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.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2020
Health Law Scholar Professor Tim Jost: Roadmap After the Election
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Timothy Jost, Professor Emeritus at the Washington and Lee School of Law. Professor Jost is considered one of the preeminent analysts of health law in America, particularly the Affordable Care Act. He discusses the rocky road ahead for the health law with a Biden presidency blocked by a GOP controlled Senate and a heavily conservative-leaning Supreme Court which will soon hear another case aimed at repealing some, or all, of the ACA.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2020
Public Health Expert Harvard's Dr. Howard Koh On Leveraging Best Weapon in the COVID-19 Fight
This week hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Howard Koh, the Harvey V. Fineberg Professor of Public Health Leadership at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. A former Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services, and says the lack of a national public health response to the pandemic has led to poor outcomes in the US, but he says we can still turn that around with a solid national public health approach of mandatory masks, social distancing, and contact tracing to slow the dangerous new surge in the pandemic.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2020
Health Disparities: Dr. Uché Blackstock Talks About Advancing Health Equity
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Uché Blackstock, Founder and CEO of Advancing Health Equity, an organization dedicated to addressing racial disparities in American health care and in medical education. An Emergency Medicine physician and Medical Contributor to Yahoo News, Dr. Blackstock is a rising activist seeking to address inequities that greatly impact people of color and ethnic minorities – leading to poor health outcomes in the pandemic, and across the healthcare spectrum. She is also seeking to address a lack of diversity in medicine, and the challenges people of color encounter when entering the medical profession.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci on COVID-19: What’s Working, What’s Not, and His Advice For America’s Youth
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, who is leading the COVID-19 response at the NIH. Dr. Fauci addresses the ongoing pandemic and concerning rise in daily infection rates in the US, vaccine development, monoclonal antibodies, and what we all need to be doing to stop the spread of the disease.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2020
340B & Pharmaceutical Profiteers: Connecticut Attorney General William Tong on Going After Illegal Price Gouging By Big Pharma
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, who recently called out pharmaceutical giants for intimidating safety net providers and Community Health Centers offering low cost drugs to vulnerable patients protected through the 340B Pricing. Tong is also leading a team of Attorneys General from 51 states and territories in a huge Antitrust suit, alleging criminal price-fixing and price gouging among multiple pharmaceutical giants operating in collusion with each other to dramatically increase their profits on generic drugs.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2020
The Opioid Crisis Hasn’t Gone Away: NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow on Addiction Epidemic Amid COVID-19
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Volkow discusses her pioneering work in brain imaging which has given us a window into how addiction works in the brain. She discusses her recent report on susceptibility to COVID-19 for those with Substance Use Disorder, her concerns about increase in overdoses during the pandemic, and the need to curtail the vaping industry which is leading to a dangerous spike in nicotine addiction among young adults.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2020
Can Facebook’s Two Billion Users Slow the Pandemic? Dr. Farzad Mostashari on the COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Farzad Mostashari, Founder and CEO of Aledade, former National Coordinator for Health IT, and Chair of the COVID-19 Symptom Data Challenge, a partnership with Facebook Data for Good, Carnegie Melon, Duke, University of Maryland, Resolve to Save Lives and organized by Catalyst @Health 2.0. The challenge is encouraging developers to create tools to mine data submitted by tens of millions of Facebook users, tracking real time COVID-19 symptoms to identify potential pandemic hotspots, for better epidemiological forecasting.