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Uvalde Massacre Investigation; Interview With Senior Adviser to President Biden Gene Sperling; Interview with "The Devil Never Sleeps: Learning to Live in an Age of Disasters" Author Juliette Kayyem; Interview with "Trigger Points: Inside the Mission to Stop Mass Shootings in America" Author Mark Follman; Interview with World Health Organization Technical Lead Dr. Rosamund Lewis. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired May 31, 2022 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BIANNA GOLODRYGA, CNN INTERNATIONAL HOST: Hello, everyone, and welcome to AMANPOUR.
Here's what's coming up.
LIZ ANGSTADT, COMMUTER: You wouldn't think that we would be talking about money every single day.
GOLODRYGA (voice-over): President Biden meets with the Fed chairman to try and tackle the inflation crisis.
We're joined by Gene Sperling, a senior economic adviser to the president.
Then: how workers are being hit by rising prices at the pump.
ALFRED GARZA III, FATHER OF SHOOTING VICTIM: They needed to act immediately. There's kids involved. There's a gun involved. There's an
active shooter wanting to do harm.
GOLODRYGA: New details emerge from the tragic shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas. We have the latest.
Plus, a frank discussion about America's gun culture with the former homeland security staffer Juliette Kayyem and journalist Mark Follman.
Also ahead, as monkeypox cases pop up around the globe, the facts with Dr. Rosamund Lewis, the woman leading the charge against the disease for the
World Health Organization.
GOLODRYGA: Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Bianna Golodryga in New York, sitting in for Christiane Amanpour, who will be back next week.
Well, Americans are being pushed to the brink, as inflation sends the price of gas, food and rent skyrocketing. This hour, U.S. President Joe Biden is
set to meet with chairman of the Federal Reserve Jay Powell in a bid to tame the rampant increase.
The president has made clear that this crisis is a top -- is on top of his economic agenda, writing in "The Wall Street Journal," that: "The most
important thing we can do now is to transition from rapid recovery to stable, steady growth and to bring inflation down."
Of course, it's not just the U.S. facing this crisis, but the entire world. Today, the Eurozone reaching an inflation rate of 8.1 percent. That's the
highest in the currency's history.
Well, joining me now on this is Gene Sperling, a senior economic adviser to President Biden.
Gene, always great to see you.
So this is the first meeting between Fed Chief Powell and the president since November, when the president said that he would renominate him to the
I'm just curious, what can we expect out of this meeting today?
GENE SPERLING, SENIOR ADVISER TO PRESIDENT BIDEN: Well, I think you heard the president's view that was expressed in the -- his op-ed in "The Wall
Street Journal" today, that he believes that we are -- that, while we have had record job growth and record unemployment gains during the Biden
recovery, we also know that this is a time that we have to now make a transition to a more balanced, stable growth, with lower prices.
That the United States, because of these gains, is historically well- positioned to get through that transition, when you look at the strength of our household balance sheets, when you look at the fact that inventories
are now -- are now higher and going to be rolling off, when you look at several other factors that suggest we are particularly well -- more --
better positioned than any other country.
Now, the president's made clear that, obviously, the Federal Reserve holds most -- the most powerful tools, the monetary tools, and that a key part of
his plan is to respect the independence of the Federal Reserve.
Now, that might seem like, of course, but five times since the 1960s, when a Federal Reserve has been seeking to fight inflation, presidents have
sought to interfere or publicly intimidate or bully them. So, now you're seeing something very different.
You're seeing a president who is specifically giving space to the Federal Reserve, making clear he will not interfere, even as they have made clear
they plan to raise interest rates to tame this global inflation, and how it's affecting the U.S., but that he also is going to do everything he can
to lower prices for families, do things like the historic release of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and to keep policies that keep reducing our
deficit, which is now down $1.5 trillion, which we know will dampen inflationary pressures.
GOLODRYGA: So, you mentioned tapping into the SPRs, but, since then, gas prices have only risen at the pump nearly 40 cents on the gallon.
What more can the president do on that front? And I'm specifically asking about what he can do internationally? There's reporting that he is set to
meet with Mohammed bin Salman as soon as next month. Obviously, this is the same man who he deemed a pariah on the global stage following their human
rights performance and how they have handled the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and obviously the war in Yemen.
Will the president be pressuring the Saudis to release more oil?
SPERLING: Well, look, as you have said, there is no question that, beyond the human rights and democratic horrors of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,
it has roiled global gas and energy prices.
On January 17, the price of gas in the U.S. averaged $3.31. That was the day Putin moved forces to the border of Belarus. Now it's $1.31 higher.
There is no doubt that has had perhaps even worse effects in some of the European countries.
So, the president's going to do everything he can. I'm obviously not going to try to foreshadow his discussion with foreign heads of state. But just
note the commitment to release a million barrels a day for six months is historic, and to try to get the rest of the world to release another 60
million is something that is making a difference.
Obviously, it is hard to be having the difference that we want with this -- with the degree of Russian aggression, with the impact on their refineries.
But our goal stays the same, which is to punish the economic situation of Putin and Russia as much as we can, while taking all steps to minimize the
impact on consumers here in the United States.
GOLODRYGA: Well, the president's predecessor had punished China for what was deemed unfair trade practices. And that was obviously the Chinese
tariffs that are still in place.
Your colleague, your former colleague Jason Furman said that the single most important thing that this president can do at this point to alleviate
inflation is to -- is to let go of those tariffs. Do you think that the president, who said that he will consider doing that, will he do that, and
should he do that imminently?
SPERLING: Well, listen, I -- first of all, the president, no question, is looking at every option that can have downward pressure on inflation.
Certainly, the $1.5 trillion of deficit reduction we have seen, the fact that, even as he pushes for a reconciliation or Build Back Better type of
legislation, that he is looking at that as something that will not just pay for new initiatives, but reduce the deficit.
The measures that we have taken that he's calling for, reducing prescription drug costs, reducing utility costs, reducing Internet costs,
all of these things make a big difference. We think that, obviously, the tariff situation is one of the things the president is going to look at.
But I think, when he does look at it, he's going to be looking at how it fits with his overall policies of helping workers at home, his China
policy, his overall trade policy. But, at this point, the president has not made any -- any decisions for us to announce on your show.
GOLODRYGA: I'm just curious. As -- from an economic standpoint, everything that you have laid out, first of all, a lot of that relies on Congress
getting these measures passed, the Build Back Better bill, which is still stalled.
And, as we know, history shows us that, in the months leading to any sort of midterm elections, that the odds of anything being passed on a
bipartisan level are slim to none. But all of these other measures you lay out will be impactful, but we're talking years, and not necessarily
I'm just curious. Given the president's time frame here and saying this is the most important domestic issue for him, what can be done to alleviate
what so many American families are dealing with day in and day out? And that's rising prices at the pump and at the gas station -- I mean, at
SPERLING: Well, listen, as we said -- no, I understand.
And, listen, the fact that this is a global issue, that,again, you saw 8.1 percent in Euro, 8.8 percent in the OECD, 9 percent in the U.K., very
little comfort for a family, as you say, driving into the gas pump, going through the -- the grocery lines and seeing prices taking a bite out of
what might have been a raise that they have received.
So the president understands that the Federal Reserve and monetary policy is going to be the big stick, but what would you want the president to do?
You would want them to do everything they can to be the wind at the back of lowering inflation.
And so you see constant things the president's doing, from affecting the supply chain, to allowing 420,000 workers whose immigration permits were
expiring to continue on for a year-and-a-half, doing things to now -- that can immediately start to have an effect on housing prices.
So we are looking at everything. And trade is one of the areas that we will look at. But I think the president's doing exactly what you would want. He
-- doing everything he possibly can.
And, yes, I agree with you that bipartisan legislations is difficult, but I can see it the other way too. How does somebody from the Republican Party
stand up right now at a period of inflation and say they have no plan? The only plan that was ever put out was Rick Scott's plan, which raised taxes
So they either have a plan that is harder on most middle-income families, or they don't have much solution.
GOLODRYGA: But, Gene, you have been -- Gene, you have...
SPERLING: How do they say no to president asking to prescription drug prices, capping insulin at $35?
That's not a particularly partisan proposal. I would imagine that has overwhelming support among Democrats and Republicans and could help lower
prices and relieve the burden on families today, right now.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, but, Gene, you have been in politics long enough to know that it's one thing not to have a plan. It's another thing when you're not
in the Oval Office and you don't have control of Washington and Congress to blame the sitting party there for lack of action, in this case, bringing
Let me just ask you, because, on paper, listen, minus inflation, this is a healthy, strong, robust economy. I'm just going to list some statistics.
The unemployment rate is at a low of 3.6 percent; 8.3 million jobs have been created since the president took office. The GDP grew more than over -
- more than any year in 2021 than over 40 years, the last 40 years.
The U.S. economy is doing better than most advanced countries. I'm saying this because, all of that being considered, a new Gallup polls shows
GOLODRYGA: ... 46 percent of Americans think the economy is in poor shape.
And, if to tame inflation, we will need to have the economy slow down, meaning fewer jobs added each month, how is the president going to message
that to the American public, who are already feeling that the economy is not serving them well, despite all of these incredible numbers?
SPERLING: So, listen, you said I have been around a long time. I have. Higher gas prices are never good for a president or a head of state's
approval ratings anywhere.
But, today, the president, in "The Wall Street Journal," in a major op-ed did lay out exactly the views that you're saying, which is that we have
had, as you say, record job growth, a record drop in unemployment, maybe the most equitable recovery ever, when you look at the drop in black and
Hispanic unemployment and the rise in black and Hispanic and white entrepreneurship.
All of these things suggest this has been a very equitable recovery with very little scarring. But the president's message today is that we do have
to transition to a more stable, balanced growth. It isn't going to have the record job numbers that we have seen. That can't continue forever.
But the point we want to make is that those very gains, the fact that 3.8 million more Americans have come into the labor force, the fact that J.P.
Morgan finds checking accounts are stronger across the income spectrum, that household debt service is down, that credit card delinquencies are
down, all of those things suggest that we are well-positioned to make that transition from these type of record-breaking numbers to something that is
more stable, more balanced.
And we will be able to get there even as the Fed takes the difficult measures it needs to take to bring down the impact of global inflation on
GOLODRYGA: Gene Sperling, thank you, as always, for your time. We appreciate it. Good to see you.
SPERLING: Thanks. Thanks for having me.
GOLODRYGA: Well, as inflation fuels the cost of transportation, a simple commute to work every day is taking a bigger bite out of people's wallets.
And with more Americans heading into the office, they're feeling the pinch every time they fill their gas tanks.
Gabe Cohen talked with some of those drivers.
GABE COHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It seems twisted that getting to work is financially crushing Liz and Scott Angstadt, their combined
commute more than 500 miles each week through New Jersey.
With Scott paying $6.19 a gallon for his diesel-powered pickup, their monthly gas bill has nearly doubled in a year, now over $1,000.
L. ANGSTADT We cut back in our groceries and what we eat. We cut back more than half of what we're going to travel this summer. You wouldn't think
that we would be talking about money every single day.
COHEN: While this couple's commute is longer than most, as more workers get called back to the office, millions are feeling the squeeze, with the
national average gas price more than $4.60 a gallon. At some California stations, the price is higher than the federal minimum wage.
PATRICK DE HAAN, HEAD OF PETROLEUM ANALYSIS, GASBUDDY: It's already bad. It could get worse, and it's definitely not going to get much better.
COHEN: The average us commute now costs an extra $35 a month compared to pre-COVID, far more in cities like L.A., San Francisco, Chicago, and New
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm not able to work from home.
COHEN: Spencer Jewel (ph) says he's paying an extra 50 bucks a month to get to work in Greensboro, North Carolina.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When is it going to come to an end?
KIERSTEN ASHLEY, ATLANTA RESIDENT: I can't work.
COHEN: In Atlanta, Kiersten Ashley says gas is too pricey for her to take a job.
ASHLEY: It's not worth it almost, because I'm getting paid maybe $10, $12 an hour.
COHEN: An international survey conducted last November found 64 percent of workers would consider looking for a new job if forced to return full-time.
In Washington state, more than 100 contracted Google Maps workers signed a petition refusing to return to the office.
TYLER BROWN, MAPS OPERATOR, COGNIZANT: It's a huge additional expense.
COHEN: Tyler Brown would have to drive 74 miles each way.
BROWN: It doesn't make sense for me at the moment for $19 an hour. So I'm going to have to look for a different job.
PAUL MCDONALD, ROBERT HALF: Workers are looking at it from a standpoint of, can I afford to take that new opportunity, or can I afford to stay if
required to go back to the office?
COHEN: But some don't have easy options.
SCOTT ANGSTADT, COMMUTER: It's very frustrating, but there's nothing I can do about it.
COHEN: Scott Angstadt is eight years from his pension as a railroad engineer.
S. ANGSTADT: To throw that away, it's throwing away a lot.
COHEN: So there's no plan to change direction, even as they pump the brakes on long-term plans.
L. ANGSTADT That picture has kind of altered.
We might not be retiring in eight years.
GOLODRYGA: Our thanks to Gabe Cohen for that report.
And coming up after the break: New details emerge about the police response to the Uvalde massacre.
Plus, how schools across America are stepping up their own security.
GOLODRYGA: Welcome back.
Well, America is in a state of mourning one week after the shooting at a school in Uvalde, Texas, which killed 19 children and their two teachers.
Today, the first funerals took place for those lost. They're a stark reminder of the need for action. President Biden says he will meet with
members of Congress to try to push -- try and push through any sort of reforms possible.
Now, this comes as a bipartisan group of senators huddled to see if any progress can be made on gun control legislation.
Meanwhile, more details are emerging about what happened and what went wrong.
Nick Valencia has the latest in this report.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Oh, my God.
NICK VALENCIA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Chilling new video captured an apparent radio call outside Robb Elementary School, where a gunman had
opened fire inside classrooms.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Are you injured?
STUDENT: I got shot.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where? Where?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A kid got shot? They shot a kid?
VALENCIA: In the video, what sounds like a student says they have been shot.
The man who recorded the video, who did not want to be identified, tells CNN the audio came from the radio of a Customs and Border Protection
vehicle outside the school in Uvalde, Texas.
He said an officer turned off the radio once officers realized he could hear, this as new dispatch audio obtained by ABC News indicates dispatchers
relayed that at least one student was alive in the classroom.
911 OPERATOR: Advise, we do have a child on the line. Child is advising he in the room full of victims, full of victims at this moment.
VALENCIA: CNN has not been able to independently verify the audio or at what point during the shooting this occurred.
Law enforcement's timeline shows that the gunman remained in the classrooms for more than an hour while at least eight 911 calls were made by at least
two students begging for help.
Officers had arrived within two minutes, but the commander on the scene decided to wait before confronting the gunman.
STEVEN MCCRAW, DIRECTOR, TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY: From the benefit of hindsight, where I'm sitting now, of course it was not the right
decision. It was the wrong decision, period. There's no excuse for that.
VALENCIA: The massacre is one of a string of mass shootings that have left the nation on edge. School districts nationwide are intensifying security
protocols, fearing copycat attacks, like in Buffalo, where a gunman opened fire at a Tops supermarket, killing 10 earlier this month.
New safety protocols include all doors remaining locked during the school day, and any person who wishes to enter must call ahead for approval.
REP. COLIN ALLRED (D-TX): Americans are on edge. And they're on edge because they don't know if it's going to be their place of worship, a mall,
a concert, their children's school.
VALENCIA: In Uvalde, the community plans for two weeks of funeral services to lay to rest the 21 victims.
Uvalde's mayor has decided to postpone a City Council meeting in which several new members were to be sworn in, including school police Chief
Pedro "Pete" Arredondo. He was elected to the City Council earlier this month and reportedly was the official who made the decision not to breach
the classrooms while the shooter was locked inside.
Arredondo has not spoken to the media since the day of the shooting. The mayor says Arredondo's role in the shooting response will not impact his
ability to serve on the council.
Arredondo's decision has angered victims' parents, like Amerie Jo Garza's father.
GARZA: They needed to act immediately. There's kids involved. There's a gun involved. There's an active shooter wanting to do harm.
GOLODRYGA: Our thanks to Nick Valencia for his report there.
Well, here to help us understand where those decisions went wrong is Juliette Kayyem. She's managed crisis responses for the Department of
Homeland Security and is the author of ""The Devil Never Sleeps," a guide to dealing with disasters. Also joining us is Mark Follman, whose new book,
"Trigger Points," draws on a decade of research into preventing gun violence.
Welcome both of you.
Juliette, as you just heard in Nick's report, and as we have been reporting over the past few days now, we're hearing more and more of what went wrong
in terms of the response to that mass shooting, the Uvalde Elementary School there.
The DOJ will now be investigating. And I'm just curious to get your perspective on one area where it seems, if anything, this nation in law
enforcement should be expert at, and that is how to respond to mass shootings, especially at a school. This is some 20 years after the
Columbine school shooting.
So what is it that you anticipate we will find from a DOJ investigation?
JULIETTE KAYYEM, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Well, the review is going to be difficult, because it will be a second-by-second account of what
happened in those rooms, the moments leading up to it, what were, if any, explanations for the law enforcement response, the decision not to employ
well-understood, well-trained active shooter protocols.
The review will also, I think, look at -- in the past has looked at bigger issues about the community, the training of the police, the police's
relationship with the community, gun culture, as we're seeing. And so it will be a thorough review.
The thing, as you know, that we just can't answer now is, knowing what everybody in law enforcement knows, and the training that the police
officers there did get, why weren't active shooting protocols instigated or initiated at the beginning?
And those are the what we call immediate action rapid deployment, which is essentially, you're going to go in because you cannot factor in all of the
stuff that's going on. In other words, the only thing that you do know, as we're seeing now, is that there is an active shooter and he has to be
eliminated, essentially. And then you can figure everything else out.
And I think the information that we're starting to get about phone calls and who knew what when and that there was confusion is exactly why you
don't weigh all of these different factors in real time. You just eliminate the threat, and then you can figure out, who can we save? Who can we
triage? Who can we evacuate?
GOLODRYGA: Mark, do you want to weigh in here in terms of what your research has provided you with in how law enforcement has been able to
respond to these mass shooting attacks, and what every minute by minute, how it is so valuable in terms of saving as many lives as possible?
MARK FOLLMAN, AUTHOR, "TRIGGER POINTS": Well, after Columbine took place in 1999, there was a tectonic shift in law enforcement protocol to no longer
wait, as they did in that attack, to go in, to wait to prepare and set up a perimeter and call for backup.
The doctrine became, go in immediately and stop it as soon as possible, because these events play out in a matter of minutes. But I think also this
is a really important story. This was a catastrophic failure in Uvalde by the -- in terms of the tactical response.
But I worry that there's also some risk here that it overshadows another crucial question, which is, how did an 18-year-old person get firearms like
this after a long history of disturbing behavior, raising alarm in people around him? What more can we do to prevent this from happening in the first
Because I think we have seen now for two-plus decades that active shooter response and target hardening and security in schools and other buildings
is not effective for preventing these types of attacks. They have continued, and, in some ways, they have escalated.
GOLODRYGA: Would a red flag law in Texas have prevented this 18-year-old, in your opinion, from purchasing that firearm?
This is a growing tool we have now in 19 states and Washington, D.C. It's relatively new. I think there needs to be more research into its efficacy.
But this is a mechanism by which, when there's a person raising concern, if this comes to the attention of authorities, they can use a court process to
remove firearms from that individual temporarily.
We always hear in the aftermath of these, particularly from politicians who are interested in maintaining the status quo with gun regulations, oh,
well, just let's make sure not to get guns in the hands of dangerous people. We have to keep the guns away from them.
Well, this is a tool that can potentially do that, and has started to do that in states around the country.
GOLODRYGA: So we're talking about possible actions within states, but, federally, Juliette, we heard from the president just moments ago as he was
meeting with Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister from New Zealand.
Obviously, we know that country's history, the tragic history, a few years ago with a mass shooting there, and they quickly came to action and passed
legislation banning assault weapons, obviously a bit more challenging to do so here in the United States.
But the president said: "I will meet with Congress on guns, I promise you."
Just give our viewers and our viewers around the world, when you hear that there's even a potential for some sort of bipartisan agreement on gun
reform, it has nothing to do with banning these types of weapons, right?
GOLODRYGA: And, again, this is an international audience as well. So lay out what exactly the best-case scenario could be in this situation.
KAYYEM: So, there's a couple of them.
And that's exactly right. So I think what is off the table, given the politics in the United States, is banning a certain kind of gun, whatever
our personal feelings are about it. The weaponry that is killing lots of people very quickly, that makes it almost impossible to respond to is a --
in some ways, a uniquely American phenomenon.
And that is likely off the table. So the things that could be on the table are universal background checks, and basically, just across the board, that
you have universal background checks for all types of guns, or some combination of guns, or some type of guns that could cause serious harms.
All that would do is, it's basically like a deep breath. In other words, you're just making sure that the person purchasing them doesn't have a
criminal record or that there aren't, as Mark was describing, red flag notices against them and they have gone to another state, because we have
easy interstate travel here.
You could imagine, second, a federal law, although this will be debatable, about raising the purchase of certain weaponry until 21 years old. We have
seen -- and this isn't true in Texas that lowered the age to 18 -- that the 18-to-21-year-olds are actually really responsible for a significant number
of these mass shootings.
So, if you can maybe target the age, just try to make someone more mature, that would be -- that would be beneficial. You would just minimize the
harm. We're not looking at elimination here. The United States is well beyond that. We're just looking at risk reduction.
So, in terms of maybe where we can start to get some play in the United States, those are two areas. There's extremes on both sides, people who say
they don't want any regulation and people who say they want to ban guns.
But if you ask me sort of, could we get some bipartisan support? That's where we might start to see it. But we've been down this path before.
KAYYEM: We had horrors in this country before. Is this one different? It might be, just because of the mass shooting after mass shooting that we are
seeing in the United States. But there is a significant political element within the GOP in particular that is invested in protecting gun ownership,
even if responsible restrictions are in play.
GOLODRYGA: Mark, the number one killer of children in this country is death by fire arm, right? And so, it's very hard to explain to parents, whether
here in the United States, or around the world, that a factory would rightly so be shut down if they produce baby formula that makes a baby
sick, and yet, we seem to not be able to get any sort of legislation pass that would even attempt to address this gun epidemic and mass shooting
epidemic that we see almost exclusively here in the United States.
But you said not to go through the cycle of saying, here we go again, nothing will be done, nothing will change. This is inevitable. You talk
about this in your research. And you write that the epidemic of mass shooting is neither inevitable nor unsolvable. So, explain why. And do you
think this makes a difference, to raise, perhaps, the age from 18 to 21? Are these crucial years and the development of a child, in this case, in
most cases, young men?
FOLLMAN: That could make a difference. And I think, you know, what I am seeing more broadly about the political picture is we know have stuck we
have been as a country. Why is it that way -- I mean, this is a matter of political power, lobbying power and money. That's what it comes down to.
But that's the reality that we face with gun politics in our country. And we have to meet this problem where it is. It is continuing. It is
And so, for me, the question really became, what more can we do? And I believe we need a much more broad-based approach to this. Yes, the fight
over gun policy and specific regulations that could help is very important. It is vital and it will go on. But I think we also need to be doing more
community-based violence prevention using the method of threat assessment, which is the focus of my book.
I think that we also can be doing more to deal with political extremism. This is a topic that Juliette knows a lot about as well. It's been surging
in recent years. And it's a rising factor in these mass shootings. We saw that again just recently with the Buffalo attack. I think we also need to
invest in our mental health care system.
You know, politicians want to dismiss this problem as fundamentally all about mental illness. That's just wrong. If you look at the case evidence,
these are planned attacks. These are people who often have a rational planning and the thought process over a period of time. And the good news
there is that there are warning signs and we have an opportunity to intervene.
So, I think there is a lot more we can be doing as a country to address this problem. And we have to. We have to do better.
GOLODRYGA: Juliette, how do we streamline all of the resources that we have? I mean, I think back to 9/11, right, and the lessons learned after
9/11 commission following. Subsequently, you saw the intelligent agencies really streamline, right, and accountable to the NSA. I'm just curious,
what is your take on every time we have one of these situations, there were, in many cases, missing signs or social media postings and people just
not connecting the dots? What can be done?
KAYYEM: Yes. I think this is exactly right. So, we have been talking to about access to guns. But there is this issue of sort of radicalization or,
at least, disclosure by a lot of these shooters who are informing family members or others on social media. We've seen in almost all of these cases,
including in Texas, that something terrible was going to happen.
So, part of what Mark is talking about is consistent with the debate we are having about guns, which is clearly is something about weaponry. There is a
separate debate about radicalization, social media, the tribe, as we say, the herd, that is supporting these efforts by remaining silent. And I think
that we could do a lot of education in terms of radicalization or violence, right?
So, violence is the most important thing in terms of notifying community members, notifying law enforcement that someone is not joking around. In
other words, we have to begin to recognize that a lot of people who say they're going to shoot up a school, as we saw in Texas, actually do do it.
And so, part of that is an education of the young and others on social media. And then, the third piece is, of course, can we get the social media
companies to take this seriously. As Mark said, I do a lot on radicalization. There's always good to be bad people. I'm not trying to
change the world. What you want to stop is radicalization that leads to violence, right? Because lots of people have bad ideas and hostile ideas
towards people, but they don't -- that does not lead to violence.
So, that radicalization that leads to violence is often documented, supported, nurtured, caressed, word on social media. And so, we do have to
get better at some of the social media platforms did during the rise of ISIS. They were able to get this stuff down in terms of stopping violent
extremism. That is what we need to focused on because we are seeing the consequences of it in Texas, in Buffalo, and you name it, right?
I mean, in this country, we are having more than one a day now of what's defined as a mass shooting event. And I think it's important, just to
reiterate what Mark said, whatever happened with law enforcement responses, remember, the best-case scenario was that a man with a gun willing to kill
lots of kids may have gotten shot before he killed 19 of them, right?
So, in other words, we have -- we keep our focus on that we are already in a bad place if that is our best-case scenario, right? And that, I hope --
hopefully, this is what we get out of this, is that, in some ways, the public safety response made things less bad, but we are already in a bad
place if that was what our success is, is that we shoot him and kill him before he gets to 19 kids and two teachers.
GOLODRYGA: Mark, we continue to talk about this, and this will have to be our final point, about who these shooters typically are. And they are young
men. Misogyny is regularly involved in some of the online chatter that we have found subsequently or even just conversationally with family and
friends after the fact.
Is this a conversation that we as a nation, and perhaps in your research, have found that we need to be having more of?
FOLLMAN: I think so. But it is also very important to point out here that there is no profile of a mass shooter. No way to predict who will do this.
And there is a broad range of people who do this. I mean, we do have contours of who does this in a lot of cases. But this is really about
focusing on a set of behaviors and circumstances that we can identify leading up to an attack. And the patterns within that knowledge that help
us see the early warning signs better, that is an important part of raising cultural awareness and doing more proactively to get in the way of this
But this isn't about arresting ourselves out of this problem or trying to profile people or do mass surveillance. That's not going to work. We have
to evaluate specific cases in our communities that come to the attention of local leaders. That's the method of threat of assessment. And people need
to speak up when they're concerned, when someone is behaving in ways that are really disturbing them or causing fear.
We see that in so many of these cases, and that's a real challenge for prevention work, is to get more people engaged, and trusting that there is
someone that they can turn to and then, have a fair process for evaluating and trying intervene constructively. That is the way to move forward, I
think. One of the many ways.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. There is no harm in asking if someone is OK and following up on them. Perhaps it could prevent the loss of lives, these 19 beautiful
souls that are being laid to rest this week in Uvalde, Texas.
Juliette Kayyem and Mark Follman, thank you so much for joining us. Really important conversation.
Well, still to come tonight, today, how concerned should we all be about monkeypox? We get answers from the World Health Organization's leading
GOLODRYGA: Welcome back. Well, as the world tries to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, an outbreak of a different virus is gaining attention,
that is monkeypox.
There are over 250 confirmed cases in 23 countries where the virus is not already endemic, according to the World Health Organization. But our next
guest says there is no current concern that it will develop into a global pandemic. So, what is monkeypox and what tools does an outbreak mean for
Rosamund Lewis is the technical lead for monkeypox at the W.H.O. and joins me now from Geneva.
Welcome, Dr. Lewis.
First of all, just some very basic but important questions. How exactly is monkeypox transmitted?
DR. ROSAMUND LEWIS, TECHNICAL LEAD, WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION: Thank you, Bianna and hello.
Monkeypox is transmitted, traditionally, through close contact. It has always been described that way. This is not something new. It's a virus and
it's an infection that has been described since 1970s really. And so, it's normally transmitted in a family setting, from someone who may have been in
the forest hunting, gathering, butchering meat, for example, and feeding their family. And then, in the family setting, we may have one or two
additional cases. Outbreaks have been small in the past and what we are seeing now is really quite different.
GOLODRYGA: So, how is it different?
DR. LEWIS: It's different because it's appearing in a number of countries at the same time. We actually have, today, a count of over 550 confirmed
cases in 30 countries across four of W.H.O.'s six regions. I'm talking about the new outbreak. We also have cases, of course, in the endemic
countries, in the African region.
So, this is different because we are seeing cases all appearing in a relatively short period of time. We're seeing in a few days, in aa couple
of weeks, we are seeing over 500 cases. This is different. This has not been seen before. What we have seen before is selected, sporadic cases
appearing from -- in travelers coming from certain parts of Africa where the disease is endemic. And so, we have seen cases related to travelers.
Single cases, for the most part, one or two secondary cases and that's all.
What we are seeing now began as a cluster of -- a small cluster of cases. And then, the investigation rapidly led to discovery of infections in a
group of men who have sex with men. And this led to a further investigations. And so, we don't yet know what the sort of the actual
outbreak is, but there have been cases in a number of countries, with the epicenter in Europe. So, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Portugal, Spain,
seems to be the countries that have the most number of cases at this time.
GOLODRYGA: So, you understand the delicate balance, right, not wanting to attach any stigma to one community, in particular the LGBTQ community. And
there have been concerns and confusion over the past couple of weeks as to whether this is transmitted through sex, through men having sex with one
another, concerns that once again they could be stigmatized as they were decades ago, with the start of the aids an HIV pandemic.
You are saying that's not the way this virus is transmitted. Yet, it seems to be how it's been detected early. Does that alarm you? Is this perhaps a
different strain? I mean, what more can you read into that?
DR. LEWIS: So, what we don't know exactly is where this -- how this came into Europe and we don't have that link yet to travel link at all. What is
different is that it is appearing in a group of people that we absolutely don't want to stigmatize.
Because monkeypox can affect anyone, it really can. But normally, it's through close contact. And so, if folks are having intimate close contact,
and perhaps a higher frequency of contact, then, of course, it's natural that someone who has a rash and doesn't know what it is or maybe doesn't
even realize yet they are not quite well, may have that close contact with another person or several other persons.
And so, the mode of transmission is new. It's not something that's really been described before. But at the same time, it's not surprising in the
sense that close contact will allow this to spread. So, what's most important out is, precisely, as you say, not to stigmatize and to get
information to the people that need to have it in the coming days and weeks. Summer is approaching, people are out having fun. We have pride
parades coming up. These are usually celebratory, family events, where you can go out and celebrate their identity. We don't want to stop that kind of
What we do want to do though is share the information that some people might be at risk and there might be some side events where there is a
greater frequency of close contact. And so, this is where the information needs to reach right now, is that in the coming days and weeks, we would
like -- the W.H.O. would like all countries of the world to really make every effort to stop this outbreak. And that is still possible. It's really
important that we use this window of opportunity to stop the further spread of these cases now.
GOLODRYGA: Is this a potentially lethal disease?
DR. LEWIS: Well, there have been deaths for monkeypox, but they have been historically described in more remote, rural poor areas, as they say, near
forested areas and in central and west Africa, and they are -- have been described primarily among children. So, people who are more vulnerable.
Young children are vulnerable. They don't have their immune system fully up to speed yet. And so, they can more quickly become ill with the virus, such
So, in the past, deaths have been described as around 1 percent of cases that are reported, keeping in mind that not all cases are reported and
perhaps some of the milder cases aren't reported. So, we don't really know what is the death rate. But we don't think it's going to be higher.
Now, there's no reason it's going to be higher now. We think it will be lower now because the people being affected right are -- tend to be, not
exclusively, but predominantly tend to be young men in their 30s, for example. And so, they have a more robust immune system and they can fight
off this infection.
So, we are not too concerned right now. There are cases reported of deaths, as I've said, in Africa. But at the moment, this is not our major concern.
Our major concern at the moment is the onward spread of the infections.
GOLODRYGA: Yes. What is a typical incubation period here, and our most people symptomatic?
DR. LEWIS: So, what -- there's a lot we don't know. There's things we do know about this infection. But there's been a limited investment and
research in the places where it really is occurring and has been occurring for many years. So, we have seen increasing numbers of cases in a few
countries. And some countries have had outbreaks, even as we speak now, in the last few months. However, we don't have all the answers.
So, the incubation -- traditionally, incubation period has been described as usually five to 13 days or anywhere between six to 13 days, anywhere
between five and upwards of 17, perhaps 21 days. These numbers at the margins are a little bit uncertain because they're based on very few
numbers of case reports from decades, even -- yes, years and decades gone by.
So, what's really important now is that we also invest in research in this and other emerging diseases because we've seen COVID, we've seen SARS-CoV-2
arrive. Now, we are seeing the monkeypox virus arrive. This one is not new. It's been there before. And we do have a baseline of knowledge that we can
But there are many questions still. And we are convening, W.H.O. is convening a global consultation on research this week, for -- over two
days. The habitual will convene experts from around the world who will discuss about what the research agenda is with the research priorities are.
And so, we will have a roadmap for research coming out of this week. And then, we do hope that academic scientists and the commercial sector will
become interested in this topic and support investment in research. Not only for the outbreak in countries we are seeing now, but also, of course,
for the cases in endemic countries.
GOLODRYGA: What are the symptoms and side effects? Because we've seen pictures of blisters and then sores and then scabs. Obviously, that would
be the period when the scabs and blisters burst, when I would imagine somebody would be infectious. But talk about that and what people should be
looking out for.
DR. LEWIS: The symptoms are really quite classic in many cases. They have always been classically described. You might recall that the world did
eradicated smallpox 40 years ago. It was declared eradicated in 1980. And since that time -- at that time, it was really important to make a
distinction between smallpox, which was very well described and monkeypox, which was really only just becoming known. There were few cases back then.
And so, it was important to distinguish between these conditions.
So, there was, in fact, a strong investment in the research in the late 1970s and early 1980s that told us a lot about what we know today about
monkeypox. So, for example, the rash typically appears on the face or head first. It then progresses to the limbs, the arms, legs, and typically on
the palms of the hands and souls of the feet. This is not unheard of in other infectious diseases but is very typical for monkeypox.
The other thing that is typical for monkeypox is swollen lymph nodes. They can be on the neck. They can be on the inguinal area. And sores can also
appear in the mouth and on also on the -- on other mucous membranes including the genital area. So, these are the described symptoms. They are
not actually new.
What we are seeing now is, perhaps, there are more cases that have a milder presentation, because they have a localized contact, skin contact. And so,
maybe we are seeing more cases that have the rash start in a different location.
But typically, the rash then progresses from something that is called macules to papules and to blisters. And then, from blisters to small
pustules. These are like blisters but with pus with in them. And then, they eventually dry up and they do scab over, crust over and fall off.
And one really important piece of information is that the person remains infectious throughout the time that these lesions appear on the skin. All
the way from the time that they first appear as little red patches to the time the crusts falls off, the person maybe infectious from two to four
weeks. It is a long time to ask someone isolate. We've all been through COVID.
DR. LEWIS: We all know how hard it is. We know how hard it is for some people who need to be out to earn their living. But this is the infectious
period is as long as the scabs are there. The other thing that's important --
GOLODRYGA: Is there anything -- go ahead. Go ahead.
DR. LEWIS: If I could finish one thought.
GOLODRYGA: Yes, yes, yes.
DR. LEWIS: So, the other thing that's important is that legions can appear in the mouth as well. And so, this makes it also possible to transmit it
from someone who is with you face to face, in close proximity. So, when caring for patients, it's also important to wear masks. The patients
themselves can also wear a mask and that will protect those around them.
GOLODRYGA: Is there any treatment or vaccine at the moment against monkeypox?
DR. LEWIS: There are -- there has been research over a number of decades now for smallpox preparedness. And this -- because it is a related virus,
the virus is from the same family, it is known that some of the vaccines and treatments may be useful for monkeypox. However, as there has not been
smallpox and there has been a limited number of cases of monkeypox until -- you know, except in Africa, of course, where investment is limited.
So, we do have some countermeasures but they are new products. They have been developed recently over the last few years. And so, they are not yet
widely available. Supply is very constrained. And so, W.H.O. is always working -- already working quickly with countries and with companies to try
and quickly scale up access to these countermeasures.
GOLODRYGA: And this is why you are spearheading at the W.H.O., every attempt to contain the spread of this virus. This has been really, really
helpful information. Dr. Lewis, thank you so much for joining us. We really appreciate it.
DR. LEWIS: Thank you.
GOLODRYGA: And when we come back, we'll take a step back in time to the land of Ancient Egypt. Archaeologists have discovered hundreds of age-old
GOLODRYGA: And finally, uncovering the secrets of an ancient civilization. Archeologists in Egypt have found a large throve of priceless artifacts at
the necropolis of Saqqara near Cairo, dating back 25 centuries.
Among the treasures were 250 sarcophagi, painted coffins with well- preserved mummies inside, along with 150 bronze statues of Egyptian gods used for ancient rituals. The discovery marks the largest unearthing of
bronze statues on the site going back to the fifth century B.C. That is fascinating.
And that is it for now. You can always catch us online, on our podcast and across social media. Thank you so much for watching. And goodbye from New