Life is stressful, but the internet was hella good this week! A few gems: Deborah and Tamia Cox broke the Black internet, Samuel L. Jackson is telling you to stay the fuck at home, some labradors were very good sportsdogs, someone needs to check on Ina Garten, a livestream of a bird library, and an orangutan told a rapturous story to some otters.
Highlights: Isaac Chotiner interviews Richard A. Epstein, Detroit faces coronavirus, COVID-19 is not your vacation, Coronavirus TV, epicrisis on social media, saving indigenous languages, Animal Crossing, friend dates, Rihanna, and 2000s celebrity drama.
Isaac Chotiner interviewed legal scholar Richard A. Epstein, whose March 16th article for the conservative think tank the Hoover Institution “questioned the World Health Organization’s decision to declare the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic,” saying that “public officials have gone overboard,” and suggested approximately 500 people in the US would die from COVID-19. (Epstein subsequently acknowledged that 500 number as a mistake and updated the number to 5,000.) Epstein’s article reportedly circulated amongst the Trump administration.
Epstein’s dangerous ludicrousness is almost unfathomable, and it’s on full view in the Q&A with Chotiner. The below section of the interview comes after Chotiner questions the scientific rigor of Epstein’s analysis. (Chotiner is in bold.)
I know, but these are scientific issues here.
You know nothing about the subject but are so confident that you’re going to say that I’m a crackpot.
That’s what you’re saying, isn’t it? That’s what you’re saying?
I’m not saying anything of the sort.
Admit to it. You’re saying I’m a crackpot.
I’m not saying anything of the—
Well, what am I then? I’m an amateur? You’re the great scholar on this?
No, no. I’m not a great scholar on this.
Tell me what you think about the quality of the work!
O.K. I’m going to tell you. I think the fact that I am not a great scholar on this and I’m able to find these flaws or these holes in what you wrote is a sign that maybe you should’ve thought harder before writing it.