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.
MONDAY, MARCH 15, 2021
Dr. Michael Osterholm Says Variants Will Cause More Havoc
This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Michael Osterholm, renowned pandemic expert and Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Policy and Research (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota. A recent advisor to President Biden’s transition team, Dr. Osterholm warns of another COVID-19 surge on the horizon as the more contagious UK variant, which is causing more lockdowns across Europe, is becoming the dominant strain in the US. He says vaccination rates must be accelerated, and that more equitable distribution of vaccines around the world will be the only way to get the pandemic under control.
MONDAY, MARCH 8, 2021
Dr. Rick Bright to Lead Bold Pandemic Preparedness Initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Rick Bright, Sr. Vice President for Pandemic Preparedness and Response at The Rockefeller Foundation, former chief of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) at HHS, and member of the Biden Transition Team on COVID-19. Dr. Bright is launching a new pandemic preparedness initiative at The Rockefeller Foundation, creating the first-of-its-kind national and global pandemic surveillance infrastructure to alert governments around the world about emerging pandemic threats. Dr. Bright resigned his post at BARDA after filing a whistleblower complaint against the previous administration for mishandling of the pandemic response.
MONDAY, MARCH 1, 2021
Nursing on the Front Lines: ANA President Dr. Ernest Grant on Protecting Nation’s 4.3 Million Nurses
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Ernest Grant, President of the American Nurses Association, the largest organization representing the nation’s 4.3 nursing professionals and the patients they serve. He talks about the myriad challenges nurses have faced throughout the pandemic, the need to ensure more protection is put in place to shield them against the effects of COVID-19 and other workplace harm, and plans to advance the nursing the profession across the health care spectrum, beyond the pandemic.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2021
From Ebola Survivor to COVID Warrior: Dr. Craig Spencer on the Pandemic’s Lingering Threat
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Craig Spencer, Director of Global Health in Emergency Medicine at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Population and Family Health at the Columbia University Medical Center. A an emergency medicine and epidemiology expert on the board of Doctors Without Borders, Dr. Spencer talks about what he learned battling Ebola in West Africa, surviving the deadly illness himself, and how COVID-19 is revealing huge gaps in health equity and public health readiness that need to be repaired.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2021
Vaccines and Communities of Color: Johns Hopkins’ Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana on Quest for Equitable Distribution and Lasting Solutions
This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Monica Schoch-Spana, Senior Scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is Co-Chair of the Working Group on Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination, CommuniVax, which just released a detailed report, “Equity in Vaccination: A Plan To Work With Communities of Color Toward COVID-19 Recovery and Beyond”, with recommendations for state and local governments to support a vaccination campaign and coordinated pandemic recovery plan that addresses health disparities for people of color.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2021
COVID-19 Is Shape-Shifting: Dr. William Haseltine Warns Variants & Lack of Containment May Weaken Vaccine Efficacy
This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with scientist and entrepreneur Dr. William Haseltine, founder and CEO of ACCESS Health International, who warns the growing number of COVID-19 variants will help the virus evade the vaccines currently being deployed. He cautions that lack of strict public health measures, particularly in the US, will lead to more widespread infection and endemic outbreaks. Dr. Haseltine urges the pharmaceutical industry to provide more nuanced data on the long term efficacy of vaccines, along with more widespread genomic testing of COVID strains to better understand their impact on COVID-related illness.
MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 2021
Pandemics and Social Networks: Influencer Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding on COVID-19 Messaging in the Age of Twitter
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, Senior Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, a global policy think tank dedicated to using science and scientific analysis to make the world more secure. The former Harvard professor and researcher has leveraged a significant Twitter following to share large volumes of aggregated information, research and data on the rapidly evolving pandemic, culled from multiple sources around the world.
MONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2021
Will Vaccines Work Against the New Variants? Virologist Dr. Angela Rasmussen on Unraveling the COVID Mysteries
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Angela Rasmussen, who leads the core virology team at the Viral Emergence Research Initiative at the Georgetown University Center for Global Health, Science and Security. A renowned expert on emerging pathogens that pose great harm to human health, she helps us unlock some of the mysteries around Sars-CoV-2, the COVID-19 virus. She talks about the swift production of the vaccine as a “scientific achievement of our lifetimes”. And looks at the risk of the growing number of variants of the virus, highlighting need to speed up global distribution of the vaccine to protect the population from greater threats.
MONDAY, JANUARY 11, 2021
WHO’s Vaccine Advisory Leader Discusses Global Readiness to Manage Pandemic: SAGE Chair Dr. Alejandro Cravioto
This week, Hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Alejandro Cravioto, Chair of SAGE, the international panel of experts making COVID-19 vaccine recommendations to the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Cravioto talks about their global team of scientists and the rigorous guidelines governing the approval process for emergency authorization for the Pfizer vaccine – as well as all others in the queue. He also discusses the need to scale up production for global distribution, as well as the need to ensure that vaccines are distributed equitably throughout all countries in the world.
MONDAY, JANUARY 4, 2021
FDA Advisory Committee Member Dr. Paul Offit on Vaccine Safety, Efficacy and Distribution
This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Paul Offit, Director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, co-creator of the rotavirus vaccine, and member of the FDA Advisory Committee that approved emergency authorization for the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer. Dr. Offit says development of this new vaccine is a remarkable achievement backed by decades of scientific research that the Advisory Committee found to be safe an efficacious for widespread distribution. He’s hoping the Biden Administration will accelerate distribution efforts.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 28. 2020
COVID Variant and Delayed Vaccines: Dr. Megan Ranney on Pandemic Perils
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with ER physician Dr. Megan Ranney, Assistant Dean of the Institute for Translational Science at Brown University and Director of the Brown-Lifespan Center for Digital Health. A frequent spokesperson across the media landscape on the COVID-19 pandemic, and founder of #GetUsPPE and the MyCOVIDrisk app, Dr. Ranney warns the new COVID-19 variant which is highly transmissible could spark a new wave of super-spreader events, and that poor preparation on vaccine distribution will slow our ability to contain the pandemic.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2020
2020: Mark and Margaret reflect on the Year COVID-19 Took Over the World
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter reflect on 2020 at the end of a year like no other. When the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold, they welcomed many of the world’s most renowned infectious disease, virology, and epidemiology experts. From Dr. Anthony Fauci to Dr. Ashish Jha, from New York Times writer and “Pandemic” docu-series producer Dr. Sheri Fink, to innovative scientists like Dr. Eric Topol, Dr. Zeke Emanuel, Dr. Michael Osterholm to US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, we learned about this emerging pathogen from some of the most gifted people in health care.
MONDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2020
Dr. Peter Hotez on COVID-19 Vaccine
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with notable vaccine scientist Dr. Peter Hotez, founding Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor University College of Medicine. Author of “Preventing the Next Pandemic: Vaccine Diplomacy in a Time of Anti-Science”, Dr. Hotez warns deaths from COVID-19 will continue to rise dramatically until a national program of masks, testing, and social distancing is in place. He warns that we are months away from widespread vaccine distribution, and that multiple vaccine candidates should be deployed by next year. He’s also calling for a national messaging strategy to counter the anti-vaccination sector, which he says is being fueled largely on the internet by Russian bots.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2020
Biden COVID Task Force Member Michael Osterholm on Vaccine Perils and Promise
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Dr. Michael Osterholm, newly appointed member of President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 Task Force. Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, the renowned epidemiologist warns of dark days ahead as pandemic cases surge across America, but also sees great promise with the coming vaccines. Distribution, vaccine hesitancy and public skepticism will remain big hurdles.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2020
Pandemic Takes 16 Trillion Out of Economy: Harvard Professor David Cutler Discusses His Research
This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with renowned Harvard Economist David Cutler, whose recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association projects the pandemic’s expected toll on the US Economy. Cutler warns that the dramatic death toll, more chronically ill Americans and a contracted economy will lead to a loss of 16 trillion dollars over the next ten years.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2020
Dr. Leana Wen’s Advice for President-Elect Biden: Fireside Chats and a COVID Czar
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Leana Wen, CNN Medical Analyst, contributing columnist to the Washington Post and Visiting Professor of Public Health Management at George Washington University. Dr. Wen discusses the public health tactics President-elect Biden should deploy immediately to get out ahead of what could be the worst impact seen yet by the pandemic. She recommends he appoint a COVID-19 Czar to coordinate a national response, and conduct regular “fireside chats” to open a clear line of communication to the public who need a cohesive message about public health protocols and the coming vaccine.