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Michael Moore [00:00:19] This is Rumble with Michael Moore and I’m Michael Moore. Welcome everyone. We’re just we’re coming up here on Christmas Eve in just a few hours, and I wanted to get this week’s podcast out to you because of what is going on with the pandemic right now. And I wanted to talk to one of our favorite doctors, Dr. Peter Hotez from Houston, Who has really been speaking the truth on TV and anywhere he can. And I had him on here before and I wanted to ask him some direct questions. So hang on for that. That’s coming up here in just a couple of minutes.
Michael Moore [00:01:03] I guess doing this, doing this on the pandemic– this becomes our Christmas podcast this year, the previous two years. You know, we hit our second birthday with this podcast this past week. Well, just in time for Christmas, Omicron is everywhere. Just in the span of this one past week, Omicron jumped from about three percent of the COVID cases in the United States to 73 percent of all cases in this country and in some parts of the nation, it’s as high as 90 percent. This thing has taken off like wildfire in every part of America. Try to get an at home test. They’re sold out everywhere. Try to go line up for one of the free testing sites. You know, you could be there a good couple hours. They extend for blocks, lines around the blocks. And that’s until they run out of test themselves. All this is happening just in time for the holidays, the biggest travel season of the year where most people won’t or can’t afford to change their travel plans. And they miss their families. It’s understandable, but it’s also the most dangerous time since this started actually two years ago this month. But there is good news in all of this. If you’re vaccinated, your odds of hospitalization or death are like virtually nil. They’re so low if you’ve had your two shots, if you’ve had your booster shot. But there’s still a lot of considerations and mild cases that can mean a lot of different things. For instance, the long haul cases, just people I know that that have lost their hair, they can’t smell, they can’t taste, or they need 12 to 14 hours of sleep at night. And they just had a mild version of Delta or Omicron, and it didn’t matter. It didn’t matter. And now they don’t know how many months or years they’ll have what are called these long haul COVID things.
Michael Moore [00:03:14] So to help you understand what to expect with this unexpected Christmas gift of a brand new wave of COVID, and how to keep yourself and your family safe, My guest today on Rumble is the esteemed Dr. Peter Hotez, the director for vaccine development at Texas Children’s Hospital. One of the leading forces behind the development of the Corbevax vaccine designed there right in Texas for low cost mass production in the developing world, and a leading public voice and advocate regarding COVID-19 here in the U.S. He’s the dean of the National School for Tropical Medicine, a professor at Baylor University. His voice and his willingness to challenge what’s going on so that it gets done and gets done now, not next year. Now. It’s inspiring whenever I see him and every time I’ve had him on, he has told us the things are really not many other people are telling us and and we’re lucky to have him as one of our great medical and scientific contributors to rumble here in the last two years. Dr. Hotez, thank you so much for coming back here to my podcast here on Rumble. Much appreciate it.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:04:35] Michael, thanks so much for having me.
Michael Moore [00:04:36] We have appreciated not only you being on Rumble, but through these last couple of years, but also all the good work that you do there at the university and the hospital in Texas and and on television. Much of what you say when you’re being interviewed is you’re not pulling any punches and you’re not trying to sugarcoat it, so we can all feel better. “Why is Dr. Hotez saying this, Christmas is two days away?” You see, so I know the situation you’re in, but I’ve always said that, Wouldn’t you rather know from the doctor? Like the whole story? The whole truth?
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:05:14] Well, what I try to do, Michael, is I try to, you know, not just give doom and gloom predictions, but explain my assumptions so that people can make informed decisions. I think this is the problem we’ve had with communications all two years from our U.S. Public Health Service and the CDC. They they talk to us like we’re in the fourth grade or sixth grade. Don’t just make these pronouncements with no underlying information, so you can’t make any assessments. And what I tried to do is explain, for instance, why that Omicron may not be so mild. The fact that what the database coming out of Africa and the UK is because Omicron followed immediately on the heels of Delta. And so a lot of the infections were actually reinfections. And that’s why they made it appear mild. And then people start to get it and say it may not apply to the U.S. so you can make a decision about whether to fly your mother in law from New Jersey down to Houston and that sort of thing. And I think that’s what people appreciate that that I talk to them like adults. I treat them as equals and I try to give them useful information that they can process and make the best decisions they get for themselves.
Michael Moore [00:06:31] But what what becomes, I think, confusing or scary for a lot of people is I’ll just take the last 24 hours of the news cycle is now the first we all got scared of this new variant. The last 24 hours now has been, Oh, this isn’t so bad. It’s mild. People aren’t dying from it. And it’s like, Well, what do you what are you telling us here? So don’t worry about it or… And it’s kind of, you know, to the civilians, those of us who are just trying to figure this out…
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:06:59] Yeah, and that’s the problem. So you can’t make an informed decision. What I do is I explain why some people think it’s going to be mild illness, but others may not agree. And here’s why. Here are the assumptions people used to come up with the conclusion that they think it’s mild. And here’s why that might be not correct. The problem doing it, of course, is, you know, when you’re doing a hit on MSNBC or CNN –they don’t let me back on Fox anymore– but its that you only get, you know, two or three minutes and then you know, the the producer’s shouting in your ear wrap up, wrap up, and you know you’re trying to get that information. But the networks of the cable news networks have been generally pretty good about letting me explain. And that’s why. People like it because then they come away, “oh, now I get it, now I understand what this is.”
Michael Moore [00:07:49] And also you’re on both CNN and MSNBC, which which means I assume that you’re not beholden to one or the other.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:07:57] No, I’ll I’ll talk to anybody. I go on BBC. I do, you know, I work for food, so I don’t I don’t get paid by any–
Michael Moore [00:08:06] You don’t get paid by the cable networks.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:08:08] No.
Michael Moore [00:08:09] Wow. So just for the people listening, going, what are they talking about? Is that and I know and I don’t either. I go on whoever. But a lot of the commentators are paid, which is understandable. You know, they — the cable news needs people standing by as guests to go over this.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:08:28] Yeah, no, I have no problem for people who get paid to do that if they do that as part of their job. And Mike, in my case, they didn’t offer and I didn’t ask, and I feel grateful to have the opportunity to speak to the nation.
Michael Moore [00:08:42] And the fact that Fox won’t have you anymore. I’ve actually thought about going on Fox just for the possibility that for every 10 people who are watching me and there’s nine that have got steam coming out of their ears, if that one, if I reach that oneout of 10,
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:08:58] oh, I absolutely agree. I mean, I was asked to go on Fox News in the daytime about a couple of months ago. The daytime anchors did hang in there with me for a while. The nighttime guys cut me off pretty quickly when I started saying that the Trump was launching an anti-science disinformation campaign that closed me out. The daytime anchors hung in there with hung in there with me for a while, and then they finally shut me up. But I’ll go on Fox. I still, I’ve been on Newsmax a few times for the exact reason you say, because those are exactly the people we need to reach. I mean, I sometimes I feel too often I’m preaching to the converted, right?
Michael Moore [00:09:38] Well, because if you and I, if we can reach like I said, that one out of 10. That could be a million people who say after they’re done listening to you, or to a lesser extent, me, they go away from the TV, they leave the room. They let everybody else in there go off under their QAnon theories. But they leave the room and they go, wow, they made a lot of sense.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:09:58] Michael, here’s the latest number since June 1st. Two hundred thousand unvaccinated Americans have needlessly lost their lives. 200,000. This is not small potatoes and this anti-science aggression. I’ve now said it may be the leading killer of young adults in the United States, young and middle aged adults in the United States up there with maybe fentanyl. I mean, that’s what we’re talking about. So this is not an academic discussion. I mean, we’re losing a thousand people, a thousand unvaccinated people, every day to to COVID-19, maybe more. And that’s why it’s so essential to do it. It’s, you know, I feel as a physician scientist and you know, God gave me great skills. She was really nice to me, she gave me me, a physician scientist, and I feel I have to give back. And part of that giving back is not only to do the science, but to combat the anti-science as well.
Michael Moore [00:11:00] And also, if you disagree with us, say so. But people like — I’ll just say me, friends of mine, we don’t want — and if anybody’s listening who, you know, you’re on the other side of the political fence– we want you to live. We don’t want you to die. We don’t want — I don’t want to hear 200.000. There was that story in the New York Times last week about the red states, just thousands and thousands of people believing Trump. And yet they’re not even believing Trump, who this week on television with Bill O’Reilly, both admitted they’ve gotten their booster shot. They’re fully vaccinated, and yet the people following them still aren’t getting vaccinated.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:11:43] In fact, I think Trump got booed a little –.
Michael Moore [00:11:44] Booed.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:11:45] That’s how that’s how deep in the rabbit hole they are in. And you know, and then I get accused of politicizing vaccines and said, you know, I’m not politicizing or trying to politicize it.
Michael Moore [00:11:56] Yes.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:11:57] I’m trying to basically say to the two far right groups or conservative groups that, you know, an empty science is not your fight. You don’t need to adopt this. Or, you know, if you if you want to do all the nutty stuff, that’s your business. That’s not my lane. I’m not going to go into that lane, but at least uncouple it from the anti-science and don’t unnecessarily needlessly visualize.
Michael Moore [00:12:23] What advice– Because we’re we’re talking here just a day before Christmas Eve. People are going to be with family– There are family members who are not vaccinated, they won’t get vaccinated. They don’t believe in any of this. They either they believe some conspiracy theory or whatever and and they’re desperate. And before my Thanksgiving episode, I had this discussion. I let people like, call or write in. What’s the main question? You have to try to help family members and theyre so… And I heard back from them after Thanksgiving, and they’re so defeated by this. But have you come across anything that seems to work, the advice you could give people listening to this who are going to be with unvaccinated family members — which by the way, my personal advice and I’m not a doctor, I would not be around any unvaccinated family members– Tell them you love them, tell them we look forward to this thing being over some time, but you can’t be in my house. You can’t be around my kids. You can’t be… I mean, this is a position a lot of people have taken, now, and I think it’s it’s sadly broken up some families.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:13:34] I think I think the message, you know, for this this holiday season is this is like no other COVID-19 variant we’ve seen. I mean, if you look at the the the number of cases versus day curves going up in New York City or Washington, D.C., it’s a vertical slope. This is so transmissible that straight up, it’s it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen. So you know, if you’re around unvaccinated individuals or if you even are partially vaccinated individuals, there’s a high likelihood they’re transmitting COVID. So essentially what you should do is when you talk to a family member who’s not vaccinated or partially vaccinated, you should be interacting with them as though you should assume that they’re shedding. They’re coming into your house, shedding COVID-19 virus and then see if you’re willing to put up with that risk.
Michael Moore [00:14:31] Would you?
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:14:33] No, I mean, I mean, even, you know, my mother in law who, you know, she’s in her 80s, she’s fully vaccinated and boosted. It’s enough because of Omicron and its spike gene escape mutations, I felt there was too much risk of her getting breakthrough COVID, even though it would likely be mild. I don’t want to take the risk, so I disinvited her. Which is sad because we had a nice week planned. We’re going to show her some museums here in Houston, some great restaurants, but you know, it wasn’t worth it. As opposed to my oldest daughter who’s came back and my oldest son. So I think families all over the country have to make those kinds of measured decisions. And that’s why I think it’s important not for the CDC not to give simple directives or information because you can’t process it to make informed decisions, right?
Michael Moore [00:15:29] So maybe that discussion with them should happen over the phone, not in person in your house. This is what people are telling me now in the last 24 hours. Oh, it’s not as dangerous as Delta. I’m fully vaccinated. Nothing will happen to me, and I say, Well, that’s not true. We’ve seen of these breakthrough cases. And I said, I know I know at least two people who got COVID, but mild symptoms, nothing big. And one of them is one of our people that work with me, on my crew, for my films. And he got it last February. So I don’t know what is that? Almost 11 months ago and didn’t have it bad, got over it — to this day, he cannot taste or smell. I’m convinced that now, because I have, I am fully vaccinated plus a flu shot that that I’m probably going to be OK. My mask is always on when I am around anybody. Two masks, double mask, N95 and I put a cloth mask over that. But I don’t want to get the long haul. I don’t want the symptoms. I have another person I know, her hair fell out. I mean, there’s all these things that we don’t know how long. He doesn’t know how long he won’t be able to taste or smell.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:16:44] Well, this was the argument that I had with a number of my scientific colleagues who felt that we only vaccinate to prevent hospitalizations and deaths. And I said, Well, of course we vaccinate to prevent hospitalizations and deaths, but I’m also getting boosted because I don’t want to get COVID. I don’t want to have gray matter brain degeneration on an MRI. I don’t want to have a CAT, a brain imaging study that looks like somebody 20 years older than I am. And we continually underestimate the impact of long COVID and the fact that we have a manuscript under review or about to be submitted. That’s looking exactly that way. We also need to vaccinate against long COVID. It’s just like when I got my my shingles vaccine, Shingrix, I didn’t get it because I thought I was going to die shingles. I got it because I don’t want to get shingles! And that’s true of a lot of adult vaccines, so I don’t know why we hold this other standard.
Michael Moore [00:17:37] Maybe I’m wrong to say this, but I would take– if I got COVID and say a mild version of it, but I still ended up in the hospital for a few days, I sort of would rather that if it meant that that, you know, whatever the medicine is now, the the cocktail of pills or whatever, that would get me out of COVID quickly. I’d rather that than not be able to taste or smell for the next year, that is. That’s why when people say all this on the ground, it says, don’t worry if you get it, it’s not bad. Well, yeah, that may be true for like, it may just feel like the flu for a few days. But how would you how would you like your hair to fall out? How would you like to not smell or taste? How would you like to need 12 hours of sleep?
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:18:22] Yeah. And also we’ve I think the narrative that I think, the narrative that it’s mild illness may not hold because again, most of that are based on descriptions of people who are likely had Omicron reinfections, because their Omicron wave was, you know, dovetailed from their Delta wave. In the United States its different — in the North, you did not have a big delta wave like we did in the South. So I think it’s going to behave differently. I think hospitalizations are going to go up in the in the northern hospitals. We’re already seeing that starting to happen in New York and Washington. But we have another problem and the problem is this that that you’re going to have all these health care workers with with breakthrough COVID, even who’ve gotten their booster not enough for them to be sick in the hospital, but enough for them to be at home with COVID. And that’s going to knock out a substantial proportion of the health care workforce. So I think the one two punch that I see with Omicron is one, It’s not as mild people are making out among the unvaccinated, that you’re going to still see them pile into hospitals and ICUs, and there’s just nobody around to take care of them because they’re going to be sick at home. And that’s what I was looking for for the President to address that, how to manage keeping people in the health care workforce. So since nobody was coming up with ideas, I put one out there which nobody seems to like.
Michael Moore [00:19:54] I saw it and I’d like you to repeat it again because, you know, I think, you know, Biden took office. He’s still not even a President for a year now. So he took office at the end of January, and I think he’s done some incredible things. But when — his two talks this week, I’m like, No, no, no, no, no, no. This is — We need the full force of our government trying to get to some place of what we used to call herd immunity. But you know, I think if we can just get to 80 or 85 percent vaccinated.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:20:28] Well, I think, you know, and I agree, you know, compared to, of course, compared to what we had, you know, Biden is a thousand times better, but and he has done a good job, I think, as best he can in terms of, you know, getting a national response out there, not leading it, giving it to states and making sure that anybody wants to get vaccinated, get vaccinated. I think the last couple of weeks, though, we’ve not heard him frankly address what the weak links in this next overcrowd wave. So weekly number one, the one I just mentioned is the health care providers being knocked out with the suggestion I made was offer them a second booster, a fourth immunization, because that’s declining rapidly and potentially that fourth immunization could bump up your virus neutralizing antibodies. It’ll go down pretty quickly, but it’ll get you through this wave so you could take care of patients in the hospital. And it was interesting after I’d put that out, the Israeli government made that announcement through doing that. Actually, they did two things, they did this, they made the same recommendation for the health care providers, but they also recommended for those over 60, which I also support. Even though it’s not going to last long, it’ll get you through this wave.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:21:43] But there’s a couple of other things Michael, which is, you know that we’re not going to have Paxlovid, that new Pfizer drug, which is looking pretty good, in abundance for this wave. And I’m not sure why not? Why, you know, once it was pretty clear that the drug looked really good and Pfizer was going to apply for emergency use authorization, why, you know, we didn’t use the full powers of the federal government, as you say, to invoke the Defense Production Act and make it right now. I mean, you know, small molecule drugs generally are not as complicated to make as vaccines, so that we should have done. And of course, testing is still is still a tragedy, right? I mean, you mean there’s no reason two years into this epidemic we have to have a line circling around the block or waiting three hours to give a freaking test. There should be a home kit in everybody’s house or pay a couple of bucks for it.
Michael Moore [00:22:45] So what’s the answer to that question? Why? Why — it should be so easy to be tested by this point? You know, why isn’t that happening? And you know, if you were there, if you had an office down the hall in the West Wing, what what would you be calling people in to talk to them about and telling them what what we need to do and we need to do it now, not the middle or end of January, or in the case of the Pfizer drug, I heard this morning that may not be full blast available for everybody till spring. Maybe beginning of summer. That’s just crazy.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:23:16] That’s crazy. That’s absolutely crazy. And so, you know, part of it, of course, is that, and I think I said the sentiment said this morning, the difference between the UK and Israel is they have a health system. We have something called Amazon Pharmacy. I mean, we don’t have we don’t have any health infrastructure.
Michael Moore [00:23:35] And by the way, Dr. Hotez is laughing at that most other democracies, industrialized countries have a real health care system where you don’t have to beg Amazon somehow to get to send you something, you’re only at laughing at that so that you don’t cry on my show. Is that correct?
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:23:54] Exactly right. It’s a horrible trend. I mean, it’s and that’s what COVID has done this whole pandemic here in the US, it’s exposed every single weakness that we have. And that’s all we have is weakness. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s all about what — you’ve done a whole documentaries on this. I mean, outstanding documentaries. I mean, you know, better than anybody and… having a pandemic, just brings all that to light, right?
Michael Moore [00:24:22] Yeah. I don’t know what to say sometimes because I I’ve been covering this particular issue with our health care system since I had a television show on NBC called TV Nation back in 1993, 94 95. And we did this episode called the Health Care Olympics, where we we sent camera crews to the emergency room, one emergency room in Fort Lauderdale, one in in Toronto, Canada, and then one in Havana, Cuba. And we waited for like a broken arm or broken leg to come in, and then we set the clock going and we followed them like it was our Olympics race to see who got the right care and how much did it cost. And it was so funny at the time. This is back in the 90s. So Cuba won. Cuba and Canada kind of tied, except in Canada they charge the guy $10 for the crutches to leave with his broken leg. And in Cuba, they just gave him the crutches. So Cuba won and I got a call from one of the the people that do standards and practices at NBC, and she said Cuba can’t win. I said, “What do you mean? They won? This is all this is documentary. We didn’t fix this.” “Yeah, but Cuba can’t win. Now you can say Canada won. That’s OK.” Yeah, but Canada didn’t win anyway. This is — I’m sorry to tell that story, but I’m just this is — that’s 1994. And then, you know, our movie Sicko in 2007. So I’ve been, you know, climbing the walls here basically of trying to — just the fact that the simple idea, this common sense idea about what are we going to do when our health care workers this year aren’t going to be able to help the people coming in there? And you say that and then the — not our government doesn’t take heed, the Israeli government! So I mean, first of all, if you do have the ear of the Israeli government, I have one or two other things I’d love to just– [starts laughing]
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:26:32] [laughing] You know, I don’t I don’t necessarily have the ear. Maybe it’s coincidental that it came out after that. But yeah, I mean, these are — all of this is just common sense. You know, let’s let’s figure this out. And instead, there’s so much worry about how its messaged, there’s a lot of emphasis on optics, and I’m quite concerned. And the consequences… and remember, we’ve got eight hundred thousand Americans who’ve lost their lives. We’re going to we’re going to reach the million point by Q1 next year now because of not only the messed up health care system, the health system, but also the defiance of science around the vaccine and the right wing aggression that we’re getting from US members of Congress and the conservative news outlets.
Michael Moore [00:27:19] I have not had COVID, or at least I don’t think I have had it. Do I have a bulleye on me? Is Omicron looking for me because it needs hosts, and I’m not an Airbnb, you know, for this virus?
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:27:35] So when did you get your 3rd Immunization?
Michael Moore [00:27:38] September? It’s four months in.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:27:43] So you are at risk for breakthrough COVID. Exactly how much–
Michael Moore [00:27:49] But I can’t get another booster or another shot right now, can I?
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:27:51] Well, that’s why I think that’s why I think we need to modify things to get a fourth immunization. So what the numbers coming out of Imperial College London based on virus neutralizing antibody levels — and people would say, well, there’s also T cells involved, of course, that’s true as well. But the modeling, they would say, is if you’re, say, three or four months out of your third immunization, your protection against symptomatic COVID from that boosters about 30 to 40 percent.
Michael Moore [00:28:21] That’s not good enough for me.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:28:21] No.
Michael Moore [00:28:23] So what do I do? And that’s not legal now.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:28:25] That’s another issue. These mRNA vaccines are not as durable it seems at holding up against protection, which is why we always worked on new technology. So I would I would say–
Michael Moore [00:28:39] You would stay in the house is what your advice would be for right now.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:28:42] Or I think you should get a fourth immunization, but we don’t have the infrastructure to allow that. That’s the problem.
Michael Moore [00:28:50] So you think how many months after the booster, what we call the booster shot, how many months after that should we be thinking of giving people a fourth shot?
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:29:00] I think three or four months.
Michael Moore [00:29:01] So I’m right there on the cusp of that right now. Wow. Yeah.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:29:07] But again, it’s based on limited data, limited modeling, and this is part of the problem that we’ve had with CDC and all the other federal agencies is they are not participatory enough. They have to– it has to be published paper through peer review and everything else before they act on it. And I understand that that’s worked in the past. But when you’re dealing with this fast moving freight train like Omicron, sometimes you have to make decisions on–
Michael Moore [00:29:38] How do you feel about the preventative things that people can do with their immune system in terms of zinc or vitamin D? Or what’s the other one? I heard of a COQ10 something.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:29:50] I mean, I take vitamin D — pre-pandemic, I took vitamin D, yeah. I think it maybe gives you some incremental benefit, but it’s still no substitute for pharmaceuticals.
Michael Moore [00:30:00] I want to just, here in our last part of this, get into something that you have, you bring this up constantly. And you know, and I understand because people are worried about themselves when it gets close, when you have family members who’ve had COVID, when you’ve had family members and friends who’ve died. And I don’t know if I can say that most people can name people they know that have died. I can certainly. I’m sure you can do. But 800,000 dead. You might know one or two of them, and it’s very sad. And you have, though, been trying to get us to think a little bigger, a little wider when it comes to the world, the planet that we live on because– and I’ve heard you say this, and it doesn’t get picked up, and it must frustrate you because — and I say to people: Look, we’ve got to get the world vaccinated here, you know, it can’t just be us because… And I try to appeal to their selfishness like, “you know that the first variant came possibly through China, but then through Italy and the U.K., then Delta,” I guess?
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:31:10] Well, no. Then Alpha arose out of an unvaccinated population in the United Kingdom right there. That was more transmissible than the original lineage–
Michael Moore [00:31:22] And Delta’s in India. And we think Omicron is–
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:31:24] Right. But even before, even before Delta, Mother Nature says, “Hey, I’m going to throw you a curveball every few months. The curveball is going to look like this. I’m going to give you a new variant that’s more transmissible than the last one, and it’s going to arise at a large unvaccinated population. So you motherfuckers better vaccinate.” So the first alpha variant arose out of southern England in 2020. Then Delta arose out of an unvaccinated population out of India in 2021. And so I said, Well, what do people think’s going to happen if we allow the entire continent of Africa to remain unvaccinated? Mother Nature just told us what she’s going to do and that she’s done it, you know, with Omicron. And that was entirely self-inflicted. We could have prevented the emergence of Omicron had we vaccinated the African continent. And that’s why, you know, if I sound agitated or irritated or whatever word you want to use, its because, you know, John Berman on CNN once called me a Cassandra, which I had to look up, you know, fated to predict the future, but fated to have no one to listen to me.
Michael Moore [00:32:36] Right?
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:32:37] And that’s exactly what happened. So that’s why we’ve been pushing so hard to say, you know, the mRNA technology’s an interesting technology, as is the Adenovirus technology, but we have a brand new technology, as any engineer will tell you, it takes time to learn how to go from zero to nine billion. I don’t know if it doesn’t matter if it’s mRNA or Adenovirus or new fangled widgets. There’s that learning curve. We’ve got the technology that we used deliberately because we make vaccines for the poor. We make vaccines for parasitic disease.
Michael Moore [00:33:11] We meaning your–.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:33:11] We turned to coronavirus, our Texas Children’s Center for Vaccine Development. That’s all we do. We just make low cost vaccines that could be made locally. And I said, we need to have a vaccine like that if we’re going to quickly vaccinate the world, and I just could not get anybody’s attention. So finally, we raised money on our own, and with philanthropy here in Texas, in New York, and now we have a recombinant protein vaccine that we’ve licensed with no patent, no strings attached, to India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Botswana. The one in India’s furthest along that’s produced by an amazing vaccine company called, they’re privately owned, called Biological-E. They’ve now made 140 million doses, and they have their plan to make 300 million by next year. The Indian government has done an advance purchase of 300 million. They can make a billion doses. And now we’re just waiting for the green light from the Indian regulators for emergency use listing, which should be hoping before the end of the year, maybe by next week. And then and then follow accordingly. And that’s what we need, we need a vaccine that could– and it’s it’s the same technology used to make the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine, which has been in use for decades. People trust it. Parents have been giving it to their kids for four decades. We also had the emergency use listing is for adults, but we have clinical trials now for kids. That’s what we need. We need to go global.
Michael Moore [00:34:46] Yes, global vaccines.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:34:48] But but but the but the frustration that I’ve had for the last two years is no help from the US government, not even any intellectual curiosity about it, no help from the G7 countries. And so it was very frustrating to have to go out and raise the money. Privately, we did it. But it’s, you know, I often think if we had gotten a fraction of the support the media made that we could have potentially have the world vaccinated.
Michael Moore [00:35:16] Well, that’s a sad thought right there. I just. So you’re saying you don’t you develop this vaccine, but you don’t have a patent for it. So who’s getting rich off this?
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:35:30] That’s right. We put it, we put everything out in the public domain.
Michael Moore [00:35:33] Just put it out there. Well, how do you split?
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:35:35] Remember? Remember Jeffrey Rubenstein had his book? It’s like, you know, “Steal this vaccine.”
Michael Moore [00:35:40] You want people just to take it. You’ve developed it. It’s yours. And I assume it doesn’t cost much to make.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:35:47] We think it’s the least expensive of all the COVID vaccines. What we do to help the — we actually provide them the production cell bank and we actually help them to co-develop at our own expense. That’s what we use. The philanthropy will help ease comfort that the Biological-E in India, Biopharma in Indonesia, some are private, some are public, except in Bangladesh. And Immunity Bio in Botswana will help them with develop the assays. Co-develop will help, and training will do whatever it takes to
Michael Moore [00:36:21] Because it seems like Dr Hotez, if we don’t do this, the next one will be from some other country. The first time you hear about it, you’ll go, “Oh, that’s in, you know, that’s in Pakistan.”
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:36:35] Well, what? What if? What if it turned out– I mean, maybe we’ll get a little bit lucky will turn out to be less severe than Delta. I’m still not confident about that. But what if the next one is like Omicron but much more severe? What happens then? And so I think we’re just playing with fire and we’ve got to take this very seriously.
Michael Moore [00:36:55] If the next one is more severe? We’re not ready for that, are we?
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:36:59] But we’re not ready for this one, that’s right.
Michael Moore [00:37:02] So, so what can you leave us with in terms of — and I don’t want any Hopium here. We want the truth. But I think the people listen to my podcast, the fact that we could have hundreds of thousands of people who will finish listening to us and say to themselves, I want to do something, I want to… Whatever that something is, we need to make this happen. We just don’t want to sit around, and we don’t want to be just vaccinating ourselves because we need the whole world protected with this. So what is it that we can do, we the citizens, we the civilians out here? I think we all know what we need to do for ourselves. You just told me I need the fourth booster now. So you know, I’ll just go stand outside one of the hospitals here–
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:37:55] Well. And I want to be careful, too. I mean, I don’t want to say that’s a medical recommendation.
Michael Moore [00:38:01] No I understand.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:38:01] Because, you know, I don’t know what that because I haven’t seen the data that Israel had to make the recommendation for 60 and older. I feel comfortable enough for the health care recommendation to the federal government, but I don’t know what Israel’s actually looking at for that for the 60 and older. But for but for the world and you know, the Biden administration, the White House just put on on Twitter today, maybe they made an actual press announcement, that they’ve now upped their donation to 300 million doses, and they’re very proud of that. They say the U.S. government has donated more doses that anybody else in the world and again, 300 million. I don’t want to call it a drop in the bucket because it’s not. It’s something, but it’s not nine billion. And if everything, all the stars align, our Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development will have matched the US government in terms of what it does, and I’m not saying that to say how great we are. I’m saying it’s it’s a problem that it just goes to show you if a small research institute in Texas can do that, imagine what the U.S. government could really do if it took that leadership? So I think that, one is get getting the U.S. government to understand that this is a matter of national security to get the world vaccinated. And of course, if you’re willing to support us, we have a I have a donation page that’s pinned at the top of my Twitter where you can contact me.
Michael Moore [00:39:35] I’m going to put the link to that here on my podcast site so people can find it and and and donate. What else can people do, though, besides, you know, supporting your work? What can the average person do as they finish listening to this podcast? What can what can they do today, tomorrow after Christmas, if ever before New Year’s? It just seems like somebody needs to–
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:39:57] Well, first of all, first of all, take care of your family, which means which means vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. By that, I mean, get your third immunization if you’ve not gone to get your booster, not gotten it because two doses of this vaccine is not doing very much for symptomatic illness. Second, if you’ve been infected and recovered, that’s not going to cut it because we’re seeing a lot of reinfection. So the first death we had in Houston was someone who was infected and recovered and chose not to get vaccinated. So get vaccinated on top of that, that’s going to be really key. And vaccinate your kids. So right now, any child of five and up can get vaccinated, and we’re not doing a good job vaccinating your kids. And then once you’ve looked out for yourself and your family and your loved ones, you know, usual of talking to your on your member representative in Congress to take– to push the United States to work harder to vaccinate the world. And Support and give us, I guess–
Michael Moore [00:41:04] Yeah. Most of our members of Congress are home this week and next week in their districts. And that is a good idea to they all have local offices. Call, write, go there safely, if you can. But that needs to be done. Well, thank you for continuing to inform us about what’s happening. And thank you for the work you do, creating these vaccines for people around the world, and not patenting it and not getting rich off it. It’s, you know, any young people. If you haven’t heard the story of Jonas Salk and what he did with the Polio vaccine and and making it available to anybody around the world who wanted to use it, this is what Dr. Hotez and his his team are doing right now. So thank you for that.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:41:56] Thanks so much, Michael. And you know, thanks for giving me a voice and and being such a great advocate and friend and colleague. I really value so much and appreciate you and your team and you’re just doing such extraordinary work. You have my undying thanks.
Michael Moore [00:42:12] Well thank you for that. We all want to come out on the other side of this, OK, alive. And maybe as better people, and treat ourselves and our fellow citizens and the people on this planet better. So I appreciate you being a leader in that, and I encourage everybody listening to follow the advice here. Get vaccinated. If you’re not, get the booster if you haven’t gotten it. Make sure your whole family and your friends encourage them to do this. You love them. You want them to live. You don’t want them to to not be able to taste or smell anything for the next year, you know. Yes, that you may live, but you want to live, like live. And so all of that. Thank you very much, Dr. Peter Hotez and all the people there with your operation there in Houston. Doing so much good work. Much appreciated. And I hope you have a good Christmas or holiday or whatever here with your family in the next few days.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:43:12] Thanks so much, Michael, and appreciate it, and I’m sure we’ll be talking again. It’s not like this problem is just going to be going away.
Michael Moore [00:43:19] Oh no! We’ll stay in touch. We’re all in this together and we’ll stay on top of this and do what you have to do. Try to get five hours sleep a night, if you can. But keep informing, keep going on those networks and letting people know the truth. And don’t be afraid to say the things that we don’t want to hear or the government doesn’t want to hear. We — You know this just as a regular, as a doctor, if you’ve if you’ve done tests on somebody and they come in, they say, “Well, how did I do with the MRI?” or the tests or whatever you’re not saying to yourself, “Now I want them to go out with a smile. So I’m going to tell them,”
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:44:01] Yeah! And that doesn’t help, doesn’t help the Biden administration. If all I do is say what a great job they’re doing. If there’s no every administration, no one’s perfect right. Everyone’s going to have have failings. And so there’s a few pieces. Yes.
Michael Moore [00:44:15] And they have to. And I know people in the administration listen to this podcast and they do have to fix it. They’re not– No one’s getting a pass on this.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:44:23] And by the way, I’m in touch with them. I mean, it’s not like I’m in touch with them. I am in and I text them and they listen and and they’re some really smart people heading our national COVID response. I think they’re, you know, part of the problem is they’re trying to manage this very treacherous political landscape with so much extremism on the other side. And I think they let that sometimes affect their messaging. And in the waters it down or it comes out as baby talk. And I think–
Michael Moore [00:44:53] That’s not good. And they, you know, look, we know this about them, that they can admit a mistake or they can say, “You know what, we need to up this. We need to reverse. We have to pivot.” They two weeks ago, they said, “if you have student loans, you’ve got to start repaying them in January.” And they heard from the American public. “Don’t do that to us during this pandemic.” And then last night, The Biden administration said, “You know what? You don’t have to start paying them back in January. We’ll revisit this in May.” That’s what we need. That is the kind of leadership where you can say, OK, people, OK, you know what we can do better.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:45:30] Yeah, that’s that’s right. Not be so dogmatic. And that happened with testing, right? Yes. Jen Psaki a couple of weeks ago said, “Well, what do you want me to do? What do you want us to do? Give us a home kit to every American.” It’s like, Oh yeah, that’s exactly what we want!
Michael Moore [00:45:44] I love that [laughing]. But yeah, I saw that the light bulb went off in her head. You know, “would you would to give a home kit to everybody?” And then she was the went back and everybody was watching the press conference, said, “Jen. That was a great idea.” And then two weeks later, it’s that the wheels are rolling to do something like that.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:46:03] Which is which is the sign of a good administration, right? You make midcourse adjustments. It’s a sign of good business management practice no matter what.
Michael Moore [00:46:12] And a sign that that we have some smart people in charge now. So. All right. Thank you. Be well and stay with us. We’ll have you back on again and we’ll be looking for you on TV and just everybody listening to this. Also, if you can donate to what they’re doing down there to get this, these vaccines out to the Third World, and it’s all we have to what we have to be operating on all tracks here. And that’s one of them. So thank you very much, Dr. Peter Hotez, for coming back and being here on Rumble.
Dr. Peter Hotez [00:46:45] Michael, thank you again.
Michael Moore [00:46:46] All right. Take care. In closing, I just want to thank everybody for another year here of Rumble, for participating in this, for sending me your thoughts, your ideas, your thoughts and prayers. It’s kind of a hopeless endeavor, but thank you for that. If you are thinking good thoughts about us and everybody else who’s trying to do some work to to get this country on track to get the laws passed that we need passed, it’s been a rough month here trying to move forward. We’ll talk about that at the beginning of the coming year here. But for right now, I just would be happy if you’re happy and as happy as one can be during this time to be with your friends and your family, to be with your own self. It’s a great time right now if you are alone to start writing. Start your own podcast. Think about this. It’s — if all of us were doing something, anything. Other than just sitting around and being depressed. This is this is how we’re going to make it. We have no other choice, right? So so be good to yourself and my thanks to our executive producer, Basel Hamdan, our editor and sound engineer nick Kwas, our jack of all trades and now official super spreader here on Rumble donald Borenstein, and everyone who has helped us to get Rumble with Michael Moore on the air and stay on the air, and have watched it grow to now over 31 million downloads of this podcast since we started.
Michael Moore [00:48:36] So get your shots. Please, please, please do this. Is it easy to line one up right now? No, it’s not. But that’s why you have to be persistent. It’s so important. I need you healthy and alive. All of us do. This country needs you. So be well. Look forward to a brighter 2022. We are going to come out of this. Let’s come out of it, as I said earlier, as better people. To live in a better world that I know we have the potential to do that, but we have to face the facts of what we are being confronted with right now. Thanks, everybody. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year. Happy Kwanzaa. Happy Boxing Day. Don’t go burning down any Christmas trees outside of Fox News, come on. You know, they have a right to put up their fake tree. I love the fact that the tree that burned was a fake tree, not a real Christmas tree. They got it in front of fake news. They have the fake tree. So leave it up. Don’t touch it. Don’t. It’s perfect. It’s perfect. All right, everybody. Take care. Be well. Love all talk soon.