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FAREED ZAKARIA GPS
The Post-COVID-19 World; The Future Of Cities; The Future Of Travel; The Future Of Education; The Future Of Daily Life; Fareed Zakaria's Take On The Post-COVID-19 World. Aired 10-11a ET
Aired May 10, 2020 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FAREED ZAKARIA, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. I'm Fareed Zakaria, and this is a special edition of GPS, "The Post-COVID-19 World."
This novel coronavirus has changed your life. It's also changed the world. But how? What will life look like after the lockdowns? What is the new normal? How will COVID-19 change politics, geopolitics? Will the wave of populism intensify or fade? Will the U.S. and China enter a new Cold War?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The Chinese virus. The Chinese virus.
There's nothing positive about what happened in China.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ZAKARIA: Tony Blair, the former British prime minister will tell me what he thinks.
And what of economics? How long will a genuine recovery take? What will the new economy look like? I'll ask the former U.S. Treasury secretary, Larry Summers.
How about technology? Will technology save us or are we in for an Orwellian world of cyberwatching and tracking? I will talk to Google's former CEO Eric Schmidt.
What will happen to the world's cities? The crowded cafes and packed subways that were once a sign of vitality? Are they history? I'll get answers from New York City's former Transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan.
And what about travel? Boats, planes, hotels. Will COVID-19 change our very desire to encounter the foreign, the unknown? James Fallows, the writer and pilot, will tell us.
Schools. Will they be back to normal? Is online education good enough or is it actually even better? I will talk to Michael Crow, the president of Arizona State University and a pioneer of online education.
Finally, life as we know it. Can we live life as less social creatures? Will we greet each other with a bow instead of a handshake or a hug? And what is all of this doing to our brains? Arianna Huffington has been thinking about it all.
All that and more. And we will close with my usual take, all in this special hour. So, let's get started.
So what will post-COVID-19 politics and geopolitics look like? Joining me now is the former British prime minister, Tony Blair.
TONY BLAIR, FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Thank you, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: You've written a great deal, you've talked about the rise of populism and how we've entered a world of sort of not left versus right but open versus closed. So what does this pandemic do to that debate? Because it certainly seems as though a lot of people are saying let's close down because if we're open, we get infected.
BLAIR: Yes. There will be a lot of people saying that, but on the other hand you've got to think of how important it is, first of all, that we deal with this pandemic together, and this is not about the -- trying to do your best for other countries, it's trying to do your best for your own country. So if you look at what the new world is going to look like as you emerge from COVID, we're going to be living with the disease for some time.
I mean, a vaccine on the best analysis could be nine months away. Maybe even more. So absent a therapeutic that reduces radically the severity of the disease, we're going to be living with it. Every country is going to be in the same position. So every country is going to have to be building their infrastructure of containment to make sure that we can, for example, test people properly, then -- and trace and track people so that we keep the disease under control.
We're far better doing these things together. The reflation of our own economies is obviously going to work better if there's global concerted action around the economy. So I understand there will be some people who'll say, look, this is all the result of interconnected supply chains and people becoming too dependent on each other. But, one, we shouldn't forget the enormous benefits that globalization has brought us, and two, right now in the eye of the storm we will all do this better if we handle it together.
ZAKARIA: The fuel of populism has been this anti-elite, anti-expert feeling. It was vividly symbolized in Britain during the Brexit campaign when Michael Gove, one of Boris Johnson's deputies, said we in Britain have had enough of experts.
I wonder, is there now some rethinking of this, you think, that people realize, well, in a pandemic it's actually quite useful to have experts?
BLAIR: Well, you'd hope so. And I think the interesting thing about the political landscape, you know, after the immediate COVID crisis has receded, is I think all the things that were there before will be back, but much more intense and more vivid.
So, for example, I think there will be -- you know, as people come out and they start to try and return to what will be a new normal, by the way, and it's not going to be the old normality at all, but as they go to this new normal, they're going to look at the landscape and think how different it is.
And in this new world you need government that is going to be effective, it's going to be basing itself on what actually works. It's going to be, for example, accepting that technology gives us the means to transform a lot of the things that we do and do it better. So, I think there will be all of the competition that was there pre-COVID is going to be there post-COVID but much, much clearer, and probably in a much more intense form.
ZAKARIA: What do you think is the future of the European Union? For the first time, you know, borders have been re-imposed in the so- called Schengen Zone, when Italy asked for help from its fellow European Union members. Basically nobody helped. Is there a danger that this is exposes a kind of fissure that could widen?
BLAIR: It's possible, and you know, I have to tell you that ever since I've been out of university and engaged in politics, people have always talked about the European Union collapsing and it never has. But, you see, the thing that is really exposed is that the European Union, despite what some of the people who argue for breaking it up say it is ultimately a collection of sovereign nation states.
And so in this crisis, nation states have been looking after themselves and within their own borders. But there are certain things that Europe is going to have to do together to come through this crisis well. Not least in relation to economic coordination in the Eurozone. So I think again for Europe, there are certain longstanding reforms both at the European level but also at the national level that this crisis will have exposed now as not just necessary but urgent.
ZAKARIA: Could the most lasting dangerous consequence of COVID in a post-COVID world be a cold war between the United States and China? You see how the tensions have risen and how this could easily spill over and persist.
BLAIR: Look, there's -- the relationship between the U.S. and China particularly, but let's say more generally the West and China, is going to be the determining geopolitical relationship of the 21st century. And there's no doubt at all there are serious questions for China to answer about how the disease began, and there are perfectly natural anxieties about the power of China and how it may be used in the future.
But here's one big difference between the Cold War, with the Soviet Union and today with China. At the end of the Cold War I think America was importing something like $200 million worth of goods from the Soviet Union. American imports from China in 2018 were north of $500 billion. So, there's an interconnectedness economically and in trade terms that just wasn't there in the Cold War.
And if you think of the big issues that we face today, whether it's on the economy or on issues like climate or, indeed dealing with this global pandemic, how do you deal with it unless you have some space for cooperation with China? So in my view the question for Europe will be, does it attempt to play a role in which it makes sure that it's with the United States when China does need to be confronted but it's persuasive with the United States when China needs cooperating with?
ZAKARIA: Thank you to Tony Blair.
Now let us go from politics to economics. Just what will the new post- COVID-19 economy look like? Joining me is Larry Summers, the 71st secretary of the Treasury and a former president of Harvard University.
Larry, what do you think is the main outline of the economy as it comes out of what has been an unprecedented kind of paralysis, coma, call it what you will. What are we going to see on the other side?
LARRY SUMMERS, FORMER U.S. TREASURY SECRETARY: Fareed, I think there are three stages. We'll see probably for the next month or two continued decline.
We're going to see many, many more people out of work. Probably twice the excess unemployment, maybe three times the excess unemployment that we saw during the financial crisis. Then relatively rapid recovery from dismal to terrible, gradual recovery from terrible to normal, and then a somewhat differently structured economy where many more people are going to be working at home. There's going to be much more online commerce, and much less -- much less traditional retail.
We're going to see a world where I suspect this will be a bit of a blow to the gig economy, and we're probably going to see some bringing home of production to the United States and some reduction in the amount we're exporting as globalization recedes.
ZAKARIA: Governments already are spending extraordinary amounts of money. The Treasury Department is going to borrow $3 trillion this month. Is there a limit? I mean, what is a world look like that is as laden with debt? Or is that something that we shouldn't worry about? Because certainly debt levels for most governments are going to go up to a scale nobody has seen before.
SUMMERS: Fareed, we can't sustain the level of spending that we're engaged in this summer in relief. We've got a 30 percent of deficit, of GDP deficit. That's more than we had during most of World War II. But a lot of that is really extraordinary post-COVID expenditure.
I think that there are two lessons of this. One, the optimistic and easier lesson is that we're likely to be in an era of very low interest rates for a very long time to come. That's what the market is saying. And with very low interest rates we can carry larger debts than we could have historically, and 1 percent interest rates are just as historically odd as the debt levels that we're dealing with. That's one part of the answer.
I think the second part of the answer is that a nation can't stay great on a shoestring. And we're collecting 17 percent of GDP in taxes at the level of the federal government. And that's not enough. And so over time not in the midst of this kind of crisis, not when people are hurting so badly, not when unemployment is so high, but when we recover we're going to have to have higher taxes in the United States, like we did in the 1960s and 1970s, and like most of the other countries in the world do.
Fortunately, we can generate significant revenue, though maybe not enough, from the very rich. And that's certainly where any tax increasing should start.
ZAKARIA: What about for the rest of the world? And I don't mean the Germanys or the Japans that again can borrow pretty much at will. But there's so many countries that are poor, that cannot print money. What happens to them?
SUMMERS: This is one of the biggest abdications of responsibility of the Trump administration. After the financial -- great financial crisis started, there was a historically important G20 meeting, directed at making sure the world economy continued to function.
We've got nothing like that kind of international leadership. We're going to need a combination of more lending and official financial flows to the world and to emerging markets, and we're certainly going to need substantial debt restructuring for emerging markets.
Otherwise they're not going to have any policy space and they're going to have depressions that could make our problems look very small. And ultimately it's one world. And if all the emerging markets become submerging markets for a decade or a generation that's going to do devastating damage biologically in terms of the disease and economically in terms of our markets to our country.
ZAKARIA: My thanks to Larry Summers.
Now on to technology. Many countries are looking to cell phone apps to track the spread of COVID-19. Here in the States Apple and Google are working jointly on the technology behind such tracking. Privacy advocates of course are watching it all closely.
Joining me to talk about all that and the future of technology is Eric Schmidt, former CEO and executive chairman of Google. I should note that Eric and I have been close friends for decades, and I am a senior adviser, unpaid, to Schmidt Futures, Eric and Wendy Schmidt's philanthropic initiative.
Welcome, Eric. ERIC SCHMIDT, FORMER CEO AND CHAIRMAN OF GOOGLE: Thank you, and good
ZAKARIA: So when you look at COVID -- before we get to post-COVID, when you look at COVID, you said to me once this is -- at some level this is a kind of information problem. What do you mean by that?
SCHMIDT: The problem here is we have a silent killer that we can't see. And the majority of transmission appears to be asymptomatic. Many people are giving the disease to others without having any symptoms at all. So how could you possibly trust the person next to you unless they're a family member or somebody you know very well.
Without that ability to trust it's going to be extremely difficult to go to any kind of mass gatherings or even start, for example, college again. Nursing homes are a problem. All the places where people work closely together are a problem for this reason.
What I think we need is we need to view this as an information problem where we need to come up with estimates for where the disease is. And when we can find hot spots, put them out.
ZAKARIA: So one of the things that people are wondering is we have not had the world's best governmental response here, but the United States has the world's best information technology companies. Is there something that information technology allows us to do that will allow us to take that information that you're talking about, who is sick, where. You know, is there some way to process this information well?
SCHMIDT: If you look at what South Korea does when you get an infection, they take you and they take your phone, and they look at everything you've done, your banking records and where you've been, and they label you affected and they tell people that you're a problem. This has worked brutally to sustain the problem there.
In America, it's unlikely that we're going to be willing to adopt the extreme measures that Asian countries have been doing, which have suppressed the virus. And testing without contact tracing is not very useful. The Google-Apple collaboration preserves your privacy but it's completely voluntary. And many people will have to use those applications in order for them to work effectively.
I think we need to look at this as an information problem, and as an information problem what we need do is collect as much information we can and try to identify the hot spots and go to where they are. Most of the disease is spread by hot spots which erupt. People will have a 15-year-old girl at a party where they celebrate and they all get close together and everyone gets infected. Choirs that are singing. People who are working in meat packing plants.
All of those are hot spots that then move quickly. If we can stop that spread, we can really slow down the virus.
ZAKARIA: So let's step back. The one thing we can all see is that this has accelerated digital technology and it has accelerated the digital economy. So tell us, you know, this is the kind of thing you've been predicting for a long time. What is the economy going to look like at the end of this, in a year or two years? How much of it is going to go digital?
SCHMIDT: Well, we know some things already. We know that people are going to do many, many things digitally that they didn't before. The most obvious one is in telehealth. 80 percent of the health care in the United States is now being delivered by telehealth. Partly because they changed the reimbursements so you could actually get paid for it.
And people prefer it because frankly it's awfully lot more convenient to talk to the doctor virtually and not have to drive to the doctor's office. Obviously at some point, you have to go see the doctor physically and have an operation or what have you. So that's an example where digital is both good for your health, it's good for the economics, and it makes everything more efficient and it's clearly safer.
There will be other such examples. It seems to me that the biggest changes will be in the daily life and say, for example, retail, which you'll see more and more automatic checkout. You'll see changes in the way the buildings are organized.
The buildings will be much more contactless or touchless surfaces. The HVAC in buildings will be changed. There are all sorts of ways in which we're going to adapt to the presence of this virus, which is apparently not going away any time soon. The biggest one is probably in health care.
ZAKARIA: One feature of the internet that you talked about, and Larry Page and, you know, other leaders of the internet, was that it was going to be kind of borderless. It was going to bring the world together.
COVID has sort of made countries more nationalistic. What does it bode for the future of the internet if countries are drawing in this way and viewing each other pretty suspiciously?
SCHMIDT: Can you imagine the pandemic now without the internet that we use every day in every way? The internet went from being interesting and then optional, and now it's really fundamental to our lives.
And this means that it's going to have nationalism problems, because countries are going to try to regulate it and prevent things they don't like. And people will have higher expectations for things like information and misinformation and that sort of thing.
Most of those changes are good. Ones I worry about have to do with the pressures to censor the internet because the country doesn't like the political content. And it's easy. You see that already in China where they have a firewall and they don't allow content they don't like. There's plenty of evidence that there were many more deaths in China than have been claimed publicly and this sort of thing.
Societies can't function without a broad understanding of the truth and the internet can be a truth provider.
ZAKARIA: Thank you to Eric Schmidt. We have a lot more still to come on this special edition of GPS. We will look at the future of cities, travel, education and life itself. All that when we come back.
ZAKARIA: In its 115 years of existence, the New York subway has never had a planned shutdown of the entire system. 24-hour subways were a symbol of the city that never sleeps, until COVID. Now every night the MTA closes up shop and deep cleans.
It's not just New York. The population density of all cities makes social distancing and keeping citizens safe that much more of a challenge.
Janette Sadik-Khan joins me now. She was New York City's transportation commissioner and is now a principal with Bloomberg Associates.
Pleasure to have you on, Janette.
JANETTE SADIK-KHAN, FORMER COMMISSIONER, NYC DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION: Thanks for having me, Fareed.
So can cities adjust and adapt to this new world of social distancing?
SADIK-KHAN: You know, I think COVID has really shaken the foundation of society. And people feel it in almost every aspect of their lives. And it's interesting because we all want things to return to normal, but we can bring back our cities and bring them back to life without bringing back all the same fatalities, congestion and pollution. And we've got this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get that right.
So we can absolutely bring our cities back. They've come back from wars and plagues and depressions before. And I think it's really a matter of imagination and looking at what we can do to make our cities better, so that they don't just recover, but that they prosper.
ZAKARIA: So, imagine for us what is it that you would like to see, you know, the new city look like?
SADIK-KHAN: Well, I think you're starting to see that in cities across the world. Milan, for example, Mayor Sala, has set up a whole stage two recovery where he's basically taking the plan that he had for 2030 and doing it in 2020.
So he's created 22 miles of bike lanes and extended sidewalks, and car-free zones because what we've seen across the world is that streets that are easier for walking and biking and transit are actually better for business and they're better for health because when you think of it, cars don't shop, people do.
ZAKARIA: And it seems to me that part of this plan surely will be more open spaces, because one of the things that I think we -- in New York, you know, there's an extraordinary blessing of having central park and riverside park, without which you wonder how people would navigate something like this. It feels like you want a city where maybe people are living closer to where they work, you don't have these long commutes, you have green spaces. You have open areas. Is that economically viable?
SADIK-KHAN: Absolutely. That's what makes cities great. When Mike Bloomberg was mayor, he had a whole program to increase the access that New Yorkers had to parks and green space because it's critical in terms of the health of the city, not only the physical health of the city, but the cultural and social health of the city. And so I think we're going to see mayors and cities doubling down on the very investment strategies that worked before the pandemic.
You know, those same strategies making it easier to walk and bike, get to public space are key. And that's part of the magic of cities that's actually being around one another. And, you know, cities have always been shaped by, you know, historic forces. And you know, we'll have another crisis after this one. But we don't want our cities to go back to just normal.
We can have them come back more resilient, more sustainable and more equal.
ZAKARIA: So if somebody were to tell you that you know what's going to happen now as people are going to flee to the suburbs again as they did in the 1950s or that the city is the you know because of digital telecommunications it is easy for people to work at home and therefore home can be anywhere?
What is that you think is still the pull of a city, if you actually have the technology to work somewhere else, if you have, you know, you get more space, what is it that draws people or will draw people in the future?
SADIK-KHAN: Well, people have been predicting the decline of cities for years. After 9/11 that nobody was going to live in the city. Nobody was going to live in a skyscraper, nobody was going to fly. And, you know, people are living in lower Manhattan, people are living in skyscrapers, people are flying.
It's a matter of sort of resetting the language of the street and resetting the language and protocols that we need to put in place. I mean, cities are the heartbeat of the global economy. You know, we've got 50 percent of the world's population living in cities and that number is going to get to two-thirds of the population is going to live in the cities in the year 2050.
That's good. Cities are good for the future of the planet because we are not going to get to where we need to in addressing climate change by having people sprawl further and further out. You know, having people driver where they need to go. That's going in the wrong direction. I think what you've seen time and time again is that, you know, cities are what societies are built on. Certainly this pandemic challenges us, but I think it also offers us a once in a lifetime opportunity to undo some of the damage from traffic and congestion and space wasted on parking and really resetting people, resetting cities without leaving people behind.
This is the moment that we can reset our streets to ensure that we're just not recovering but also prospering. The cities that make these changes now are the cities that are going to fly.
ZAKARIA: Janette Sadik-Khan, pleasure to have you on.
SADIK-KHAN: Thank you so much, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: From subways and buses let's go to planes and trains. Take a look at this graphic. It shows all of the planes in the air over Europe on the 7th of March. The next image shows the same thing a month later stark. Meanwhile, at a strafe there were 95 percent fewer passengers flying on U.S. commercial flights than last year.
So when will people be willing to get back on planes and what will travel look like in the future? Joining me now is one of my favorite reporters, James Fallows he's a long-time writer for "The Atlantic". He's also a pilot who flew around the country and a traveler who has lived all over the world.
Jim, so what do you think? Is this a blip? When we get a vaccine it's back to normal? Does this change the world of travel?
JAMES FALLOWS, STAFF WRITER, THE ATLANTIC: So, I've been talking with airline people, and they say for the foreseeable future, that is the next few months, they don't expect a return to anything like normal. And when there is a normal, they say it will be after a vaccine, which will probably be a couple years.
So how things may be different in other ways that point is hard to say. Just one other thing that has been on my mind is we underestimate the difference that easy, human movement has made in shaping the world we're all familiar with.
We know about globalization of financial flows and trade flows, but people being able to go to business conferences, to universities, on tourist expeditions, to see their families. That's been so important in creating what we think of as the modern world and if that's depressed certainly for months may be for years, we're just beginning to reckon the consequences of that.
ZAKARIA: So tell us about planes. You understand them well. You fly one. When am I - what would it take for me to be comfortable - I'm not terribly paranoid, but to make me comfortable to sit in a plane with 250 other people? Can they put in air filters? Will everybody be wearing masks? How will it work?
FALLOWS: So, I think that for the foreseeable future, the next couple of months, people will take airline trips when they feel they have to. There's a family reason, there's something that you can't not go for. You can't drive there. And beyond that, I think the airline business thinks anyone with a choice is going to choose not to fly for the next while.
When you have to take that trip, number one, I think masks are going to become mandatory for crew members, for passengers. Probably the kind of temperature screening gates that you've seen every time you go to China. You go through those things. They've had them for 15 years.
The air circulation within an airline is actually safer than many other enclosed places because it goes through filters regularly, every two, three minutes. The air is entirely refreshed from outside. So compared with being in say a shared office space or an elevator, certainly it is better.
If somebody sneezes on you, there's not much you can do about that. So I think that for the next few months people will go only when they need to. They'll wear masks. They'll have hand sanitizer and wipe down things before they touch them.
FALLOWS: You'll view this as an experience to withstand.
ZAKARIA: So, that suggests a kind of economy - think about the travel and leisure economy that is built up over the last couple of decades because of this cheap and easy travel. It's fairly recent - somebody pointed out to me, the amount of air travel between SARS, the outbreak of SARS and now has doubled.
So will we go back to a world in which, you know, frankly it was only upper middle class and rich people who could fly? You can't offer these kinds of cheap fares unless you have huge volume.
FALLOWS: Yes, indeed. While people including me always complain about airline travel for all the reasons we don't need to belabor, by objective measurements it's safer than ever before, in the last 10 years notwithstanding the 737 max disasters, it's been cheaper on average than ever before, it's reached much broader segments of the public than was the case a generation ago.
And it seems the case that flying is going to become a much more unusual and much more selective experience than it used to be.
ZAKARIA: What does it mean to - for us all to travel less? You lived in Japan. You travel a lot. We're used to the idea you go to university campus and there are foreign students all over, children have a chance to interact with them. If everything is going to draw back, everyone is going to pull back it suggests a kind of narrowing of our horizons.
FALLOWS: I think that is the most profound potential impact of the difficulty in movement that we're going to have for the foreseeable future. Of course we know the economic impact on American Universities if they can't draw students from around the world, notably from China. I think there's even more important cultural and human and spiritual and moral connection and effect both on the people who come to different countries that if someone goes from India to the U.K. or China to the U.S. or the U.S. to Germany, that person's life has changed in my experience forever, experience of being someplace outside your homeland meeting other people is different.
It's also the case for institutions, people who are still in Kansas going to Wichita State, if there are foreigners there, it's - outsiders, not Americans, it gives them a different perspective. So a buffering effect for all the tensions of the last generation or so between the U.S. and China in particular has been the fact that so many Americans and Chinese have known each other as people, as families, as tourists, as fellow students and generally they liked each other, or at least recognized their shared humanity.
So I think there are - there are cultural effects and political effects we may have to allow for if there's less of that person to person connection.
ZAKARIA: James Fallows, always a pleasure. One of the great American journalists thank you so much.
FALLOWS: Fareed, thank you so much.
ZAKARIA: Next on "GPS," what will schools look like this fall and beyond? Is online education the answer for the long haul? I will ask one of its pioneers. Also Arianna Huffington on the rest of life as we know it, how can we socialize in an age of social distancing? All that and my own final thoughts when we come back.
ZAKARIA: 48 s states and the District of Columbia have either required or recommended that schools close for the rest of the school year. And just about every college and university has canceled in-person classes as well. Being in the physical classroom or lecture hall has been replaced by so-called distance learning.
The teachers in the homes beaming into the students homes via the internet, is this the new normal? And will student's education suffer or benefit? Joining me now is Michael Crow, one of the pioneers of online education.
He is the President of Arizona State University, while some educational leaders are scrambling now to figure out what the next phase looks like, Crow literally wrote the book on it. His 2015 volume was called "Designing The New American University." Michael, pleasure to have you on.
MICHAEL CROW, PRESIDENT, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY: Thank you, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: So, help me explain. I've got a kid in college, and one of the things he points out is while some of the instruction and he goes to a good college and they have managed to work it well, some of the instruction is very good, but a lot of the peer to peer learning, the feeling of being in a class with other students, a lot of that richness is being lost. Is there a way to capture that online?
CROW: There's certainly not a way to capture all of it but there's a way to capture a lot of it. We've done hundreds of millions of minutes of zoom-based learning where students have not only been with faculty but been with each other, they've been in work groups, they've been in study groups and they've been musically creative with each other.
And so the key is understanding that there are multiple ways to socially connect and to enhance the social aspects of learning. And so what we found in the last few weeks kind of miraculously is that this is a new option. It may not be better in every way, it may be better in some ways, but it's a tremendous tool that we found.
ZAKARIA: One of the things I worry about with this digital learning, this shift which is inevitable particularly in the short-term, what happens to people or communities that don't have as much access to broadband, as much access to good computing power?
I think about public schools. I think about public schools in difficult locations. Does this widen the gap between not just the rich and the poor but people who just may have a very energetic and dynamic leadership that is able to invest in these things and people that are not?
CROW: You know, I think that the gap - the technology side of the equation of the gap is easy to fix. It's just a function we ought to do this. We have to make certain internet capability is delivered to every American because it will empower learning, it is going to empower distributive manufacturing, it is going to empower enhanced outcomes in the future, digitally driven economy all of those things.
The real challenge is not that. We fixed that, by the way, for all 11 of our k through 12 schools that we operate, our digital high school that we operate, we made sure everybody had technology thousands of new laptops, thousands of ways to connect. That's the trivial side. We really need to take care of that for everybody.
The harder side is this cultural shift to the fact that learning now will have to occur and probably should occur if we want to actually achieve the kind of learning outcomes that we have as a society that we wish we had because we don't have them yet.
We're going to be able to deliver learning to every family circumstance, every personal circumstance, children, families, adults. The only way we can do that is in a technologically enhanced mode. So the real challenge is the faculty and the teachers, the schools, the universities themselves, not the technology.
ZAKARIA: Everything you say says that the teachers are the heart of this. I've often thought that teaching is the profession that makes every other profession possible. Yet, do you think we're paying enough attention to teachers as a society?
CROW: No, we're definitely not paying enough attention to them. If you look at different cultures around the world, the scholar or the teacher for whatever set of complicated cultural reasons the United States is not held at the level of importance or regard that they should be.
They're not empowered at the level they should be. We spend billions and billions of dollars on researching everything from the flavor of a potato chip to the brain inside a cruise missile, but we don't spend a lot of time or energy on creating how to help teachers to actually function in a society that's as polyglot in its nature as our 335 million person society in the U.S., and then taking that more broadly?
We just have underinvested in innovation, we've underinvested in training, we've underinvested in empowerment and we've suffered the consequences because of that. So my dad used to say to me when something would go wrong, he would say do I have your attention now? Well, I would say that to my fellow educators and everyone else out there in the policy world and in the business world and just the general citizenry.
Do I have your attention now? Look what happens when we get a global pandemic and we're so unprepared to make a rapid adjustment and this pandemic is just an example of the complexities that lie ahead and so this COVID crisis does allow us now to sort of learn what things are going to be like increasingly and then to take advantage of, sadly, this crisis to accelerate our innovation and accelerate our change.
ZAKARIA: Thanks, Michael Crow. We have tried to answer many questions this hour, but there's so many more especially revolving around every- day life. How will we greet people? Will we go to movies, restaurants, parties?
Will social life be changed forever? Arianna Huffington has given lots of thought to all this. She's the Founder of "The Huffington Post" and now runs Thrive Global, a company dedicated to helping people improve their physical and mental well being. Welcome Arianna.
ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, FOUNDER & CEO, THRIVE GLOBAL: Thank you, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: Arianna, when you look at this COVID crisis, you say and you have written that this is part of something much bigger that has been happening before in the sense that we don't want to go back to a normal, because that normal itself was not very good. Explain what you mean?
HUFFINGTON: So, Fareed, we entered this pandemic with far major and growing challenges. The first was the increasing chronic diseases as like obesity, diabetes, heart disease. The second was the mental health crisis. You know, depression, even before the pandemic was the number one cause of disability globally. The third was something that we talked about endlessly at conferences but didn't do much about, the growing inequalities.
[10:50:00] HUFFINGTON: And the fourth, of course, was climate change. Now, all these challenges have their own curves. And one we're talking about flattening the Coronavirus curve, we also need to be actively working to flatten all the other curves that I mentioned because we are incredibly more vulnerable to the Coronavirus or any other virus that comes after because of the challenges.
We see for example the latest study of "The New York Times" admissions in hospital of New York City, admissions of hospitals in "The New York Times," that shows that 94 percent of those admitted have chronic diseases whether it was diabetes, obesity, or hypertension.
ZAKARIA: So you bring up a very important point, but what worries me is that COVID actually exacerbates some of these challenges. Talk about what COVID does to depression, for example. That sense of loneliness and despair?
HUFFINGTON: Yes. Of course we see now that two-thirds of people who have been surveyed are talking about feeling more depressed, more anxious, definitely more stressed because of all the uncertainty in front of us.
ZAKARIA: And what about in that reset, do you think we come to recognize that maybe we have been traveling too much, maybe we've been - that it's easier - there's a way to do all these things while just being a little bit more still?
HUFFINGTON: Absolutely. I've been talking to friends who have never spent 45 consecutive days with their children. Who have not sometimes seen their children for weeks and suddenly they recognize they can really do their work in a very different way.
So what makes me optimistic that will come out of this crucible is definitely a crucible, a time of extraordinary pain and losses, but I believe we'll come out of it much stronger, more resilient than we entered this pandemic.
ZAKARIA: What do you say to those people who are in pain, though, who lost their jobs, lost their dream? You know, the level of depression here caused by just failure, 35 million people in the United States alone unemployed, God knows how many hundreds of millions outside. How do they grapple with that?
HUFFINGTON: So, of course the losses have been enormous. But if we don't connect to that place of resiliency, it will be much harder for people to get through these losses. We've seen that historically. We've seen people in the most extremely horrendous circumstances being able to survive because they tapped into that place.
How we respond to this crisis, whether it's the crisis of the loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, will depend a lot on how connected we are to everything that gives us strength?
And it's hard. It's incredibly hard to get to it, but if we know that place exists, and we can find it, and if we can also encourage everyone else to tap into their generosity, whether it's companies that are making decisions to give extra bonuses like Walmart did, or promise not to lay off employees as Sales Force and Service Now did.
These are very important decisions that companies are making that will define whether they practice stakeholder capitalism or just preach stakeholder capitalism.
ZAKARIA: So you have both of your daughters with you, you've been with them for 45 days. What's the secret to making this all an incredibly positive experience?
HUFFINGTON: So, dinner together every night, definitely. Having a cut- off point when we stop consuming Coronavirus news so that we can actually sleep and recharge and, as you know, Fareed, more and more people are reporting that they're having a harder time sleeping, which makes us less resilient.
Then everybody having a task, somebody's cooking. Somebody else is doing the laundry. And then it's just something, of course, that we never expected would be happening with two millennial daughters.
ZAKARIA: Arianna Huffington, always a pleasure.
HUFFINGTON: Thank you so much, Fareed.
ZAKARIA: I want to conclude this special by giving you my take, drawing on my "Washington Post" column this week. Despite the fact that in America at least the curve has not really flattened, we are all thinking about when and how things will get back to normal?
But we should use this crisis as a way to rethink what normal means. The more closely you look, the more it appears that we human beings have been living in a way that makes future pandemics likely even inevitable.
Peter Dashik is a Disease Ecologist and a renowned virus hunter. He and his team venture into bat caves in full protective gear to get the animal's saliva or blood to determine the origins of a virus. In a conversation with me he was clear. We're doing things every day that make pandemics more likely.
We need to understand this. It's not just nature. It's what we are doing to nature. Remember, most viruses come from animals. The CDC estimates that three quarters of new human diseases originate in animals. The Coronavirus might simply have come from one of those wild life markets in China where wild animals are slaughtered and sold, a practice that should be banned around the world.
But it's also true as human civilization expands, building roads, clearing farmland, constructing factories, excavating mines, we are also destroying the natural habitat of wild animals, bringing them closer and closer to us.
Some scientists believe this is making the transmission of diseases from animals to humans far more likely. The virus that causes COVID-19 appears to have originated in bats which are particularly good incubators for viruses.
Scientists are still studying what happened, but in other cases we've seen how human encroachment can lead bats to look for food around farms, where they then infect livestock and through them infect humans.
There are other paths for pathogens. The most likely one comes directly from our insatiable appetite for meat. As people around the world get richer they tend to eat more meat. Some 80 billion land animals are slaughtered for meat each year, 80 billion around the world.
Most livestock is factory farmed an estimated 99 percent in America about 74 percent around the world according to one animal rights group. And that entails crowding thousands of animal's inches for each other in gruesome conditions that are almost designed to incubate viruses, and then encourage them to spread getting more virulent with each hop.
Vox's Sigal Samuel quotes the biologist Rob Wallace. Factory farms are the best ways to select for the most dangerous pathogens possible. Factory farms are also ground zero for new antibody resistant bacteria, which is another path towards widespread human infections.
Factory farmed animals are bombarded with antibiotics which means the bacteria that's service and flourish are highly potent. While these animals are not always the source of deadly infections some 2.8 million Americans are sickened by antibody resistant bacteria annually, often 35,000 die every year according to the CDC.
Then there's climate change, which intensifies everything, transforming ecosystems, forcing more animals out of their habitats and bringing tropical conditions to places that were previously temperate.
Scientific American reports the warmer weather and more variable conditions brought by climate change are making it easier to transmit diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, Zika virus, West Nile virus and Lime disease in many parts of the world. As we change ecosystems and natural habitat, long dormant diseases can emerge to which we have no immunity.
In May 2015 two-thirds of the world's population of a small antelope died suddenly within a few weeks. A bacterium called Pasteurella Multocida which long lived in the animal without doing any harm suddenly turned virulent. Why? "The Atlantic's" Ed Young explains that the region was becoming more tropical and 2015 was a particularly warm, humid year. When the temperature gets really hot, he writes, and the air gets really wet, Saiga die, climate is the trigger and Pasteurella is the bullet.
So let's not get back to just normal. Let's change our ways to make normal life less dangerous for the planet, for nature and for animals which, of course, includes us. Thanks for all of you for being a part of this "GPS" special. I'll see you next week and every week at 10:00 am Eastern.