The World and Everything in It — August 11, 2020

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Good morning!

Pandemic restrictions are making it hard for prison chaplains to bring the gospel to inmates. We’ll tell you how they’re trying to adapt.

NICK EICHER, HOST: Also President Trump used executive orders to break the congressional stalemate over economic relief. But that doesn’t mean the fight is over on Capitol Hill.

Plus a conversation with health care policy expert Sally Pipes.

And Les Sillars on the discipline of natural consequences.

REICHARD: It’s Tuesday, August 11th. This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Good morning!

REICHARD: Now the news. Here’s Kent Covington.

KENT COVINGTON, NEWS ANCHOR: Looters, vandals ransack Chicago businesses » Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Monday condemned looters and vandals that ransacked the city’s South Side.

The looting started late Sunday night after police shot and wounded an adult suspect they said fired at them. 

Lightfoot made clear, there was no justification for the criminal acts.

LIGHTFOOT: This was not legitimate First Amendment protected speech. These were not poor people engaged in petty theft to feed themselves and their families. This was straight up felony criminal conduct.

The crowd swarmed Chicago’s South Side in the early morning hours Monday. 

AUDIO: [Sound of crowd]

Looters smashed the windows of dozens of businesses—making off with whatever they could carry. 

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said police made more than a hundred arrests and a total of 13 officers were injured. In one instance, police were targeted while arresting an alleged looter. 

BROWN: This person was carrying a cash register he had looted out of a store. As officers were making the arrest, another vehicle passed by the officers and fired shots at the officers as their vehicle turned the corner resulting in an exchange of gunfire between our officers and the suspects. 

Brown said a social media post urged people to form a car caravan and converge on the business and shopping district.

Lightfoot addressed looters directly on Monday, telling them that police had collected a lot of surveillance video. She said “we saw you, and we will come after you.”

China sanctions six U.S. lawmakers and other officials » China on Monday announced unspecified sanctions against 11 U.S. officials—including six Republican lawmakers—Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton and Pat Toomey, as well as New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith.

All of the sanctioned U.S. officials have heavily criticized China’s crackdown on liberties in Hong Kong. 

On Monday, Hong Kong authorities arrested the founder of a newspaper under its new so-called national security law. Police were seen carting away boxes of what they said was evidence from Jimmy Lai’s pro-democracy Next Digital headquarters. Officials say he’s suspected of collusion with foreign powers. 

That evening, police also arrested pro-democracy activist Agnes Chow Ting on charges of inciting secession. 

HHS secretary leads highest-level delegation to Taiwan in 41 years » Meantime, the Trump administration further riled the Chinese Communist Party this week as Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar met with leaders in Taiwan. 

AZAR: It’s a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from President Trump to Taiwan. 

It is the highest-level visit by an American Cabinet official in 41 years.

Beijing claims Taiwan as its own territory to be annexed by force if necessary.

Azar said the purpose of his trip is to highlight Taiwan’s success in combating COVID-19. He called it “a model of transparent, collaborative, cooperative public health and information sharing.” He said that stands in stark contrast to Beijing. 

Lebanese prime minister resigns » Lebanon’s prime minister stepped down from his job Monday in the wake of last week’s catastrophic explosion in Beirut. WORLD’s Anna Johansen has more. 

ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: In a brief televised speech Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced he was stepping down after three of his ministers resigned. He said “I declare today the resignation of this government. May God protect Lebanon.”

The resignations followed a weekend of anti-government protests over the massive port explosion, which killed at least 160 people and injured thousands. 

Meantime, dozens of international groups and countries including the United States have pledged about $300 million in humanitarian aid to Lebanon. 

The group said the money would be “directly delivered to the Lebanese populations” and called on the government to address the people’s outcry over corruption and negligence.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen. 

Trump will accept nomination at White House or Gettysburg » President Trump said Monday that he will “probably” deliver his presidential nomination acceptance speech from the White House. 

Though, he said he’s also considering giving his speech on the battlefield at Gettysburg. He tweeted that he had narrowed the choices to those two locations. 

Both sites are federal property and some are raising legal and ethical concerns over using either for a political event. 

Trump was originally slated to address the convention in Charlotte but later shifted plans to Jacksonville. But coronavirus concerns upended plans to address a live crowd in either location. Now almost all of the convention will take place virtually.

McDonalds suing former CEO » McDonald’s says it’s suing its former CEO Stephen Easterbrook over inappropriate relationships with employees. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has that story. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: McDonald’s fired Easterbrook last year after he admitted to exchanging videos and text messages with an employee in what he called a non-physical, consensual relationship. He told the company that there were no other similar instances. 

The board reportedly approved a separation agreement that allowed Easterbrook to keep nearly $42 million in stock-based benefits and other pay.

McDonald’s now says after an anonymous tip, the company investigated further and found evidence of several intimate relationships between Easterbook and employees. The lawsuit claims he also approved a special grant of restricted stock to one of those employees worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

The company is suing to reclaim millions of dollars in compensation paid to Easterbrook.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

I’m Kent Covington. 

Straight ahead: the political wrangling over economic stimulus.

Plus, Les Sillars on the dangers of chasing cars.

This is The World and Everything in It.

MARY REICHARD: It’s Tuesday the 11th of August, 2020. Glad to have you along for today’s edition of The World and Everything in It. Good morning, I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. First up: the political battle over economic relief.

Over the weekend, President Trump bypassed Congress to approve several economic measures using executive orders. That after members of Congress arrived at a stalemate over the details of a legislative rescue package.

REICHARD: Joining us now to talk about what could be next is Harvest Prude. She’s WORLD’s reporter in Washington, D.C. Good morning Harvest!

HARVEST PRUDE, REPORTER: Good morning, Mary!

REICHARD: The president’s executive orders extended extra unemployment benefits and deferred payroll taxes. That was in lieu of a direct stimulus payment. He also approved measures to protect renters from eviction and put student loan payments on hold. Those were all issues important to Democrats. But they’re not at all happy with the executive orders. What is their position on this?

PRUDE: Democrats bet that the Republicans would succumb to the political and economic pressures of the moment and strike a big deal. Instead, talks went nowhere. Then, the president undercut some of Democrats’ bargaining power by taking unilateral action. 

So now, their message is, one, that his actions don’t go far enough to help Americans. They point out that his move on unemployment benefits asks states to carry 25 percent of the cost, something they say not all states can manage. And two, they argue that this move is unconstitutional; because the power to appropriate and direct federal funds belongs to Congress.

REICHARD: It seems like challenging this in court could be tricky, politically speaking. Trying to block the aid when there’s no legislative alternative could open Democrats to claims they’re penalizing people who need help just because they want to get back at the president. What are you hearing about any legal challenges?

PRUDE: Dems have been tight-lipped about whether they will actually take the Trump administration to court. On Sunday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sidestepped a question about this on CNN. 

You’re correct that tying this up in court would be a bad look for Democrats, especially as the pandemic continues. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said as much on Fox News Sunday:

MNUCHIN: If the Democrats want to challenge us in court and hold up unemployment benefits to those hard working Americans that are out of a job because of COVID, they’re gonna have a lot of explaining to do.

REICHARD: Now that the president has signed these orders, does it seem even less likely that lawmakers will try to pass some form of stimulus legislation?

PRUDE: I don’t know that the order undercuts the need for a deal, from the perspective of most lawmakers. For Dems, it actually might heighten the urgency because they don’t want to be seen doing nothing. But what it will probably do is push back the timeline. We’re not really sure whether lawmakers will really get something done before the August recess ends. 

Right now, many lawmakers are back in their districts. So there’s the possibility they’ll wait and take another crack at it in September. There’s certainly issues, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, that lawmakers still say need to be addressed in a comprehensive economic rescue package.

REICHARD: What are political analysts saying about this? Will this help or hurt the president, from a political perspective?

PRUDE: Analysts are always going to be mixed when it comes to President Trump’s actions and the reaction has been divided. But it’s unlikely that Americans who lost their job and were relying on those extra unemployment benefits will be upset by the president’s order. It also made Wall Street happy; stocks jumped at the news. But many people worry about fiscal discipline or how future use of executive orders thwart the legislative process.

REICHARD: Harvest Prude is WORLD’s Washington reporter. You can read her coverage of Capitol Hill in The Stew, a weekly email put out by WORLD Digital. Sign up at! Harvest, thanks for joining us today!

PRUDE: You’re welcome, Mary.

MARY REICHARD: Coming up next on The World and Everything in It: prisons and the pandemic.

NICK EICHER: Prison inmates live in close quarters. Making them especially susceptible to COVID-19 spread. So for nearly six months, most prisons have been on strict lockdowns. No visits from family, friends, or volunteers.

REICHARD: This increases prisoners’ sense of isolation. That can make them more vulnerable to mental and emotional struggles. To help, some prison ministries are finding ways to reach inmates remotely.

WORLD’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Before he met Christ, Cary Sanders felt hopeless and alone. 

SANDERS: By the age of 17, I had been arrested 17 times. 

Halfway through a nine-year prison sentence, Sanders wanted to give up. But then he started reading a Bible another inmate had given him. 

SANDERS: The night I was planning my suicide, I began reading it and understood why I was broken. And then I came to know Who the cure was. 

Sanders says the Bible and then Christian volunteers and teachers changed his life. Those people came into the prison to disciple and mentor him. 

Today, Cary Sanders directs prison ministries for Jumpstart. It’s a Christian outreach to state prisons in South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. 

Like most prison outreaches, Jumpstart’s programs rely on volunteers, coaches, and teachers to physically go into prisons. Sanders says that’s because volunteers have a strong effect on inmates. 

SANDERS: In a lot of ways, those on the inside see that is that God still cares for them, because He’s sending people to love them and let them know that with Christ their future can be greater than their past.

But now, in the midst of coronavirus lockdowns, Christian inmates are continuing the ministry.

SANDERS: So those inside leaders on the front line are still shepherding those in prison with them during this season.

To encourage and disciple these Christian inmates, Jumpstart leaders send letters. And lately they’ve been able to talk to them by phone. 

A South Carolina church is also helping. Every two weeks, church volunteers send a letter to each Jumpstart member in two female prisons. 

SANDERS: So we’ve got about 160 volunteers from Grace Church writing letters of encouragement and hope to those ladies at those women’s facilities… 

Encouragement from the outside is especially welcome as the coronavirus spreads inside prisons. 

According to the Marshall Project, as of last week, more than 86,000 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. Of these prisoners, nearly two-thirds have recovered and less than 1 percent have died. 

Jim Duncan is a prison chaplain in Alaska. He says fear of the virus, uncertainty about family members on the outside, and isolation are taking their toll on inmates. 

DUNCAN: I do know that our suicide numbers are up a little bit at this point of the year from what we average. 

To counter the loneliness, Duncan says Alaska’s state prisons are streaming Christian and educational content to T-Vs in inmates’ cells.

DUNCAN: We can beam this in and then broadcast over the institution and get the word out. And so that’s been a tremendous help.

Prison Fellowship is creating some of this digital content. 

Cody Wilde directs prison programs for the ministry. He says in March, the California Department of Corrections reached out asking for video content. So Prison Fellowship created a digital platform called Floodlight. 

WILDE: We’ve got a whole host of videos that they can download a la carte. And so they can pick the ones that you know are going to be best for those. The most popular video series is Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life, which is clearly gospel presentation.

Now, 42 state prison systems are streaming Floodlight to inmates’ cells. 

WILDE: With a potential reach of 451,000 people…

Cody Wilde says nothing can replace in-person relationships with inmates, but that God can use anything to change lives. 

WILDE: I’ve been reflecting a lot on the stories in the gospels of Jesus feeding thousands of people with, you know, some bread and some fish. The principle being, you know, they brought what they had and just waited expectantly for the Lord to do something, something miraculous. 

But in some places, even contacting inmates remotely is nearly impossible. 

The Fort Dodge, Iowa, State Correctional Facility went into full lock down in July when an inmate tested positive for COVID-19. 

So far, more than 300 others have contracted the virus and three have died. Prisoners only leave their cells for about one hour a day. 

Deacon Ed Albright leads outreach at the prison for the Catholic Church’s local Holy Trinity Parish. He used to hold prayer services and mass for inmates every week. 

Now, he can’t even drop off a DVD of mass. 

ALBRIGHT: We’ve been completely restricted. 

Albright says all he can do is pray for the inmates and hope that this experience will bend more hearts toward eternity. 

ALBRIGHT: It’s got to have a big impact. I mean, I can’t see how it would not. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

NICK EICHER: This coronavirus era is the mask-makers’ moment. 

The market is booming. 

The most-expensive mask you can find is a durable N-99 mask and that’s going to set you back about $90. 

But a Chinese businessman based in the United States wanted something a lot different. 

So he commissioned a jeweler in Israel to design a coronavirus mask for him. 

Three simple instructions: 

One, it had to be fitted with the top-rated N99 filter.  

Two, it had to be completed by the end of the year. 

And three, it had to be by far the most expensive mask in the world. 

That last request the jeweler said was the easy part. 

The mask is made of 18-karat gold to be decorated with 3,600 white and black diamonds. 

Total cost?  $1.5 million. 

Good thing the buyer doesn’t demand the mask to be comfortable. It’ll weigh more than a 100 times that of a normal mask.

It’s The World and Everything in It.

NICK EICHER: Today is Tuesday, August 11th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day. 

Good morning. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard. Coming next on The World and Everything in It: The Olasky Interview. Today, a conversation with health care analyst Sally Pipes. 

She is president of a free-market think tank in California, the Pacific Research Institute. Most recently, she wrote False Premise, False Promise: The Disastrous Reality of Medicare for All.

EICHER: In this excerpt, Pipes talks about some of the current problems facing American healthcare and what other countries’ failures can teach us.

MARVIN OLASKY, EDITOR IN CHIEF: More than 40 percent of physicians say they’re burned out. More than half of doctors point to bureaucratic tasks as a big contributor to burnout. So, doctors seem to want to change something of what we have right now.

SALLY PIPES: Well I think, we don’t have competition of choice. And when Obamacare came into being—which is almost ten years ago now—the whole idea of electronic health records was pushed on doctors. All of the mandates, the regulations, it’s become very burdensome for doctors and doctors don’t like it. I know my own OBGYN retired at the end of January, just couldn’t take it anymore. 

The American Medical Association at their annual meeting: 47 percent of people polled there said they supported single-payer compared to 53 percent who didn’t. But we’re seeing a lot of support among the medical community. And I think many of them don’t realize, they think well, you know that they would have just one person to pay them, that would be the government. And they don’t understand that in Canada where I’m from, each Provincial government is the payer. Doctors are private contractors, and as my cousin who’s an ophthalmologist in Vancouver says, if American doctors that the government’s going to pay you quickly and efficiently and for whatever procedures you do, they should think again. 

And in Canada last year, the average wait from seeing a primary care doctor to getting treatment by a specialist was 20.9 weeks. That’s over 5 months. Which is much greater than the 9.3 week wait back in 1993 when the Fraser Institute started counting these wait times. So you know it’s, the American people, it’s not only the doctors that are going to be upset by what happens. Patients in this country would also face long waits because there would be too much demand, not enough supply and therefore waits would happen. Just like in the UK and in Canada. In the UK this year, to date, over 4 million Brits are on a waiting list under the National Health Service in order to get treatment. It’s a terrible system and care has to be rationed. So the older you are, the less likely you’re going to get timely care.

My own mother died in Canada in Vancouver from metastasized colon cancer. Because when she thought she had a problem and went to her primary care doctor, called the general practitioner in Canada, she had an x-ray and he said you don’t have colon cancer. And I said, you don’t detect colon cancer with an x-ray, you need a colonoscopy. And when she went back to him he said, well I’m sorry but there are too many younger people with issues and so you can’t have a colonoscopy.  

When 6 months later, when she had lost 30 pounds and was hemorrhaging, she went to the hospital in an ambulance, two days in the emergency room, two days in the transit lounge waiting for a bed in a ward. She got her colonoscopy, but died two weeks later from metastasized colon cancer. You can ration care and it harms patients. 

OLASKY: Right. No, I’m sorry to hear that about your mom. And I’ve certainly seen, I’ve done some reporting from Cuba, and I’m not puzzled by the general population wanting Medicare for All. Because if people are told free, people don’t know much about it, that all sounds great. What’s puzzling me still is among physicians. 

PIPES: Well, first of all, the American Medical Association only represents about 20 percent of doctors. With the change in medicine, a lot of women want to have a regular life. And so they want to work a limited number of hours, they want to be able to know what money they’re making. And so a lot of women doctors, particularly primary care docs, support the idea of Medicare for All. They see it as a way to sort of regulate their lives. 

You know we don’t have a free market healthcare system in this country. 50 percent of healthcare is in government, whether it’s through medicaid for our seniors, medicaid for our low income people, the CHIP program for children. So you know, there are problems with the American healthcare system. We need to bring about competition in choice. Because in every other aspect of our lives competition and choice results in more choices, more opportunities. 

OLASKY: Well let me ask about the demand side a little bit. You know if you go back—and I’ve done some writing on the history of welfare and so forth—a lot of anti-poverty programs worked, to a certain extent, when only those who really needed it signed up. We have a demand problem. I know my own mother, her entertainment basically was going to a different doctor most days of the week. How do we deal with that? 

PIPES: Well, your mother’s case is quite common. And particularly in Canada where, because it’s supposedly free, people that were lonely, people that have mental issues would always be booking appointments at the doctor. 

In Canada today, when you call your general practitioner to book an appointment, you can only discuss one issue with your doctor. If you have 3 or 4 health issues you have to book subsequent appointments. But doctors in Canada are seeing around 65 patients a day and therefore, you know, and they can’t get the kinds of tests—whether it’s an MRI, or a PET scan, or a CT scan. And so, so many doctors that I grew up with have quit medicine in Canada because they said I can’t see 65 patients a day, it’s exhausting. 

The Provincial governments don’t have the funding to provide the very latest in equipment and techniques. And you have, if you look at Canada today, there’s 16 MRI machines per million people. The United States the number is 44. But even in a country like Lithuania, you know a former communist country, there are 24 MRI machines per million people. So when the government determines what’s going to be spent, when is the equipment going to be replaced, all of these things, it’s not in the best interest of patients.

REICHARD: That’s Sally Pipes talking to Marvin Olasky. For more excerpts of this interview, look for their Q and A in the August 15th issue of WORLD Magazine.

MARY REICHARD: Today is Tuesday, August 11th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER: And I’m Nick Eicher. Here’s commentator Les Sillars now on why he’s going to try not to chase cars.

LES SILLARS, COMMENTATOR: I grew up on an acreage in central Alberta. When I was about 9 we got a collie and named her Joby. She was a bit undersized for a purebred and lacked the mane of white fur but she was, overall, a good dog.

Joby loved to chase sticks. You’d step outside, and there was Joby with a stick from the woods out back. Then she’d drop it just out of reach, about 4 feet away, and eye you expectantly. “I brought it this far,” she seemed to say. “Your turn.”

For a long time she would chase any stick we threw. Then one day I threw a pretty heavy branch out there. She charged after it, but one end got caught in the ground and the other jammed into her lower jaw. There was a yelp and a flurry of spinning fur. 

After that, she insisted on picking the sticks herself. So they got smaller and smaller. Eventually she would just spit out a strip of soggy bark and expect you to throw it.

Joby had some weaknesses, mainly the miniature horses in the field across the road. Once from the driveway I saw her sneaking across the road to chase the poor creatures, so I hollered at her. She startled, then slinked away from me. She circled around behind the neighbor’s house and came up from the opposite direction, tail wagging. Nice try.

Worse, Joby sometimes chased cars. When she spotted one coming up the road, heading north, she would charge down the lawn heading southwest. She’d time it just right to graze past the car’s back bumper, barking furiously.

One time, though, the driver saw her coming and suddenly braked. Joby slammed full speed into the rear fender, nose first. Our neighbor said she lay there in the road for a bit, stunned. Then she got up and staggered back to the house. That’s probably how she lost the one tooth.

We’ve all got a little Joby in us. Some things we know are wrong, but we just can’t help ourselves. Sooner or later, that sin blows up in our faces and leaves us dazed and damaged. It’s the discipline of natural consequences.

When God disciplines us in that way, we, unlike Joby, can at least recognize what happened.

Joby eventually got too old and stiff even to chase sticks. When I was at college I got a call from my dad. He’d taken Joby in to the vet to be put down. It was a sad day.

I myself am slowing down a little. But I’m still joyfully chasing a few sticks that the Lord has tossed out ahead of me. May He grant me grace to resist chasing any cars.

SONG: If only I could have a puppy

I’d call myself so very lucky

Just to have some company

To share a cup of tea with me

I’m Les Sillars.

SONG: I’d take my puppy everywhere

La, la, la, la, I wouldn’t care

Then we’ll stay away from crowds

With signs that said “no dogs allowed”

Oh we, I know he’d never bite me

Up, la, la, la, la, la, ooh

We, I know he’d never bite me

Up, la, oh

NICK EICHER: Tomorrow: We’ll check in on the presidential campaign with political analyst Kyle Kondik.

And, we’ll take you to some urban farms in Chicago. There we will meet some city-dwellers are sowing seeds of sustainability.

That and more tomorrow. 

I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD: And I’m Mary Reichard.

The World and Everything in It comes to you from WORLD Radio.

WORLD’s mission is biblically objective journalism that informs, educates, and inspires.

The Apostle Paul reminds us that godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 

Go now in grace and peace.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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