« The Weeds

Trump's peddling a fake Covid-19 cure


Jane, Dara, and Matt on convalescent plasma, FDA reform, and the politics of science.


"Trump used a rare disease survivor to take a shot at the FDA" by Julia Belluz, Vox

"Making American Great Again–The FDA" by Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution

"Reopening schools safely is going to take much more federal leadership" by Matthew Yglesias, Vox

"Straight talk on the FDA’s tumultuous weekend — and new questions about its independence" by Adam Feuerstein & Matthew Herper, Stat News

One Billion Americans by Matthew Yglesias

White paper


Matt Yglesias (@mattyglesias), Senior Correspondent, Vox

Jane Coaston (@cjane87), Senior politics correspondent, Vox

Dara Lind (@DLind), Immigration reporter, ProPublica


Jeff Geld, (@jeff_geld), Editor and Producer

The Weeds is a Vox Media Podcast Network production

Want to support The Weeds? Please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts

About Vox

Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.

Follow Us: Vox.com

Facebook group: The Weeds

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Support for this episode comes from click up, we're losing out three hours every day, switching between all our work apps, but you can get them back with click up a flexible platform that brings all essential tools into one place. We can prioritize tasks, collaborated, docks check with your team and track goals, so companies like Oberon web flow use click up as their mission Control Centre, replacing every other after we're using before cook up eating. Guarantees to help you save one day week and get more done. It's completely customizable. It's free forever, so try click up today at click up dot, com, slash the weeds, that's like America, Quicktime just worked were possible never seen that before
Hello! Welcome to another episode of the weeds on the box media Pike, s network. I met you Ecclesiastes, who would Jane Coastal and proper because dare lend we were gonna talk today about Donald Trump and the FDA and medical science. I think a regionally. Our idea was to talk about sort of his, engagement with the vaccine approval process in which he em Candidly remarked the deep state saboteurs at the FDA are holding up a vaccine. He then pivoted too, this move for a rapid emergency approval of convalescent, but he got convalescent plasma lesson. Plasma therapy
You know I mean obviously from a scientific perspective. It's not the same thing right. It's a therapeutic offers vaccine above procedurally, it seemed like a similar unusual, breaking the norms, to have the president of the United States, pretty clearly leaning on the FDA to rush a drug approval process in a way that at least went against what what they would have done without Trump seems kind of bad. I don't know I have a super. Allow
we'll take on that. Everyone can agree that we would like people who have grown a virus to get better and for other people do not get krona virus, and so any advance- and it's been interesting- has trumpets. Regular, has accused the FDA of slow walking list because of the deep state, because the election, something because Trump like say words and Joe Biden- has responded by saying I would love to get a vaccine by October, so basic outside of insane people. We are basically agreed that we want things to get better. The Andrews that actual medical science does not really care what we want and neither does corona virus, and so I'm interested in stepping back and thinking about what does convalescent plasma mean? What
does this trial consequence. We talk a little bit about vaccine trials before in which met bravely volunteered to take on the mantle of trying vaccines for us, and I think that it's it's worth having a conversation about what this means, that is, as we attempt to move outside of the political sphere in our conversation. Plasma is like isn't part of parting. Blood, I'm I'm, I'm not gonna get science see enough to explain which part it is about. When you don't a blood which you know, people do all the time. Some of what you donate is plasma which is used for a variety of circumstances and when people have recovered from a viral infection and they have anti bodies in their blood. Others anti bodies are also in there, what plasma and it is clearly true that in many cases this is an effective treatment for a viral infection
This is nothing about like covered died, in or the Sars carve to virus, but general principles? We know this is something that usually works. We also know that it doesn't always work so, for example, for a bola, they tried convalescent plasma therapy and seems to not work in that case and the science using it for carbon. Nineteen is not great. I mean you, people can find some some good studies for it, but, as you know not a doctor, but a guy who talks on the internet a lot about studies, this is the kind of thing we're like. Not every daddy says, says it's useful. The studies that do say use useful, find it for sub groups. Some people feel, like there's p hat, Of these other studies, so this is not like a blockbuster report. And there isn't a clinical standard double blind kind of trial for it? So I think you
really in the space of like in lieu of a clearly superior treatment. It is perfectly reasonable that doctors are trying to use this and some of their patients the news about it does not in fact seem to be that great and then the the regulatory question is like what what do you do in a situation like that and we we handle different things differently? When I give you go to your local cv ass, you will find the various non after you, regulated supplements that purports to boost your immune system function by understanding. Is they don't work, but some people think they work There was a time in my life when I was like really into them. You know that the vitamin c immune boosts. Unlike again, oh, I swear to God. It worked and because placebo effects are real, like taking fake pills, can in fact help you feel better and because it's not
there is not a substantial medical downside to these and you're, not ask me or insurance to cover part of an extremely steep cost for them the downside to allowing these to continue beyond the market marketing themselves as immune boosts, is minimal exactly, and we have a lot of stuff like that right, like a Roma therapy and no therapeutic. This is that this is wide range of things. That is not and the like narrow, ambit of FDA, regulated, prescription drugs that some people feel works. Other people feel down unlike some of it, clearly doesn't work some of it. I do think there some sport right I mean when you look like the back pain literature where there Is no like great treatment for low back pain. I think what most people, though,
We find that literature Julie balloons are too great box. Peace for us is that, like the heavy duty pharmaceuticals like really dont work and have serious doubts as to the and the second seat may be works, you know is like in that heavily FDA, regulated category, obviously Lee cover nineteen is very different from from back pain, but it just to say that, like this is general policy questions that we have words like there's something it pretty doesn't doesn't seem to be dangerous and it's not clear that it works. So you what did you say about that right and when you want something to be a prescription, There's a very high like the FDA Bar for normal approval of drugs is really really high and the bar for approval of stuff that, like isn't, that is incredibly low.
Of the many dynamics going on here, one of which you know it is not what you were just talking about what we talked about on the show before the kind of elastic between how long it takes science to work and how long we need medicine to evolve and how that often leads to things being in this net, a world of there is some evidence that suggests their effective. But it's not one hundred percent air tight and therefore they can exist in a world. Permitted, but not officially endorsed. That dynamic, that's going on here. One of the other questions is to what extent is Donald Trump going saying things about the FDA incur Ino, making pronouncements on behalf of the FDA. That kind of thing, a reflection of
But what we talk about all the time on this podcast, which is Donald Trump operating independently of his own executive branch, and to what extent is it the White House interfering with the activity of the executive? branch we do know that there is some flexibility that the FDA can have and has used in the past in cases of medical emergency. We ve talked about that on this progress before is inner. When we talk about vaccines, when we talk about the the CDC response to the AIDS crisis there are things that can be done, and so it's not you know, it's eaten theirs. Some kind of open space here for it might not be illegal or even obviously, improper, to put a little bit of a fire in the belly of the approving agencies to treat this as more of it, emergency with more accident circumstances, then you otherwise would buy. That assumes that the Trump White House is actually lake.
The strings strings. We we don't know for sure do know. Axios reported that Trump advisor Peter Navarro yelled at a bunch of relevant regulators, you in a White House meeting saying that they were operating on deep state. Time and they needed to get on tromp time. You know, we know, that president his arm sleep been like tweeting, safe is that are derogatory to the FDA. That could make some pilot. We'll appointees. There feel like there's something they need to produce, but we don't know for sure the extent to which the White House treat this as a policy like a desired policy goal verses. They just want to be able to say that they are due something in the hopes that the narrative, the Trump isn't doing enough on corona virus goes away, and it's pretty common in this White House on health care, in particular for Trump to say that
Things are happening which are either already happening, or did the White House does that you know the executive branch doesn't then follow through with real, robust policy commitments so that they can declare victory on it. They actually the first night of the hour and featured a speaker who claims to have been have received a good kid, a therapy that helped her recover from cancer thanks to the right, to try law that got signed into law by President Trump, when in fact she had benefited from an off level use of prescribed therapy before the right to try loves you consigned like their use to taking to taking things as wins for Trump. In order to encourage the idea that Donald Trump cares about and wants to make you feel better. Are you saying he sometimes says things that they're not
if loud, yadda yadda wildly said the implication here, but it's also true that they take the his White House takes credit for things that are already going on and tries to spend them as Donald Trump doing a thing. So what you know there are questions about pollution involvement in the FDA approval process, there are also questions about there. The goal here is political involvement. In the FDA approval process or whether the goal is for the it has to be able to see things that are just not necessarily true and have the FDA keep on keeping on yeah. The challenge here is that now the FDA isn't being on keeping on you are now seeing the FDA Essential, like walking back previous statements and, in one case apologizing what sort of a pound
rising budget. We explain what happened here, so the chief of the FDA said that over the weekend during a a weekend, press conference- because those are always going to go well had said that convalescent plaque plasma have provided a dramatic benefit to Verona virus. After Commissioner Stephen Hawking should be clear and he claimed that giving plasma would help thirty five out of a hundred people being treated. And here the quote is a thirty five percent, not improve improvement. Its rivals are pretty substantial clinical benefit. What that means is, and if the data continue to pay out, a hundred people were sick with companies.
In thirty? Five would have saved because of the administration of plasma. But the issue is that that number should probably have been five out of one hundred or perhaps even three out of a hundred, because there was no control group, very they compared people who got plasma to people who got it. They compared people got too early to people, got it late. Embassy,
and high levels of antibiotics in the plasma and low ones, and so, according to the Mayo clinic, which led the steady mortality at seven days with eleven percent who got a lot about antibodies to fourteen percent, who got few. So that's three out of one hundred and again it's unclear, and so then the FDA chief walk this back and essentially said that he should have, and I quote he should have done a better job at that press conference explaining with the data show regarding convalescent plasma, I can assure the american people that this decision was based on sound science and data, which I I don't know if you guys feel assured, but I'm feeling on offered so I think, is important because As you know, if you think about the their several policy critiques of the FDA, that the Trump administration during the transition period seemed like they were going to embrace in a potentially big way.
T all you know who was sort of influential prompt supporter. This is one of his big idea swayed. So his view is, The regulators. Take this very, should a narrow view of the cost benefit on drug approvals ends you say you know if the science is unclear, the benefits of letting people use something art dreamily low and there's these various other kind of risk. So that's what we're strike great and tells of your point is well. The benefits developing new cures are extremely high. Think what you do just sort of lower the bar to turning a promising. We're tory science into a marketable dry. Is really really really good. Because some of the individual drugs are better but because you greatly increased financial ROI to drug investment and you're going to have.
Way, more things down the road, interesting discussion. I think I think it's a serious point to be frank, that the domination of the FDA by medical doctors leads them to not see, like the whole, the whole field of view here too, administration of didn't do that right, like whatever that may have been They didn't change the FDA, safe and effective standard. They didn't put forward an idea that has been on the table a smaller idea, but I, but I think clearly, good one was. Have mutual recognition with Europe and to just say, look we think the european regulators, like they're, fine, if you can take this medicine in Germany, you can also regular United States at they didn't do that. They haven't done any like systematic policy reforms at the FDA and, in fact, the FDA continue to really slow walk the roll out of new testing ideas right where they up
I should have normal medical device standard if somebody comes to them and their like. Ok, we ve got this task, and it's a little bit stir and it doesn't involve. Having something way way up your nose and it's a lot cheaper, but also its worse, the empty eight normally looks at something like that, and they did a very dubious view of that right. They want to approve treatments that are superior to the state of the medical art and they don't take into account those kind of other benefits right with something like with covered testing speed, a cheap Yes, ease of use, these are all relevant variables and you could do the math white if you're talking about you, know a high school trying to operate being able to tease to test people frequently is more important than the accuracy of the individual tests anyway
These are problems the media is trying to say, but if you ask a defender of the FDA is status quo method. What I worry about the are worried about exactly what happened here at this press conference, which is that this no harm as far as we know, in letting people use convalescent plasma this very serious harm, in tricking people into thinking that there's been a huge medical breakthrough and that this illness is now much more treatable them sidelined. By the same token, something bad really about like Jolly ranchers, but if you like, run around saying that Jolly ranchers cure lung cancer. It's not that lung cancer patients eating jolly ranchers would be bad. It's that way more people might start smoking and we'd like important to not lead.
Wrong claims about medical treatment, sketched out in the atmosphere, that's. Merely what Trump is trying to do here. Right he's he's, acting like a snake oil salesmen. Who is telling the people that this been this incredible medical breakthrough when they just hasn't been right at this kind of from me back to the question of whether the danger here is the is what's happening to you, closed doors or whether the danger is the bully pulpit itself right, because that is reminiscent more than anything of Trump, just riffing on the potential therapeutic uses of bleach and sunlight, which was so obviously Ah beyond the pale. For you note, the manufacturers of household bleach products, for example, that there was a kind of counter wave of correct information and which, have had, might have been minimized in the potential like downsides by the fact that people are familiar
legion? Sunlight that it that those are those are common substances that don't seem like you know. Ethical magic aware is something like convalescent. Plasma may sound in may sound much fancy and therefore more likely to cure you. But he didn't need to go through the FDA for all of that, and it seems that the combination of a president who appears to deeply cycle logically want all of this to be over and who is allowing vat to over hype, any potential breakthrough or benefit or cure, especially if it goes against the conventional wisdom of no? You just have to wear a mask and refrain from some types of pet of economic activity and a and existing lack of confidence in this
in the strength to scientific communication, and I I I think that there are very few people who are simultaneously super Gung HO about Donald Trump and super aware of the problems that this DC and other government and public institutions had with messaging around masts in the early days of the pen. Or you know some of the messaging around the relative transmission of droplets. How long The last on surface is what were now seem some kind it with with a slight correction in Pierre, to be conventional wisdom that children weren't necessarily vectors for the corona virus? There have been enough problems with the scientific communities ability to communicate both like the complexity of what safety precautions mean and who might need them, and the difference between answer and unknowability that
is playing on something that is now only already extant in a lot of people who kind of intuitively don't want to trust authority and want to believe that their finding out the answers for themselves, but that also, please into some specific frustrations that have happened with this pandemic. That may have left people feeling like they can't trust the official channels, because the official channels haven't been honest with them about. What's going on. One of the things I keep pointing out on. This very point has to ask is that this pen damage has been meshed onto existing problems that we have already had and among them, is an existing distrust of the quota and quote medical establishment. I may at how many times have you heard on Facebook or any other the complaints about big farmer and were still in the midst of by the way, still an ongoing opiate crisis that was in part perpetuated by the pharmaceutical industry with specific farm pharmaceuticals
an essentially saying, oh Papa. What could go wrong? So I think that this is yet another example in which what you're seeing is a institution. In the FDA and others, and the cdc that think of themselves as being an objective, non, partisan allies of truth and science, but are perceived as being part of a larger and to some people. Questionable institution is worth noting. That That is not how the vast majority of people feel the pulling on how people view both the CDC and the FDA remains very high and very positive, but I think that it is worth noting this isn't happening in a vacuum way. You know this. This gets into the concerns about vaccines right, which is
there's a sort of growing chatter. That Trump is going to uh, it's hard to say right, like obviously, the president of the United States should be pushing for the development of a safe and effective vaccine rapidly as possible, but that he is going to be aiming for. Some kind of you know Call me letter ask last minute announcement that even if, like you can't get the vials out. You can't actually treat any body to just like me. Will the say five to ten days before the election. This is it guys. We ve got the vaccine and there's incredible pushed back, I mean so something that that occurred to me a few weeks ago was, I thought, to myself: ok before you can do phase three clinical trials of F X, and you have to do basically the same thing in monkeys that, just
works, so I was asking some people like how often is a vaccine that works in monkeys fail in humans. And now, People wanted to talk about this for some reason, even though it seems like a kind of basic question anyway, up a few different people who see qualified. I mean, I don't know, I'm a reporter, well, they said like well about twenty five percent of the time works in monkeys fails in humans, which means, given the number of different vaccines that have passed the monkey trial, the odds that one of these candidates will work are actually pretty over. And this made me feel really happy sort of made me wonder why the authorities are not like saying this more clearly that, like there's a lot of uncertainty about each of the like eight promising candidates, it would be really weird honestly for one of them do not pay out
which I think would be the kind of like happy story Trump wants, but he doesn't, I don't know, do the research that level. At any rate, though, the public health people are really against us, like they are like really against getting people's hopes up there, You seen it every step of the way whether it's masks, whether it's hepa filters, whether it's sunlight, deactivates coronavirus, like the public health, people's overriding fear is quantum quite false sense of security. About everything like day, one people to avoid large gatherings to stay six feet away to wash their hands. Now they do want you, mask like they want you to follow the rules not get hyped up about science. Right at which I think sometimes leads them to actually downplaying, like actual scientific information.
But then really does opened the door for opportunists, just gonna like flood in with, like completely fake ideas, because it's just such a natural question, For people to want to know right is like what earth Mark well informed scientists like best guess what what is it that gas spelling? What like? What's there the best of their knowledge like. How are we proceeding on this, and, as far as I can tell like, the news is actually pretty good, but I feel like the dominant. Sort of like avert message, message that people been getting is kind of bleed, there's a lot alike taxi. I give you lifelong immunity and I'll be really hard to distribute and, like all. This is true in its because they're trying to get people to like work on the issues which which I understand and their slicks many cases where, like political activists, don't want to talk about good news on their issue for the same kind
reason, but it's it's a weird situation where you know Trump could do selling very abusive, but from could even do something like one of the biggest trap moves as I like what he did with after we're like it was sort of nothing but he'd like to whole dog and pony show about it and to the extent that he has any like go to governance moves. It is probably that one- and you know I mean I do think people are right to serve- have their eye on it, but I also don't know exactly like what is level of concern there, which is different from if everyone says, injecting themselves with bleach like there's an obvious harm yeah. I think that you're right that there's a reluctance to about good news or take the wind. But I also do wonder in this particular context, how much of that is just that. So there is an obvious positive public health impact in the very early phases, pandemic on a lot of
Americans and business owners, etc. State and local officials took it upon selves to restrict their movement and their interaction with others, because they getting the message that there were as a massive public health threat, and that, if everything just calm down for a second, we would build the time to you know we would create the time to bail out the infrastructure and then that time was used- and there was an obvious negative public health impact to people just getting exhausted and feeling like they had done their part and that it was time for them to shift tactics. So I do think that there is a valid concern right now about what happens if we tell people to expect good news on a certain time line, and then it doesnt materialise, but you're right that it's not that it it doesn't. It doesnt really help things too have a, I mean, obviously, to have lake, whether you trust Anthony, found
dependent on whether on what your preexisting opinion is undone on Donald Trump, but also to have the idea that tv series about the science means to be pessimistic about the timeline for a vaccine and to be patriotic means to be of MR give out the timeline for a vaccine. Hopefully there is a better in you're here, I don't think it's going to materialise in the next few months, but it certainly is something to be cognizant of as an individual news consumer that, like? Are you reacting to science, news or economy news, because you're worried about the potential knock on effect for your preferred candidate in November, or Are you absorbing it as a piece of info nation that might make you reassess some of your assessment of what's likely to happen down. The road yeah on the virus appears to be an illness which you can get more than once. Based on most recent information, we have
again even using that information, as we have discussed as we ve written on the masks debate where mass for bad now they're good or we ve, talked about social distancing where we talk about whether singing are going through an orchestra because of the instruments. So much of this is based on the information that we have it ten thirty, nine on Tuesday August twenty fifth. So with that said, the information we have right now seems to indicate that corona virus the covert nineteen, it's something that is going to as we ve seen in countries that have quota Yo Chronicle beat it that when it comes back, it's still returns is still in. Those countries has necessitated lockdown measures, and so I think that in part what we are witnessing is-
culmination of a scientific establishment that is responding poorly to political pressure, a political environment that is more distrustful, the scientific establishment than ever before and an illness. That is one not entirely distinct enough to become an isolated threat that we can think of as either being a specifically bad disease or, as we have seen before, with HIV Aids happening to quoting quote specifically bad people. It is an illness appears to target people generally over the age of fifty five, though people who are younger have gotten it as we've seen in college football programs. It also can potentially contribute to some heart ailments, but it is something that appears to be something that we are. We are going to continue to see it that this is something that we are
to continue to have, and so there will not be. I think a moment where this is over exactly. I think that we are going to see you you ve heard trumpet, I say things about how like on November third, is all going to be over or something like that and honestly, is this: if the corona virus pandemic were ended, as in there is no more coronavirus in November, I would be absolutely thrilled. This has been set for, for everyone exhaustion, exogenous stressor that none of us needed absolutely of us, and yet I think that what we're coming in terms with and what I think the scientific establishment is coming to terms with is that there has to be a better means of making the science applicable to the people who are attempting to make the science work for them. That the idea of what this looks like what we've seen, for instance, there's been a resurgence of cases in Hawaii, because Hawaii appears to have done in my
view, the stupidest possible thing, which is to permit indoor dining at events, but a bar people from going to parks which again it's Hawaii. So I think more people should be outdoors but they're, seeing a resurgence of cases, and so you're saying the wonders of federalism in some part, but you're also seeing that people are attempting to take science, scientific information, but mesh it on to their existing lives are trying to mesh it onto well. I still need to take the metro. I still need to go to work. I still need to go outside. My daughter still needs to go to daycare. My kids still needs to go to college age, which is that the we can have a do. An entire separate episode. I why universities are opened by great schools are not because that is what boy? That's that's a lot, but I think that what we see overall is an example of people. Attempting to take scientific information also make it fit for their very unscientific lives,
and I mean specifically with I think, a lot of examples you are raising their is yours, seeing sort of political clout and fiscal issue is you now intersecting an overriding. What sort of science based thing would be- Believe like Hawaii is allowing like fee generating outdoor activity is, but not you know it's like the theirs went to the beach. Last weekend I drove to the State Park in Maryland. We paid five dollars to park and then, like me, and my son, like we were just there for hours and hours and hours, not doing anything to quote unquote like boost the economy, then there were other people like having lunch at a diploma around the corner. From my block like paying taxes, supporting waiters with tips, you know Bob any normal circumstances like. I would valorize that I hate going outside am, I am all for keeping keeping
economy rolling, but it just is like the public health imperative and you see it too, with colleges and grade schools right. It's like the I'll just need tuition money, money for public schools, it's cheaper to not operate them, so you know you can do it there daycare is that right cause you see it's a wire day cares and colleges open, but not Kate wasn't schools and it just entirely the revenue model I get something to do with science place, and that is where it's an unfortunate aspect of the way the federal regulatory set up. Is that, like. Suit of goals are regulated by this very strict scientific standard that I think sometimes ignores like big picture Economics of innovation and how we drive progress, but non pharmaceutical interventions like no politician stands up there.
It's like. I'm totally blowing off scientific advice about this, but like they're, all doing like not just Trump rightly, the different elected officials have different like political styles based on partisanship and who they affiliate with and in what they're doing but vote Surely every state seems to me to be making these decisions based on criteria. Total outside the like real domain of a public health, and that's because the scientists who have, I think, maybe too much authority in one area have no authority at all than others. We all know you ask any doctor you like. How do you be healthy, did not like it's just about taking the right pill at the right time? That's all they matter rattling with anything. This disease heart disease cancer. Anything like lifestyle choices are very important and we have so little scientific influence over anything non farm soon.
Should we take a break, do do let's talk about paper, another sufficiently american, that all knowledge is contingent except her when it's just lies. It's that where we get, we basically. Have you having trouble media your goals, focusing work if you have feeling Strasser having trouble sleeping better help is here for you, it's not a self class inside a crisis line better help is secure, online professional counselling with real licence. Their best to have the tools to help you feel better is fill out. A questionnaire about how you doing and better Hubble Man you with your own licence, therapist under forty eight hours, no moral, therapist waiting rooms, no more limitations and the type of experts in the area and in between weekly appointments. If you need some more guidance, you can send free. Unlimited messages to council will get back to you with timely thoughtful answers. If the mattress therapists doesn't feel just right, better help will quickly help you find a new one for free
help is more affordable option than traditional therapy, and financial aid is available. Therapies, great I've a different times in my life. Super helpful appiano, like it's really expensive and sometimes hard to find some good better help is like Can this much more accessible is great for these pandemic circumstances, but just like a cool model, so this punk, sponsored by better help and listeners. The weeds get ten percent off their first month at better help. Dot com, slash weeds, get started today, better help, dot com, slash weeds visit, better hd, L, p d, calm, slash, weeds and joined the over one million people who have taken charge of their mental health with the help of an experienced better help, professional back with the economic impact of migrants from Hurricane Maria edge by Giovanni Perry, jerk worry and just in sea wheelchair. This is a paper up about essentially about immigration. Economics are, though, I want to make a note
before I get cancelled, that people born importer Rico who come to the? U S, mainland are not immigrants per se like in legal status. As an economic effect. It is a very similar about What you had in Hurricane Maria is a very large influx of people from the island of Puerto Rico, moving to different parts of the United States, but specifically to the city of Orlando. A lot of them came to finally, public and migrants had moved to New York City, but New York has become very expensive, as so, even in the Bronx Spanish, Harlem, traditional we could neighbourhoods and become a little pussy, there's more more moves to the Orlando area and can know because we know what caused this surgeon people leaving was the weather and not. Sudden change in the economy of our landau. We can say this is, more or less exogenous shock to the Orlando economy, because this is always a question. Immigration right,
If you do a very naive luck and you're like will where immigrants Cow- and you say what places with immigrants have a way better economy than places with no emigrants, and then the anti immigration group of a comeback Emma Bonino. Now it's like the immigrants go to the strong economies. So we know that's not what happened here right. People left porter. Go because was destroyed by hurricane. They went to Orlando because of like family and interpersonal networks, this, where people going so what happens? They say that they find employment, went up in the aggregate not down. So there was no like crowd
now of workers by the new workers and that wages were about flat, despite the increase in the size of labour force in the Labour force participation rate, but there was a compositional shift, average wages paid in the construction industry went down, and then they went up elsewhere in retail and hospitality. This sir, you don't worry. It contributes to our our understanding of this sort of big point here. I'd that goes to a lot of Paris. Research in particular is that immigrants are both buyers and sellers of labour, so you know basically like all the stores and restaurants in Orlando. So stuff because there were way more people in Orlando, and it is also true that there were more people available to work but D. You know in theory the economic impact of that could go the way and they find it is roughly balanced. I will expand,
of the size of the labor force. Have a book coming out called one billion Americans have a book, Do we think it's the first I've heard of it? Yes, it's here, I even have a copy. You can't see, because this is a podcast. I cite many studies along these lines in the book. I would say it is a quite consistent finding in the immigration literature that the demand side impact of immigrants is very significant and sometimes neglected and highly stylized body so it's worth kind of getting into what you were kind of mentioning. As an aside mat the whole like, legally speaking, border regions are not immigrant. In there in the obvious, since they are simply migrating for labor reasons. For one thing, just because it's been a while, since we talked about the Jones ACT on this podcast It's worth, noting that the reason that you can treat porter again
patient Orlando is something different from dislike. Going from one state to another state is because Porter ECHO is much more economically isolated than actual states in the United States are from each other Thanks to you, you know economic policies that make it extremely expensive to import things there, The other thing that's worth noting, though, is that not only does that mean that this is a slightly different sooner than what we are actually talking about with immigration debates, which is changing legal policies to allow one particular kind of immigrants or another coming greater or lower quantities, and therefore that, like some of the things that these authors point out, that these point out, This is a better kind of natural experiment for life. Migration shocks, then the things that there has relied on in the past, such as the merial boat. Nineteen eighty, which has had more papers written,
for the number of data points available than I think any other natural experiment that I've ever seen in economics. Just because it's an obvious case to study what are the impact of a large number of immigrants on the economy and the data just isn't very good, and so parents, co others talk through the These immigrants are more similar to immigrants these days because their more likely to be educated, Ed, I said, or at cetera, which makes it in some ways it good descriptive fit for what happens when peep when immigrants come from their countries to the? U S right now in some ways, not ideal fit for talking about immigration policy. Conversations with the discussion is, should we changed the people who are coming to the United States and the quantities in which their coming, but the other thing that want to know, is the labour and migration debate, like a
out of the immigration debate shades easily from being about unauthorized immigration to being about all immigration, and so you'll see it that so they don't even bother to in this paper, say well, because these our border regions there? U S, citizens and therefore this is going to be different in Excellency ways from an unauthorized migration shock, because the debate generally goes from well thrice immigrants will make it harder for Americans to get jobs to well. Immigrants will make it harder for Americans to get jobs, but there is one sensing which unauthorized migration in particular would have a different impact. Which is that if you are seeing that unauthorized immigrants are going to be paid under the table, they might not necessarily be paid minimum wage jobs and air paid minimum wage and therefore the crowding effect on. U S. Workers would be different, then. If the question is, do you hire a porter?
we can? U S, citizen for minimum wage, or do you hire a native born? U S, citizen for minimum wage, and so that is something which you know in theory is a different question. Then the one this paper answers. It's just that in the ECB makes literature, as in the broader debate, it's rare that you actually, see some one consistently talking about the impact, on authorized immigrants on the labour force rather than just immigrants more broadly right, and I think that that's a really important discussion to have, because I think that so much of we get into a modern, Bailey type argument where we think that we are tough, but it's actually kind of a reverse Martin Bailey and which we think that we're talking about undocumented immigrants and that immigration restriction is there are like nothing so we're talking about immigrants writ large. I don't know what a reverse mortin Bailey would be, because that would actually be a very poor defense strategy. But
Nevertheless, the airline molly. Yes, it would be a bail and not like, but I do think that that is a worthwhile conversations have here, because I think that there is the political decision, understandable understand why so has changed with immigration it looks like but its papers like this- that are particularly helpful in narrowing down what we are actually discussion, where its discussion, not just immigration but migration with in even it with a kind of the mare. Totality so to speak well and we're discussing I mean you know. I was joking that I don't promote my book enough But but genuinely right? Did you know great shame- and you know, Inter regional migration and various other things there,
subset of like a larger phenomenon of trying to understand the economics of population, dynamic, sway- and you know, if you think about the first- whatever it is several hundred thousand years of human society, not even society right like human existence you're on a sort of subsistence, plain of various kinds, whether it hunter Gatherer or as a peasant agriculturalists going all the way up into the eighteenth century. Words like Well, if there's more people here, somebody has we pushed onto more. And we're going to have have to not meet so that you know we can grow. We can just eat the grains ourselves and it's very deeply embedded in the human psyche. To think look, there's more people here. This can be less stuff to go around so, We really really need to worry about that, and what do you see? Any study uses that like, as is often the case when you'd
a more scholarly view of things then things are not exactly as your intuitions might make them out to be that we mostly work in service provision, and so the existence of other people creates bigger, deeper market. Sweat, like I mean you think about this punk ass. All the time read like it's great show. You know I love it works out. We sell ads in part, because we are also amazing, but also if we lived in the three of us with all our exact same talents, if we lived in finland- and we were trying to do this in finish it just it wouldn't work, because it's like a niche show, and if you take the finnish language community and then try to make a package a subset of it, you got like for people
and there's no there's no podcast right in America, because this, like a lot of people and because many foreign people also speak English. It's like podcasts in English in English is a rich business. Doesn't exist otherwise, and there's something similar about Orlando right, like the less rinking in Orlando becomes the more you can do it's not just like this. This is short term paper so like well, you more customers. Restaurant, but it's like you, could have more different kinds of restaurants. A big cities have weirder small businesses in them, because there's more people and so thing can work there and you build a more sort of dynamic society, and this is firstly, not like what people are talking about women worry about child migrants or refugees from Somalia or H, one b workers or whatever else people have lots of anxieties.
But they do like to anchor their anxieties in the idea that, like objectively, this is going to be bad. Not just I don't like it, and so I think it's important to you know illustrate that, like yeah like what, if a bunch of people from Puerto Rico, suddenly move to your city because of a hurricane unlike its fun, I am back at finnish language podcasting, which now limits ordinarily curious about. Maybe we could get into that, because maybe even a diver just really, laser focus on the finnish audience that I think, would be very receptive to our discussions on yeah. I think that it's it's interesting thinking about how this
how the nationalization of pop political issues is sometimes helpful and sometimes really helps people allied with actually going on in specific communities, and I think about this. A lot with conversations I know met has written extensively on this. About Cuban Americans in Florida and how the entire mean I'm actually working on something on this, but the idea, of what our appeals to keep an american voters in Florida and what appeals to mexican american voters in taxes. A lot appeals to guatemalan american voters in Michigan are three extraordinarily different things, but the national liberation of politics means that we're just like the let tee, no vote as if that's just like everybody thinks Thursday that's not even getting into the question of generational.
Rides among Cubans or the extend to offend as well in South Florida, comparable block it yeah exactly and yeah. I think that that that is fascinating and I'm very, I don't know, I'm an increasingly intrigued by what all of this means I, as drop, that up thanks, said Jane thanks, dare thanks, as always to our Sir Jeffrey Gallant and the weeds will be back on Friday.
Transcript generated on 2021-05-18.