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Love it or leave it is brought to you by our presenting sponsor, Djura Djura is an award winning single malt Scotch whisky made by the same tiny island community since 1810.


It's Valentine's Day and love it is in the air with the 212 Islanders of Djura celebrate just like the rest of us and have offered up a love story from the island. I can't wait just for this occasion. My goodness. It's 30 years ago and a man named Graham moves to the island of Jura after finishing up with the Royal Navy. He arrived to the island on a Friday, met his future wife and at a dance on that Saturday and went to work for his first day at the distillery on that Sunday.


He's been there ever since. Still married to and and has now the distillery manager for Djura.


Wow Heart-warming. What a story. What a weekend that was for him. That was a big weekend for Graham. What happened? A lot of changes.


Djura wishes everybody a happy Valentine's Day and invites you to try our brand new 12 year old whisky that scored 94 points out of 100 to try it and support surahs tiny island community. Go to Djura Whiskey Dotcom, love it and use the code love at 10 to receive ten dollars off as they say in Scotland. Gingiva which is Gaelic for if you commit a crime as president in January you're good. It's fine for.


Welcome to love it or leave it, that's to the future we're going to. That awesome theme song with which you call it EDM vibes, I guess you call it EDM vibes, but I really loved it. Hunter Smith, thank you so much.


If you want to make a vacs to the future theme song, please send it to leave it at Crooked Dotcom. Leave it at Crigger Dotcom. They've been awesome. I keep saying it. We're going to do it. We got to upload, we got to put it. We got to create a playlist with all of the back in the closet themes with the back in the closet elec themes with the voice of the future themes because they're awesome. Before we get to the show, it's President's Day weekend.


Three day weekend. That's cool. Well every weekend feels like the same but whatever.


Now do Monday take 15 percent off site wide on the crooked store. We have new merch from all of your favorite shows so please visit slash store to shop now is very cool stuff there. We put in, you know, the really cool designs, so you should check it out later in the show.


I talked to Dr. Atul Gawande about the vaccine rollout and one of our writers, Pallavi Ganon, plays a speed game with our listeners that I'm very glad we did. And I'll I'll just say that I'm very glad we did it. Plus, we play a game about the way in which Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears were treated quite differently by the media over the years. But first, she's a comedian and co-host of cricket's Daily News Show. What a Day.


Please welcome back. Returning champion Akela Hughes.


Hi. Hi, John. How are you doing? I'm great.


You know, just just loving life.


So things are going great. Before we get to the news, I understand you talked to Dr. Anthony Fauci today. Yes. For what? A day and it came out. You're hearing this on Saturday. You can check out the Friday episode. I understand that Dr. Fauci met your new dog, Dr. Fauci.


Yes, he did. He was very charmed.


I imagine when you tell Foushee that you've named the dog after him, he kind of has like like he's honored and he's funny and he takes the compliment. Yes. But he also tries to keep it at arm's length, like there's a little bit of like, oh, you know, this is not why I'm in this game. Yeah. I didn't get in this game for naming myself after having dogs named after me. Yes. I appreciate it. I'm not the kind of person that can't take a compliment.


I'm very assured in that sense. Right. But at the same time, I'm creating distance. Is that fair? Is that what happened? I would say that's 100 percent accurate. You know, he's like, I'm just a humble. And I asked NIH director, I, you know, just I'm just here to make sure people know how to wear masks, but not all he keeps. And I'm flattered.


Yeah, he did say that I have to live with that name now and that there are lots of doctor factsheets.


So, you know, maybe not as flattered as I expected him to be, but that's OK because my dog was so flattered to be.


All right. Let's get into it. What a week, Bikila.


We like to start with the worst jokes submitted. So here it is. Authorities confirm that Bruce Springsteen was arrested for driving while intoxicated last year.


If I wanted to hear about a horrible boss, I check out a 2011 Jason Bateman movie.


Yeah, that might be the worst. I don't even know what the others are, Jesus or a Joss Whedon movie. Hmm. What's going on there? Yeah, a new report by the CDC found that masks work better when they fit properly. In a separate report, the CDC said dinner plates are more effective when food is placed on the upper surface rather than smeared on the side that touches the table.


You know, I'm glad they're offering dinner guidance. I think that that's really great of them. Good looking out. More of a warning than a joke.


New research suggests that the UK coronavirus variant is spreading rapidly across the U.S. and could become the country's dominant strain by late March. And much like the first British invasion, there's also comes with terrible haircuts. Oh, the Beatles.


Remember the mop tops? Yeah.


Yeah. You know, I. I thought that the second British invasion was the office. The remake.


I said corrected. That was part of a longer first feature.


Well, it's the kind of thing where, you know, in the full sweep of history, they become it becomes one invasion. Right.


It was kind of the one time there's there's the Beatles. There's the Spice Girls. Yeah. That felt like a little bit of an invasion, I think Oasis wanted, but we're like, nice.


OK, ok, OK. Yes.


Like, they were like they they were on the soft rock channel before their time oasis.


Like, aren't we an invasion. We're like we're not comfortable with how important it is for you to be associated with this at the right. Yeah.


Like you all really. You're on the cover of Rolling Stone. We get it.


Your thing, type them. Pfizer said that it expects to cut its vaccine production time nearly in half from 110 days to an average of 60 days.


This is truly incredible news from Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company that we now root for. We just root for them or. Yeah, honestly, you know, I got in on the game stocks and I also buy a little Pfizer. So did you actually get in on the game stocks? Did you how when? What number, how low? How OK, where'd you get in? Where'd you get out.


OK, so the truth is it wasn't that part of it. I was more of the dogecoin.


Second, we didn't make any of those points. I think everybody on those. I think everybody I am finally I'm finally even on Bitcoin.


You bought it after I read it.


And that's exactly when you're supposed to the absolute peak a year ago. It's perfect.


Wonderful. Yep. That's what they say you should buy with a tire it sell it.


If I sell some money, France will change its labour code to allow workers to eat at their desks. This is in response to covid and making sure people are six feet apart when they take off their masks to eat. Not because France how fun it looks to shake dressing into a sad chopped salad at your desk.


France couple tips. Tuna sandwiches are like lawyers. You love yours, but you hate everyone else's.


Tip number two, mute your mike when you're chewing.


And, you know, this is this is more of a I wouldn't call this a tip. So much is just sort of a lesson from past experience. Eating at your desk will seem strange at first, like, is this my life? Is there no space for joy that will fade?


And if you like eating your desk, you're going to love crying in the toilet.


Oh, you do this. You know, I love that one, actually. Do you miss eating at your desk? Because I kind of do. I don't.


I there are plenty of plenty. There's been plenty of meals eaten at my desk. But I do think of it like I remember when I was like working for Hillary Clinton in the Senate office and I would often eat at my desk and were all in one room. And it just it's the way it was done. But oh, man, it just feels like a defeat because we got to go somewhere else for a little bit. Right.


You can't even scroll the things you want to scroll because you're like, all right, people looking at my scroll in my free time, my desk face like where everybody could see my screen, which was tough for me because I procrastinate hard, same really hard.


I also like have to eat snacks and talk to everyone. So I got to say, this is a really hard for me a person who requires seventeen snack foods. Well, I make several coffee runs.


You're an extrovert. So this has been a hellish, tough year for the extroverts. All right. Some of the introverts I've heard from a few too many of these introverts in my life that are like, honestly, I know I shouldn't say it, but I'm conscious.


I really have. This could go five more years. I'm good.


I'm good working my pajamas. No meetings. Don't have to talk to anybody. I don't want to talk to, you know, parties. I'm good. I get takeout. I'm not one of those people.


All right. Yeah, just pretty. I mean, you know, the moment I get stabbed and everyone else is stabbed and we're all like a six foot distance party is possible, we're all going to stand feet away in my back yard and stare at each other souce.


Give you any any hot tips on how to get some get some of that sweet, sweet Moderna.


No, he he was real mom about it. I think that, you know, he's the kind of person where one. So you get it, you just like forget about us lowly people who don't have it. Yeah, move on. Yeah, there is a bit of a divide now from the people who have it. It's like you don't know what it's like being us anymore.


Yeah, you're out of touch. You go places fearless. Your mask is a little loose. Yeah.


Former Trump lawyer Sydney Powell dodged Dominion's legal team for weeks as he tried to serve her in a defamation lawsuit, forcing the company to hire private investigators and chase her across state lines. The last investigators saw her, she was clutching hands with Rudy Giuliani in a blue Thunderbird convertible hurdling into the Grand Canyon.


OK, I give that logic points. That's excellent. You know, misdirection.


Gina Davis, if we I don't think they should have driven off that cliff.


Do you think they could have made it to jail?


I don't know. I don't think so.


I mean, thought about it in a while, but I don't know why we celebrate that ending.


Yeah, they didn't win a loss. They lost big time in the car.


Even they held hands. That's an example of a movie that the ending changes if you extend it by about 10 seconds.


Yeah. Fully. Yeah, we'd all love it.


Like, oh it's just like, you know, the crane pulling it out so dark I just deal with it. I'm so direct their hands fused together.


That's what I want to get through. Rigor mortis.


And we are. Yeah. This is an uplifting Saturday morning. Phuket's women driving off the Grand Canyon in the film just seems like, I don't know, turn around and take your chances.


Yeah, that's what I think. Yeah, I had said a bad message or back off the cliff. Why do you have to see your death?


I'd rather be like, oh, or, you know, make it seem like you both went over the edge, but, you know, drop and roll.


Yeah, that's a good point. There are options.


I'm thinking about a sequel in Tokyo Drift as you're about to go. It starts with them like this. They're like, that was such a good plan, Gina. Thanks, Susan.


I remember their character's name real have Brad Pitt was. Yeah. I kind of believe he's kept ABB's this whole time. We've been hanging here for thirty years and he still has abs. It's bullshit.


Do you think he's coming back for those listening at home, I am currently either Geena Davis or Susan Sarandon hanging off the edge of the cliff.


I'm doing a worse job. Akela is also hanging. Akula is Geena Davis. I'm Susan Sarandon. I think that's more the vibe if we're being honest.


Yeah, okay.


You can be and I'm not going to fight you on that one, but I was on paid thirty two hundred dollars per day to an anti-union consultant in an attempt to undermine employee organizing at its Bessemer, Alabama warehouse.


Thirty two hundred dollars might sound like a lot, but it's scale for the antiunion consultants union. Maspero a thinker. Yeah, yeah.


Biden ordered sanctions against the military leaders who incited the coup in Myanmar. It's just nice to see the U.S. government holding insurrectionist accountable.


You know, it's nice to see. Yeah, we can. We can do it. We can do it.


It's very rare, you know, only where the people are a little bit darker.


That's that's what they say. You know, as we approach paper, bad color, it's a lot easier to remember laws and rules and order.


Oh, yeah, I guess. Yeah, lots to think about there, a lot to think about. Pretty dire, speaking openly dark. Unprecedented. Aren't you glad we didn't commit suicide? Yeah, yeah, I'm glad I am.


This is the black president part was pretty tight lipped. Some stuff got weird.


I'm sorry he married Jon Voight. Oh.


Speaking of insurrections, on Tuesday, the second Senate impeachment trial of disgraced former President So-and-so began. The evidence is damning beyond all doubt and chilling to the core of the case is undeniable. But we got pretty fucked on the jury. Yeah, the House managers played a good amount of previously unseen graphic footage of the insurrection. And it turns out the fans were right. The Snyder cut is better.


Truth, I like this, I like this new director's cut. There's a there's a lot more information. It's way longer, too, you know.


Yeah, it's longer. You kind of understand, like, it's much more about the lower right. As the right unfolded, representatives were told that there were gas masks under their seats, but a bunch were missing. And there was a note from Steny Hoyer that said sorry, will replace used for sex.


I recoiled.


I assumed I guess I guess then he thought he'd have a chance to replace them before they were needed, you know, less in there. But he was like, no one in here wants to wear a mask lately.


And I've just taking what's not use.


And I just want everyone to understand that in the in the world of this joke, Steny Hoyer does weird sex stuff with the gas mask. Yeah.


And you can use your imagination to, like, fill in the blanks. Yeah. Use your right. That's the thing about the imagination. You know, it's a little movie theater in your mind.


Remember movie theaters? This is a movie theater.


You can still go to your imagination. I've given you the promise.


Steny Hoyer, longtime Democratic congressperson and member of the House leadership.


Steny Hoyer, septuagenarian gasmask, several multiple sex sex. Now make a movie with somebody.


Yeah, well, that's the ad. That's all, you know. Go, go, go with that. Yeah. Tell the story you want to tell.


See what comes up. The first draft doesn't have to be the final straw. Well, all right.


Transitioning to the more serious part of the trial. Here we go.


Jamie Raskin, the lead house manager, gave heartfelt testimony about bringing his daughter to the capital on the day of the attack.


My youngest daughter, Tabitha, was there with me on Wednesday, January 6th. It was the day after we buried her brother, our son Tommy, the saddest day of our lives. I told her how sorry I was and I promised her that it would not be like this again.


The next time she came back to the capital with me, she said, Dad, I don't want to come back to the capital of all the terrible, brutal things I saw and I heard on that day. And since then, that one hit me the hardest. That and watching someone use an American flag pole, the flag still on it to spear and pummel one of our police officers, ruthlessly, mercilessly tortured by a pole with a flag on it that he was defending with his very life.


People died that day. Officers ended up with brain damage. People's eyes were gouged. Officer had a heart attack. Officer lost three fingers that day. Two officers have taken their own lives. This cannot be the future of America. We cannot have presidents inciting and mobilizing mob violence against our government and our institutions because they refuse to accept the will of the people under the Constitution of the United States.


And then Trump's lawyers made this equally powerful argument.


Before I begin, I want to comment on the outstanding presentation from our opponents. I'll be quite frank with you. We changed what we were going to do on account, that we thought that the House managers presentation was well done.


This is what happens, Akela, when the only lawyer you can find willing to defend you is the guy that looked at Bill Cosby's record and said, I love the chocolate cake, that no charges is so funny. Yeah, cake is like breakfast. No charges. Yes.


He's like, we love Jello Giglio's. They're alive.


Dr. Huxtable. No charges, right. Fat Albert in this economy. Let him go. Hey, hey, hey. No charges.


That character. That's just a hat. What was up with that? Just those just ahead. What was that?


I have no idea what he was hiding under there. I'm not sure what was going on. His eyes are through it. Yeah, it's like. Right.


Yeah, like a McDonald's nineties character. Like a chicken nugget in a costume. We just don't know.


We don't know. Cake's got eggs, it's got sugar, it's got wheat.


No charges. No doing on.


Chrysler went on to say this If my colleagues on this side of the chamber actually think that President Trump committed a criminal offense after he's out of office, you're going to arrest him. OK, Bruce, we're in.


Yeah, we're in. Can anybody do it?


Can I go? They can bring some friends.


Even if the former president is convicted.


New data suggests that the Whiskey Dick Rebellion is hurting the GOP across 25 states. Almost 140000 Republicans have left the party since January 6th. This is obviously good news for Democrats, but it's even better news for the Kuhnen news Maxygen party, who just got 140000 new members. And before you get upset, Akela, they're not brownshirts. They just wear brownshirts.


But you're right. It's just it's a coincidence. Just part of it, when I brownshirts, we just wear brownshirts, so does UPS, say the right wingers on Twitter. Are you accusing UPS of being Nazis?


Of course you're not. Double standards, woak astand, cancel culture, trying to cancel.


Hey, Bundy trying to cancel U.P.S. because they were brown brownshirts. Yeah, sure. The Kuhnen Party wears brownshirts. It doesn't make them brownshirts.


It's Brown History Month like they were also this week.


And this is where I wanted to end. Disney fired Gina Carano, the MMA fighter turned person who calls herself an actor. She was fired from the Mandalorian she shared apparently over the past several months, some anti trans stuff, online anti mask stuff, anti black lives matter content. The final straw apparently was a strange post that compared Republicans to Jews in Nazi Germany.


Apparently, her garbage posts also cost her a full spinoff show from the Mandalorian that they were set to announce. And I don't know about you, Akela. I had no idea that she was just a right wing dumdum. Had no idea.


But I'll tell you, I was so mad when I saw that they canceled that spinoff show.


And let me tell you why, because she is the worst actor I have ever seen.


A whole series. Yeah. You not canceling the series, even though she cannot act? Not even a little. You're canceling it because the tweets, they're bad tweets never should have gotten this far. Yeah.


Yeah. I mean, she's she's like, I don't understand, you know, this Disney plus just have like weibe money, just like make whatever they want.


Yeah. No, go with that. Do a baby on a show that's just baby yota, but it's for kids.


She was so bad in the Mandalorian it took her like I really like the Mandalorian overall, but I was so distracted by how bad she was as an actor.


And look, I think Jon Favreau, the good Jon Favreau did an excellent job.


And I am always reluctant to, like, single out like a single performance because it feels like I'm happy to lead.


And I know I look different brands.


But, yeah, you're look you're you're throwing matches out of that car window on on a lot of bridges.


Every time they light my way they like. But I tend not to do just because it's negative and like whatever. I don't do it. Yeah. You might want to hire her to act. Yeah.


I got many projects. I got look I got a lot of irons in the fire. Some of them may or may not have a place for for Gina Carano, but no, but I did it but it bothered me so much because it was like it is such a bad performance. And yeah, I had no idea that she mocked trans people and spread voter misinformation. I just thought she was a terrible actor to shout outs, tequila, to shout outs, shout out No one.


Pedro Pascal, who apparently after she made her pronouns beep boop up really cool and funny. Super good girl.


Real cool. Pedro Pascal talk to her. And she said that she had a good conversation with him that helped her understand in some way.


So way to go, Pedro. Yeah. Thank you, Pedro. I like Pascal. We love you.


All right. You put yourself out there.


All right. Second shout out. All right. And this look, this may be news to you and to those listening a little bit of a walk down memory lane.


This is a shout out to the actor Laura San Giacomo, you may remember from Pretty Woman.


She was Julia Roberts friend in that film. She was also on the show, Just Shoot Me. Very successful actor. Oh, yeah, great actor.


In 2011, Steven Soderbergh released a movie starring Gina Carano called Haywire.


OK, it's a fun little action movie.


What is obvious in the film is that Gina Carano, who who actually that crushes in the action scenes, she's so good in the action scenes.


She was such an unbelievably bad actor that he clearly had to cut around her to figure out how to piece the movie together without showing too much of her terrible performance just to make the movie work.


But it gets better because apparently after the movie was shot, Gina Cronos performance was so bad that Soderbergh brought in Laura San Giacomo from Sex, Lies and Videotape to dub over Gina Carano for the whole movie, or at least whole swaths of the movie.


We don't actually just don't want to get sued by Gina Carano. I don't know how much of the movie Laura San Giacomo does, because it's hard to tell because you do not enough know.


Could have been more. But that but so Haywire in 2011 is a movie in which Laura San Giacomo is the person talking from the body of Gina Carano because her acting was that bad.


You know, bad. You have to be to. Dubbed the whole movie, this is like Mel Gibson's Australian accent in Mad Max, this is somebody doing the part as intended, and they had to dub over the whole thing. And what I want to understand, Akela, is, did nobody check Jenas references? No.


Did they even see herself tape? Can we get kicking around in there like that? Looks cool. Look at her. Go. She's kicking. Yeah. Oh, she's an idiot.


She can barely breathe, but she's saying the words like there are some interesting like can we get Jon Favreau from Swingers and Steven Soderbergh from movies with three endings on a text chain before we get to this point.


You know what? I think you're right. I think they saw the punching and kicking.


All right. And they stop there because I look, I will say. All right, nuance. She's excellent at punching and kicking it. That's really cool. It's great.


Watch the kick awards. She'd be up there.


But here's what I think. All right. I believe that there are very talented women in this business who can punch and act.


I believe someone else to do the punching is what I think.


If they needed an actor with, you know, these are just my notes. What do I know? A person who watches films and read the same things.


So shout out to Pedro Pascal and shout out to Laura San Giacomo, everyone.


And hopefully Gina Carano, who seems to have a lot of trouble understanding identity, will make a choice to stop identifying as a fucking actor.


That would be ideal. Yes, please. Spot on, man.


Akeelah, it's always so good to see you, John. It's great to see you. What a delight, as always. Yes. So happy you got a dog, my angel.


So sad on opposite sides of the country, like like five and five sister and in a very six somewhere out there underneath the same sky.


Yeah. The moon won't be out here for a few more hours, so. Oh, the sadness.


Achille's everybody. When we come back, we played a very funny speed dating game to mark Valentine's Day during a pandemic take.


Don't go anywhere. There's more of love it or leave it coming up.


Love it or leave it is brought to you by best friends. Talk about any favorite movies, books or TV shows from childhood that you've gone back to as an adult. Do they still hold up? I'll tell you what holds up. I'll tell you what holds up a film called Star Trek six. The Undiscovered Country came out and I believe 1991 it holds up. Not only does it hold up, never saw it. It's the best Star Trek film ever made.


It is a movie about diplomacy, hard to pull off, uses all the characters. Has Christopher Plummer in it as a Klingon who recites Shakespeare. Cool.


Things have come a long way since we were kids, it seems like we get more instant classics every year. And you know what else is an instant classic best finds? The top rated mobile puzzle adventure Best Finds has a world full of lovable characters, thousands of levels and more content that gets added all the time. I've been playing for a while and I'm already checking my phone for the latest update. It's a very fun game. It's an addicting game.


You can play it when you got five minutes. When look, here's the thing. Maybe you're on a work zoom, all right? Maybe you need to be in it, but you're in it now.


You're stuck. Maybe you turn your camera off for a minute.


Maybe you play some best friends. You know, they go and we watch and think about it. Think about it.


Best means is they can't put it down. Mobile puzzle game that's free to download with over 100 million downloads. This five star rated mobile puzzle game is a must play. More levels, events and challenges are added all the time. So play away. There's always one more level. Seriously, once you download breastfeeds, boredom won't stand a chance. And listen, boredom is feeling pretty cocky these days. Boredom has had the upper hand for some time now.


So if you were worried, you'd get to level three thousand two hundred forty seven, run out of fun. Don't be. There's always another update. Whether it's more levels, events or changes to the game based on fan feedback. Just don't blame us if you end up kind of obsessed. Download Best Free today on the Apple App Store or Google Play. That's friends without the best friends.


And we're back. Tomorrow is Valentine's Day, which means covid aerosols aren't the only thing in the air. Yes, we're talking about those good old fashioned love aerosols. And just like covid, these can really fuck with your heart.


And because we are all starved for human interaction, we wanted to help one of you to find love this week, specifically our writer Pallavi Gwendoline. So it's time for everyone's favorite segment. Love it or leave her for someone else.


All of you, I'm sorry, I'm a. you're already setting me up to be seated on dark.


Well, Pallavi, thank you so much for being here.


Tell us about yourself and why you think you'd be a good romantic partner. We've never done a dating thing. I'm I'm literally like I'm like, am I? Chris Harrison is a nightmare just by yourself, OK?


I am a stand up comedian and a medical engineer and I don't know, I'm a good man. First of all, OK, I'm in therapy. That's got to be point bright. Huge. I'm not just on Twitter, I'm doing the work, OK? I'm taking care of myself that's mentally been single for very long, practiced that, perfected it, made a whole brand out of it. Nice. Ready to dive into a real relationship, maybe touch someone for the second time in quarantine.


That might be nice.


That sounds cool. That sounds cool. I like I like the part about being in therapy because you're telling people, don't worry, I won't use you for therapy, which is what a lot of people do in their relationships. And I think that's really cool.


Yeah, I haven't really I have Twitter, I have therapy. I have stand up for that. I don't need you. Right.


I mean, but I would like you, you know, so let's not codependent. Just dependent.


This is like the worst version of Shark Tank. I'm just like pinching my pussy right now. So I want to say that she is a comedy writer and comedian.


She is also a biomedical engineer and. Right. You know, cool. That is so cool it is to be with somebody. That's one of those things.


She's both of those things she knows about medicine, stuff, equipment, medical equipment, things that plug in pump and things.


Yeah, that's cool. I feel like you're like my parents at an Indian wedding pitching me to other things like put me and she does stuff in the medical field. She's a neurosurgeon. She. So here's how this is going to work. All right, these are speed dates. You'll meet a handful of the, quote, carefully unquote screened Love it or leave it listeners. That's the screening you want. That's all you need. That does the work there.


Listen to this. You're a catch. Yeah.


You will ask a series of questions. I'll be here as your wingman. All right. I'll step back. I'll come in. I'm here if you need me. I'm here if you don't. And then at the end of all of your dates, you will pick one winner.


And if there are sparks, perhaps a second zoom date will transpire.


Are you also going to be on the second third date? I hope not.


I got one. Don't keep that door open. Three feet on the floor. I want to see three feet on the floor. All right.


You will have three minutes with each date and we will edit it down to the parts that aren't so awkward.


We decide love isn't worth it. OK, so that's cool. That's nice for the listeners, not for us. We'll be in it.


I'll also black out during the parts that are awkward. So don't worry. That's perfect. Are you ready? I'm ready. Let's do this. Travis, start the clock for the first date. Let's meet our first speed dater.


Hi, Danielle. I would like you to meet Pallavi, all right, for your speed date.


Thanks for being on the show. You have three minutes. All right. To make your impression, Pallavi is going to hit you with some questions. Let's get started.


Sounds good. Thanks for having me. Danielle, thank you for being here. Hi. Thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here.


I'm excited you're here to be in a relationship. Do you see yourself more as the chef or the rat who controls him?


Well, I'm going to say the rat that controls wow, Dom.


OK, all right. Love the energy. I love it. What do you do, Daniel?


I'm currently in advertising, but I'm trying to make my way into politics. Oh, save America. I got the bug.


So, OK, can you give me like a Jon Hamm mad man style pitch to date you.


OK, I'm not on the creative side of advertising just as a done, but I just buy the ad space. But I'm fine. I love the outdoors. I come from a fun Jewish family with lots of food and I love dogs.


So you can't all of dogs. Perfect.


My great pitch. Not not very Jon Hamm of you. I did not see any sexism in that pitch, but I appreciate it, ok.


I would hope a mysterious stranger presents you with a box on the box. There's a button. If you push the button, you'll get a million dollars. But somewhere someone who is a stranger to you will die. Do you push the button?


Oh, I hate your questions. No, I want to push the button, you know, you could do with a million dollars, you could save a lot of lives with them. I'm kidding. I'm kidding. But that was a great.


Sorry to intercede. Were you at all haunted by how long it took her to decide not to murder someone for money? A little bit, yeah.


But I feel like I'm going to think about me. I don't know. But she wants to get into politics, so I feel like that that hesitation might suit her well in that field.


It's a really good point. Who else is in that person's lives? I don't know. You want to know more about this? It's a stranger that I know.


Well, that's. I can't push the button. OK, ok, good pallavi.


Final question. Final question for Danielle. We are out of time. OK, final question. Which joker is the most fun? Heath Ledger. I feel like I would go with the animated one. I don't know why, but Pallavi.


That is correct. Danielle, thank you so much. To discuss the day you had I think you did a great job. Obviously, the correct answer is Mark Hamill in the animated version or Cesar Romero. But thank you so much for playing. We'll let you know how you did shortly.


Thanks for having me by the hair outfit. I will. Thank you.


Thank you. Is huge generous to anyone that does not mention the wings and tiara. So I appreciate that. What do you call this, a flower thing. What do you call this thing? What is it? It's very midsummer.


It is. Yeah. I found it in the basement or Coachella ish. It's it's an ancient child's costume and I found it in the basement here by Danielle.


That was great. Any reactions to Danielle?


I feel like we gave her a lot of difficult questions and I feel like she was pretty good under pressure. Still worried about the hesitation of killing someone, though, worried about that.


And then her follow up was, tell me more about this person. Like, what information are you going to learn that gets you to push the button?


You know, I mean, this actually ties to the Joker question with the being on the two boats, trying to push the button in The Dark Knight. But, yeah, it makes it makes me wonder what she what information she would need. And also, it makes me wonder about her political her future political career, the decisions she'll make there.


Look, we need some people that are willing to make the hard choices. Push the button, push the button. We need to listen. We've got a lot of Democrats who won't push the button. A couple that push the button. Republicans will push the button. They'll be like, if you press this button, someone dies, trust it and you'll get a million dollars. You didn't even let me get to the part where I tell you that you get money.


They're united in pushing the button you sicko's. When I push the button, then you tell me what it's for. Yeah, sure. Do the next one. Let's do it.


Oh, my goodness. We have James. James, meet Pallavi. Hi, James. How are you. Good. Nice to meet you. Thank you for doing.


Three minutes of spectators begun. Ready.


We are at a party right. We bump into an ex of yours when you're introducing me to them. How do you pronounce my name?


Oh, I'll be. Oh, we're going to have to work on that. It's it's me and your James. Yes. OK, see, I'm already. I'm killing it at the partner so much better. OK, what's your ideal first date.


Ideal first date. Usually be coffee and it's a super basic but I drink way too much coffee and so it actually calms me down more than it does actually hype me up. And so our first date would be really nervous and this actually would like settle my heart a little bit. What are you nervous about on your first date? Oh, I'm always nervous.


Many new people, just anybody, even those dates, that 30 million, I have a lot of nervous energy.


What would your ideal last date be? That's a really tough one. Definitely would be in a public place. I think most people don't wanna yell and scream.


This man is about to break up with me in my favorite restaurant. No, definitely not be a favorite restaurant, but it's definitely being a place where you might see someone you know or work with and so maybe reduce the potential for a big thing. So you have to keep me calm as a woman.


And so I have a follow up. I have a follow up, James. So someone finding out that you don't want to see them anymore is going to be so devastating and difficult to take that you think they're going to lose their mind? Do you think Pallavi is going to go absolutely apeshit?


Bellini's that you need to do it in a public place because you don't think she can handle it to hear this information that you're through apparently on your 18th cup of coffee, just bouncing off the fucking walls.


I know there's so much coffee. No, that's definitely not it. I think would be more of a black communication coming out of nowhere.


Think we're right. Tend to fail. So you plan to blindside. Yeah. Typically what happens. Wow. You have thirty seconds left. Thirty seconds left.


OK, fuck. Marry nominate to Transportation Secretary Warren.


Bernie may repeat who got to marry Warren. Got to fuck Bernie and didn't transition again.


Deng you said Bernie got protection on his hand.


All right. Thank you. Great job, James. Thanks, James. We'll let you know how you did. How are you feeling about that date?


Oh, I don't know. He said he was nervous in the calmest way possible, so I don't know how good he is at gauging. So, you know, I don't know. We'll see. He was handsome, man. We'll see how this goes about chemistry.


I didn't see it. Let's face it. Let's face it. Let's face it. I would think about cutting back on the coffee next day.


I know. Oh, no. My dog threw up. Oh, no. Are you OK? She's OK. We're going to have to clean that up.


Hi, Carrie.


Hello. Welcome to the show. Thanks for being part of our Valentine's Day speed dating game show. Like you to meet Pallavi. All right. She is for whom you are competing to win the affections. You have three minutes. She's going to pose some questions for this date. I'm just here. Then I'm here. I'm not here. And sometimes I'm here.


That's how it works for sure. Exactly. Cupid, that's the vibe. It's sort of a that's what I'm getting.


Yeah. Let the day begin. Let the day begin. Hi.


Hi, Carrie. In 30 seconds or less. What's your deal?


That's a good question. Well, so I am bad at talking to other human beings is my whole deal, except that it's like, look, in my profession, a teacher at the university in still I don't know, like what my whole deal is like.


I'm just a nice person who's trying to, like, not have a bad time.


But I empathize with that struggle here in Austin. Yeah. How are you keeping Austin weird. No thanks.


I love her.


I'm not here to hear it's you know, I'm just trying here I am with all of my embroidery and weird lighting.


I don't know. All right.


I have a question now that I know you're Austin favorite barbecue place in Austin. That's something I need to know.


It's in Texas. There's actually not good barbecue in this city because most of it is overrated. But I also used to work for a food organization here that documents the stories of Texas food. So I'm actually would consider myself an expert on this. It snows barbecue in Lexington, Texas, that you should go to. Also, one of the few barbecue places in the state that's run by a woman to see confidence. Cool.


I'm blown away now. Would you recommend a vegetarian place for me?


So barbecue supernaturals, there's actually a huge gap.


Carrie, you blew it. You blew it was a trick question. The about that question. A trick question.


There's room to recover. There's a lot of good vegetarian places. There's a lot of places. I don't know if that's your vibe. There's a cute little trailer park over on Cesar Chavez that's got a couple of places, got a vegan burrito place that I really like and a vegan soft serve place. That's really good. And there's also a food truck that serves only turmeric related concepts.


Interesting. So they're keeping Austin weird, I guess. Do you have a do you have a pet in the background there?


I do. This is Pisco. He's an old man. Oh, very, very lovely. Did you have a little friend that I saw there?


Yes, her name is Bill. I just I just adopted her at the beginning of January. Oh, my God. She's an angel.


How old is she? She's seven. Oh, yes.


So it's cute to adopt older dogs. That's my favorite.


The last one I had with them, I adopted him at fourteen. So this is Lankester.


OK, I have another question for you. Given the choice of anyone in the world living or dead, who would you want to prank call? Molly Ivins. Who? So Molly Ivins was a Texas political journalist who was known for being just like very, very vulgar and drunk most of the time. That's awesome.


She was real funny. She was a good time, but unfortunately not with us. So you want to talk to her ghost? Yeah. Ghost Molly. Ivan sounds great. Always down for a party who parties better than ghosts. Nobody famously. Final question. Pallavi for Carrie.


OK, I heard you did embroidery, but what skill have you learned in the pandemic to cope that you think will impress me? I can pick locks. You can pick locks. Yeah. Are you, are you in lock picking competition. I've heard a lot about. I didn't know there were competitions.


I'm definitely not that good, but I'm learning how to pick locks. I already know how to break into cars.


But there was a time before I was a professor.


You're preparing. The future, I love this, I love this so much. Also, I've heard with a lock picking a date to be good with your fingers. That's what you do.


But it's all about dexterity. It's more of an art than a science.


Kerry, I have love meeting you. I have love seeing you exist. And that has been very fun. We will let you know how you did on the set. I'm going to consult with Pallavi about how this date went, but I have to say, I think it went pretty well. First thoughts. I'm a little scared of her. That's my reaction. How are you feeling? I love that.


I love that you're scared of her. And I love I love her. She is the one I said, are you giving off some weird? And she responded, No, thank you. I love that energy.


Should we go to the next day? Let's go to the next day.


We got Steve. Hi, Steve. Hey, John. I'm John. This is Politti. You're about to go on a speed date. All right. All right.


Most important, three minutes of your whole fucking life. All right. So get your head in the game. All right. Get yourself ready. Pallavi over to you.


Can you actually play the guitar in the background of your screen? Absolutely, I can. OK, would you your your attending a party, do you enter with the guitar? Do you pick it up later?


Oh, I wouldn't play a guitar at a party. I'm not one of those guys. I'm not going to play Wonderwall for you or anything.


So that's really smart. It's really good. He's playing chess. He's playing chess. Are you playing chess at parties.


I mean I could it seems like not so much of a fun party if people are sitting around playing chess. So what's your ideal party, Steve? Unless it's a chess party, I guess I got you there.


I don't know people having drinks, maybe a movie on or something. Some drinking games. OK, lots of drinking. I'm hearing.


OK, did you get the vaccine yet?


Because I'll look over the drinking problem if you got the vaccine. I don't give a shit.


Not yet. I set up an appointment for my dad at the end of the month. I plan on going with them just to see if maybe they have an extra one lying around.


Just like interesting nepotism. You're into nepotism, right, to get the vaccine.


Know his appointments at the end of the day. And I know those vials are only good for so long. So they have to.


Yeah, it comes down to giving me one or two on one out line as well.


Just hang around, you know, you got to get in there. No, I agree. It's like going to a bakery and trying to get like the free the free pastries. At the end of the day, where are they going to give them like you got to get you got to get yours. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. OK, how could a benevolent all knowing all powerful God permit so much suffering? So maybe there's not a God.


I'm not sure I feel depressed people I guess. And to see people's will and see how strong they are to get through trying times, it's pretty good.


Like I feel like that gives me a purpose. All right. Interrelations.


So I'm sorry. I'm sorry to hear it. So it's some kind of some kind of a gauntlet, some kind of a trial for us to perform in, is that what you're saying, that we think life is even life is something where we're given punishment or horrible things just to see what we'll do? A little experiment like rats in a maze, is that what do you think, Steve? That's what you think? That's what you think God does?


Well, I'm more of an atheist, but, you know, if you do believe that blasphemy, it's blasphemy.


Blasphemy. Pallavi, back to you. Sorry to interrupt.


I'm also an atheist. I'm an atheist, but I do believe in a little woodland creatures yelling blasphemy in the middle of my days.


OK, I introduce you to my mom and she immediately insults your parents, but in kind of like a cute way that is still somehow socially acceptable, yet deeply, personally cutting. What do you assume she insults you about and how do you respond? Not sure about my appearance, maybe my glasses or something making fun of me for being a nerd or something like a big Buddy Holly glasses. But that's not offensive to me. I probably laugh it off and maybe try to think of a quip back and kind of poke fun at them.


What would you make fun of my mother for?


I don't know. I haven't met her yet. You're going to make fun of Pahlavi's mother, Steve. You're going to college. You're going to go out.


You're meeting you're meeting Pahlavi's mother for the first time. You walk in the house, you start insulting people.


Well, she's insulting me. I think it's only fair to give a little bit back in a playful manner.


It's kind of godless horseshit.


Great job, Steve.


She did not feel like you can hear me for most of the day, which might be indicative of how the relationship could go. I don't know.


I don't know why, but I really did have an urge to bully him. I saw that. I thought you you were getting amped up. And I think you should, like, maybe reflect on your high school years or something. Was there a man named Steve? Let's do the last eight.


Hi, Maggie. Hi, thanks for being here. Welcome to our Valentine's Day speed dating competition. All right.


I'm about to introduce you to Pallavi. All right. She is a biomedical engineer. She is a comedian.


She's got it all over to you. Pallavi, let's start. We got three minutes on the clock.


I'm Maggie. Thank you for being here. Right. Which joker is the most remarkable?


There is the right answer, like you have to say Heath Ledger, right. Or the scariest one. But like under the makeup, he's Heath Ledger still at the end of the day, at the end of the day and at the end of the day, he's still Heath Ledger.


But the correct answer was, of course, Batman, the animated series Joker, Mark Hamill.


OK, incredibly likable. If you don't know. Well, now you do.


OK, I'm going. Did you get the vaccine yet? Because I will overlook that answer if you got the vaccine.


I have not gotten the vaccine. OK, are you excited to get the vaccine? I am. Are you vaccinated in other ways? Yes. OK, and do you wear a mask? Yes. But like in the bedroom or.


I'm getting too much completely all the time. So, all right.


It stays on me at all times. I'm always ready to go. Oh, all right. Here we go. A mysterious stranger presents you with a box on the box. There is a button. If you push the button, you will get one million dollars. But somewhere, someone who is a stranger to you will die. Do you push the button?


Do I ever have to know who the stranger is? No, I'm going to say I'm going to say no, I don't, because I know I'm not supposed to.


Oh, well, if you weren't being recorded, would have said yes. No, I wouldn't have said yes. I couldn't do that. OK, that would haunt me forever.


Oh, man. That was really ticked me off.


And honestly, honestly, Pallavi, I believe her. I just want to step in and say that I believe her because I think while she had a little moment, little flight of fancy, I think looking at Maggie, looking at how she's responding now, if given the opportunity, no cameras, no one watching, I don't think she could do it.


I don't think she's pressing the button. I don't know. I feel like her apartment is very talkable. Like you could just throw a tarp up in the back. There's not much, you know, I mean, this is not my apartment.


It's my cousin's house. I don't live here and I can't put tarp up.


So I went, you can't, but you're not allowed to put tarps up.


Your cousin said, you can't ask, but I don't. Pallavi, we have time for one more question.


OK, if we could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you take me?


I would take you to Austin because that's where I want to live. And so I can have all these, like, dream dates that I want to happen there. OK, I have a follow up question.


Yes. What's your favorite barbecue place in Austin and what's your favorite vegetarian place?


So I don't have an answer for either of those. I'm sorry. So we'll have to discover it together.


Yeah, it would be an adventure. Oh, OK. That's sweet. I like that.


It was very sweet. Maggie, Maggie, very sweet person. All right. That came through there. Even though you did briefly flirt with murder for money.


I'm sorry I insinuated you would murder someone in your husband's home. I wouldn't do it.


I wouldn't do it. OK, yeah. I mean, now you feel like you're protesting a little too much. It feels like she feels like she keeps saying how she wouldn't do it, but like, her eyes have blood in them. Maggie, thank you so much. We're going to go and discuss this date. All right. And we'll come back and let you know how it went. So thank you so much. Yeah, thanks, Maggie.


She was sweet. She was a sweet person. He was very sweet.


We did give her a lot of shit, particularly in the murder arena, for no reason.


So we had five dates. All right. We had James, who loves a cup of coffee, love Danielle.


She hesitated a little bit on the the murder button.


She did. She did. I think when we learned here today is that a lot of people would very much consider murdering a stranger for a million dollars.


Yeah, we had Carrie, who is not interested in keeping Austin weird. We had Steve who is afraid that your mother will bully him over his glasses. And we had Maggie. I would like to take you to Austin. It was very sweet, by the way. It was you said, where in the world would you go?


And she said, the city I want to live in.


That's so sweet. Like, I like that, too. It was very sweet. Yeah.


And now, look, it's the time for choosing. All right. We're going to pick one person. We have James. We have Danielle. We have Carrie. We have Steve. We have Maggie. Is there anyone from this group that you'd be interested in seeing again over Zoom? I am deeply fascinated with Carrie.


I need to know all about all of that political ladies she wanted to call vulgar and drunk. Molly Ivins, the ghost of Molly Ivins. Yes.


Even if it may not be a romantic thing, I feel like I would learn a lot.


You know, here's what I here's what I appreciate the most about Carrie. All right. She comes in with a take. Yeah, right. She gave. To this date with takes. Yeah, all right. She knows herself all right, and her old dog. Yeah, she doesn't need me to tell her to not push the button. You know, I feel like she would know if she was going to push the button or not be confident in it.


Yeah, I think she's either that's. But the one thing I think there's another reason that you should go on that next. Zoome coffee or will not coffee.


James, you drank all the coffee, but the next Zoome event, because the thing is we know she'd act quickly. But right now Pallavi you don't know if she'd press that button or not.


I need to know if she's going to press the button. I have to know and I have to know all the reasons she wouldn't, she wouldn't. I feel like she would have a lot. I feel like this is something she's thought out.


So Pallavi has chosen Carrie as the winner of this speed dating game. We're going to connect them and see if they want to get together a resume, if that's something you're interested in. Pallavi see where this goes.


I look forward to continuing to be unable to touch the person I'm interested in over in a pandemic. I'm excited, but I am I am excited. I am I mean I am very excited for Gary. I think she's going to be very interesting. Thank you, John. Thank you. I don't want. What is it says John. I'm going to tell my parents that you helped arrange my relationship and if the wedding happens, you're invited. Nice.


Nice pallavi. That was so much fun. Thank you so much. If you don't follow Povey on social media, you're making a huge mistake.


All right.


When we come back, I had a great conversation with Atul Gawande about the vaccine rollout and what he learned when a small town considered a mass mandate.


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And we're back. He is a professor, public health expert, and he served in Joe Biden's coronavirus advisory board during the presidential transition. Please welcome Dr. Atul Gawande. So good to see you. Thanks for doing this.


Happy to be here. Thanks for having me on. You have a piece out in The New Yorker called Don't Tell Me What to Do. The focus isn't on hospital systems. It's not on these big structural challenges. It's about a city council meeting in Minot, North Dakota, with 48000 people. Why did you focus on Mignot? And what can the story of that town tell us about the country's response to the coronavirus?


I was fascinated by Minot, North Dakota, because North Dakota in the fall had the highest rate of covid in the United States. And we continue to have the highest rate of covert in the world. They had more hospitalizations and more deaths than anywhere in the country. And Minot, North Dakota, was in the county with the highest rate in North Dakota. And my question was, does democracy work? Can democracy work to enable us to take on this crisis?


So I zeroed in on the city council meeting. The state had not been willing to adopt a massive mandate. People have not been taking the basic preventive measures. And this city council meeting had a woman named Carrie Evans who has multiple sclerosis and a lot of fear about what was happening around her and said, you know, darn it, I'm going to propose that we have a massive mandate in our town. And then they had the debate, they had the vote and it went from there.


And I just thought this could tell us something about whether democracy could work.


So what did you learn about people's resistance to a mass mandate or to wearing masks more broadly? Like, what is the motivation? What's the mentality?


On the other side of this debate was Tom Ross, who was another city council member, was strongly against masks. He was a Obama voter who voted for Obama twice than voted for Trump twice. It wasn't like he didn't see suffering. He knew the first person who died of covid in Minot, North Dakota. Personally, he is afraid for his mother. He himself would get sick and spend. In the basement, fearing that they may be his last days and yet what he felt was that the cost of all of the restrictions were too much and he wasn't hearing us.


Public health experts speaking to that when he was coming out against masks. He just wanted to get back to normal. They voted it out. His side lost as he got sick and experienced what he did. He saw the value of mass, but it didn't change his view on his vote. And he subsequently voted again against maintaining the mosque mandate there.


Just frustrating is obviously, you know, there's been a political identity connection between mask wearing, social distancing. But the masks are the means of getting kids back to school. They are the means of reopening the economy. What happens when you sort of challenge that connection, like, OK, you want to get back to life? We all want to get back to life mass help us do that. And it's a very minor sacrifice.


I start to have these arguments. They aren't believing they're local doctors on what they say about this. Why are they going to believe me on the other side? And it's been muddied by leadership at the very top. Trump as president questioning the data and not believing the public health science. But I think the larger thing to me was to accept that we're not going to get consensus. The remarkable part of the story in North Dakota is democracy's frayed. We are at each other's throats.


And yet, step by step, the city council did back the mayor's mandate. As people came face to face with the virus, they started wearing their masks. So you saw you go from negligible to by the end of November, they were at eighty nine percent wearing masks most or all of the time. You saw a plummeting in the cases followed by an 80 percent reduction in the hospitalizations, a massive drop in the deaths you had the people who were set in their ways and this was an identity issue or an issue where they did not agree that the trade offs were worth it.


People had their say, they voted and they confronted the crisis and actually have been on their way to solving it. Now, can they keep their foot on the pedal? That's another question.


So I'm curious how that applies as we think about this incredible achievement of these vaccines rolling out so quickly. We've seen a lot of skepticism around vaccines, and yet we're seeing every day the number of people vaccinating going up today. Dr. Fauci, Anthony Fauci, Tony, said that he thinks that will by April, we will be opening it up to everybody, even if it'll take a long time to get there. What are the lessons from what you saw in this small town and how we move people from vaccine skepticism to the kind of adoption we need to get to herd immunity?


It's been the pattern over and over again. Doesn't matter. Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal. We as human beings don't take it seriously till it's in our face.


People watched one and then didn't do anything about it in Italy, Bergamo, Italy that it had were overrun and Spain didn't do anything about it.


Spain got overrun in New York and Boston didn't do anything about it. It's not until it's on top of us that we seem ready to say, oh my God, this thing's for real. And it matters to me. I think part of the story of the vaccination is now that the country, for the most part, has experienced this virus, you have very high rates of willingness among the early adopters to get out there and give it a try. Health care workers, first responders have taken it, and many of us very quickly knew someone who had been vaccinated.


We crossed the thirty five million people vaccinated arc. And at that point you start realizing there might be names out there about it. Injecting 5G Internet capacity into you so the government can monitor you are that you're going to arrive?


Gee, I would love that. Think that is so great. And then you discovered that lo and behold, these people were fine. We're not seeing a rare disease that's cropping out of it. And so people are becoming much more confident in their willingness to undergo vaccination. And if anything, I lead a health care organization called CIC Health that's running vaccine sites at Fenway Park, at Gillette Stadium, at Reggie Lewis Track and Field. And what I'm experiencing is an incredible amount of clamoring.


Please get me in. Please get me in. Yes, we will have some serious pockets of fear that we have to overcome. But the confidence is growing and the clamor is what we have to address in terms of like access and equity.


What are some of the steps that you see working to help alleviate some of the racial inequities in terms of access? And I'll just tell you anecdotally, like I have heard of so many rich white people driving to places where they think they can get a standby shot because they are relying on a lack of adoption and a lack of access in poor parts of Los Angeles and more rural parts in. In other parts of the country where they don't see the adoption happening as quickly, we've heard about black churches that open up vaccination and then lo and behold, the online scheduling is filled by people coming from other parts of the community and all the white folks end up taking all of the slots.


The racial inequity is a serious problem in that it's a fraction of the population that have been able to access the vaccination. And it's well below the the prevalence rate of the virus. Now, understand how we got here early on. There was a lot of discussion about getting it right from an equity point of view. And then when there were doses on shelves, no planning had been done. Then it was all about speed. Of course, you can't leave doses on shelves and every shot in an arm is a victory.


And so these large vaccination centers, of which I'm involved with, some of them were ramping up because that was the fastest way to get shots and arms. And now that we're past a million and a half doses a day and growing and you see how stark the inability to get the transportation to these big centers to get signed up online, all of those things that has laid bare that we have an inequitable system. Now, what are the approaches and solutions here?


No. One is the states that have managed to get centralized scheduling do a better job if it takes hunting around and making one hundred phone calls and trying to have five different screens open while you're trying to surf the Internet to get access to the schedules. Well, it's going to be the people who know how to work the system, who get their nose up front in line and open these up.


Ironically, it's also the people who need it most are the people that are working all day and can't who are doing the jobs that need to be done, who can't spend their time hunting or texting friends about what the best places to get the vaccine right or don't have are over seventy five years old, but they've got three kids watching Facebook all day to see when the fifteen minutes opens with slots in your county.


Right. What has happened is an immense amount of ingenuity that I'm seeing and that I find really, really interesting and we're using a ton of it. So step one is start reserving some of those slots for people in those specific zip codes and areas. The vaccine centers are located in these areas and you make them available first to the people in those zip codes. Now, a lot of people can't get access to online scheduling and you see more places opening up centralized call centers.


Massachusetts, now you're down to one one and you can get scheduled in any in any of the locations that are around, then recognize that people aren't necessarily going to get on the phone and wait to call in that way. So you also can reserve blocks of schedule to community health workers, to care coordinators, social workers and others who are close to the populations who are most in need and can get people signed up. A really ingenious effort that happens to be my head of the morning is here.


Charlie Baker, the governor opened up access to over seventy five year olds and only two hundred thousand of the four hundred thirty thousand seventy five year olds. We're getting vaccinated instead of just saying, well, now sixty five year olds can come in. He ordered that people who bring a seventy five year old in can get vaccinated. And it's genius, right? You now have people looking for those seventy five year olds who and older who hadn't gotten vaccinated.


Suddenly you're your new best friend, with your grandmother, with your neighbor, and you're helping them get in because, my God, that's going to get me a vaccination, too. We got swamped with people who are now turning up at the door, ignoring our instructions that you have to make sure you've scheduled yourself and not just grabbed a seventy five year old off the street.


Let me ask you then, do you need to know them and do they need to be willing? In other words, can I just sort of bag one. I'm in, I'm in. I'm I'm just south of the border here. I could just find a seventy five year old. I, you know, some sort of a net.


You can pick them up at the grocery store, just claim to be offering them a ride and then if you've got got them scheduled already you rode along with other members of the advisory board.


There will probably be another surge in March due to more contagious variants that may partially evade the protective effects of at least some of the current vaccines. The current vaccines are effective for now, but we should not assume that this will remain the case as the virus mutates. How concerned are you that these vaccines will kind of fall below the 50 percent threshold that was set at the very beginning and that was so far exceeded by Maddern and Pfizer and these other great vaccines?


And do you see any evidence now that any of these variants that are spreading in the US are below that threshold?


I am very worried about the variance and what they're going to do. I'm less worried about our ability to have vaccines to address them. The vaccines, number one, the UK variant is the one that's spreading here. It is a much more contagious variant. And so while the the main variants of the. Circulating, the US are falling rapidly as we get our masks on and do some of the basic distancing things, these strains are climbing. So Florida is now at five percent of all of the cases are the U.K. variant.


That climb means that there is likely to be a surge unless we can keep our foot on the pedal and keep on going with our measures. And there's some signs, you know, 10 million people having Superbowl parties is a problem. That is what has me worried. The vaccine does work against the UK variant. It is weaker against the South African and Brazilian variant so far from what data we see. However, the vaccines are protecting against severe illness and that's what matters.


Are you going to get hospital? You're going to die from the infection. And we now have five vaccines to approved, one submitted to the FDA and the other two going to be submitted to the FDA. All have shown a very high level, nearly 100 percent effectiveness, at least what they're reporting. I want to see all the data against hospitalization and death and that's what matters. So the other reason I'm hopeful is that you can update these vaccines.


If there are new genetic alterations, you can build those into the Marnay vaccines and offer the booster shots if necessary. What I am much more worried about is that vaccines are clearly not going to be enough for our trials still have barely started to show whether kids can take these vaccines. So we're going to have a large population who are going to be exposed to these strains. No vaccine is able to stop infection entirely. So there's going to be continued circulation even among the vaccinated.


They're going to be people who are offered the vaccines and still don't take it. So we need other measures. We need better treatments. These strains are evading the monoclonal antibodies, like what was once the experimental drug that Trump got when he got sick. That's now available. But those drugs aren't effective against these strains. We have to have a crash program in developing some new antivirals, and then we have to do a better job of explaining to people how to make your masks protect you more effectively.


CDC just yesterday came out with great, very practical information about how wearing a surgical mask over your cloth mask creates a better fit. There are a few things you can do if you have a surgical mask to tighten it up. Those things make a big difference in protecting against the new strains coming.


How are we still almost a year into this? Well beyond a year in terms of the beginnings and we still don't have ninety days for everybody. It seems like that's something that we should have surmounted, like cloth masks. We have technology that is incredibly effective, seems like we should be manufacturing and sending to everybody. Is there any hope of that happening? It just seems like it's the kind of thing where everyone says they wish they had done it a month ago.


But that seems to me to make it today a great day to do it.


Exactly. I think there actually is a lot of hope. First of all, the can ninety fives, which are the Asian manufactured versions, do fit better and have are very protective and they're available in large quantities. You can order them the hospital grade and ninety fives are also available. There's a domestic manufacturer has thirty million and ninety fives that are not being distributed and bought and instead sought permission from the government to go ahead and sell them abroad. Instead the government should be buying them and deploying them.


I do worry that the hospitals haven't been purchasing the ninety five and distributing them to staff, continuing to say that they don't have access to it. But what we see from distributors is they have in ninety five they're piling up and they're about to sell them abroad. Like that's crazy. Yeah. It's time to buy them up and tell them we're going to buy a lot more.


I've been a bit confused just as a layperson when I read about the effectiveness of the vaccine, like when I when I think about what what people are worried about with covid there. Obviously nobody wants to die. Nobody wants to have severe illness. No one wants to end up in the hospital. But there's also this fear about long covid and it's hard to pass when you read these studies. Do we know how effective the vaccines are in preventing long covid long haul covid like when you say it's extremely good at preventing severe illness, does that include that or are there people that will take the vaccine and may still end up with these long haul symptoms?


On one level, it's too early to know. Here's why I'm fairly optimistic. Number one, the vaccines, like the Marnay vaccines, were ninety five percent effective against even mild or moderate symptom disease. So for all of those folks having virtually no symptoms, that's going to knock out your long covid for a vaccine. That might mean you have some mild disease. It's going to be much less likely that they're going to have long term sickness. I think, first of all, it's many fewer people who will be sicker, have sickness of any kind.


Those that. Have some mild illness, might they have a lingering form of it? It's possible, but I would be confident that compared to, you know, we have still in the range of one hundred thousand people infected per day in the country, which means that there's actively circulating hundreds of thousands of contagious people. So your choice, do I want the covid that is out there or the vaccine? It's no question you're going to be much less likely to have long covered under any circumstance.


Is there going to be some people still left who might have long covid possibly.


One last question and thank you so much for your time. You know, in being mortal, you talk about our culture's difficulty and being honest about mortality, of confronting it. We've been in this pandemic. We've been confronted in grim ways with our own mortality and what we'll do to to protect our communities, protect our families, protect ourselves. What lessons have you taken from this period in terms of how we think about the fact that we have bodies and we get sick and it comes for all of us?


We're a generation and it's been a couple generations now who got to live largely without fear that we could die from something random had to us outside of a shooting or a car accident until you're past the age of sixty five. You know, chronic illness is the concern and that has changed. It's more like a century ago where in the pre antibiotic era you had infectious diseases that could hit you at any time and claim your life from the age of twenty five up.


Right now we have seen an increase in the mortality and a decrease in the life expectancy of every age group above the age of twenty five. That hasn't happened before and I've seen how it's changing the way people live. You see people deciding to change their jobs, deciding to move, deciding to downshift. And all of those things I think, are related to that sense of fragility and vulnerability that this pandemic has brought. When that happens, you tend to focus on those who are closest to you, and you tend to also make sure you have meaning and some joy in your life.


And people are making those moves. I see it happening all over, and I think that may be a lasting and healthy consequence of all of this.


Dr. Atul Gawande, thank you so much for being on the show. Good to talk to you. Great to be here, John. Let's see you again soon.


When we come back, we'll play a game with a listener about about Britney Spears.


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I like orange and I also like the vintage. Although I had some they sent me some strawberry vanilla, which I was like, what is this going to be? It's turned out it was pretty good, pretty, pretty good.


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I'm a huge fan of streaming. That's just something like if I had a dating profile right now, I'd be like, what do you like to do?


I love streaming, streaming and the occasional lollipop rootbeer.


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That's why the food pyramid again, I don't want to I don't I don't want I don't want to get Dominion done this.


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Oh, wow. How much sugar?


Wow. Towards the end of her life, my grandmother used to take Coca-Cola and add chocolate syrup to it.


Oh, my God. I cry for help.


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Wow. That was always, always in my grandmother's fridge or Fanta.


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And get this, they're an airline group and we're back. Travis is insisting that I introduce this in the following way.


And so I will oblige. Here we go. Oh, baby, baby. How was I supposed to know that someone would be talking about the new Britney Spears documentary on Hulu framing Britney Spears? It made me crazy. I just can't sleep. I'm so excited. I'm in too deep. If you're not familiar. The New York Times release a documentary this week about how Britney has been trapped in a rigid financial and personal conservatorship usually reserved for the most elderly or incapacitated.


They walk us through her back and how the media obsession over Britney losing her mind started out as sexism and eventually became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Now she's trapped in a destructive legal limbo.


You can almost say she's a slave for U.S. law, but most of all, this documentary got us thinking there's never been a more extreme disparity in public relations around a celebrity breakup than there was between Britney and Justin. In fact, these differences are so stark and extreme, we want to highlight them in a game we're calling. I'm addicted to you.


Don't you know that you're toxic masculinity? Here to play the game, we have Hannah.


Hi, Hannah. Hi, how are you? Nice to meet you. We're what part of the country and where are you in the world? I'm in outside Boston. Outside Boston.


Outside Boston. Can I ask you a question? How is it decided that you'd be a Honna and not a Hanah?


I think my hands are trying to do something different. And then I guess my name is Parnas. It's the same thing. Wow.


That I have the hug really came through. Yeah, I like that. I think Hannah. I like that. OK, that makes sense. That's why I asked Hannah. So in this game Hannah I'm going to read a set of facts. All right. And you have to decide if it's about Justin, about Britney or about neither. OK, and your answer by saying Justin, Britney or neither did you see the documentary?


I have not. OK, OK. You're familiar with Justin Timberlake?


Yeah, I'm I'm familiar with the whole the whole drama, though. You are familiar with the drama.


OK, good. OK, good. Look, before we get into this, because there's maybe some harsh words here. All right, cry me. A River was a great song. It just was all right. And you know, everything else aside, here we go. At the end of the game, you're going to decide which singer deserves our loyalty more. Here we go. While accepting a Golden Globe on behalf of Prince, this singer stoop lower to accept it.


Poking fun at Prince's height of five foot two Justin in 2012, the singer hosted Walmart's annual shareholders meeting, saying, I buy a lot at Walmart.


Neither Justin posted a notice of apology after telling Howard Stern that. They've been subject to reverse racism in the music industry, neither correct after Justin and Britney broke up in 2002, this one got saddled with infidelity rumors. Britney, correct after their breakup this year, was asked on a radio show if they fucked, to which the singer laughed and happily bragged, Oh, yeah, I did it. Justin correct.


Regarding that very same breakup, Diane Sawyer asked this singer, You caused so much pain, so much suffering. What did you do?


Britney correct.


After their breakup, the singer made a music video with a lookalike of their old partner, showing them cheating and feeling the public blame game. I think that was Justin. It was I think that might be cry me a river.


That might be the cry me a river video. I'm almost sure it is. And honestly, it's a cool looking video.


But you know what? I was like the look alike in that video. Yeah.


Yeah, that's right. Thanks, Elvis Presley for inventing jazz.


Neither. Correct. In 2004, Kendall Erlik, then first lady of Maryland, said if she had an opportunity to shoot this singer, she would.


Britney correct.


In 2008, Family Feud featured a question about what the singer had lost in the preceding year. Survey's answers included respect, dignity, there, mind, marriage, children and fans.


Britney correct.


In an interview, Jay Leno told this singer that in three years they'd be knocking around a trailer somewhere. Britney, this singer, collaborated with Woody Allen. Neither Justin.


Justin? Yeah. Yeah.


Tried to name their 2008 album ISIS and had to be told it was the name of the terrorist organization.


I really hope that's neither. It's neither. An interviewer asked the singer if they like their own voice. Britney correct.


Shortly after appearing in The Social Network, this singer decided to buy MySpace. Justin Correct.


When this singer is asked by MTV News if it was fair that they push blame onto Janet Jackson for a Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction, they responded, We still haven't found the WMD.


Justin That's right.


Hannah in Hebrew Hannah, you won the game. Thank you. You won the game. All right. And I think we've all come to learn that we should leave Britney alone. I agree. People made fun of that video. It was prescient.


I think a lot is coming out about her now, and I respect her a lot more for it. Yeah, exactly.


Honna, thank you so much for being here when we come back.


Well I know, I know you don't go anywhere but love it or leave it and there's more on the way.


Love it or leave it is brought to you by better help. 20/20 was interesting. OK, sure.


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And we're back because we needed this week. Here it is.


Hi, I'm a careerist. I live in Denver, Colorado. I'm twelve years old. I'm a seventh grader. And my high note for this week is I got to go back in person for the first time since March 20th last year. And it's just been super exciting because I get to see all of my teachers. Oh, my friends. And it's just awesome being back in the school building. Another thing is listening to your part, because I'm a young person in the LGBTQ community and you're just a super huge inspiration to me.


And every time I listen to you, I get a little more confident about who I am. So thank you. I hope you have a good weekend.


Well, hi, John. My name is Abby. I'm calling from Cincinnati. I'm a medical student, so I'm in school to become a doctor. And that's been a pretty crazy time this year. But my high note this week is that I got to deliver a baby for the first time and I feel really lucky to have been part of that experience and seeing people so excited to build their families despite all the chaos in the world. You need a little more hopeful for the future.


Thanks for all that. You guys do have a great week.


I love it. This is Sean from Fayetteville, Arkansas. And my high note is twofold. This week I got my undergrad diploma in the mail, which was a huge hit. Accomplishment as I worked full time, as well as being a full time student and I got my LSAT score back and it's high enough for me to go into my first choice law school, which means that hopefully I get to be a part of fixing our broken legal system. So thank you for everything you do.


And I'm excited to be part of the positive change that you and the guys at Credit Media are part of as well. Thank you.


I love it. My name is Lee. I live in Denver, Colorado, but I'm originally from upstate New York and all of my family is still there in April 2020. I had a beautiful baby girl and because of covid and the fact that we were so far away, she hasn't met any of my family yet. And to spend, you know, almost a full year or face time with my mom, who my daughter actually happens to be named after, and to watch her cry on FaceTime as all of those first year milestones pass, sitting up and calling in first step to watch, to watch all that pass by without my mom being able to meet her or hold her or hug her has been just heartbreaking to watch, like beyond words.


But the high note is that my mom just got her second dose of the covid-19 and she booked a flight to come here in two weeks and finally meet her granddaughter. And I know that the pandemic isn't over yet. We still have a ways to go. But after a really, really hard year of being quarantined, working from home with a toddler and an infant and no help because we don't have any family here, this feels like a really a really distant light at the end of the tunnel.


And honestly, I can't I can't wait to see her. I haven't seen her since December of 2013. And I can't wait even more for the day that we feel like it's safe enough to get my daughters on a plane and take them to spend time with all of their cousins and their home and their uncles in New York. I know we're not there yet, but for now, I'm hoping this little wind is enough to keep me keep me hanging on until the end.


So that's my high note. Thanks for everything you guys do.


Thank you. As always. Everybody who submitted those high notes. If you want to leave us a message about something that gave you hope, you can call us at three, two three five two one nine four five five. Thank you to Akela Hughes, Atul Gawande, polyphenol, and all of her speed dating contestants and everybody who called in. There are 633 days until the 2022 midterm elections. Have a great weekend. Love it or leave it is a crooked media production it has written and produced by me, Jon Lovett, Lee Eisenberg, our head writer, and the person whose gender reveal party started the fire, Travis Helwig, Jocelyn Kaufman, Pallavi Jenolan and Peter Miller are the writers are assistant producer is Sidney Rapp.


Bill Lance is our editor and Kyle Ségolène is our sound engineer. Our theme song is written and performed by Shirker, thanks to our designers Jesse McClain and Jamie Skil for creating and running all of our visuals, which you can't see because this is a podcast. And to our digital producers Nahm Melkonian and Milo Kim for filming and editing video each week so you can.


Good words with Kirk Franklin welcomes people from every cross-section of life seeking inspiration and empowerment through intimate conversations, exploring faith, redemption and the realities of today's world. Kirk invites us to see ourselves in the shared moments between him and his guests. The show provides a fun, energetic outlet to lift people up and share trials and tribulations that guests have overcome along the way. Guests include Chance, the rapper Pharrell, Kelly Rowland, Glenn and Doyle, and more new episodes every Tuesday starting February 9th.


Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.