Todd DeVoe: if you have been paying attention to the news, you know that the polio virus has been found in the New York City sewage samples, according to city and state health departments.
They felt that this was something they were going to find because some virus cases have popped up north of New York City in Rockland and Orange counties. The detection of poliovirus in the wastewater samples in New York city’s alarming but not surprising. According to Mary Bassett and the state health department working with local and federal partners responding urgently to continuing and being aggressive in investigating this polio spread.
When I was a kid, we all had shots. I always thought polio was a thing that was in the past. And like everything old comes back around again, this is something we’re gonna have to consider. I sat down with Kelly McKinney, and we had a discussion about a whole bunch of different things, but also about the polio virus.
Because he’s now working in the healthcare system, we put our predictive hats on our Nostradamus hats, if you will. And we were looking to see what is coming potentially in the future. If you guys know Kelly McKinney, you know he’s a character with some interesting takes on things.
And for sure, we had this great conversation, a very smart and thoughtful way of looking at what could be happening in the near future when it comes to American politics and the impacts on emergency management. And even the metaverse, this is not a typical episode that you would hear on the emergency management network, but I thought it’d be great to share, and I hope you enjoy it too.
Kelly, What scares you more, Monkeypox or polio in the sewer systems? I mean that that’s a pretty scary thing.
Kelly McKinney: yeah, that’s a good question. That’s a good question. I’ll tell you about Bill Gates. Was there somebody who was interviewing Bill Gates, and he said, this polio thing is super scary. Like he was adamant about a big problem. This polio thing was. I figured he knows more than I do. So now I’m a little scared of the polio thing. And we’re living with Monkeypox. I was just telling you that, just today, we started to see those curves come down the daily op; the daily case numbers just now beginning to come down a little bit.
So we may maybe knock wood. We may be over the hump in New York with Monkeypox, but we’re sure not over the hump with polio. Polio is now. We’re just seeing the leading edge of that. I don’t know what. I don’t even know what to think about polio. I don’t know when it or if it’s spreading, I don’t know what that epi curve could look like because we were talking about that.
There are lots of folks that have been that have had a polio vaccine; you and I have had one. Are we still, are we, do we have immunity to polio? I hope
Todd DeVoe: so. I hope so too, but that’s the question. How long does it last? I, we never talked about boosters or anything for that. We could get a titer test and see how we’re doing on it. And, and then we had the younger kids. I don’t think my kids aren’t polio vaccinated. I think they stopped giving it out in the eighties?
Kelly McKinney: I don’t know. I don’t know. I remember a couple of things when I was in like second grade, and they hit me with a gun that, that’s vaccine gun. Remember that? And it left. I was like, wow, I don’t know what that, I think that was smallpox or something. And that’s a monkeypox vaccine. So I don’t know, they shot us up with a lot of stuff, Todd, and I think that explains a lot of why we’re such a war.
Yeah. No, it’s like, why are we weird? Like, why are we? I think it had to do with those vaccines back in the. It couldn’t be anything else. It couldn’t be all that bad TV we watched. I’ll tell you something I’m worried about. I saw this thing the other day, and they were talking about the metaverse.
They did this research survey on teenagers and their social media use. And TikTok now has exploded. It’s only been around, I dunno a couple years, and now everybody’s on TikTok. If you’re 12 to 19, like you’re on [00:04:00] TikTok, 15% of 12 to 19-year-olds are on TikTok continuously from the time they wake up until they go to sleep. They’re on TikTok continuously 15%, dude, that, this thing’s gonna suck all the kids in it.
Kelly McKinney: They’re all gonna be in the metaverse. Okay. So here’s a question for you, right? What if we have a disaster in the metaverse? What do we do then? Do we need crisis management in the metaverse? Do we have to go in there and do the kinds of things in the metaverse we’re doing over here?
Cause what if there’s a disaster inside the metaverse like, do we gotta go in there and do, and
Todd DeVoe: funny is. Brian. And I was back, like in 2009, we were goofing around with this thing called second life. Which is basically the metaverse, he created a skydiving school, and you could buy parachutes and all sorts of weird stuff inside the metaverse side of the second life.
But we created emergency operations. The school that I was at for training. And you can go into the EOC, and you can go sit at the desk, you can do full activation, and there’s PDFs, all sorts of stuff inside there. So I could see how the metaverse type thing could play out like that in, in essence, at least at a minimum, as a training ground for disaster response.
But that’s something that we can. That’s a whole nother story. What are the things you think we should be forecasting and looking at as emergency managers, specifically emergency management in healthcare?
Kelly McKinney: Healthcare is, I think, in decent shape, and I don’t wanna speak for my colleagues in healthcare, but there’s nothing that gets you more resilient than going through a major disaster.
So you’ve got a lot of people. And that’s not to say people aren’t tired, and that’s not to say that we’re not beaten down, but we, healthcare, have come through this firestorm. And so, I don’t worry about healthcare as much as I do everyone else.
And I’m very concerned about the political environment. I’m very concerned. In the midterms, I’m really concerned about the 2024 presidential elections. What that looks like that to me is the worst-case scenario there is terrible. And I don’t think, I think we need to put ourselves into 2024, the post-2024 environments.
And what does that look like? When that election doesn’t get certified, we go into a constitutional crisis, and we don’t have everybody agreeing on who the president of the United States is. What does that look like? The other thing that worries me is in China, Taiwan.
If you listen to President Xi Jinping, he is clear. He’s saying things that are very similar to what President Putin was saying before he went into Ukraine. And he’s saying, he’s saying, he’s saying Taiwan is part of China. And we cannot push the reunification, the liberation of Taiwan to the next generation.
It has to be, has to by us. And so it’s a matter of time. There are a lot of things that argue for now because of the posture of American forces there and because of where he is in his political lifespan. And where the Chinese people are. There’s a lot of popular sentiment, especially among young people.
To be belligerent in terms of Taiwan. So what does a war with China look like? From an emergency management perspective, war is the mother of all crises. And so, what does war look like? What does war look like?
What is an internal Constitutional crisis? Look like these are things that emergency managers need to be thinking about. They’re not thinking about them now; nobody’s talking about what is the emergency management implication of a war with China. What is the emergency management implication of not having a president in the white house? So we need to be table topping this stuff pretty significantly. And not just us, but, on the federal level, the states need to be doing that. That’s, the state is the primary unit of government, and the states need to be those state emergency management agencies thinking ahead. And I think they’re still a little trapped at the moment. y.
Todd DeVoe: Absolutely. This question has me spinning right now. I think for a little while will be okay without a functioning Federal government. The states will be okay for a bit…as long as the states have their act together. That’s why we have Federalism, right? That’s why that’s the whole purpose of Federalism, but in the long term, we’ll be vulnerable to outside attack because they’ll see it as a weakness. Somebody like China, for instance, would take that time to do what they wanna do in other parts of the world. And it’s gonna be… it would be a scary time.
Kelly McKinney: Do you remember 2000?
Todd DeVoe: Yeah.
Kelly McKinney Remember, do you remember when, when they put the decision into the Supreme court,
Todd DeVoe: that was Gore v. Bush.[00:08:56] Kelly McKinney: Yeah. And that the nation was paralyzed until that was certified. I think the country will just come to a screeching halt; the markets are going to go crazy. But it’s all about uncertainty because it will freak people out. The other thing is that people don’t appreciate this, but the amount of money that comes down to the states from the federal government is just.
Todd DeVoe: staggering.
Kelly McKinney: Staggering. Yeah. And so if that stops if all of a sudden, the checks. You know that, and that’s where you start from a state emergency management perspective. You say, okay, what if all of the federal money stopped today? What does that look like in the state of Ohio? What does that look like?
Kelly McKinney: And you could start with that. You can work that, that, that aspect of it for a long time.
Todd DeVoe: See, and that’s what I’m saying, Kelly, like on a, on this conversation, New York, California, Washington state, Ohio, Florida, Texas. I think they’re gonna be okay, with, for a little bit if the money stops flowing from the federal government. States like Mississippi rely upon the federal government to pay for everything. This is odd, politically speaking, but anyway, it’s beside the point it’s. They’re states like that…,
Kelly McKinney: that’s it, Todd! They And I talk about it a lot. Governors, talk about it. There’s a certain kind of the governor negotiations about if they, they know what the amount of money coming outta their state in federal taxes is and what they get back from the feds.
Every governor knows that number. Okay. Is it positive or negative in this case of Mississippi? Like you said, That’s a hugely positive number. The Mississippi gets a lot better in terms of the money its citizens send to the federal government versus what the federal government sends back to the state. They’re a net positive. New York is a net negative. Other states are net negative. So then you start to think if you have the Greg Abbots and the DeSantis of the world, and they start to think, okay, let me… If I’m, if that’s a negative flow for me, What exactly is the benefit of being part of this union?
And you go, so go back to the founding fathers, and they asked, Benjamin Franklin, what did you do? Do you mean you made a Republic? He said we made a Republic. If you can, keep it. I don’t know if we can keep it. I don’t know that it’ll keep because of that cost benefit. You’re looking in now. All these people are saying, okay, the FBI went into Mar Lago. These federal agents had no business being there. And so you have this whole Federalism.
The states are in opposition to the feds. And, I think the ties that bind us could be much weaker than people think. And so you could see, I could see this fracturing that could happen very quickly, right?
And if you put yourself in a tabletop exercise, the states might even prepare for that. They might even put their legislatures and say, Hey, put the laws into place, and we’ll just cut. Cut. Ties. We’ll go. We’ll go off on our own.
Todd DeVoe: Did you see Missouri’s letter to the ATF?
Kelly McKinney: That’s that kind of what that’s what made me think about it, Todd, is that very letter that, what was that? The attorney general or something? Yeah, fascinating letter. And that’s actually, we’re, that’s what prompted this kind of rant that I’m going on is that very letter.
Todd DeVoe: I find that interesting; the letter is similar to the one California sent to the federal government, specifically talking about immigration and not working with ICE. California said, Nope, we’re not gonna work with you. Yeah. We’re not even gonna turn over detainees to you. Even though you have a warrant, we’re gonna release him to the street, and you guys can go find him and pick him up.
Kelly McKinney: So New York city saying the same thing. Yeah. They tell them the same.
Todd DeVoe: So it’s not all like it is only the red states if you will, that push back against the federal government, it’s, there are blue states that are saying the same thing, but just for different reasons, that’s right.
Kelly McKinney: A hundred percent, so you got, okay, you got it on the right. You got it on the left, and here’s the bizarre part. I think 90% of the middle is this silent majority, like you and me is just Hey, just get along for Christ’s sake. I don’t, all this stuff you’re talking about, listen, I’m not saying it’s not essential, but I, I just wanna, I just want the USA to stay together.
I want us to work through these things. I want us to be a reason. And yet we’re getting, we are getting pulled apart by the right and the left here. And it’s, that’s the scariest part is that when it’s all said and done the damage, it’s a toxic environment, and poisonous means people don’t give a s**t if they burn it down. Burn it down. Both sides. Yeah. It’s the
Todd DeVoe: the crazy part about it. It’s yeah. It’s like you hear the rhetoric, then the socialist and ANTIFA crowd. And they’re just like, ah, and then you hear the rhetoric coming from the pro-Trump the far right. Side the, whatever, then what do you call those guys? I know it, the boys, what are they called? Not the boo boys. The Proud boys like that side of the thing and are the opposite sides of the same coin. They just wanna fight, and whether they’re saying in the street, which seems to be like up in Portland, there appears to be a lot going on.
The scary part about it is that people listen to it. And my friend Brian and I have this conversation all the time about Brian’s, oh, it’s off for the show, which I agree. A lot of it is correct. Like these, they go. They do the LARPing battles. They know they hit each other with trash can lids or whatever.
A lot of it’s like kids in high school that doesn’t wanna fight. But they puff their chest up, and nothing really ever happens in the case of the ANTIFA Vs. The Proud Boys, at some point, something will. Somebody will bring a gun or stab somebody, or something like that will occur. And that will just, that, that’s the part that scares me is that the two loud mouths and the two bullies, if you will, on either side, get together. And one of them decides to go down, and that’s all it takes because, if you think about the first civil war South Carolina was the one who said, okay, we’ll shoot, And that was it. Before that, it was just a lot of just rhetoric going back and forth. No?
Kelly McKinney: And you’re precisely correct. And you think about Virginia, North Carolina, and these other big states. I don’t think I don’t know that it would’ve initiated the civil war in those big states, but you’re right. South Carolina went ahead, and it’s always that way. It’s always the kind of, and I’m not, I don’t wanna say anything against South Carolina. It’s a great state. But I think you’re right. I think it’s gonna be the, it’s gonna be the the the irrational, the people, think about this mass shooting wave that has swept over us, right? Who perpetrates these mass shootings?
They’re, they are, they’re young males with basically nothing to lose. They are at the bottom. Of societal society in terms of their power, there, what did I hear this term? You’ve heard they’re the, there, the unwilling to celebrate or…
Todd DeVoe: what do they call them? I know what you’re talking about. Yeah. I don’t remember the term precisely, but yeah, you, the ones that can’t get girlfriends.
Kelly McKinney: yeah. They’re “incels” or something, and they. Yeah. And so these are the people, and I don’t wanna say losers, but the losers are gonna are go. They wanna bring society down with them.
Kelly McKinney: They want everybody to lose. And guess what? I don’t, I don’t want to lose, I don’t want to go there with you. I have no interest in it, in your agendas, whether it’s right, left, or otherwise, my agenda. I don’t want to work the disaster you’re gonna create. I just want to have I want people to be reasonable and get along so that we can.
Kelly McKinney: Know, we can teach our kids and build, create jobs and people can, have families and do what they wanna do. And that’s not, we’ll get back to that, Todd, but I think it might get a lot worse before it gets much better.
Todd DeVoe: in that. I think so, too. That scares me; I have a 19-year-old, and I have a nine-year-old, and I try to see what the world’s gonna shape up for them and what legacy we’re leaving for them.
Todd DeVoe: And it, it doesn’t. Doesn’t give me warm feelings to…
Kelly McKinney: what’s gonna happen? That’s what it’s all about. It’s about nine years old. Let’s keep this s**t together for the nine-year-olds. Can we, how, is that too much to ask? Cause they, they deserve to have they deserve everything that every opportunity we have, and, we’re talking about the United States, we’re talking about, and that’s the other thing.
Kelly McKinney: My, I, I think a lot of this teenager they, they’re all spun up. They’re, they’re in TikTok all day long. They have no perspective. Go to Africa, Haiti, and places where people don’t have anything.
Kelly McKinney: And you wanna burn this down yeah, you end up, you want it to be, you want, you wanna turn it into a failed state.
Todd DeVoe: That’s why I believe. I really honestly think that we should have. I don’t like the idea of forced military service. Essentially. I don’t think that’s good for everybody. Still, I believe that we should have mandatory service of some kind, whether you choose to go in the military, whether you go into the disaster corps for two years, whether you go into r the Peace Corps, whether you go into some sort of conservation core, something like that, where you have to do service to your community, whether it’s a federal government program or a state government program, you have to give service back to the community.
Todd DeVoe: And I really would like to see. The very wealthy people serving skid row in Los Angeles. Yeah. And it, saying, oh yeah, there is another side. And whether they’re dealing with crazies or whatever, if they’re going down into San Francisco and having to clean, poop off the street because of the homeless, at least they understand what the cause is.
Todd DeVoe: Because right now, the wealthy you’re able to insulate the. From it, and I have to be, I’m guilty. I’m guilty of it. My children are pretty well protected from that nasty stuff. That’s happening because we’re in orange county, California, and we have the luxury. Not having to go downtown Los Angeles, but when they’re of age, when they can handle the stresses of stuff putting ’em into that situation, I think is appropriate.
Todd DeVoe: And maybe I should, that’s necessarily shelter, but perhaps I should do a better job of not insulating my children. Aspects of the world because my son isn’t, my son went on mission trips and stuff. So he went to those areas where he was really. Yeah. So he understands
Kelly McKinney: That’s, I think if you engage, it and mission trips and my son’s been on mission trips and my daughter’s been on them.
Kelly McKinney: And I agree with you. I think that service thing is super important. And I also agree with the other thing you said, which. This income inequality is exacerbating because the 1% is incredibly wealthy these days. This is what this is.
Kelly McKinney: And it may be the primary driver of this social fabric giving away this vast income equality? And so, you know, these are forces that we can’t control, but as emergency managers, it’s definitely job security, man. Holy crap.
Kelly McKinney: There’s no there’s gonna be no shortage of work, that’s for sure.
Todd DeVoe: Absolutely. Hey Kelly, thank you so much for spending time with me today. It’s always a pleasure talking to my friend.
Kelly McKinney: Thank you, man. It’s great. Great talking to you as always, Todd, and take care.
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