This week on America’s Most Benevolent Podcast®, another super-sized episode. First up, the Middle East is breaking out in…peace. That’s good, right? Well, depends who you ask. We discuss. Then, our good pal Dr. Jay Bhattacharya joins to bring us up to speed on the coming vaccine, the (very treacherous) intersection of politics and medicine, whether or not the lockdown was a mistake, and more. The Lileks Post of The Week makes its triumphant return with a terrific post by @kirkianwanderer, Say Goodnight, Blue Eyes”: George Burns on Best Friends. Finally, are you as confused about the social media app Tik-Tok as Peter Robinson? If so, Rob Long is here to explain it to you. Maybe he should make a short video about it?

Music from this week’s episode: What Time Is It by Marshall Crenshaw

The COVID-19 death toll has reached 85,000 and a furious debate is going on around the country about whether, or when, we should reopen the economy. 37,000,000 Americans have filed for unemployment benefits and 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed. Forty percent of those making less than $40,000 have lost their jobs.

And yet, in testimony before the Senate HELP Committee, presidential scientific advisor Anthony Fauci warned that needless suffering and death would ensue if governors reopened the country prematurely. Fauci stated that his advice was based on the best scientific evidence.

We’re about 9 weeks into the Great American Shut Down and maybe, just maybe we’re starting to see a light at the end of this tunnel? To help us parse this, call on an actual scientist, our good friend from Stanford Medicine, Dr. Jay Bhattacharya who helped write the Santa Clara Study and the just released MLB study. We discuss where we are now, where we might be going, the strategies different states are employing, and yes, at bit of the politics around all of this. And will we see the return of college and pro sports any time soon? You’ll have to tune in for the answer to that one. Also, a Ricochet first time poster gets the highly-coveted, much sought after Lileks Post of The Week badge, and we pay tribute to the great Reverend Richard Penniman. He was built for speed and good golly, we’ll miss him.

Music from this week’s podcast: Long Tall Sally by Little Richard

Strange times call for improvisation and trying new things. So this week The Ricochet Podcast isn’t just a podcast, it’s also a Zoom webinar (sorry, the video is only for Ricochet members — not a member? Join today!). See James Lileks’ secret TV studio designed by a dyslexic! Rob Long owns and prominently displays Communist propaganda! Peter Robinson is wearing a sweater! Wait, that’s not a surprise. OK, he’s floating above San Francisco bay! But enough about the video, more importantly, we’ve got a great guest this week: Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at the Stanford Medical School, Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. He explains why the numbers we’re seeing may not tell the entire story of this pandemic. Also, a new Lileks Post of The Week, My Life as a Google End User, some thoughts about life as we now know it, and some cameo appearances from some actual Ricochet members!

Music From This Week’s Show: Sitting In My Room by The Ramones