Event Highlights from The Bloomberg Businessweek | May 20

Event Highlights

The Bloomberg Businessweek – Day 4

May 20, 2021


By Nicole Sawyer, Senior Editor, Bloomberg Live

In a first-of-its-kind event experience, we bring the magazine to life. Over the course of five days, the Bloomberg Businessweek explored the HOW TO’s of technology, culture, creativity, entertainment, global affairs, health care and science.

Thursday’s event focused on the shift in power. President Biden has altered U.S. policy priorities, focusing on overcoming Covid-19, addressing climate change and social inequality. The global pandemic has also proven how crucial it is to have effective and smart governing in place, and the power of partnership with industry. The speakers shared their views on how to lead in a time of crisis. 

Click here to view video of today’s event.

Speakers included:

  • Mario Carbone, Co-Owner, Major Food Group
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, NIAID, U.S. National Institutes of Health
  • Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner, European Commission 
  • EB Kelly, Managing Director, Head of Rockefeller Center, Tishman Speyer
  • Cecilia Rouse, Chair, Council of Economic Advisers 
  • Jeff Zalaznick, Managing Partner, Major Food Group

The Bloomberg team included:

  • Jonathan Ferro, Anchor, Bloomberg Television 
  • Scarlet Fu, Anchor, Bloomberg Television
  • Jennifer Jacobs, Senior White House Reporter, Bloomberg News
  • Amanda Kolson Hurley, Politics & Policy Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek
  • Francine Lacqua, Television anchor & Editor-at-Large, Bloomberg Television
  • Carol Massar, Anchor, Bloomberg Businessweek TV and Radio
  • Joel Weber, Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek
  • David Westin, Anchor, Bloomberg Television


Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor for President Biden and long-time director of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases began the event by suggesting it’s unlikely we will see another big wave of Covid-19 in the United States. “We don’t want to declare victory prematurely, but if we can get 70% of adults vaccinated with at least one dose by the Fourth of July, the way the president has set the goal, I think the chances of there being a surge or a rebound is extremely low,” he said. 

Dr. Fauci said “there is an understandable confusion” over the CDC’s guidelines. He agrees that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks or physically distance indoors or outdoors. The latest data shows if you are a healthy, fully vaccinated person “the chances of you getting infected is remarkably low,” and even if you had a breakthrough, it’s “extremely unlikely that you would infect anyone else,” Fauci said. 

However, he warned that these guidelines only apply to fully vaccinated people.

On the other hand, people who are not vaccinated are “still vulnerable” and “susceptible to infection” and they should still wear a mask. 

Last fall, Bloomberg broke the news that Hope Hicks, an aide close to then-President Trump, had tested positive for the coronavirus. Following her report, Trump and dozens of others within the White House tested positive. Bloomberg News’s White House reporter Jennifer Jacobs shared how difficult it was for her to break this story. “We were just a month out from the U.S. Presidential election, so that was very sensitive. And the president was trying to keep everything on an even keel and keep the economy running smoothly and this was just adding much more uncertainty,” she said. 

Amanda Kolson Hurley, Politics & Policy Editor, Bloomberg Businessweek asked Jacobs if she believed President Trump would have admitted he had the virus if it wasn’t for the story about Hope Hicks. Jacobs said, “I don’t know. But what we do know is that it sent a signal to the White House that it would be very difficult for them to hide any information about White House officials who had the virus just because reporters were likely to find it. It was just a big red flag saying ‘if you try to hide it, you’re probably going to get busted for that,’” she explained. 

In a break away from policy discussion, if you like chicken parmesan then you were in luck. Mario Carbone, Co-Owner, Major Food Group and Jeff Zalaznick, Managing Partner, Major Food Group shared their secrets on “How to Sauce a Chicken Parm” to make it restaurant quality. 

One tip they suggested was to not over sauce your chicken parmesan. “The sauce has probably the largest effect because it can go wrong in so many ways. You can not only have a sauce that doesn’t taste good, you can further that by having sauce that doesn’t taste good and putting way too much of it on which I think is prevalent right now in society,” Zalaznick said. “I like to not go all the way to the edge and save a little bit on the outside,” said Carbone as he demonstrated how to sauce the chicken.

In a session on the European Commission’s decision to upgrade GDP forecasts this year, Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for the European Commission said “we are optimistic the second quarter and second part of the year will be quite positive.” Gentiloni estimated growth of “4.2 and 4.4 percent” for this year and into next year.”

The catalysts include manufacturing, the economy opening back up, the impact of Next Generation EU and the “vaccination campaign that is growing, after initial delays now with good speed and with very strong coordination among member states in the European Union,” he said.  

On the topic of a global taxation agreement, Gentiloni said “new proposals coming from Washington” and “Americans pushing strongly in this direction” could be a gamechanger in accelerating this movement. 

In a session about How to Reinvent the Future of Midtown, EB Kelly, Managing Director and Head of Rockefeller Center for Tishman Speyer explained their mission is to encourage people to come together and connect through unique food experiences above and underground. 

“You know a city, you know New York by its food. Our job is to provide a range of really interesting food experiences here that showcase the best of New York,” she said. “So, that’s everything from French at the James Beard award-winning restaurant opening their next location here at Rockefeller Center or the restaurateur Ignacio Mattos coming here this summer.”

For The Cover Story: The White House, Cecilia Rouse, Chair for Council of Economic Advisers told Jonathan Ferro, Anchor for Bloomberg Television “I’m working for a president who believes in markets – this is a president who really believes there is an important role for government to play both in ensuring that our private sector works well, but understanding that there are public good.”

Ferro asked Rouse, “When we talk about making a system fairer, again, particularly on income taxes. What does that mean?”

“I think fair means that in the United States we have a progressive income tax and so I think it means having a progressive income tax for those who are given more, are contributing a bit more. But I also think when we look at the share of corporate tax revenue contributing to GDP, that has fallen tremendously over the past decade.”


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