Carrick Flynn considered as most
unfortunate candidate in 2022


The year was the year that Oregon has been granted a brand new district in the federal
legislature, known as the Sixth District, and the contest to fill it has attracted national interest. It’s
due that one of them, an unknown lawyer and activist called Carrick Flynn with a background in
international development. The attention to him is because of the billions Flynn has gotten from
a source of controversy the young cryptocurrency millionaire and billionaire Sam Bankman

Bankman-Fried, who created the FTX cryptocurrency exchange The FTX cryptocurrency
exchange was founded by Bankman-Fried. He has declared to donate all of his wealth over his
lifetime. He has also emerged among the top donors within the efficient altruism (EA)
community, with special attention given to the fight against pandemics. This has resulted in an
increase in the role of political funding — he was among of the largest supporters of Joe Biden’s
Presidential bid -and is also the major of the donors to the political action committee which has
contributed the sum of $10 million for Flynn’s House campaign.

The cash flow from outside for Flynn’s campaign has prompted severe criticism from the
opposition who are running, but Flynn declares that he’s never had a conversation or even met
with Bankman-Fried. The reason for their connection is primarily an active involvement in altruism, which is a social and philosophical movement that was born at Oxford University in the
late 2000s. This movement has influenced Flynn’s decision to contest for Congress and may
guide his efforts should he be elected.

The fundamental premise of EA (which is also the basis for the work we do here on Future
Perfect) is that the use of evidence-based reasoning is able to help prioritize resources with
limited resources and identify the most efficient methods to enhance living conditions of as
many humans and animals as are possible. This includes finding ways to limit or avoid the
looming catastrophes that humanity faces in the future, a field that is largely unfunded and
unappreciated by governments.

The threat of pandemics is a risk that is often overlooked and preventing them is now a major
EA issue, one that is shared by Flynn. Preparedness for pandemics has been a top priority for
him. Flynn began working within the biosecurity industry in 2015, and after Covid-19 struck, he
swiftly removed his other responsibilities to devote his attention to the issue. He was a bit
disappointed that in the midst of a deadly epidemic, Congress gave expert proposals regarding
prevention moderately favorable reception and he says Flynn hopes to contribute to Congress
as the advocate of the cause.

If Flynn is able to win the Democratic primary in May, and his general elections later in the year
the election will test determine whether EA ideas — and even money can work in the realm of
government, not just in philanthropy. Flynn spoke to Vox’s Miranda Dixon Lunenburg and Dylan
Matthews on Zoom last week about his campaign as well as his goals. (Disclosure: Miranda is a
former coworker of Flynn’s spouse Kathryn Mecrow-Flynn.) A slightly edited transcript is

Miranda Dixon-Luinenburg

The topic of pandemic preparedness has been mentioned as one of the main reasons for your
effort. Please share some details about your prior work on this topic.

Carrick Flynn

I became involved in the prevention of pandemics as a field in 2015 when I relocated to Oxford.
I worked together with Andrew Snyder-Beattie who is now the program officer responsible for
biosecurity in the Open Philanthropy Project.

Then I went to Georgetown in the US, where I worked on semiconductors as well as some AI
things. At that point, I was also somewhat involved (in bio risk), but I essentially walked away.
After Covid was sparked, Andrew came back to me and basically told me, “Carrick, this is the
right time to join my A-Team. Join me. It’s time to go.” Then I quit Georgetown and jumped into
the ring and had a go at the [work on pandemic preparedness].

It was a very strong team that was assembled. We used the technical suggestions from 145 of
the most renowned experts in these areas and reduced them into digestible policy elements. We
added a budget to it. Then we proceeded to sell our idea White House and to Congress. It was a success. White House snapped it up They loved it. This is the reason it’s part of Biden’s
pandemic prevention strategy. The plan was modified a some, but the fundamental was in

We then went to the mall and pitched the issue to Congress. There was no opposition however
we couldn’t find anyone who was a champion. They seemed to be disinterested. We hired many
lobbyists, serious people who have worked professionally in the health industry and tried to get
the bill through. It didn’t happen.

When I first decided to run for Congress there were a lot of people who advised me to consider
running, for a myriad of reasons. For me, the only thing that was on the forefront of my mind
was the fact that this bill was in the works. It’s such a wonderful bill. It could possibly stop every
pandemic. It’s costly, but numerous orders of magnitude lower than the price of a pandemic. Not
to mention the devastating cost to lives. It’s almost as if the disease really needed the support of
a hero.

Dylan Matthews

I’m curious about how you go about issues such as the pandemic response or the longer-term
future of the country with voters. My experience with House elections is that the majority of
people are discussing their children’s education, health care, or immediate issues. How do you
prove that it is worthy of your time and also part of what is meant by representing them?

Carrick Flynn

The first thing I’m concerned about is preventing pandemics. There’s a time frame for this that is
already closing and we have to be able to pass it as fast as we can. If I’m elected to the
presidency, the first thing I’ll need to do is to go all into getting that bill passed.

In general, I believe the economic growth approach, also known as the progress research
approach is about ensuring that we’re investing in quality research and getting decent jobs and
that we’re not enforcing laws and regulations leading to people being artificially poor or resulting
in homelessness — these matters a lot.

In addition, many of the technological concerns connect with economic issues with regard to
automation. The unemployment that comes due to it, but also the potential that is available, and
if you take these amazing technologies, you can create an entirely new industry. If you’re able to
enjoy positive economic growth and new industries, you’ll have the chance to cross the risky
gap of dependence upon fossil fuels. It’s possible to move to green technology; we don’t need to
undertake any kind of degrowth-related thing. It’s possible to achieve a stage where we’re
actually able to start taking carbon out of the atmosphere.

I’m in Oregon. There have been wildfires. We experience floods every day because of
environmental damage. As a child, I was homeless due to an uncontrollable flood that lasted for
seven months. My mother was also left homeless eleven years later when I was a student at
college. another flood, which was caused by that same river. They were both “500-year” floodings. It’s a serious issue for climate change. Concentrating on stability as well as prosperity
is something everyone loves and is a popular choice for everyone.

When you talk to people about the things they are passionate about the majority of them begin
to focus on their children as well as their grandparents. If they reflect on it for a time, they’ll
realize that’s what they’re really concerned about. And then, the questions that flow the most
into it become those they keep close to their chests. Respecting that and interacting with it and
trying to resolve that are essential to me.

Dylan Matthews

The three of us in this discussion are members of the efficient altruism community. We all have
that dialect. We’ve all been able to report on causes in the past that made the case for various
kinds of actions to help make the world a better environment.

What made you believe to do this? Do you believe it’s the most effective action you can take in
the multitude of possibilities of making an impact? Do you believe it’s essential to have someone
who has an EA sense in Congress?

Carrick Flynn

It’s important to have individuals who are dedicated to the pursuit of carefully prioritizing and
implementing methods based on evidence. It’s not clear if that implies you must be an employee
of EA precisely.

Particularly for me -it wasn’t really my thought. I’d relocated back to Oregon since I was able to
work at home and wanted to leave DC. Then, a new congressional district emerged under my
feet. A variety of people from different regions of my life were saying, “You have to run. You
must run. You have to be running.” and I’m certainly not an elected official. However, enough
people have said this to me that began asking others whom I truly admire, if this was something
I should think about. Many of them are extremely interested in the power of altruism.

I received a clear affirmative “yes,” and they could have a reason to believe it was great. That
was helpful when I spoke to people whose judgment I believe in.

One reason the pandemic prevention aspect was so useful is that I believe that the prevention
of pandemics is worth billions in the anticipated value when we are able to pass this issue. The
pandemics are extremely dangerous and there’s an argument to think that, due to the climate
change in the future and technological advancements that this will continue to happen and
become more severe. The cost is so minimal. If I was elected and I had a very slim chance to
get this legislation approved, the worth of it could be the entirety of it it seems. It definitely was
enough to convince me to overcome my personal aversion.

Miranda Dixon-Luinenburg

The ideal altruism mentality is global in nature: It’s seeking to assist all humans and all animals,
and people who are still in the future but aren’t born yet. The majority of your previous work was
focused on global issues. However, in Congress, you’d represent 700,000 individuals with their
own issues and have an obligation to address the local concerns of these people. I’m curious to
know what you’d think of doing to make this shift.

Carrick Flynn

It doesn’t to me seem like an actual shift. My objective is to always strive to make a difference.
That usually implies that you’re in a field in which you’re working, and you’re trying to make a
difference within that particular domain.

While I lived in Kenya I was trying to help the children at this school as well as the women in this
hospital for maternity. It’s not at the expense of anyone else It’s just that it’s my job right
currently. While I lived in India I tried to assist children in rural areas gain access to health
programs, nutritional fortification, re-feeding for starvation, and vaccinations, among other
things. For me, they are my constituency and I’m totally in.

Then I’m living in Oregon and I’m back home. There’s much to be said for having the privilege of
being at home. I am privileged to assist the residents here and to help them understand what
they are most concerned about including their children’s and their grandchildren’s futures and
also to improve the economy in this country and not just here. It’s a ripple effect, and this can
benefit all across the US This could result in huge effects worldwide. It’s not like feeling tension.
It’s more like a continuation of the target throughout and the way to go all the duration.

Dylan Matthews

Sam Bankman-Fried’s PAC has spent more than 10 million dollars in this race Which will be
greater than any other independent PAC has ever spent on a primary for Congress. Some of
your critics have claimed that he is seeking to purchase the race on your behalf. I’d like to give
you the opportunity to address that accusation and to give your opinion on his role.

Carrick Flynn

The first thing is that I’ve not had a conversation with him. I’ve never even spoken with him.
There’s nothing I have about details that others don’t. I’m not actually able to provide any
information that isn’t public with perhaps the one exception being information that I believe
others believe they possess and that is, they think I’m involved with crypto or some other thing.
It’s not true. I’m not a crypto enthusiast. I’m not sure of much about it. I’ve not looked into the
regulations that govern it. I don’t believe it’s something that’s a prioritization.

Based on that information I’m speculating however what I can say is that it appears to me that
Sam Bankman Fried is a person who has a legitimate desire to stop pandemics from occurring
again. I’m with him. I am loving that, what a great idea. Let’s do it. I understand why he’d be
inclined to help me with this, given that I’ve made this my primary priority, and I have some
experience with this. He’s also backed other presidential incumbent congresspersons and candidates with good prevention of pandemics strategies, and has lesser funds, but I can
understand the reasons why he’d prefer to give more to someone who has greater experience in
the field.

Additionally, the race is fairly close. I’m likely to win, however, not by a large margin. This is why
he may decide to put more money into it.

Concerning the issues regarding campaign finance in general I was unaware of it thoroughly. I
was unsure of the way a PAC was run and didn’t even know exactly what was going on at the
time that suddenly, I was advertising about myself. I joined the campaign with no idea of what it
was about.

It’s not appealing. When you get close and you’re still not, “Oh this system works!” You’re like,
“Oh this is terribly flawed.” There are other ways that the system is flawed, too. Individuals are
able to self-fund. This is a problem since it snubs people with low incomes like me out of the
competition. (That’s another common misconception. I earned $40,000 in the last fiscal year. I’m
not the richest candidate, but I gave most of that to charities.) There are instances where there
is a local party machine that anoints a successor, and then they put an apparatus that surrounds
them. All of these are not very good.

If I’m elected, will definitely support reforms to campaign finance. I’d definitely support any bill
similar to that. I’m happy to say that in this system of corruption all that has been written about
me by me and others who have argued for me is true and positive. There haven’t been any
criticisms of anyone. The whole thing is, “Here are the policy positions, and here are the main
priority areas.”

When it comes to special interest groups are concerned I’m not a fan of them for a reason. It’s
an unofficial institution. The most effective one I could think of was for “no further pandemics.”

Dylan Matthews

To be clear What are your thoughts regarding crypto regulation? Do you have any views about
crypto regulation at all? Another common accusation is that you’re an opportunist for
Bankman-Fried in order to obtain his preferred regulations.

Carrick Flynn

Yes, I’ve heard it too. I’m not familiar enough with crypto to be aware of the rules. After being
charged with this crime I began to look back and learn more about the subject. It was very
dense, and I really didn’t care. If I’m a congressperson, and this topic comes up, I’ll stick my
nose to the ground I will study this subject and determine what I will vote on. It’s not something I
do in a vacuum. I don’t wish to waste my time thinking about this. I don’t think it’s that important.

In a heuristic way decision, I’d suggest how you would determine the normal financial rules. Do
you intend to be making money off middle- and working-class people? Do you think this is a way
to allow a great deal of abuse? If yes, then you must regulate it, and if not, know, absolutely.