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FiveThirtyEight's COVID-19 podcast is laser-focused on evidence. What do we know about the novel coronavirus, and what do we know we don't know? COVID-19 has pushed Americans into more uncertain territory than most have ever known. Our podcast helps listeners understand what they can be certain about, and what is still unknown. We investigate coronavirus mysteries, debate when it's safe to reopen the economy and keep track of the latest scientific developments on vaccines and treatments. We ...
 
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We have no hard evidence to support the idea that the novel coronavirus was leaked from a lab, let alone a smoking gun to validate that hypothesis. But despite pushback on this story from many scientists and the media early on, it’s back in the news, and many are talking about the possibility of a lab leak. There may be some legitimate reasons to d…
 
There's a worldwide shortage of vaccines but plenty of factories standing by to make them. Why is there such a gap between what we need and what we can make? On this week's episode, we explore the surprisingly wild world of pharmaceutical patent law to understand how our system came to be and how it has shaped the pandemic.…
 
Kids can't get a COVID-19 vaccination yet, but they're unlikely to develop serious complications from the disease. But they can still be vectors to spread COVID-19 to others who are likely to get very sick. On this week's episode, we look into how big of a risk unvaccinated kids pose to society, and what parents should keep in mind.…
 
We've learned time and again that animals can give diseases to humans. We've seen this happen with coronaviruses, the flu, Ebola -- basically most major disease outbreaks in recent memory. But, of course, the reverse is true too: Humans can give viruses, including the novel coronavirus, to animals. FiveThirtyEight’s senior science writer Maggie Koe…
 
The United States has a surplus of COVID-19 vaccines — more than enough to vaccinate every adult. Poor countries, however, are still struggling to secure doses. Should those vaccines be sent to countries in need? If not, who will do the sending? And should rich countries profit off the exchange?Von FiveThirtyEight, Anna Rothschild
 
Federal health agencies asked states to pause in their use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine while U.S. officials investigate reports of an extremely rare blood-clotting syndrome that has developed in six people who have received the vaccine. Given how few people are sick, why did the U.S. recommend a pause? And what's it say about how the monitorin…
 
The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine has been hailed as the world’s vaccine -- it’s inexpensive to produce and doesn’t need super-cold storage like the mRNA vaccines do. But its rollout has been messy. Will its missteps erode the public's (or the FDA's) trust? Maggie Koerth joins to discuss.Von FiveThirtyEight, Anna Rothschild
 
At some point, the U.S. is going to run out of people eager to get the vaccine, and we’ll need to work hard to convert those who are still hesitant or don’t know how to get it. It won’t be the first time we’ve done so. For months, community leaders have been working to overcome transportation challenges, language barriers, and digital divides. We s…
 
On this week's show, we discuss what the endgame of the pandemic will be. It likely isn't herd immunity. And if herd immunity isn't the goal, does that change how people should behave once they're vaccinated? We have a science-backed guide for how to evaluate what's risky and what's safe among the vaccinated.…
 
Anna talks with Dr. Margaret Liu, one of the pioneers of gene-based vaccines, about vaccines that use mRNA to help us build immunity to COVID-19, including the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines. How is this method different from vaccines in the past, and what does the mRNA do once it gets inside our bodies?…
 
Data has been such a valuable commodity during the pandemic. Unfortunately, at times data has been in short supply, because US government agencies haven’t always undertaken national data collection efforts. So what happens when individuals citizens try to collect data themselves? We talk to Professor Emily Oster, who developed a national COVID-19 S…
 
It feels like a cure for this pandemic may be in sight. But for many people, injecting a brand-new scientific discovery into their body won't sit well. So, how are scientists making sure that a COVID-19 vaccine won’t cause more damage than the disease? How do regulators decide what an acceptable side effect is? And what would happen if someone did …
 
After testing positive for COVID-19 last week, President Trump was given the three experimental drugs: an antiviral, monoclonal antibodies, and a steroid. On this week’s episode of PODCAST-19, we discuss what happens when all three drugs are combined and why the average American can't expect to receive the same treatment.…
 
Today we learned that President Trump tested positive for COVID-19. In this special crossover episode, the crew from the FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast sat down with senior science writer and Podcast-19 contributor Maggie Koerth to talk about medical implications for the President, and the impact his diagnosis might have on the election.…
 
As schools of all levels struggle to find a new way to educate students, universities, in particular, have had a difficult time navigating classes and campus life. On this week's show, we talk to a student navigating quarantined dorm life at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a scientist who helped design a different approach to testing for th…
 
The U.S. doesn't want to participate in a global effort to find and distribute a vaccine for COVID-19. Anna talks with FiveThirtyEight senior science writer Maggie Koerth about what that decision might mean for the country and the world.Von FiveThirtyEight, Anna Rothschild
 
On this week's episode, we explore what it means that people can get reinfected with COVID-19, and how we can still develop immunity to the disease. We also explore why the approach to masks in the Netherlands is so much more lax than in parts of the U.S., even though Holland has done a better job of suppressing COVID-19.…
 
Russia is the first country in the world to approve a vaccine for COVID-19. To do so, they’ve reportedly sped through multiple steps in the testing process. Judy Twigg, a political scientist from Virginia Commonwealth University, talks about the state of medical research in Russia, and the political implications of this move. Also, we hear about th…
 
This week on Podcast-19, we talk about lab-grown antibodies, called monoclonal antibodies, that could temporarily protect people from COVID-19. How soon might they be available for the public? We also explore the long history of a COVID drug touted as a lifesaver, and learn about an inhalable treatment that might keep coronavirus patients off venti…
 
Who has access to COVID-19 testing in America? FiveThirtyEight and ABC News uncover some staggering disparities along racial lines. Also on today’s show, what are safe activities these days? Can you take a taxi? Eat outside at a restaurant? Senior Science Writer Maggie Koerth explores COVID’s murky middle. And finally, we check in on our oceans’ hu…
 
Mask mandates have become a polarizing issue across the country, from Arizona to Georgia. So, where do we draw the line between public health and civil liberties? Also, we talk about air -- how can buildings ensure it's safe to breathe during the pandemic? And finally, some good vaccine news.Von FiveThirtyEight, Anna Rothschild
 
Anna Rothschild interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci about how the U.S. is doing compared to other countries, how American partisanship has influenced our recovery efforts, and how a COVID-19 vaccine might influence the future of vaccine acceptance in our country.Von FiveThirtyEight, Anna Rothschild
 
FiveThirtyEight's COVID-19 podcast is laser-focused on evidence. What do we know about the novel coronavirus, and what do we know we don't know? COVID-19 has pushed Americans into more uncertain territory than most have ever known. Our podcast helps listeners understand what they can be certain about, and what is still unknown. We investigate coron…
 
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