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.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2020
CMS Administrator Seema Verma Talks Expansion of Telehealth, Development of COVID-19 Vaccine and Answers Recent Allegations
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter welcome Seema Verma, Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the Trump administration, a trillion dollar-a-year agency providing health coverage for 130 million vulnerable Americans on Medicaid and Seniors on Medicare. She discusses the agency’s dramatic transformation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including hundreds of waivers lifting restrictions for providers across the country, a swift expansion of telehealth adoption, and Operation Warp Speed’s quest to provide a safe and efficacious vaccine for widespread distribution, once it is approved. She also addresses recent allegations around agency spending questions.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 2020
Guns, America and the “Violence Inside Us”: US Senator Chris Murphy Explores Origins of the Nation’s Gun Culture and His Own Odyssey for Reform
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with US Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, whose critically acclaimed new book examines America’s long, unique history of violence and its embedded gun culture. His book, “The Violence Inside Us: A Brief History of an Ongoing American Tragedy”, examines the birth and growth of America’s gun culture, the conditions that perpetuated it, and his quest to pass sane gun laws in response to the Sandy Hook School shooting.
MONDAY, AUGUST 31, 2020
National Pediatric Leader Talks About Returning To School In Pandemic
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Sara Goza, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the largest organization dedicated to advancing the physical, mental and social health of the nation’s infants, children and young adults. Dr. Goza discusses how pediatricians can help inform the tough decisions families are making to keep kids safe while sending them back to school, the vital importance of continued well-visits and vaccinations for kids, and the policy agenda being promoted by the Academy to insure the health and safety of all children, including gun violence, poverty and social determinants of health.
MONDAY, AUGUST 24, 2020
Pandemic XPrize Competition: Dr. Daniel Kraft on Quest to Leverage Tech and AI For Solutions to Address COVID-19
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Daniel Kraft, physician-scientist, inventor, entrepreneur and Chair of the XPrize Pandemic Alliance Task Force, which is holding competitions to develop better tools for addressing COVID-19. Dr. Kraft, who is also founder and Executive Director of Exponential Medicine, looks at emerging developments that will lead to better rapid tests, masks as well as tech and AI-enabled interventions that will offer earlier diagnosis of infection, and better treatment and management of diseases like coronavirus in the future.
MONDAY, AUGUST 17, 2020
Should I Send My Kids Back To School? Renowned Scientist Dr. William Haseltine Has Advice for Families
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. William Haseltine, President of ACCESS Health International, a global health think tank. He is also a renowned scientist, entrepreneur, philanthropist and founder of Harvard Medical School’s HIV/AIDS and cancer research centers. He discusses his two new books: A Family Guide to COVID: Questions and Answers for Parents, Grandparents and Children, and A COVID Back To School Guide which are continually-updating ‘living e-books’ offering answers to the many questions families have about how to navigate their way through the pandemic.
MONDAY, AUGUST 10, 2020
New York Times Science Reporter Apoorva Mandavilli On The Challenges of Covering COVID 19
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with New York Times Science and Global Health Reporter Apoorva Mandavilli, who has been covering emerging discoveries around the COVID-19 pandemic. She discusses the rapidly-evolving science on how this novel pathogen spreads, the guidelines for sending kids and teachers back into schools, and the rapid development of therapeutics and vaccines to treat and prevent infection.
MONDAY, AUGUST 3, 2020
COVID-19 Vaccines: When Will They Be Ready? Will They Work? Listen to Leading Expert Dr. Naor Bar-Zeev
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Naor Bar-Zeev, Deputy Director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He examines the scientific guidelines governing COVID-19 vaccine phase 3 clinical trials, including a broad demographic representation to ensure vaccine safety across multiple populations, and the need to address vaccine hesitancy as well as the global supply chain needed to distribute billions of doses.
MONDAY, JULY 27, 2020
Dr. Eric Topol: What Lies Between Now and COVID-19 Vaccine
This week, hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter speak with Dr. Eric Topol, Founder and Director of the Scripps Translational Institute, and author of “The Creative Destruction of Medicine”. Dr. Topol is a renowned cardiologist and health data champion, and shares a harsh assessment of federal handling of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the US. He’s heartened by the many collaborations yielding significant scientific discovery around rapid testing technology and vaccines. He’s concerned the anti-science movement will undermine deployment of an effective vaccination program, once one makes it to the public.