THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2021
"We Won't Get Another Chance" Climate Activist Bill McKibben on Urgency of Climate Action in Biden Administration's Reconciliation Bill
This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with renowned writer, environmentalist and climate activist Bill McKibben, whose seminal 1989 book “The End of Nature” was among the first to warn of the coming climate crisis. McKibben points to the dangerous rise in the earth’s temperature spawning droughts, destructive storms and other environmental catastrophes spurred by fossil fuel burning and deforestation. He says if we don't pass President Biden’s reconciliation bill, which has the most sweeping climate change legislation ever proposed in the US, "we won't get another chance". The legislation is a powerful step forward in incentivizing a US shift to renewable energy, which he says must be accomplished before the upcoming climate summit in Glasgow, the most important global climate gathering since the Paris Accords.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 2021
"Culture Wars Are Killing People": NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins on Politics and Harm to Pandemic Science
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, who also mapped the human genome. Dr. Collins laments the politicization of the pandemic, noting that ‘culture wars are killing people’. He urges patience on vaccine approval for families of younger children heading back to school, confident that scientific rigor will ensure vaccine safety. Dr. Collins, an avowed person of faith, urges faith-based resisters to trust the science that produced this life saving vaccine. He also discusses one of the largest protocols ever launched by the NIH to uncover the mysteries around long COVID syndrome, which is impacting an increasing number of COVID survivors.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 2021
“We Are On Fire”: Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear on Pandemic Surge Pushing Hospital Capacity to Brink by the Unvaccinated
This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D), on the dire situation in the Commonwealth as the delta-driven pandemic pushes the state’s hospitals to ‘disaster’ mode. He laments the recent State Supreme Court decision limiting his executive order powers, for initiating universal masking for all Kentucky children returning to day care and school, calling it ‘the right thing to do’ for vulnerable kids. He discusses efforts to battle the crisis with assistance from the National Guard and FEMA to address hospitals at the breaking point, with this much more contagious variant leading to highest death rates since the pandemic began, driven predominantly by unvaccinated people.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 2021
Masks, Mental Health and Missed Appointments: AAP President Lee Beers on Pandemic’s Impact on Childhood Health
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Lee Beers, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics on their science-based recommendation that all kids aged 2 and older should be masked in school and daycare in the face of the Delta Variant. They discuss their efforts to communicate the safety and efficacy of the COVID vaccines to patients and their families, and the AAP’s efforts to increase access to mental health services within the pediatric care setting.
MONDAY, AUGUST 2, 2021
Dr. Leana Wen on the Pandemic and the ‘Fight for Public Health'
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Leana Wen, emergency physician, former Baltimore Health Commissioner, and medical analyst for CNN. Dr. Wen’s new book, “Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health” addresses the dramatic failings of the public health system to adequately address the pandemic, the need to create a more coordinated national and international public health system and the way forward through the pandemic.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 21, 2021
Health Misinformation on the Internet: Google/YouTube’s Garth Graham on Their Efforts to Stem the Tide
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Garth Graham, Director, and Global Head of Healthcare and Public Health Partnerships at Google/YouTube overseeing the creation of credible health content – in partnership with multiple health institutions. They discuss their efforts to disrupt and remove health misinformation from their platform which receives 2 billion visitors per month. They talk about the partnership with the Biden Administration, the CDC, Harvard and England’s National Health Service to remove false information from the platform and drive visitors to credible health information about COVID-19 and all other health topics of interest.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 7, 2021
“A New Era of Vaccinology”: Dr. Paul Offit on mRNA Technology’s role in Vaccine Development
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with renowned vaccine expert Dr. Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. A member of the FDA COVID Vaccine Advisory Panel and co-inventor of the rotavirus vaccine, Dr. Offit points to the growing body of data around the safety and efficacy of the mRNA-based COVID vaccines, that it’s safe for all populations, including children and pregnant women, and sees it as a game changer for the future of vaccinology. He warns that the lack of global vaccination will impact vaccine effectiveness against growing threat of variants.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 30, 2021
First Transgender Presidential Appointee: HHS Assistant Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine on Biden Administration’s Commitment to Health Equity
This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Dr. Rachel Levine, Assistant Secretary for Health at the US Department of Health and Human Services, the first transgender presidential appointee approved by the Senate. A pediatrician with a focus on child and adolescent behavioral health, and former Pennsylvania Health Secretary, Dr. Levine focuses on the dramatic toll exacted on the nation’s children by the pandemic, the need to advance health equity for the LGBTQ and all vulnerable populations, and the promise of telehealth to eliminate barriers to care.
MONDAY, JUNE 21, 2021
White House COVID Advisor Andy Slavitt on “Preventable”: His Book Chronicling America’s Failed Coronavirus Response
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Andy Slavitt, former Senior Advisor to the Biden White House COVID Response Team, discussing his new book: “Preventable: The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response”. He outlines the ‘sins’ that led to the previous administration’s failed response to the pandemic, and talks about President Biden’s approach to correct course, by taking full responsibility for outcomes and being frank with the American people. He also discusses the significance of the Supreme Court’s latest decision upholding the Affordable Care Act.
TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2021
Dr. Anthony Fauci: A Conversation on Where We Are and What’s Coming Next
This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Chief Medical Advisor to the Biden Administration's COVID-19 Team. They discuss the decades of science behind the 'remarkable' vaccines, the decision by the US and G7 members to scale up global vaccine donations, and the virulent variants that pose a greater risk to the unvaccinated. He also predicts the dramatic discovery around COVID-19 will pave the way for a vaccine for HIV/AIDS within the decade.
MONDAY, MAY 31, 2021
Congressman Patrick Kennedy on Pandemic’s Impact on Increased Awareness of America’s Mental Health and Addiction Crisis
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with former US Congressman Patrick Kennedy, founder and CEO of The Kennedy Forum, an organization dedicated to advancing policies and best practices to improve access to mental health and addiction services. Congressman Kennedy, who co-sponsored the 2008 Mental Health Parity Act, addresses the devastating toll the pandemic has had on mental health and addiction, and talks about Biden Administration efforts to address the mental health crisis through expanded health coverage and more resources for addiction and mental health treatment.
MONDAY, MAY 24, 2021
Latino Community’s Pandemic Toll: National Hispanic Medical Association’s Dr. Elena Rios on Quest for Equity
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Elena Rios, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, representing the interests of the nation’s 50,000 Latino Physicians. She discusses the devastating toll the pandemic has taken on the nation’s Hispanic population who have suffered a greater death toll and significant economic as well as mental health burdens. Dr. Rios NHMA’s efforts to improve pipelines for young Latinos to enter the medical field, and for measures to address health inequity impacting communities of color.
MONDAY, MAY 17, 2021
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky Talks Boosters, Masks and Health Equity
This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Walensky defends the science behind lifting mask restrictions for vaccinated Americans, examines the ongoing research on vaccine efficacy against emerging COVID variants and possibility of a need for booster shots. She also outlines efforts underway by the CDC and the Biden Administration to leverage provisions in the American Recovery Act to address health inequity by strengthening the nation’s public health infrastructure
MONDAY, MAY 10, 2021
World Health Organization’s Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove Speaks About the Global Pandemic
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID-19 Technical Lead at the WHO. They discuss the world’s lack of readiness and supply chain infrastructure to confront the pandemic. She says the lessons learned from this collective ‘trauma’ is sparking new efforts to build more robust surveillance and response systems for emerging pathogens, the concerning new variant out of India, and the need to accelerate global vaccinations to stop the continued spread of the pandemic.
MONDAY, MAY 3, 2021
Understanding Vaccine Resistance Among Conservative Voters: Dr. Tom Frieden
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden, President and CEO of Resolve to Save lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies seeking to save 100 million lives globally by addressing cardiovascular disease and preventing pandemics. Dr. Frieden discusses their report on building a stronger global health infrastructure that can deploy rapidly to contain the next threat. He talks about work with GOP pollster Frank Luntz to develop messaging to tackle vaccine resistance, and applauds the FDA’s recent decision to ban the sale of menthol cigarettes as a bold public health move.
MONDAY, APRIL 19, 2021
200 Million Vaccines and Counting: Emory’s Dr. Carlos Del Rio on Effort To Target Vaccine Resistance
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with leading infectious disease expert Dr. Carlos Del Rio, Executive Associate Dean at the Emory University School of Medicine, and lead researcher on HIV/AIDS and now, COVID-19. Dr. Del Rio applauds the Biden Administration’s achievement of 200 million vaccine doses delivered in the US, but warns vaccine resistance in this country, and lack of supply globally, must be addressed to bring the pandemic fully under control. He lauds the remarkable science around mRNA technology that will have far reaching implications for tackling many diseases.
MONDAY, APRIL 12, 2021
The J&J Vaccine Delay: Brown University’s Dr. Ashish Jha Says Minimal Clot Risk Shouldn’t Inhibit Vaccine Uptake
This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. Dr. Jha is a world renowned expert on pandemic preparedness and addresses concerns around the rare blood clot risk with the J&J vaccine, saying the brief pause in distribution is further evidence our scientific surveillance is working. He also talks about the impact of the pandemic to propel meaningful change in public health in the US, and the global health infrastructure as well.
MONDAY, APRIL 5, 2021
White House Vaccinations Chief Dr. Bechara Choucair on the Road to Vaccinating America
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Bechara Choucair, White House Vaccinations Coordinator. Dr. Choucair discusses the remarkable pace of vaccine distribution in recent weeks, and the Biden Administration’s plans to deliver 200 million vaccines in 100 days. He addresses the challenges at vaccine production facilities, the impact of the American Rescue Plan on efforts to scale up vaccine production and delivery, as well as the important role played by community health centers to address the health needs the most vulnerable populations impacted by the pandemic.
MONDAY, MARCH 29, 2021
Biden COVID Transition Team Advisor Dr. Celine Gounder on Race Against Variants
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with renowned infectious disease expert Dr. Celine Gounder, who served as a COVID advisor on the Biden transition team. Dr. Gounder says we are in a race between vaccinations and the variants driving coronavirus infections in the US and around the world. She warns that we must scale up our genomic surveillance of the variants as they pose a continued threat to containment of the pandemic.
MONDAY, MARCH 22, 2021
Dr. Eric Topol on Variants, Vaccines and AstraZeneca’s Data Reporting
This week Mark and Margaret speak with Dr. Eric Topol, Director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. Dr. Topol calls drug maker AstraZeneca’s recent controversial under-reporting of complete safety data to US regulators for its COVID-19 vaccine ‘disturbing’ and ‘unprecedented’ in his clinical trial career. He calls the rapid development of highly successful and effective COVID vaccines one of biomedicine’s greatest achievements and predicts the pandemic crisis will pave the way for more remarkable scientific breakthroughs, and a greater opportunity for the growth of personalized medicine via smartphones.