Ken Rahjes: Welcome back. Our special guest is the First District Congressman for Kansas, Dr. Roger Marshall. We’re spending a lot of time on this week’s program talking about the Coronavirus, COVID-19. Doc, I think that’s what a lot of folks, we’re getting a lot of information. Many of us as lay people, are we getting too much information?
Dr. Roger Marshall: Absolutely, the media is blown out of proportion. That being said, it’s here in Kansas. Now we have 18 confirmed viruses. We have to assume it’s in our communities. Just want to reassure people that if you’re sick, don’t run into your doctor’s office. Give them a call, let them know. If you’ve got a fever, you’ve got a cough, we need to do our best to quarantine it right now. Most people will do really well with it. They may not even know they have a cold, and it’s part of the problem. If you’re over the age of 60, if you have a medical condition, and you start feeling sick, running a fever, especially shortness of breath, please let your doc know.
Ken: The CDC has done a pretty good job of trying to disseminate information. Many of us may be overreacted when one of our neighbors or colleagues sneezed. It looks like sneezing isn’t necessarily one of those things. I guess probably one of the biggest misinformation, the difference between what we typically would have a cold and flu season, and this Coronavirus.
Roger: Yes, I think the big difference is this particular virus spreads more easily than the common flu does. So it’s very viral. Then also for certain groups, it’s has a higher mortality rate as well. That being said, putting it all in perspective, 20,000 Americans have died from the seasonal flu already during the swine flu outbreak, the H1N1. We had some 12,000 Americans die as well.
I’m not sure why the media has grabbed onto this one and said, "Oh my gosh, this is even more horrible," but we’re going to respect it and do everything we can. I think President Trump has done everything possible to try to prevent and minimize this virus, but it’s here in Kansas, and now it’s up to our communities to try to contain it as best possible.
Ken: Let’s maybe pivot just a little bit in our remaining time with you. We’ll do another segment as well. Let’s talk about how this has affected agriculture, the commodity markets, other investments, the oil market, which really could have a long-term effect on this great bull run we had, and there’s a lot of uncertainty not only in farm country, but just throughout Kansas.
Roger: What I’m trying to communicate to the White House and to Secretary Perdue, and of course, the secretary knows this already, that we were getting careened back in January. As this virus was making its way a past through China and Japan, our exports started going down. We’ve been feeling the effect even before the airplane started feeling this as well. We were expecting the Japanese trade agreement becoming online, increased exports in the beef market. We are expecting that China becoming on for more beef, and pet food as well, maybe a few other products, ethanol. This is really hurting agriculture with China, basically shut down for two months.
Ken: One of the things I’m sure you’re discussing as a member of Ag Committee, critically, the MFP 3.0. Is that part of the discussion?
Roger: We literally just got off the phone before we got here with Chairman Conaway from Texas, a good friend of Kansas. He’s been here with me several times, had a great time in our state fair, so it’s on the table. I didn’t think it was going to be, but now it’s much more complicated than that. What I specifically spoke to the chairman about today is just about the problems that cattle guys are having. They’ve got no relief so far, and they’re getting the double dose right now as well. We were trying to look into some things with the secretary of agriculture that could help the cattle guys along with the MFP payments. So we’ll see. No promises.
Ken: Congressman Roger Marshall, special guest on this special edition. Stay with us. We’re going to talk more about what’s going on in DC. We’ll be back in just a moment.