Evidence and experts to help you understand today’s public health news—and what it means for tomorrow.
419 - COVID-19 in Lincoln, Nebraska: The Mayor's View
Lincoln, Nebraska has fared quite well compared to counties with similar demographics: the county is in the top 10% in terms of lowest mortality rates and hit the President’s 70% vaccine uptake target in July 2021. These successes are in no small part due to the leadership of Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird who talks with Josh Sharfstein about difficult decisions and her hope that stories of the community’s courage, bravery, and generosity will be legacies of COVID-19.
Bonus - The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Transition Phase with Dr. Monica Gandhi: What Questions Do We Need to Ask and What Answers Do We Need to Find in 2022?
Infectious disease specialist Dr. Monica Gandhi returns to the podcast to talk with Dr. Josh Sharfstein about what the COVID pandemic might look like on the other side of omicron peaks. They discuss how to rethink our safety approaches to move towards accepting COVID as endemic, managing other respiratory viruses like flu, and searching for consensus in the path forward. They also discuss an interesting theory about omicron’s origins.
418 - Update: COVID-19 Vaccines and Immunocompromised Patients
What do we know now about the number of doses needed for people on immunosuppressant medications to be protected from severe COVID? What about the use of “passive” protection like monoclonal antibodies? Why are negative antibody tests more helpful than positive ones? Why are large agencies like the CDC and FDA not discussing individualized medicine when it comes to vaccine protocols? What’s the next step in researching COVID-19 vaccine protocols for this unique population of patients? Johns Hopkins transplant surgeon Dr. Dorry Segev returns to the podcast to talk with Stephanie Desmon about what we now know and what still needs to be figured out.
417 - An Update on Convalescent Plasma for COVID-19
Early in the pandemic, clinicians began to treat people sick with COVID-19 with the plasma of people who have recovered from COVID-19. The idea was that protective antibodies in the plasma would help prevent severe illness and death. Nearly two years later, the evidence is in—and it's being hotly debated. Dr. Arturo Casadevall returns to the podcast to talk with Dr. Josh Sharfstein about the results of the COVID-19 Plasma Project and his take on divergent recommendations about using plasma as a therapy.
416 - Will President Biden's Infrastructure Bill Address the Historical Legacy of Racist Transportation Policies?
For decades, infrastructure policies harmed communities of color. New highways displaced residents through eminent domain, public transit systems were left in disrepair, and urban construction projects often catered to wealthier families. Andrea McDaniels, Director of Communications for the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, talks with Professor Keshia Pollack Porter of the Bloomberg School about how President Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan has the potential to rectify many of these inequities, some of the challenges of the federal law, and how infrastructure is intrinsically tied to health and well-being.
415 - Modeling the Omicron Wave
Dr. Shaun Truelove, an infectious disease epidemiologist, returns to the podcast to talk with Dr. Josh Sharfstein about the latest model for the COVID-19 Scenario Modeling Hub. How quickly will the wave pass? How much harm will it cause? What happens in February and March? And can we trust these kinds of predictions? Learn more: https://covid19scenariomodelinghub.org/
Baltimore Convention Center Field Hospital
Converting a convention center to a field hospital is a sign of FAILURE by our government. Trump knew about this virus 18 MONTHS AGO and STILL every day feels like it's March 13th.
Oh good, now Johns Hopkins is saying “you don’t need to wear a mask in the supermarket” with no acknowledgement of state, local, and store requirements. Are you out of your minds! How does this help anyone! Or have you joined the “it’s all a hoax” crowd.
Think I’ll give this pod a miss for a while. I want health not stupid!
This is in response to episode 228. Please just get the vaccine out. All of this social engineering is complicating things and wIll just result in more deaths. As far as I can tell based on the numbers, the elderly (of all races) are dying at the highest rate, yet they are being relegated to the back of the line. The answer is more vaccine and quickly. I want everyone to have it but this complexity is going to slow down the process causing more death.
This is in response to episode 346. The health commissioner was smug and self congratulatory. The most likely reason Vermont did so well is just as likely due to geographic reasons and the fact that Vermont has the second highest number of Democratic voters than the specific actions undertaken in Vermont that were likewise taken in many other states.