This Monday Toolkit episode is timed to help parents, teachers, and students figure out what to expect and how to make it through a challenging school year. Two incredible guests, Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson and former Secretary of Education John B. King, Jr. answer your questions about remote learning, special needs, mental health, social and emotional needs, and equity issues. They also talk about how the decisions over who to bring back — and when — are likely to work.
Keep up with Andy on Twitter @ASlavitt and Instagram @andyslavitt
Follow John B. King, Jr. @JohnBKing and Janice Jackson @JaniceJackson on Twitter.
In the Bubble is supported in part by listeners like you. Become a member, get exclusive bonus content, ask Andy questions, and get discounted merch at https://www.lemonadamedia.com/inthebubble/
Check out these resources from today’s episode:
- Learn more about John’s organization, The Education Trust: https://edtrust.org/
- Here’s what a virtual school day will look like for CPS students this fall: https://chicago.suntimes.com/education/2020/8/5/21355791/cps-remote-virtual-learning-public-schools-covid-fall-high-elementary
- Read more about the Pew Research Center report on who has access to reliable internet: https://www.pewresearch.org/internet/fact-sheet/internet-broadband/
- Learn more about the Chicago Connected program, which provides free high-speed internet for families in need: https://www.cps.edu/strategic-initiatives/chicago-connected/
- Check out the CDC’s toolkit for K-12 schools: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/toolkits/schools.html
- Read more about what Michelle Obama said about experiencing “low-grade depression:” https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/06/us/michelle-obama-depression.html
[00:51] Andy Slavitt: Welcome to In the Bubble. This is Andy Slavitt. We have a great toolkit episode today and it is about how to do the school thing. And it is a toolkit with your questions and voicemails. And I think you’re going to like it a lot because the guests are phenomenal. Janice Jackson is the chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools. Dr. Jackson’s been immersed in the Chicago public schools for her entire life, from being a student, Headstart through 12th grade. She’s been a teacher. She’s been a principal, chief education officer, and now she’s the CEO and a mom to two students. She is very amazing and inspiring. The second person who will be taking questions from you is the former secretary of education, John King, who is the president and CEO of the Education Trust. Before that, he was the secretary of education under President Obama and he was the New York State Education Commissioner. Really passionate guy with a wonderful personal story. I think you’ll enjoy this toolkit episode. I will warn you that this conversation goes into a lot of depth, so I end up being able to ask only about four or five questions. And I tried to summarize the best questions because I think, as you’ll see, the depth as to why and how these decisions are getting made ended up being just as interesting as the what. So I apologize if we don’t give you as many tools as we like to, but that’s how the conversation steered, and I think it is fascinating anyway. I’m going to cut to the chase and let’s get to Janice and John.
[02:57] Andy Slavitt: You know, people are confused. They’re hyped up. They’re nervous. They’re, you know, they don’t know what to do. They know this is not a perfect situation that they’re dealing with. But now they’re really facing it. They’re dealing with the questions. And I think, you know, this podcast in general is about our life during this time and how to get through it. And I like to say it’s 50 percent Winston Churchill, 50 percent Fred Rogers. So how do we help people come together with a little bit of a unifying voice, with some calm, but to be helpful. And so appreciate you guys being on today, because people do come for the help. And today they’re quite fortunate to have two great educational leaders in this country. I just went through their backgrounds. Before we get into the questions, I’m wondering if there’s some overall thoughts — and maybe we’ll start with you, Janice — that you would offer students, parents, teachers about how you think about the coming year and the mindset you want folks to have.
[03:58] Janice Jackson: Just like everything with COVID, that evolves every day. But there are a few things that I think are critically important and remain true throughout this process, which is, first, all school districts — I know I talk to my colleagues all the time — we are focused on making sure that we give our kids the best experience possible. That is critically important. That is our work on a normal day. But it’s even more important as we try to respond to this global pandemic. I think the message that the school district is here for you to parents is important. I, like many parents, had to work through remote learning this past spring, so I know first-hand what some of those challenges are. And I think the plans that me and my colleagues across the country have put together really take that into consideration. The school year starting in Chicago will be all remote, and I know many districts across the country are doing that. And I know for many people, myself included, that that was a hard pill to swallow. I’m an old-school traditionalist when it comes to education. And so thinking about a new structure is sometimes hard for people to get past. But one of the things that I would say to the adults is that children are much more resilient than we give them credit for. They’re actually more adaptive and flexible than we are. And that’s something to keep top of mind, not to take for granted, but to keep top of mind. But I want people to know that we have a plan that we are going to provide support and that, you know, we’re all in this together and we have an opportunity to really make this work.
[05:30] Andy Slavitt: So, John, what overall philosophical thoughts do you have?
[05:34] John B. King: Whether folks are going all distanced, or at best hybrid in some places where the rate of infection is much lower, we’re relying on the Internet. And we all should be in a panic about the fact that we have these huge disparities in Internet access. And so every community should be organizing to make sure that every kid has access to the Internet and access to a device. I know Janice has focused on this in Chicago, but, you know, we have evidence from a Pew study that 79 percent of white families have reliable Internet access, 66 percent of black families. 61 percent of Latino families. That’s just unacceptable. The last thing I’d say is that school has a huge important academic role in kids’ lives. But there’s also the socio-emotional role at school plays. And I worry a lot about kids who aren’t in school buildings and that may have been the only place where they had consistent, reliable, nurturing relationships. I was a kid like that. My parents passed. My mom when I was eight, my dad when I was 12. The thing that saved me was consistent relationships at school. And so I fear for the kids who have been disconnected from that for months and now will be disconnected from that going into the school year. So we’ve got a center relationships. Making sure that there are adults in touch with every kid, communicating with them, making sure they feel seen and heard. And we just can’t lose sight of that social emotional role that school plays.
[07:13] Andy Slavitt: Oh, absolutely. I want to jump into some questions, and lets recognize up front that as I read these questions, there are no perfect answers. And I don’t expect you guys to have perfect answers to these questions, but I think people would love some help in how to think them through. So with that, let me start with Daniel from the Bronx. He says, “from my own experience, I was able to see that my older children — ninth grade, eighth grade and fourth grade — were able to transition relatively well to virtual learning as their education methods didn’t seem to be interrupted. For example, the teacher could ask them to read on Zoom or to answer a question on Zoom, etc.. However, for my youngest child in kindergarten, it was very difficult as the school’s philosophy is much more of a play-based approach, how do you keep those younger children involved?” And maybe Janice, if you don’t mind, we’ll start with you.
[08:05] Janice Jackson: No, that’s a great question and a fair question. As we put together our plan for remote learning, we spent a fair amount of time making sure that the guidance was appropriate from a few different perspectives, most notably age appropriate. And I think what I would say first is acknowledging the fact that parents will play a larger role in the education of their children in a remote setting. There’s no way to get around it. For our younger students, though, we have to make sure that there are opportunities for them to engage directly with their teachers. I mean, that may look like what we’ve seen with older students engaging through Zoom or Google Classroom, etc. But we also have to provide parents with a lot of guidance around how to keep them actively engaged throughout the day. And so I do worry about, you know, disparities that may exist in families where you have a parent who, you know, can focus solely on their child’s academic and social emotional development. And many of our students, to John’s point earlier, whose parents are the various essential workers that we have been lifting up, they can’t be in two places at one time. And so when we look at our plan, when it is safe to return students to school, we are prioritizing our youngest students, our students with disabilities, because we know that they need the direct support of the school system. And our early childhood educators have talked a lot about this as well. How do we get the benefits of early childhood education, not just the academic benefits, there are a lot of social benefits of early childhood education, and trying to mimic that in a virtual environment presents some challenges. But we are working through it and I feel like we’re learning a lot.
[09:45] Andy Slavitt: John, anything you would add?
[09:47] John B. King: Yeah, I just sort of would double down on Janice’s point about the role of parents. You know, the San Antonio school district is planning to do a whole parent training as the first part of the reopening of school. I think that’s critical because parents are really co-teachers in this current moment. And so supporting them around how to support their kids’ learning I think is critical. You know, I’d also come back to this idea that school is more than academics. You know, little kids need time to play. They need time to be physically active. And we have to support parents around thinking about how to structure a day for their kids where that’s possible. And then on Janis’s equity point, you know, only about one in five black folks in the workforce can work from home. Only about one in six Latinos in the workforce can work from home. So we have a lot of kids who are with older siblings, or maybe they’re with another family member. We are going to see, I think without question, gaps grow because of those kinds of disparities. So when we think about physical reopening, we ought to prioritize the youngest students and our students with disabilities. I just think that we have to accept that Zoom is not going to get it done for our youngest learners.
[11:03] Andy Slavitt: Yeah, that’s right. And when we come to talk about the equity and disparity issues, you know, it’s interesting how money and privilege allows you to buy yourself so many more options that others don’t have. And so I hope that people who are listening to this understand that given that situation, we have to prioritize the people who don’t have their own built-in options.
[11:27] Janice Jackson: And, Andy, if I can even build on that point, we’ve all talked about the inequities inherent in the educational system, and so many systems throughout this country. But here we are building a new system: remote learning. Let us avoid the failures of the past. We cannot create a new system that replicates the inequities that exist in our current system, which is why John’s point around access to Internet — high-speed Internet, which is very different from tethering to a phone in some of the other stuff that a lot of families had to do in the spring. So we prioritized through our Chicago connected program getting families access to high speed Internet so that they can fully participate. When we distributed devices, we prioritized the students that were in the most need. And so it has been really a call to action for us to lead around the words and the things that we espouse on a daily basis around equity. But the charge that I’ve been really given everybody is we are in the process of creating a system. Let us create a fair and equitable system. But I do worry about some of the things that you’re seeing. I’m seeing parents who are creating these pods. They’re hiring sometimes the very teachers who are supposed to be teaching in these schools, but they’re hiring people to do things for their kids, and that gap that already has existed and persisted over time, I’m just afraid of what that’s going to look like over time. And I feel like, you know, that’s a place where we have to spend much more time discussing. That’s a place where the district has to spend more time filling in the gap or standing in the gap around that. But it is something that I worry about when I start to think about what is the impact five years from now, 10 years from now? I think we should all work extremely hard not to reproduce the same system, not to reproduce the status quo.
[13:15] Andy Slavitt: It’s important to remind people that the kids we’re worrying about that don’t have Internet today, didn’t have Internet last year and the year before and year before. Now we know it. So what are we going to do about it? I just hope people are conscious in this moment of not just themselves, but everyone around them. I think that’s the theme of both — not just this podcast, but I think that’s that should be the theme of this pandemic. Let me ask another quick question here. Let me start with you, John. This is from a teacher. She says, her name is Sara. She asked, “what kind of training are you planning to give teachers for best practices, for online teaching, learning? It is very different than in person. ,s a teacher. I know I have received none. I do report back next week. So maybe something will happen in the interim. But I’m very, very doubtful.”
[13:55] Janice Jackson: I mean, Sara is exactly right and I am really worried about where we are on this. And this points again to failure on the part of the federal government. And it is a failure at multiple levels. One, that the United States Education Department should be a hub of best practices. It isn’t. They’re invisible. They’ve been invisible throughout this crisis. So that’s a failure. Two, professional development requires resources. And we know that some affluent districts were able to spend a lot more on professional development for their teachers around distance learning than districts that are serving a lot of low-income students. The way we saw that is with federal resources. But despite the urgent need across lots of areas — education, healthcare, unemployment insurance, so forth — Congress has failed to do their job. The Senate really has failed to do its job. And we still don’t have an additional stimulus bill that will direct resources to school districts. We think school districts need at least $175 billion dollars just to avoid cuts. And then you start thinking about the money that’s needed for professional development, for Internet access, for addressing students’ socio-emotional needs with additional counselors and mental health services, etc.. So the one hopeful thing is that I think school district superintendents are really worried about making sure teachers have good professional development. And you know, Janice, you talked about what they’re doing in Chicago, but I talked to superintendents all over the country who are trying now to think about how do we make sure that before we start this school year, we make distance learning much better than it was in the spring.
[15:36] Andy Slavitt: Let me flip the question a little bit for you, Janice, and ask it this way: if a teacher is in a district that is not offering training, is there advice you would offer them places to go or resources? We certainly can look for some and put them up in our show notes. But I’m wondering if you have any counsel.
[15:52] Janice Jackson: Well, first of all, teachers are very resourceful by nature. And so the person who posed the question, I’m sure, is spending a great deal of time looking at websites. There are, you know, plenty of resources that a lot of these organizations are producing, but that’s not the right approach. I mean, going back to the point that I made earlier, we’re continuously reproducing the same inequities that exist in a system where a teacher is spending more time looking for resources than they are, you know, preparing their lessons and preparing to teach in a new and diverse way. Couple things I would say. First, I want to double down on John’s point and really talk about what this looks like on the ground level. CPS has responded to this, but I think that most districts, especially in some of our rural areas who don’t have access to groups like Council of Great City Schools, Chiefs for Change and other groups that have come together where we can share best practices quickly and get up to speed, I worry about what’s happening in thousands of school districts across the country that don’t have the connections, the networks and the resources. What we have done is we were already in a process of creating an online curriculum for pre-K through 12th. We’re releasing some of the materials in beta form just so that teachers have something. Once again, so that the focus is on the pedagogy in this new space and not the what. So I would say that that’s the focus. This is a message for superintendents moreso than teachers, is that you have to provide people with constant training. You gotta triage. So we got in there in the spring quickly to respond because people were thrown into the deep. But you also have to create a comprehensive plan so that this is addressed not just during a crisis, but long term. Teachers have been complaining about professional development for decades, and I think we have an opportunity to really leverage the technology that’s out there so that we can level the playing field. That has not happened at the national level, and so what that looks like at the ground level is people are scrambling. The end result is that there are disparate outcomes. You have some systems that have full professional development, training and resources for teachers and many more who don’t. And again, that impacts the quality of education that children have, which is, you know, a concern for me.
[22:41] Andy Slavitt: I have a question from Aaron. He says, “Going fully remote will disproportionately affect kids who already have a difficult home life. What additional resources — mental health, food assistance, case management, housing support — are being allocated to support you most at-risk youth?” So maybe think about that from a Chicago perspective. I’ve got a number of questions about kids’ mental health. And so if you have any specific thoughts, you want to dive deep into that area, that would be great, Janice.
[23:10] Janice Jackson: Definitely. First, let me start with what we have done and will continue to do is making sure that we’re doing the things and providing the services that we’re uniquely positioned to do. That includes feeding students. We served over 16 million meals during the last three months of the school year. And, you know, we saw record numbers of people coming out for food who were in situations where they were food insecure. And it really went beyond kind of what, you know, the people who would traditionally partake in a program like that, which again speaks to, I guess, the level of despair in this crisis. So we’ll continue to do that because the need is there. We surveyed our parents, our students, our teachers, etc., after our first remote learning implementation this spring, and mental health was at the top of the list. So what we’ve done now is we’ve created a plan for students to access those clinicians and related health service providers in our schools. It took us a while to get that off the ground, and I think a lot of districts struggled with that as well. We are a district that is focused on social-emotional learning. So ensuring that those classes in that space are built into the schedule is something that we spent a lot of time on this year. And then also working with our community-based partners and organizations who really had to stop connecting with kids because their point of connection is in the school, and figuring out how to do that. We couldn’t get a lot of our telehealth services off the ground because of the Internet divide. So there were a lot of things to contend with. But as we go into the fall, I think we’ve solved for that in many ways. Number one, with increased staffing, which was a commitment that was made prior to this, and we had to accelerate. But then and also the Internet connectivity issue, which we keep coming back to. And to your point, the crisis really forced us to provide ubiquitous access, but it’s something we’re committed to do long term. Our Chicago Connected program is a four year program, and we are hoping that in four years, the federal government gets to a place where they see this as a utility that everybody deserves and should have. That’s our bet. But luckily, the city and our philanthropic partners invested in our kids. And so we will be able to provide ubiquitous access for the next four years.
[25:22] Andy Slavitt: That’s fantastic. That’s great. John, I want to ask you — I want to dive a little bit deeper into this area. You are a survivor of some childhood trauma yourself, and childhood trauma is one of the hidden killers in our society when it’s undealt with. You had, as you described, thankfully, some people in your lives who helped you through that. But I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on how we help parents, adults, loved ones talking to kids as they go through what could be an experience that becomes a trauma that they deal with for a long, long time.
[26:04] John B. King: Yeah, it’s so important. You know, after my mom passed — it was October of fourth grade. And I lived with my dad, who was very sick with undiagnosed Alzheimer’s. So home was this environment that was scary, inconsistent, lonely. I didn’t know what he was going to be like from one night to the next, and I didn’t know why. And the thing that made all the difference was I had this amazing teacher, fourth, fifth, sixth grade. I’m still in touch with him. Just a phenomenal teacher who made his classroom this place where I could be a kid when I couldn’t be a kid at home. And we have to think about how do we create that kind of stability for kids in a really challenging distance learning context. The Phoenix Union School District in Arizona had a campaign last spring that called every student every day just to check on them. To say, how are you doing, what do you need? To figure out if they needed food, if they needed academic support, they needed a hot spot or they needed mental health support. And so that commitment to making sure kids are heard and checked in with I think is huge. You’re so right about the need to identify these things early and provide support. And I so admire the work that Janice is doing. And we need the federal government to give school districts more help on this front. We’ve got states where the ratio of students to counselors is like 600 to one. How is a counselor going to be an effective source of support with a caseload of 600 students? And so we need more counselors. We need more mental health service providers. And in the context of an economic crisis that is hitting state and local government hard, we need the federal government to step in with those resources. And so far, they haven’t been willing to do that.
[27:55] Andy Slavitt: John, if you’re an adult and you’ve got kids in your life, whether they’re your own children, nieces, nephews, neighbor kids, how do you recommend checking in with them and asking how they’re doing? And making sure that they have a place to go. If you’re an adult, is there responsibility you can take to help stem some of this damage?
[28:15] John B. King: I mean, you’ve got to check in with kids and you’ve got to be in conversation with them. You got to listen. And, you know, I have two teenage daughters, 14 and 16. Sometimes with adolescents, you gotta ask the questions — you got to be persistent about the questions. You may not get an answer the first time and you have to create a space where you can have that conversation. Sometimes it can be just reading a book with the kid, sharing a story, you know, just making that connection. But I think kids desperately, desperately need that connection. And one of my fears about this COVID-19 period, for kids and adults, is that it’s causing people to feel so isolated and alone. And we’ve really got to break through that.
[28:59] Andy Slavitt: That’s right. Janice?
[29:00] Janice Jackson: I would just build on that and say, you know, in some cases it’s not even as important to ask, you just have to act. So going back to the conversation about the pods earlier or other opportunities that families may be created for their own children. Like think about who else you can bring into their space, whether those are family members, or people from your churches, people in your neighborhood. If you live in a place where there is that kind of outreach. That’s something that I’ve struggled with. You know, I think that in addition to the ‘we’re all in this together,’ there’s also been kind of this theme of ‘I have to take care of my own.’ School isn’t open, I got to make sure my house is in order, I need to keep my job, I have to organize my students. And I would just encourage people to think about, you know, who is within your kind of sphere of influence that you can support. There’s a lot of power in doing that. And I think going back to that earlier theme, if we don’t want to create another inequitable system, it’s going to require all of us to step in.
[29:59] Andy Slavitt: I think that’s such an important point. One of the tragedies of this moment, in addition to all the other tragedies, is the missed opportunity to ask people what they can do to help and contribute. The people in this country have not been asked to sacrifice, have not been asked to help, to be part of the solution. And so it leads people to their natural inclination to wonder maybe if I’m not being supported, how do I get that support? But what you’re saying is so important is that I really think that there are so many people who want to know how they can contribute, and they’re not being asked to do it. So I think what you’re calling on people to do is to say if you’ve got the energy to get through the day and get past your own basic needs, there is no greater time to look into what you can do to help others. And by the way, there’s no better feeling — the selfish part of that is there’s no better thing for your mental health than helping other people. Because all of a sudden the microscope of your own problem disappears.
[32:17] Andy Slavitt: I think there’s a few questions that have come in about how will you know and how you make this decision to bring people back from remote learning to in-person learning. Are there thresholds that need to exist? Are there specific elements like testing, community spread? What are the things that you look for to start to move people back in? And if you had to speculate, when in your mind do you expect that to be a serious option?
[32:48] Janice Jackson: So we have stated that we would be all remote for the first quarter, obviously, to give ourselves an opportunity to look at any kind of trends around community spread, positivity rates, etc. I think the first thing that I would say, like this entire process, it is driven by the science. And I can’t really stress how important that is as a leader — it was personally hard for me to make a decision for kids not to be in class, in person. And I think that if we did not pay attention to science, it would be very easy to make a mistake and put people’s lives in jeopardy. We conducted community engagement. Our parents were clear. Some people were ready. A lot of people were not. And we had to listen to that. I think as we look forward, we need to see that the spread is controlled. We need a national plan around this. And I know John is going to weigh in on that. Because even if Chicago or New York or other places are in good shape, if people are traveling across the United States, which we all do, there’s still the possibility of spread that we should be concerned about. Our local health official is fantastic — Dr. Arwady — and she takes a look at all of these issues and helps us to make the right decisions so that our students and staff are safe. So I don’t have a hard and fast number. I think it looks like control. It looks like, you know, continued expansion of testing, more rapid testing and results for everybody.
[34:12] Janice Jackson: And it also looks like the public trusting the process and trusting what’s going on. And that is a place where we still have a long way to go nationally, because of the lack of a strategy at the top, but also locally. I mean, people are still afraid and we can’t do what we need to do in a school building, which is educate students, if we can’t meet that basic need of people feeling safe. And so we’ll continue to monitor this and make the best decision with the data that’s there. But the one thing that I have committed to is embracing the uncertainty. And I know that sounds crazy. It sounds crazy coming out of my mouth, but that’s the space that we live in. There is a lot of uncertainty and we have to embrace that so that we make the right decisions. It’s not good enough to just do what we’ve always done because these circumstances are so different.
[35:00] Andy Slavitt: Yeah. And I think about this. And clearly, you know, you’ve driven home the message about the federal government. That’s not hard to miss. But the other thing that is like I try to remind people of is that you get people who are like, we must open up schools on time. And then they’re going out to bars and socializing without a mask. So, you know, it’s like if you want the school to open, which we all do, guess who has an influence on that? We all do.
[35:25] John B. King: You’re exactly right. I mean, we’ve chosen bars and restaurants over schools. So we need that local commitment. We need leadership at the local government level, at the state level, at the federal level. What we see now is places around the country opening up even though their positivity rate is much higher than the CDC has suggested. We see schools and higher-ed institutions opening up, even though the rate of new cases is skyrocketing up rather than going down, as the CDC has suggested. And that’s only compounding our problem. So when places make bad decisions, that increases the risk for everybody, not just in their own community, but as Janice pointed out, it increases the risk for people all over the country because no one’s really in a bubble. Everyone’s interacting with each other. So we need a national reset on doing the things that the science recommends. And at the same time, we have to, I think, shift how we think about school reopening, and say schools are reopening virtually, hybrid, maybe in person in some places, but schools are reopening. And the question is, how do we make sure that we take care of our kids? We get them the best academic experience and socio-emotional experience we can.
[36:45] Andy Slavitt: Janice, I want to ask you to reflect. I’ve got to tell you, talking to you, I feel like you were built for this moment. Well, look, I mean, we all know what it’s like to have the wrong person in the job at the most important moments. And I’m not going to harp on that. I want to harp on having the right people in the job that we need them in the right moments. And for millions of people, your job is as important a job is any job we’re going to have. How are you doing it? How are you bracing it? How are you feeling? And how can we help you, General? Because I think you are the General.
[37:26] Janice Jackson: Thank you for that. And I hope I don’t break down in the middle of this. But, you know, that’s one of those things for people who know me, they know that I built strong. African-American women, we’re expected to be strong and shoulder and carry everything, it’s just naturally who we are. This moment is the most stressful thing. And I’ve experienced a lot of stuff, a lot of trauma in my life, as well. But nothing compares to this. And when Michelle Obama said it the other day that she was experiencing low-grade depression, I just said thank you. I mean, for the most powerful woman, I mean, she’s our queen. So for her to say and acknowledge that, that to me spoke volumes in. And I say that because it’s OK not to be OK in this space, and people need to know that. And even in my roughest times — and if you follow Chicago schools and politics, you know that times get really tough around here. You know, even when I’m ready to check out, the next day, I just get back up and I want to do this. There is something in me and I know that this time is unique, and that if you don’t have people at the table who care, people at the table who are fearless, and people at the table who will stand up despite all of the craziness and still work on behalf of children, the children who may not have the same support and people with the access to speak out for them, that’s my why. And so for the people who are in key decision making positions across this country, I just tell them you have to stay focused. You have to stand in the gap. This is the time that we’ve all planned for and talked about. And I’m just looking forward to the end, and in reflecting back and being proud that we all survived it. But my community and my city needs me. And so even when I feel, you know, despair, I know that the work is bigger than me, and I’ve been put in this position to do that. So thank you for acknowledging that, because it means a lot.
[39:20] Andy Slavitt: Well, Dr. Jackson, thank you so much for joining us. Good luck. We are lucky to have you. I can assure people listening in that this virus will not beat the strong people in our country, like you, Dr. Jackson. Like you, Secretary King, whose voice is and experience is an inspiration, and it’s something we all need to pay attention to. It’s a moment for all of us. I mean, whether you’re running a school district or you’re running a family or whatever you’re doing, this is a moment of opportunity for us. Both of you are making me want to embrace it.
[39:52] John B. King: Thanks for doing this show and for calling attention to these issues and trying to help people make it through this.
[39:59] Andy Slavitt: Absolutely, John. Thank you, guys.
[40:11] Andy Slavitt: All right. Well, I hope that conversation was helpful. If it wasn’t helpful, I think it was at least very interesting to hear how they thought. And I think Wednesday’s episode is going to be very similar because it’s with comedian Mike Birbiglia. No, it’s going to be very different. You know, we try to mix it up a little bit. Mike Birbiglia, for those who don’t know him, is not just one of the funniest people on the planet, but he also is someone who can talk about someone whose job is literally to tour in front of live audiences. And now he is stuck like the rest of us. We want to hear his takes on that. And then we’re back to toolkits. We’ve got next Monday, we’ve got a very interesting toolkit: how we are able to help and deal with the issues that are emerging at the long term, chronic issues that are emerging from COVID. We have two amazing experts. And then we have the following week, even another tool kit. And that is going to be one on testing, because I think new testing is hopefully coming to primetime soon enough. So we’ll talk to you on Wednesday.
[41:37] Andy Slavitt: Andy Slavitt: Thanks for listening In the Bubble. Hope you rate us highly. We are a production of Lemonada Media. Kryssy Pease is our producer. Ivan Kuraev is our editor. Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs executive produce the show and run our lives. Music is by Dan Molad and Oliver Hill. You can find out more about our show on social media @LemonadaMedia. And you can find me at a @ASlavitt on Twitter or @AndySlavitt on Instagram. If you liked what you heard today, please, please, please tell your friends to come listen, but from a distance. And for now, stay safe. Share some joy. And we will get through this together. And #StayHome.