The Danger is the System: Animal Agriculture’s Role in Pandemics

Brianne Donaldson kneels in a pen, petting a pig
Photo credit: Brianne Donaldson

What role does animal agriculture play in today’s pandemic? In this episode of “COVID-19: The Humanities Respond,” Tyrus Miller, dean of the School of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine, interviews Brianne Donaldson, Shri Parshvanath Presidential Chair in Jain Studies, about the dangers embedded in commercial animal agriculture.

Tyrus Miller (0:05–0:26): Hi, everyone. Thanks for tuning in to “COVID-19: The Humanities Respond.” I’m Tyrus Miller, dean of the UCI School of Humanities, and I’m pleased to be joined by Brianne Donaldson, Shri Parshvanath Presidential Chair in Jain Studies in our Program in Religious Studies and Department of Philosophy. Welcome, Brianne.

Brianne Donaldson (0:27–0:33): Hi, Tyrus and hi everyone. Thanks for having me to talk about this really important issue that we’re all involved in.

Miller (0:34–2:36): I wanted to start just by referencing something related and I know that one of the things that we want to talk about is really how much in the news the question of animal agriculture has been, concerns about the vulnerability of the food supply, and also some really dramatic events in terms of the euthanasia of feed animals and the danger of COVID-19 infection for meat packers. And there’s just lots of related topics to this. I wanted to start actually a little bit with the news coverage and I don’t know what specific articles you may have been reading during this time but just in my own fairly casual reading, not really looking for this topic in particular, I found an article in The Guardian by Gene Baur that’s called “It’s time to dismantle factory farms and get used to eating less meat.” That was in mid-May.

And then in The New York Review of Books, a piece of fairly extensive and detailed piece by Michael Pollan, who obviously has written a lot on food, entitled, “The Sickness in Our Food Supply,” which is really a kind of rather extensive indictment of the concentration of the meat packing industry and the effects that it has both socially and on our health. That’s really just kind of setting out a little bit of a context for people. That was a very recent article, the June 11th issue of The New York Review of Books. So I’m wondering if you could give us a brief overview of how meat packing and animal agriculture more generally are being covered in the pandemic? What are you seeing in the press and what are some of the main lines of arguments and discussion that you’re reading about?

Donaldson (2:37–5:45): You’ve raised two important examples and it’s also important to see that those two come from different angles. Gene Baur, for example, is the longtime CEO and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, which is the largest farm sanctuary in the U.S. with I think, three locations now, two in California and one in New York. And so his interest is really having worked in the farmed animal protection movement for the last three decades.

And of course, Michael Pollan is usually more interested in the anthropology of food and food safety and public health. A few other areas that we see news coverage in is first, just the basic recognition that COVID-19 was transmitted through animals that were trapped and killed to be used for food, started in China’s markets. Most recently, there’s been coverage that it’s traced to a kind of scaly anteater called a pangolin that is killed and used for food in China.

And we can talk more about similar parallels that we have in our own food system. Another big source of coverage that we’ve seen is how the different COVID-19 outbreaks in U.S. slaughterhouses as well as around the globe. And that’s brought some attention to just the close quarters that workers function within slaughterhouses, but also living conditions, how often some of them will live in larger family units or with other co-workers.

And that when workers get sick, that that slows down the machinery of industrial food production. And we saw several slaughterhouses close. Then we saw the president deem them essential businesses so that they should re-open, somehow to re-close again. And we’re now just still kind of in the tail end of this.

And then finally, as you already mentioned, when a slaughterhouse slows down or closes, the system of industrial food production with animals is not at all designed for this kind of interruption. And so there really is not a lot of give in terms of time, both because the ways that animals have been genetically modified to grow, there is a sweet spot, I guess you would say in which animals have to get to the slaughterhouse because many slaughterhouses have been calibrated to take animals at just a particular weight range. This is why we have now seen the U.S. Veterinary Service deploy to help farmers really engage in some pretty grotesque means of having to what they call depopulate their herds and flocks such as using foam-based materials for suffocation or incineration, lethal injection, shotgun, closing off the ventilators.

It really should put to mind the kind of scale and numbers that we’re dealing with when we talk about industrial animal meat production.

Miller (5:45–6:30): It’s something that I was really, I have to say shocked by it. Obviously, I am aware of this, but somehow it brought it home that what you’re saying about the animals having to be a particular weight and that’s really because they are already produced even in their sort of living state to fit into this industrial machinery of slaughter.

It’s like a kind of component that doesn’t fit if it’s the wrong weight or the wrong size. And that was, for me, I have to say one of the more shocking elements that was really brought out by the reading that I’ve been doing.

Donaldson (6:31–7:06): Yeah, most people already realize that or they realize it in some way that contemporary industrial meat production is much more akin to putting together an automobile on the assembly line than it is to any romanticized ideas we have about Old MacDonald in overalls with red barns. Your analogy is really apt and perhaps articles like this help to give a more visual or visceral understanding of what that metaphor means when we’re talking about living bodies.

Miller (7:07–7:19): You’ve spent years researching in a Midwest pork slaughterhouse town. Could you tell us a bit about your experience and what you learned from that study?

Donaldson (7:20–9:24): I was raised in rural areas anyways in Indiana and Michigan. It was really that experience that moved me toward farmed animal advocacy in the first place. Just to see and learn, especially as factory farming and industrial farming was really taking hold, to see how it changed the landscape of these rural communities. But when I got my first visiting assistant professor teaching position, it was in a very small rural town in Illinois, and there were three businesses there. The college, pet food manufacturer, and pork slaughterhouse. There was about 9,000 people, who lived in that town.

And when I got that job, I really thought that the only way I could thrive or really accept it and move forward would be to just try to learn everything I could possibly understand about the machine of the slaughterhouse, both inside and all of the moving parts that keep it moving day after day. I think it really was an invaluable time to get a much closer behind the scenes look. And I think maybe the biggest takeaway is that there are so many misconceptions about what we would call America’s Heartland or the heartland of food production.

Especially citizens who live on the coasts or who are living in cities away from these areas, I think there’s a tendency to see them as racially homogeneous and somewhat politically provincial. And at least in slaughterhouse towns and regions, it hardly could be farther from the truth. They are extremely internationally diverse. They are very strong in their technological innovation. They are playing really important roles in global policy and national policy.

So maybe I could give a few examples. Would that be helpful?

Miller (9:24–9:25): Yeah, please.

Donaldson (9:26–15:54): First off, just to think about America’s Heartland in general is this idea of it’s much more cosmopolitan than most people expect. In the town that I lived in, the slaughterhouse, most of the 1,500 employees were either immigrants or refugees. It’s interesting to learn that the various organizations such as the Department of Homeland Security that work with often religious refugee resettlement agencies to funnel refugees to areas where there is slaughterhouse work. Now, some of those employees already have college degrees, not all of them, but it’s an accessible job with a median wage. And it will accept anyone even if they don’t speak English.

And in the slaughterhouse, in Monmouth, the town in Illinois where I worked, there were 14 languages spoken there. You can imagine how this changes the character of an entire small town and all of the surrounding regions that have their own slaughterhouses. I spent a lot of time in the schools where they were having to completely shift their approach to education to accommodate limited English proficiency learners. You can imagine how that might impact civic services like police and fire that are now dependent on translation services, the distribution of healthcare, and how that’s delivered to people when there’s language barriers.

Even the very features of the town itself, where you would think about America’s Heartland, you probably wouldn’t expect to have an African, an Asian grocery store on the town square. That’s one sort of more personal element and there’s, of course, a lot of richness that can come with that in these small towns and communities. But another aspect that people are really unfamiliar with is that when we think of America’s Heartland, we think that this is the stable and secure place of American farming.

Actually, we find that many of these areas are increasingly foreign owned. The slaughterhouse in Monmouth, which started in 1940s was eventually purchased by Smithfield. But Smithfield, who is the largest pork producer in the world, was purchased by a Chinese firm in 2013 in the largest takeover ever of a U.S. company on record. In that region, also the local granary, this is where farmers bring their grains to be stored or distributed globally. It had been owned by a local company or a local family for about 80 years, now owned by a Japanese firm. And so we have to ask why is it that other countries want to own these means of production?

This is something both in terms of land and these industrial elements that are increasingly foreign owned. Which brings us to another really critical part of understanding contemporary meat, which is technology and grain farming. I had the really unique opportunities to spend quite a lot of time with farmers who grow grain of soy. And if you’ve ever gone through any Midwest area, you probably have seen these flowing fields of green. We really cannot understand the food system today without understanding how the U.S. government has set up a food structure funded by taxpayers to subsidize grains like corn, soy, and barley that are primarily fed to livestock. Because it’s incentivized, because it’s also insured at a higher level, it really changes the state of farming in these communities, where in order to insure oneself and to help hopefully turn a profit, farmers have to have more and more land, which means there are fewer and fewer of them.

And they have to have very tech-forward equipment. I have ridden in GPS-guided combines and ridden with farmers, who are both planting and harvesting with equipment that I had no idea existed. And there’s really way too much risk for these farmers to grow anything but corn, soy, and similar monocrops. The majority of which, and when I say majority, I mean about 80% of soy and even higher than that of corn, goes to feed livestock. This has been an issue for quite a long time, because as farmers have been incentivized to do this, the U.S. has had a glut of products like corn and soy.

If we think of the ethanol industry, which is a corn-based fuel, that really emerged out of farmers needing some place to take this excess corn. In economics, there’s a principle called Say’s law, which is that demand creates a supply. In terms of meat production, you have to have bodies and mouths to eat this grain, which is so cheap. It’s partly because the corn and soy is so cheap that other countries want to get access to the means of production. Because it’s simply cheaper to go through U.S. producers for both grain, soy and livestock. If we think about your analogy for the auto assembly line, if you had a car and most of the parts or at least the most essential parts could be provided free or low cost, you’d be able to sell that car a lot more cheaply.

And that’s really the state of our food system. It is so tilted toward incentivizing feeding these grains to living beings in a very inefficient way. It makes it very cheap. It doesn’t really make sense, but it’s cheaper to go to a store or to a McDonald’s to buy a burger than it is to buy a small container of mushrooms. That’s not by accident. That’s by design of current U.S. policy that really has to change. And you see that very clearly in that juncture of technology and the supply chain that keeps the machinery of U.S. slaughterhouses not just moving but growing.

Miller (15:54–16:51): I want to just pick up on your evocation of a process of globalization and corporatization that really belies that image of sort of the small autonomous individualistic agricultural producer that is increasingly, I mean, it’s a reality for a very small number of people, but increasingly a kind of mythology that gets drawn on. You mentioned the grain supply, of course, many of those farmers aren’t even in some way owners of the seed but they’re licensing a seed strain that’s coming from your Monsantos and other large agribusiness global corporations.

Your head starts to spin a bit when you really understand the interconnectedness of these food systems.

Donaldson (16:51–19:00): Yeah, absolutely. Another element that a lot of people probably don’t realize about farmers is that to be a U.S. farmer today, because they’re increasingly large, it can be very lucrative. But it comes with a great deal of risk. Most farmers, they function on constant debt. And it’s part of what you’re referring to here, which is one way of thinking about it as a vertical integration. Which is that in the same way that we have the big four automakers, we have some big players such as Tyson, Cargill and Smithfield, that have tried to really get control of all the means of production. And that means from creating facilities in which animals are bred and having that separate, and then having those delivered to farmers.

Now, some of those farmers remain independent but many of them as you’ve referenced are contract farmers. That can be both true on the grain side as well as the animal housing side. And so some farmers provide work and labor, other farmers just provide the actual space, and everything within it is managed by the vertical integration company. Then they’re shipped to slaughterhouses that are also owned by that company.

And so you can see, for example, I did an interview with a local farmer back in Monmouth just a few weeks ago during all of this. She’s one of the few independent farmers that are left in that region. Because she is not a contract farmer, all of their loads got pushed to the back of the line, because of course, if you have a vertical integration system, all of the contract farmers for that particular corporation are going to have priority access. It even puts more pressure on independent farmers to become contract workers and to further narrow the very few corporate global players in the area of food productions with meat.

Miller (19:01–19:30): To come back to our questions about the media, from your personal experience, and also from the deep study that you’ve done of these questions, what do you think isn’t being told to us by the media about the food industry? About the meat industry? Are there things that we should be discussing about animal agriculture that really isn’t part of the public discourse?

Donaldson (19:30–28:13): There are so many things I think about. I’ll try to focus on a few of them. And I think first, it’s just really important to state very clearly that the current level of meat consumption and production is not at all essential as it’s been presented and nor is it inevitable. But it is really the outcome of policies that incentivize the production of cheap meat through the subsidization of monocrops. And then it’s also paired with something that you and probably many listeners have heard, which is a repeated and unfounded call that we have to double global meat production by 2050 for a global growing population. I want to look at both of those elements, both what we’ll call “meatification,” a term I get from Tony Weiss’s book, The Ecological Footprint, which is the explosion of monocrops now dotted with these islands of confined animal feeding operations. And that meatification is very different from evolutionary meat eating, right? It’s an explosion of cheap meat that is then ingested to all kinds of ecological and human health costs.

And that meatification is very different from evolutionary meat eating, right? It’s an explosion of cheap meat that is then ingested to all kinds of ecological and human health costs.

And on the flip side, we have this doubling narrative. So on one hand, we want to look at consumption itself and we see that meat consumption globally is very uneven. On one side, we have the U.S. and Australia, about over 250 pounds per person annually consumed. To other countries like within Africa, India, Indonesia, where we have less than 10 pounds per person. And then everything in between.

We can see that people across the globe can survive and even thrive with a much lower amount of meat consumed, but it’s important to see that there is that wide range of consumption and to see it’s often in industrialized countries where we’ll have higher consumption.

When we get this doubling narrative, and this narrative comes from meat producers and grain producers, we hear it on the floor of the U.N., that we must double meat production. A simple math equation says that if the population today will rise from the current seven and a half billion to maybe 10, that is in no way a doubling of the population. There’s an implicit assumption that it’s not just that we have to double the meat, it’s that the citizens will be engaging in a diet characterized by meatification. There is a sense that countries such as China and Brazil, are going to massively increase their industrial meat production and consumption using all of the tools of meatification that are currently present in industrialized countries. And so these two elements of the mechanisms of meatification along with this doubling narrative, this is something that’s very hard to see. Many people don’t question it because it comes from so many different sources. But it’s one that I think has to really be examined and boldly rejected. Because meatification and its various effects are crushingly dangerous; they’re dangerous to animals.

For example, most people would be very surprised to learn that there are no federal laws on the books to protect farmed animals from abuse. Most of the standard practices that are today commonplace in factory farms such as removing beaks, cutting off tails, castrating, all without anesthesia, these would be considered felonies if done to dogs and cats. The only laws that are available for farmed animals are how they can be slaughtered. And oftentimes those exclude fish and chickens, which make up the major majority of all factory farmed animals.

Also, COVID has really shown us this crushing timetable of the breeding, birth, life, and death of farmed animals. So a pig that could live perhaps 15 years will be killed at six months when they reach 260 pounds. Chickens that can live for seven to 10 years are killed at six weeks. Cows that can live for 20 years are killed at 18 months or for dairy cows four years after a life of repeated breeding and production. It’s important to think that in the U.S., nine billion animals are killed annually. That’s 30 times the U.S. population. It’s basically like slaughtering the whole U.S. population, re-breeding it, killing it again 30 times over. It’s a really staggering number and it’s very hard to get one’s head around.

It’s important to think that in the U.S., nine billion animals are killed annually. That’s 30 times the U.S. population. It’s basically like slaughtering the whole U.S. population, re-breeding it, killing it again 30 times over.

Meatification is extremely dangerous for workers, and we’re already seeing some of that through this news. It’s been well documented for many years that slaughterhouse work is one of the dangerous occupations to hold. Workers suffer injuries at three times the rate of the average American worker. A recent study by the journal, Bureau of Investigative Journalism rather, showed that basically every other day, a slaughterhouse worker is in a longterm hospital stay. Either for an amputation, a fracture, a burn, or a severe head injury. It’s this extremely dangerous work, not just physically but also mentally. It’s been really interesting through this COVID time to see that Iowa lawmakers actually called on Congress to pass a law, not just to help farmers with the actual depopulation of their animals, but also for mental health services.

There were many articles where farmers or their representatives were talking about how emotionally and mentally devastating this was. But we have tens of thousands of workers, who are killing nine billion animals a year without really any thought to their mental health. So there is a question, if this is so mentally damaging to farmers, why should we be having anyone do it? One really critical element with workers that has been overlooked and really has to be put into the center of conversations around food, is that in late 2019, and right as COVID had begun to move into the headlines, both Canada and the United States have lifted any limits on their slaughter line speeds.

But we have tens of thousands of workers, who are killing nine billion animals a year without really any thought to their mental health. So there is a question, if this is so mentally damaging to farmers, why should we be having anyone do it?

As we’re talking about workers being exposed to a pandemic virus, basically what this means is that the previous limits that were in place, previously, it was 145 chickens per minute that could be killed. That was the cap of U.S. slaughter. Now it’s been raised to 175. There was about 1,100 per hour cap of killing pigs in the U.S. and now the cap has been totally lifted. There is no new limit at all. And part and parcel with lifting that law was the dialing back of a lower percentage of USDA workers in these facilities to do inspections. Some of, I think it’s about 30% dial back, of the USDA inspectors with those roles now being replaced with company employees. This has been soundly denounced by unions, where they still exist for workers, by human rights advocates, by animal advocates, and even some USDA inspectors have gone in these facilities and said that the environmental conditions are much worse, that the risk of injury and animal abuse is all on the rise.

Even as we’re talking about raising awareness about workers on the line, we have a federal move that has lifted the speed entirely. These things are definitely not spoken about. I also could just say a few other things about ecology and consumers if you’d like, or you can jump in now.

Miller (28:13–28:40): Let’s briefly talk about the climate impacts. We know some of the key areas of water use, of gas emission from animals, obviously the impact of monoculture of grains for feeds. What do you see as the biggest climate issues that are associated with meat production?

Donaldson (28:41–33:48): Well, you’ve named the basics, and in general, most people are aware that there is a close connection between ecology, environmental health and meat production. But there still seems to be a gap in how to interrupt a system when it is putting such a stress on the environment and contributing to climate. I do think that there is some space here just to reiterate some basics, which is that a kilogram of animal flesh takes about a hundred times more water than a gram of protein. There’s a recent study out by Cornell that says if we were to take all of the corn, soy, and monocrops that we’re feeding to livestock, we could feed 800 million people. Of course, we could also just use a lot less land if we were going to be really thinking seriously about food security and sustainability.

But I think importantly, there is a really important study. It was put out in 2009 by World Watch. It’s still not been unrefuted by looking at the actual effects of climate. And that most studies have only looked at what comes out of kind of the backside of animals, right? That when we think about greenhouse gas emissions, most of those calculations are always only looking at part of it. And so this particular World Watch study also looked at the inspiration and exploration just of breeding. And have found that livestock is actually the single greatest contributor to climate change. Even if we were to make modest adjustments in terms of industrial production, most of the goals that have been set in global climate agreements could be met through making changes in food production.

It’s really critical to see how many levels that this has the impact. Not least of which what we’re seeing now, which is human health, because of course, it would be different if we had a population that was extremely healthy in every way. But in addition to knowing that diets that are rich in meat, milk and eggs contribute at least to chronic diseases like certain cancers, heart disease, diabetes, we can see, such as with COVID-19, a very close link between global health and animals that are either caught or raised for food.

If we just think back over the history of epidemics, we can think of that MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, came from camels that were being used as food. SARS, which came from a particular kind of nocturnal animal called the civet. African swine flu, which is actually currently going on right now. There have been over six million animals that are culled. And that’s been going on during the whole time of COVID ,is coming from pigs, of course, bird flu. There are over three dozen different strains of bird flu.

If we just think back over the history of epidemics, we can think of that MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, came from camels that were being used as food. SARS, which came from a particular kind of nocturnal animal called the civet. African swine flu, which is actually currently going on right now. There have been over six million animals that are culled. And that’s been going on during the whole time of COVID is coming from pigs, of course, bird flu. There are over three dozen different strains of bird flu that have come from ducks, turkeys and chickens. Foot and mouth disease in cattle and pigs. We have mad cow disease, which comes from feeding rendered animal matter, the brains of cows to other cows, kind of a double step back just to consider that on the different levels.

And then we also have just day-to-day issues of infections like E. coli and Salmonella that come from, what do we do with all of this waste that these animals produce? For example, in Monmouth, where I worked, you have 10,000 to 12,000 pigs that were killed every day. That’s more than the entire population of the city. And so the slaughterhouse had its own waste production system to process that in addition to the city zone waste production system. What do we do with 30 times the U.S. population’s waste?

So it is very common that we hear these cases of salmonella and E. coli that are emerging. And not least of which of course is also antibiotic resistance. That about 50% of all global antibiotics are given to livestock and of course, germs become inured to that. And then when humans come in contact with those bacteria, we find that we are less and less able to utilize existing antibiotics to treat them. On so many levels, we see that meatification poses tremendous danger really across the board, ecologically to animals, workers, and for public health.

Miller (33:48–34:41): Well, you have raised our awareness about a multifaceted picture of meat consumption and the impacts on our society, on our individual health, on our environment. If you have a couple of takeaways for someone who may still be a meat consumer or policymaker who is in some ways trying to make reasonable policy for a population that will probably continue to consume meat in the future, what would you want them to take away in this moment in history where these issues have been raised so starkly?

Donaldson (34:42–40:34): First and foremost, it’s to realize that typically, policy follows public opinion. It’s really important here to realize that individual consumers, especially when they can join together, do have a lot of power. We’re seeing a lot of pressure put on industrial meat production in this way. And policy will follow public sentiment. Along with that, it’s very critical to recognize that the food system that we have, it did not fall from on high, it was created and it can be created differently. When we think about just in the moment that we’re speaking as protesters are out in the street, there has to be an imagination for something different and that’s how anything becomes different. There’s nothing that is inevitable about our current food system. It can change.

It’s really important to realize that connection between individual consumers, understanding some of the behind the scenes elements. COVID has given a window both to look into it and it’s done almost the impossible, which is to slow down the system itself. There is hardly anything that can interrupt the mechanism of industrial slaughter. So we’re at a really critical point. I think just practically, there has to be a really clear rejection of any of these doubling narratives that come around when we hear them. Just to recognize that the assumption that meatification will become the global norm or that there has to be this industrial explosion of meat consumption globally, is not inevitable. And it really should be soundly rejected.

Secondly, I think that where it’s possible to petition our own statewide lawmakers, especially around the time of the Farm Bill, to continue to reject subsidizing corn and soy. Our food system is so tilted toward those products that when we are thinking, even as we’re speaking about increasing public health and increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables and grains, those products are more expensive and less accessible because they are not subsidized in the same way.

For individuals, but also institutions, any institution that provides food service, there needs to be a real reckoning with reducing meat consumption and especially of chickens and fish, which make up the bulk of factory farming. Even though the pigs and cows are more alike mammals in terms of our own kinship, in terms of the sheer number — I mean, you can imagine when someone goes out for wings, how many animals are just being eaten in that one time?

This is why the chicken industry has really been skyrocketing because people have for various reasons, for particular things, thoughts of health reasons, or perhaps ideas that eating that would be more sustainable for some reason. But it’s over 90% of the factory farming comes through fish and chickens.

But I think importantly, we see massive explosion right now in another area of my research, which is in cell culture and plant based meat, milk and eggs. It’s existed for decades, but in the last 15 years, we’ve seen a steady growth. And then in the last two, these products, we can think Impossible Burgers, Beyond Meat, many other innovators, they have exploded. And when we have this hole in the food supply, those companies have slipped in and been able to ramp up their own production.

And in fact, this is seen as such a threat to the meat producers that you have seen that companies such as Tyson, Cargill and Smithfield — they all now have their plant-based meat lines. They are all trying to begin to diversify because they see not only the direction of public sentiment, but that if you want to shore up a food supply that is not in danger of being susceptible to pandemics, you have to move away from utilizing our living kin.

We are now in a time where people who are used to eating meat can begin to examine their own values, their own thoughts about the environment, their own ethics. They can in fact shift to alternatives that will provide certain elements of the same and in some cases, almost an identical aesthetic experience while making an enormous ecological and ethical impact for humans, animals, and the environment. Even meat producers are beginning to see the writing on the wall to the degree that institutions can really get behind this kind of innovation and these kinds of alternatives. You will see those producers be able to scale a secure food supply that can become increasingly affordable, even more accessible to all people around the globe.

I think those are some basic steps that are actually very much within reach of individuals and institutions to make major changes to shift the current trends of meat production.

Miller (40:34–41:03): Well, I want to thank you for sketching out that horizon of possible change for us and for your call to awareness and really for what’s been a fascinating and enlightening conversation for myself and I’m sure for our viewers of “COVID-19: The Humanities Respond.” I want to really thank you again and ask our viewers to join us for our next episode of “COVID-19: The Humanities Respond.” Thanks so much.

Donaldson (41:04–41:06): Thanks, Tyrus. It’s really been good to be with you. Bye-bye.

Miller (41:06–41:07): Bye-bye.

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