On Friday September 18, Axios' Margaret Talev hosted a conversation on the 2020 election, exploring the Trump and Biden administrations' positions on everything from health care to economics to the coronavirus response, featuring Rep. Ro Khanna and Rep. Susan Brooks.
Rep. Khanna discussed how the government response to coronavirus has affected Americans' attitudes towards health care, and the possible ramifications on the 2020 election.
- How COVID-19 has shifted Americans' perspectives on the health care system: "Even middle class, upper middle class professionals who have lost their jobs or are without health insurance are now seeing how costly and how cruel the private insurance system can be."
- On the long-term policy impact of the coronavirus response: "Because there is a greater shared understanding about the vulnerability of people who lose their jobs, the vulnerability of people who don't have health care — I think that's created the groundswell for support for Medicare for All."
Rep. Brooks discussed how coronavirus exposed the limitations of the national stockpile and need for reinvestment in the Paycheck Protection Program.
- On the strategic national stockpile: "What we've learned with the strategic national stockpile is that we're really not adequately supplied for a very long incident or episode of a pandemic...Besides the fact that Congress had been beefing up the appropriations for preparedness, it certainly was not enough."
- On strengthening the economy: "We need to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program to keep people employed. We had the lowest unemployment before this pandemic hit — 3.6% I believe — and then we soared into unprecedented numbers...We've got to do what we can to get people back into that workforce."
Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with filmmaker of FRONTLINE's The Choice 2020: Trump vs. Biden Michael Kirk, who discussed making a documentary during the pandemic and the impact of pivotal life experiences on both presidential candidates.
- On the structure of the documentary: "[It's] eight different crisis moments in the lives of these two guys, and we try to reveal something surprising about what they gathered along the way...What is the man carrying with him, as part of his life methodology, as a result of these moments?"
Thank you PBS and FRONTLINE for sponsoring this event. The Choice 2020: Trump vs. Biden airs Tuesday, September 22 on PBS.