May 28 • 1HR 22M

Covid Update/Student Activists

 
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Ralph Nader
Ralph Nader talks about what’s happening in America, what’s happening around the world, and most importantly what’s happening underneath it all.
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Infectious disease expert, Dr. Michael Osterholm, joins Ralph to update us on the very latest in Covid-related transmission rates, hospitalizations, boosters, therapeutics, testing, masks and more. Then, we welcome Dan Xie, the Political Director at Student PIRGs (Public Interest Research Groups) to tell us about all the great work her young charges are doing on climate issues, the unhoused, student hunger, affordable textbooks and more.


Dr. Michael Osterholm is a professor and director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. He is the author of Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs, and host of the weekly podcast The Osterholm Update: COVID-19.

Let me take a page out of “Rational Human Behavior” — the public is done with this pandemic. They’re done. They are not going to agree to do much, unless they feel a unique vulnerability… For the vast majority of the public, I don’t know that it matters what we say. They are going to do what they’re going to do. And I think from that perspective, then we have to think about “What does that mean for the pandemic?”

Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of CIDRAP

Life is a risk. And the question is, how do you parse that risk out to what you do and don’t do?

Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of CIDRAP

Please, don’t be afraid to go [to routine medical appointments]. Go. But don’t also be afraid to ask, before you go, what the office or clinic is doing to protect you, and to protect the workers, and other patients [from COVID-19]. And I think most times you’ll find a quite satisfactory answer.

Dr. Michael Osterholm, Director of CIDRAP


Dan Xie is the Political Director at Student PIRGs, where she directs the national political strategy, advises staff and students on strategic campaign plans, and amplifies their work with coalition partners and at conferences. Dan has managed successful campaigns to cap global warming pollution, fight the high cost of higher education, and make voting more accessible for students.

Our work is grounded in doing peer-to-peer work on campus… There’s a lot of movement today to buy big lists, to text strangers. That’s not the PIRG model. We go on their campuses, we knock on their doors, we get their leaders in College Democrats and College Republicans to come out and say, “This is why it’s important for you to vote.” And it works.

Dan Xie, Political Director at Student PIRGS

I learned a lot about the problems in my classes, and I didn’t learn a single thing about how to get my elected officials to do what I wanted them to do… PIRGS allow students to take what they’re learning in the classroom and actually apply it on the ground. And I think– it’s very rare– they then see results within a semester, or quarter, or year, or two.

Dan Xie, Political Director at Student PIRGS

[People] aren’t reading about these PIRGS [Public Interest Research Groups] in the mainstream media, because the PIRGS don’t engage in disruptive or outrageous behavior. They just get things done using reason, evidence, truth, justice.

Ralph Nader

[Hazel Henderson] was often right too soon on too many things. Therefore, she was excluded mostly from the mainstream media. How’d she react? Created her own international media! Syndicated columns, translated into 27 languages, she had her own early webinars, books, articles, conferences… She was a tremendous booster of free thinking, as if people mattered.

Ralph Nader


Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 429 Transcript
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