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Transcript: Eric Schmidt on “Face the Nation,” Might 10, 2020

The next is a transcript of an interview with former Google Chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt that aired Sunday, Might 10, 2020, on “Face the Nation.”


MARGARET BRENNAN: We need to go now to the previous CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt. He’s main a New York fee to reimagine sectors of the economic system in gentle of the coronavirus pandemic. He joins us from Miami this morning. Good morning to you. 

FORMER GOOGLE CEO ERIC SCHMIDT: Good morning. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: We simply heard from one of many White Home financial advisers that the worst is but to return on the unemployment entrance. What jobs, in your view, will live on?

SCHMIDT: Effectively, lots will however they will function in numerous methods. We’re gonna need to reimagine how the office works. We’ll have to determine get folks into buildings that they are petrified of. My guess is we’ll have extra demand for workplace house, not much less, as a result of folks will need social distancing. We’ll have to consider hub-and-spoke methods the place native folks do not journey thus far as a result of they do not need to be in public transit for thus lengthy. So we’re gonna have to actually rethink how companies function. They want their workers again.

MARGARET BRENNAN: After 9/11 in- in Manhattan, you noticed folks set up houses exterior the town. You noticed companies transfer and have backup services exterior of main cities. Is there one thing that we all know is within the works this time round?

SCHMIDT: You’ll be able to ensure that one thing like that can occur. For those who consider it as an employer, you’ve gotten a bunch of workers, a few of whom are dying to get again to the workplace, and a few people who find themselves afraid that in the event that they go to the workplace, they may die. They’re very involved about- they’re immunocompromised or what have you ever. So they will need to provide you with versatile preparations. So think about that there are three or 4 folks. One will go to the workplace. One will keep dwelling. Somebody- some will go to some native or close to their- close to their city working setting. It’ll change the sample. We have had this case the place folks transfer to tremendous cities in these extremely concentrated methods. That may change within the subsequent few years. You do not must be within the tremendous metropolis with the intention to take part within the ex- pleasure of those tremendous cities. The fee, by the way in which, is desiring to work not simply on the town, but additionally suburban and all the agricultural people. We now have to be delicate to the truth that all people has issues. Everybody has issues. And so they’re very completely different conditions.

MARGARET BRENNAN: , companies are being pressured to attempt to do issues otherwise proper now. However a lot of them may use this as an excuse or as an accelerant to make some large strategic shifts. What does the economic system appear like on the opposite aspect of it? What does that imply?

SCHMIDT: A method to consider that is that this one month, two months interval has introduced forth 10 years of ahead change. So rapidly, the Web is not non-obligatory. It is elementary to doing enterprise, to function, to stay our lives, all kinds of a lot greater expectations in consequence. For instance, we’d like significantly better broadband within the rural areas. One other instance can be tele-health. 80 p.c of the visits to docs are proper now in tele-health. Individuals have been wanting this to occur for years. Now utilizing distant monitoring, we will really measure all people and do it remotely. After which provided that it’s important to, you go in to see the physician. And by the way in which, that is extra handy for you as a- as a affected person. There are all kinds of examples. One other factor that we’ll need to do is we’ll need to have all kinds of attention-grabbing kind of social monitoring of 1 type or one other to search for these hotspots. So methods must be developed to see, oh, my God, there’s an outbreak over there. Let’s get to it proper now earlier than the unfold begins.

MARGARET BRENNAN: However one of many issues that this disaster has additionally made apparent is not only revenue disparity, but- however entry to Web as you simply stated. If somebody would not have entry to broadband or they do not have the pc, how do you make up for that distinction? Who pays for that?

SCHMIDT: Effectively, now we have to- now we have to resolve that drawback. And when the federal government does one other considered one of these big stimulus payments, let’s put some stimulus into broadband entry, particularly for rural areas. The cities are in fairly fine condition. After which let’s determine a manner for individuals who do not in any other case have entry to computer systems by way of libraries or no matter, discover a manner for them to get entry. Many individuals can entry by way of their cell phones. That is one other resolution. You’ll be able to’t take part on this new economic system with out entry to the Web. It is how you are going to study. It is how you are going to ship companies. It is how you are going to promote it. By the way in which, it is how you are going to promote. Proper? So gross sales folks will not be touring as a lot. They are going to be doing it with the equal of Zoom and different companies like that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: But it surely’s not just- you are speaking about federal funding to construct out infrastructure like WiFi. However what we have realized, due to a few of these backlogs in unemployment claims with the states, is that their fundamental infrastructure, their computer systems are so outmoded, they can not even course of the quantity of demand proper now. The place does that come from? I imply, you are speaking about re- not simply rebuilding, however, you understand, fully remaking how states perform.

SCHMIDT: What you are studying by way of that is that the federal government on the federal and state stage have simply horrible infrastructure within the software program division. They’re nonetheless utilizing COBOL methods, which is a pro- system I programmed in 45 years in the past. And people methods, you understand, the programmers are not with us. So we have actually acquired to improve these methods. And there are significantly better applied sciences which can be far more safe, a lot faster and so forth. You’ll be able to see them in the- within the non-public sector. The general public sector has lagged for no matter set of causes. Due to it will speed up all of that. For those who stay up for it, what you may do as a citizen is a lot of your companies can be on-line, your well being can be on-line, a lot of your schooling can be on-line. After which there will be different methods like we have to determine a solution to de-densify public transportation. Individuals will say it is higher in case you get on the subway now as a result of it is much less crowded, proper? Since you do not need to be on a subway when it is filled with all people. These sorts of modifications are simple for pc methods to do in the event that they’re in place.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The Wall Avenue Journal is reporting this morning that the Trump administration is in talks with Intel and another corporations to maneuver services again to the USA to have manufacturing be right here. Do you see that change within the world provide chain occurring?

SCHMIDT: Effectively, we have constructed within the final 10 or 20 years this terribly environment friendly world provide chain with many, many steps. We have now realized that it isn’t resilient. There was for at the very least a decade a terrific concern about our over-reliance on Taiwan particularly for overseas chip manufacturing and there’s an initiative throughout the authorities which is essential, that we get home provide of foundries, actually the locations the place chips are made. And firms like Intel and Samsung and TSMC. TSMC is the most important foundry. It is in Taiwan, on the seven nanometre stage, attempting to get them into our nation. So now we have higher management. It is vital from a standpoint of- of our personal economics. It is also vital for nationwide safety. We need to ensure that our vital infrastructure is owned and managed by America, proper? By no means wager in opposition to America. We’re the innovators in our world. We should always be capable to do that effectively.

MARGARET BRENNAN: We’ll depart it on that notice. By no means wager in opposition to America. Thanks, Eric Schmidt. 

SCHMIDT: Thanks. 

MARGARET BRENNAN: We can be again in a second.

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