans -- the percentage that all white christians lump together comprise of the american population. so in 2000, 59% of the country.
by 2008 when president barack obama was running for president, that number was 54%. today that number is 45 president. 45%. it was 47% in 2014, and just in the next year our latest data shows it at 45%. so just during the last two election cycles, during barack obama's presidency, we have crossed this amazing threshold. we have moved from being a majority white christian country to a minority white christian country in just a short amount of time. so this is, in fact -- even if people don't know these stats that well, i think many white christians, particularly white conservative christians feel this shift in their bones, right? and this is part of some of the reacttivity that we're seeing. just to kind of put one more kind of symbolic issue across this same time period and putting up here support for gay marriage over this same period of time. and, right, so if you just, again, go back to 2008, what you
see is only about 4 in 10 americans supported gay marriage when barack obama was running for president in 2008. that number today is 53%. so similarly, we've gone from a country where only about 4 in 10 supported it, to being a country where a majority support -- that's a major cultural shift on a pretty big bellwether issue in a short amount of time. to part of the story that the book is telling is really about unpacking the reactions and the grief and the anxiety around the reactions to these kinds of demographic ask cultural change -- and cultural change that we've seen really in the last decade of our nation's life. >> you can watch this and other programs online at booktv.org. ..