04.19.2019

Anita Malik on Her Move from Tech to Politics

Former tech executive and current candidate for Congress Anika Malik discusses the obstacles Americans face when it comes to reforming a broken healthcare system.

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A FIRST TIME CANDIDATE.

YOU WIN YOUR PRIMARY.

RUNNING A VERY COMPETITIVE RACE.

WITHIN A COUPLE OF POINTS OF THE INCUMBENT, WHICH WAS, YOU KNOW, A LOT OF PEOPLE KIND OF SHOCKED BY YOUR RACE STARTING TO GET A LOT OF NATIONAL ATTENTION BECAUSE YOU'RE LIKE, WAIT, WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

THIS IS PART OF THE BLUE WAVE, AND THEN, YOU KNOW, THE CURVEBALL.

YOUR HUSBAND GOT SICK.

WHAT HAPPENED?

TELL US THE STORY.

WE HAD WON THE PRIMARY A COUPLE OF WEEKS AFTER THAT.

I HAD MY BIG FIRST DEBATE WITH THE INCUMBENT AND HE WAS FEELING SICK.

WE THOUGHT IT WAS THE FLU.

NOTHING TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT.

KIND OF ON AND OFF, BUT AFTER THAT DEBATE, THAT FRIDAY, I REMEMBER IT VERY CLEARLY.

YOU KNOW, THAT REST OF THE WEEKEND TOOK A VERY DRASTIC TURN.

AND THERE WAS PERSONALITY CHANGE A LITTLE BIT BUT MOSTLY JUST, HE WASN'T FUNCTIONING IN A NORMAL WAY AND I WAS RUNNING CAMPAIGN.

HERE I WAS THE NOMINEE, SO I KIND OF TRIED TO KEEP GOING AND A FEW DAYS LATER, I REALIZED THERE WAS SOMETHING REALLY WRONG.

STILL THINKING IT WAS THE FLU BECAUSE HIS SYMPTOMS WERE FLU-LIKE, SO I TOOK HIM IN TO THE DOCTOR, YOU KNOW, CANCELLED SOME APPEARANCES AND THEY WERE CONCERNED ENOUGH THAT WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THIS IS BUT WE NEED YOU TO GO IN TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM.

IT COULD BE MENINGITIS.

WHAT IT ENDED UP BEING WAS BACTERIA GOT INTO HIS BLOODSTREAM.

THEY STILL DON'T KNOW HOW IT HAPPENED.

IT HAPPENS SOMETIMES TO PEOPLE AS A FLUKE.

THAT BACTERIA WENT INTO HIS BRAIN AND IT CAUSED FIVE ABSCESSES IN HIS BRAIN WHICH IS VERY, VERY UNUSUAL TO HAVE THAT MANY, LET ALONE FOR IT TO HAPPEN IN THE FIRST PLACE.

SO THAT STARTED US OFF ON I DON'T EVEN KNOW THE BEST WORD OR ADJECTIVE FOR THE JOURNEY BUT A JOURNEY THAT WAS VERY DIFFICULT TO PROCESS BECAUSE THERE WEREN'T A LOT OF ANSWERS.

EVEN THE TOP SURGEONS DIDN'T ALWAYS KNOW WHAT TO TELL US.

THERE WAS NO ANSWER OF HOW THIS WAS GOING TO TURN OUT.

HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR THE NEXT SIX WEEKS, ALL THE WAY THROUGH TO ELECTION DAY.

I CAN'T THINK OF ANY SCENARIO WHERE THAT WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN FRIGHTENING, EXHAUSTING, TERRIFYING.

HE'S YOUR HUSBAND.

HE'S THE FATHER OF YOUR KIDS.

BUT ON TOP OF ALL OF THAT, YOU'RE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO RUN THIS CAMPAIGN.

WHAT WAS THE THOUGHT PROCESS?

I MEAN, WAS THERE EVER A POINT WHERE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT WITHDRAWING?

THE INFORMATION CAME SO TRICKLING IN, ABOUT WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH HIM.

WHAT WAS THE NEXT STEP BE?

MOVING TO NEXT.

SO EVERY DAY WAS JUST PUTTING ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER

About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Irish Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister Simon Coveney about Brexit; and novelist Ian McEwan about his new book “Machines Like Me.” Michel Martin speaks with Anita Malik, a candidate for the House of Representatives whose background is in tech, about how she hopes to transform the traditionally conservative area.

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