Antony Blinken, Mary Barra, Dax Shepard and more at the top of DealBook Online

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Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, said it was time for America to guarantee paid family leave for all workers. She said she called on members of Congress to push the issue, which could be part of President Biden’s broad climate and social spending bill. “It’s not just about the mother,” she said. “It takes strong men, modern men, to really understand that they benefit as well.”

Mellody Hobson Ariel Investments, who joined Meghan virtually at the summit (pictured above), discussed the limits of workplace diversity efforts. “The # 1 beneficiary of diversity initiatives in this country has been white women,” Hobson said. “I think the problem is, there’s this scenario that’s being created, and it’s a zero-sum game – and it’s not.”

Actor and author Matthew McConaughey may or may not be running for governor of Texas, he said. He is not sure he is the person for the job, despite at the top of the polls, but he examines his “mind, heart, and spirit” as he sees it. McConaughey said he knew what he was for and against: opportunity over obligations, choice over legislation, and joy over happiness.

He also said he was wary of coronavirus vaccine warrants for children aged 5 to 11. The actor is vaccinated, as are his wife, mother and older child, but he said he would wait to vaccinate his two youngest children, who recently became eligible for injections. . “I could not demand to vaccinate the youngest,” he said. “I always want to know more. Dr. Vivek Murthy, the US surgeon general, then weighed in, telling CNN that the vaccines were effective and “remarkably safe” for young children.

Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, said that for a certain segment of the population, the push to overcome vaccine hesitation may never be won. “They are wrong and I would urge them to get vaccinated,” he said, but “it is very difficult to change your mind.”

That’s why Bourla says he thinks antiviral drugs, like Pfizer’s Paxlovid, could “be a game-changer.” Data from Pfizer’s trials showed that its pill not only reduces the number of deaths, but also the number of people who end up in hospital. He refuted criticism that antivirals, which can cost around $ 700 per treatment, are a more expensive way to fight coronavirus than vaccines (and therefore more cost-effective for drug companies). A course of antivirals is always cheaper for health systems than a person going to a hospital, Bourla said.

Ken chenault, formerly of American Express, and Ken frazier, previously at Merck, said their efforts to organize fellow business leaders against state voting bills were a moral duty. “It was not a difficult decision to make,” said Chenault. He called the legislation, which critics said would limit the voting capacity of historically marginalized communities to “a fundamental attack on our democracy.”


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