Influence Watch Podcast #130: Exploiting COVID-19

In this episode we change up the format as Capital Research Center Director of Communications Sarah Lee comes back to interview our regular host, CRC Research Director Michael Watson, on various topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Let’s talk generally about the push to continue the lockdown. There’s debate over the wearing of masks, and there are reasonable arguments on both sides, but generally, most people are wearing masks with the idea that if we do our part, we’ll get back to normal sooner. That’s civic responsibility and it’s good. But what do you make of the recent news that Aspen, Colo. has instituted a mask mandate until the day after the election and Washington DC has exempted government officials from their mask mandate?

The election is of course being impacted by the coronavirus. Do you have concerns about how VBM could mean chaos in the coming election, and do you draw a distinction between absentee voting and VBM?

You recently wrote an op-ed that appeared in the Washington Examiner about how the teacher’s unions are instrumental in keeping the lockdown going because they are behind the push to keep schools closed despite recent reports from CDC that the chance of children dying from COVID is literally one in a million. Now there are reports that teachers not only don’t want to teach in person, but they want limits on remote teaching as well. But they presumably still would like to be paid. What are your thoughts on that?

There’s a new COVID-related stimulus bill being considered and, while many conservatives believe it’s irresponsible legislation that continues to increase the national debt, there’s some indication that the last stimulus bill, CARES Act, is being used to implement school choice measures in the states. Is that a silver lining in this whole mess?

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Sarah Lee

Sarah Lee was born and raised in Atlanta, Ga., but found herself drawn to Washington, DC, the birthplace of her mother, after completing a master’s degree in public administration from…
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Michael Watson

Michael is Research Director for Capital Research Center and serves as the managing editor for InfluenceWatch. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, he previously worked for a…
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