In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt

By Lemonada Media

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We are now in the early stages of something we’ve never seen before: a global pandemic. In addition to our health, social isolation and economic uncertainty have left us scrambling to understand our new normal and wondering what the future holds. From his own bubble, health care leader, turnaround expert and #stayhome architect Andy Slavitt is making it his mission to give Americans critical information in real-time but also hope for a path forward. He reminds us of what we can achieve and the deep sense of solidarity that we need during these trying times. Andy is joined each week by leading scientists, cultural icons, and political leaders—together, they will help us process, understand, and adjust to the changes around us.

Episode Date
COVID and Guns (with Shannon Watts)
Today, it’s a moms episode! Andy and Zach are joined by Lana, who leads a chat with activist Shannon Watts about how the pandemic is colliding with guns. They talk about gun violence and what can be done to address gun safety under these circumstances. They also talk about the movement of women running for political office. The Slavittt family touches on Andy’s new initiative #opensafely and go over the low, medium and high-risk levels of our favorite summer activities. Andy ends the show with a call to his sister Lesley about her work coordinating the emergency response to COVID 19 in Flint, Michigan.  Keep up with Andy on Twitter @ASlavitt and Instagram @andyslavitt, and find Shannon @shannonrwatts on Twitter and Instagram.   In the Bubble is supported in part by listeners like you. You can become a member, get exclusive bonus content, ask Andy questions, and get discounted merch at   Check out In Recovery with Dr. Nzinga Harrison, a new advice show from Lemonada Media about all things addiction:   Check out our fantastic show sponsors this week! ●   Teladoc provides access to certified doctors from the comfort and safety of home. Register now ●  Explore resources from the JED Foundation including journaling workshops, meditation guides, virtual concerts, and more at ●  Curious about how to transition back into a more socially connected life? Subscribe to the podcastCan We All Come Out Now? And check out their website:   Resources from today’s show: ●  Read guidelines about how to #opensafely from Andy and 21 other health leaders at www.Open-Safely.US and check out their recent op-ed in USA Today here: ●  NPR’s guide on your favorite summer activities here: ●  Pick up a copy of Shannon’s book, Fight Like a Mother: ●  Find Moms Demand Action at ●   Find Everytown for Gun Safety at ●  Learn about gun safety and take action to prevent child gun deaths at ●  Want to run for office?  Want to support other women fighting for change? Visit Emerge America at    Discussion Prompt: On Bearing Witness to Lives Lost   Andy wonders aloud to Shannon Watts from @momsdemand on today’s episode “I worry that we sit here today and we don't know how to bear witness to all these lives lost and I’m wondering what lessons you have for us as we think about this ongoing set of tragedies and how we really make it sink in.”   For children under 5: Not appropriate for this age group, in our opinion!   For children 5-12: For children at the very top of this age range, you could adapt the 12-18 question below, as you deem appropriate   For youth 12-18: As we think about the tragedies we are enduring because of covid-19, other recent instances of immense loss of life may come to mind. On today’s episode, loss of life from gun violence is discussed, for example. What similarities and differences do you see between the way we as a society are responding to loss of life from covid-19 and the way we respond to loss of life from gun violence?   For the 18+ crowd: As this episode is published, 100,000 people in the U.S. have now lost their lives to covid-19, and yet there has been almost a complete lack of national mourning. Are we desensitized or otherwise numb to the massive loss of life that we are experiencing? What similarities and differences do you see in our national response to this massive loss of life as compared to our national response to lives lost to gun violence?   To follow along with a transcript and/or take notes for friends and family, go shortly after the air date.   Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia.
May 27, 2020
Mini-Episode: In This Together (with Jason Kander)
This Memorial Day, Andy speaks with veteran and politician, Jason Kander. Jason has long been candid about his experiences with PTSD but also how post-traumatic growth is possible. He and Andy talk about challenging assumptions about what’s appropriate to feel, accepting help, and how COVID-19 has been so traumatizing for people. They also discuss voter suppression and the importance of making sure everyone has a voice in American politics. Keep up with Andy on Twitter @ASlavitt and Instagram @andyslavitt, and find Jason at @JasonKander on Twitter and @jasonkander on Instagram. In the Bubble is supported in part by listeners like you. You can become a member, get exclusive bonus content, ask Andy questions, and get discounted merch at Check out our fantastic show sponsor this week! Teladoc provides access to certified doctors from the comfort and safety of home. Register now at Here are some other important resources from today’s show: Learn more about protecting voting rights and support the work of Let America Vote here: Check out Veteran’s Community Project and find out how you can support their work here: If you or a loved one is in crisis you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline here: Jason’s book Outside the Wire is available now: Jason created a podcast with some incredible resources for talking to friends and family across political divides. Check it out here: Jason mentioned the book Tribe by Sebastian Junger. You can find it here:   We hope you want to listen to In the Bubble with your family, or talk to them after you listen about what you’ve heard. We want families to be able to discuss this content across the generations, and we are producing it with that in mind. To that end, we’re going to start to offer a discussion prompt based on one central theme from each new episode, broken down with developmentally appropriate age bands to keep the conversation going.    Discussion Prompt: Be Open To Talking   Jason Kander says in today’s episode, “everybody's going through this right now together and it's difficult in a lot of different ways. But you’ve just got to be really open to talking to the people in your lives about it, because you can make a big difference in their life just by talking to them about it.”   For children under 5: What is the hardest thing about our new routines for you?   For children 5-12: It’s important to talk openly about things, especially when they are hard. What is the hardest thing for you about how things have changed since early March when schools closed?   For youth 12-18: Have you talked with any friends about the hardest parts of this new reality? What do your friends say is hardest? What is hardest for you? Sometimes talking openly with people about really hard things can help you and them process them better.   For the 18+ crowd: What’s a particularly challenging change for you over these last couple months, maybe even something you are working through that you are reluctant to talk about, because it’s naturally hard to talk about such things?      To follow along with a transcript and/or take notes for friends and family, go to shortly after the air date.   Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia.
May 25, 2020
What Will We Tell Our Kids? (with Chelsea Clinton)
Today, Andy and Chelsea Clinton talk about the role of the US in the world as Trump diverges from other world leaders in going it alone in the face of this global pandemic. They also discuss what their parents taught them about America and what they’re telling their own kids. Then, Andy calls author and historian Steven Johnson to put COVID-19 into a global, historical context.  Check out our sponsors for this week’s episode:  Learn about Teledoc at Visit Express VPN and get three months free at Check out Ashford University here:  In the Bubble is supported in part by listeners like you. You can become a member, get exclusive bonus content, and discounted merch at Dig into resources mentioned on the show and connect with our guests: Check out In Recovery with Dr. Nzinga Harrison, a new advice show from Lemonada Media about all things addiction: Check out #opensafely resources and Andy’s joint USA Today Op-Ed here:  Read The New Yorker article about Washington State’s COVID-19 communications strategy here: Find out more about the Clinton Foundation here: Learn more about Partners in Health and how they are recruiting contact tracers here: Check out the Too Small to Fail initiative and how the Clinton Foundation is supporting children at Follow Chelsea Clinton on Twitter @ChelseaClinton  Listen to Steven Johnson’s podcast Fighting Coronavirus here:  Subscribe to Steven’s other podcast, American Innovations, here: Read about a world-changing historical epidemic in Steven’s book, Ghost Map: For a change of pace, read Enemy of All Mankind, Steven’s latest book here: Follow Steven Johnson on Twitter @StevenBJohnson
May 20, 2020
Mini-Episode: The Big Suck (with Kumail Nanjiani)
As he detailed in his breakout hit movie The Big Sick, Kumail Nanjiani’s wife Emily is immuno-compromised, and, with COVID-19, that changes everything. The comedian and actor opens up about the feeling of losing control in this crisis, but he and Andy can’t help but laugh their way through even a serious conversation about fear, love, and painful messages from society. Kumail also reveals some incredibly impractical things you can do in isolation.  In the Bubble is supported in part by listeners like you. You can become a member, get exclusive bonus content, ask Andy questions, and get discounted merch at Check out Teledoc, our show sponsor this week, at Check out In Recovery with Dr. Nzinga Harrison, a new advice show from Lemonada Media about all things addiction. Premiers May 18 wherever you get your podcasts: Catch Kumail and Emily on their podcast Staying In with Emily & Kumail here: Watch The Big Sick here:
May 18, 2020
Who Are We Asking to Die? (with Beto O’Rourke)
Today, 18-year-old Zach and his dad talk about how to get broader points of view on the podcast. To that end, they reach out to former congressman and presidential candidate, Beto O’Rourke, to hear how Texas’s approach to COVID-19 is going. Andy and Beto chat about how people’s own experiences dictate their views on the crisis. Then Peter Morley, an advocate for people with chronic illnesses, shares his lens on the crisis. And we hear from fan-favorite, Andy’s mom/Zach’s Nana, who has a special Mother’s Day message. In the Bubble is supported in part by listeners like you. You can become a member, get exclusive bonus content, and discounted merch at Check out our sponsors for this week’s episode:  Learn more about Teledoc at Visit Laurel Springs at and get the $300 registration fee waived if you decide to enroll! Host Trymaine Lee and a team of NBC News journalists try to make sense of this extraordinary moment on his podcast Into America. Listen here: Want to do more?  Support the work of World Central Kitchen at Support local food bank El Pasoans Fighting Hunger at  Find Peter Morely and support his advocacy work at and follow him on Twitter @morethanmySLE  Join Beto O’Rourke in supporting Texas food banks at and follow him on Twitter @BetoORourke  For Mother’s Day, follow Andy’s mom on Twitter @ASlavittsMom
May 13, 2020
Mini-Episode: The Pandemic Broke Our Brains (with Chris Hayes)
 Today, Andy calls journalist and political commentator, Chris Hayes. Chris has been carrying the burden of seeing the pandemic coming long before America began to address it. He had to talk about it before it was real to most people and is still talking about it now that many have grown weary. They chat about how Chris thinks about his job in the news these days and the emotional toll it’s taking. They also scrap about coffee mugs. In the Bubble is supported in part by listeners like you. You can become a member, get exclusive bonus content, and discounted merch at Check out Teledoc, our show sponsor this week, at Find Chris Hayes at (All In with Chris Hayes)  
May 11, 2020
The Competency Episode (with Ron Klain)
Andy seeks out a conversation on competency. Things change rapidly in a crisis. When you're in the middle of it, not knowing how everything will turn out can be stomach-churning, and big problems look way easier in hindsight. Having led a major government crisis-response, Andy gets this, and so does Ron Klain, who was the Ebola Czar during the Obama Administration. So, today, they talk about past crises and the best way to respond to today’s challenges. To keep it non-partisan, Andy also speaks to Lanhee Chen, Mitt Romney’s health policy director during his 2012 presidential campaign, who has seen and responded to the COVID-19 crisis on the ground in California and with Washington policymakers. Support this podcast: (Talkspace: Code BUBBLE for $100 off) (World Central Kitchen)
May 06, 2020
Mini-Episode: American Response to COVID-19 (with David Frum)
As President Trump shuts down all immigration as a reaction to COVID-19, Andy calls David Frum, who was by George W. Bush’s side after 9-11. How will globalization, public debate, and democracy itself fare in the context of a pandemic? Frum argues that America’s role in the global community has never been more important. He also has a clear view on the impact of this time on the coming election.  Support this podcast (Teledoc) (David Frum’s work at The Atlantic) (David Frum’s upcoming book: Trumpocalypse) (KFF Coronavirus polling)
May 04, 2020
Special Family Episode: Andy Talks to Kids and Parents About COVID-19
In this episode of In the Bubble, Andy takes questions from some very special listeners: Kids! Andy chats with four different families about COVID-19, how to stay safe, and what comes next. Comedian Jim Gaffigan and his family, Tamera Mowry-Housley and Adam Housely and their kids, and stars of the YouTube channels Ryan’s World and What’s Up Moms all joined in for this fun and extra family-friendly episode.  Support this podcast (Teledoc) (What’s Up Moms) (Ryan’s World) (Jim Gaffigan) (The Housely Life)
May 03, 2020
Put on Pants Every Day (with Tina Fey)
Tina Fey joins Andy to talk about comedy during Corona-times and other unfunny periods in recent history. They chat about stuck-at-home life (with a cameo from Tina’s daughter), SNL in isolation, and how American culture is being re-shaped. Then, Andy shares fresh polling from leading health care pollster Mollyann Brody about how Americans are really feeling. Support this podcast: (SNL At Home episodes) (Mary Ellen Mathews SNL At Home Bumpers) (Tina Fey sheet cake bit on SNL) (Will Ferrell American flag speedo on SNL) (The Shining as a romantic comedy) (TikTok “Now you go to online school”) (Kaiser Family Foundation Polling) (Philip Bump article in the Washington Post about support for stay at home measures)
Apr 29, 2020
Mini-Episode: Our First 50-State Emergency (with Juliette Kayyem)
 We often talk about COVID-19 as if it’s an attack, something our country’s top national security experts prepare for their entire careers. So, this week Andy calls national security expert and Harvard professor, Juliette Kayyem, to talk about how to prepare. They discuss the evolution of national security from 9/11 to Hurricane Katrina to right now, and how the American response to COVID-19 measures up. (Patreon)
Apr 27, 2020
What Do We Really Know? (with Nate Silver)
With so many opinions on what we should do next in response to the Coronavirus, Andy focuses on what we really know and what we don’t know— a much longer list. To do this, Andy sits down with 538’s Nate Silver who built an industry on predictions and has been focused on what the data says about the spread of COVID-19, what’s working, and how we get back to normal life. (Marc Lipsitch article about immunity) (Nate Silver article about testing)
Apr 22, 2020
Mini-Episode: Slavitt and Scaramucci Unfiltered
With Trump set to make a declaration on “opening the country,” Andy decided to call someone he’s never met but who knows how the president operates: Anthony Scaramucci. Intended as a short conversation, all the rules went out the window once it got going. Andy also asked Mooch to tell listeners how to interpret the financial situation, Congressional actions, and the federal budget. Also, free financial advice! (Patreon) (Short story: The Masque of the Red Death, Poe) (Book: Firefighting: Financial Crisis and its Lessons) (Book: The Richest Man in Babylon) (Book: The Great Influenza) (Book: These Truths, Lepore)  
Apr 20, 2020
The Pope, a Surgeon General and an 11-Year-Old (with Vivek Murthy)
Rituals are being broken as Andy notes this is the time of year when we’re normally physically connected to our families and neighbors. So he calls his old Obama colleague former U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy who spent his time in the Administration focusing on the epidemic of loneliness. Andy freely admits he once didn’t understand Vivek’s message but now seeks his advice for a world of forced isolation. Entrepreneur and friend Trevor Price talks about an initiative to help underserved communities, but Andy also wants to get some advice from his 11-year-old daughter Catie. (Vivek’s Book)
Apr 15, 2020
Mini-Episode: Andy Calls CBS Correspondent Seth Doane in Rome
In this mini-episode Andy wants to hear what’s going on in Italy. So he calls CBS’ Rome correspondent Seth Doane, a COVID-19 patient quarantined in Rome. They talk about what the US can learn from Italy, the war-like experience of fighting a pandemic, and the bright spots of unity that Seth has witnessed in hard-hit Italian communities. (Patreon) (CBS News, lessons from Italy)  
Apr 13, 2020
Victory in Spite of All Terror (with Governor Phil Murphy)
Andy talks with Governor Phil Murphy about the type of wartime leadership needed in New Jersey as the death toll rises in his state, and we hear a rare interaction where Andy and the governor mobilize resources together to save lives. Taking inspiration from courageous leaders from world history, Andy and Phil calmly discuss how to lead through this pandemic. 18-year old Zach brings us a surprising fact, and the case is made for masks as a part of daily life. (Patreon)
Apr 08, 2020
Mini-Episode: Andy Calls Senator Amy Klobuchar
Andy brings you into his bubble, as promised, by sharing his call (with permission) with Minnesota’s U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar. They discuss her husband John’s COVID-19 recovery, what an election might be like during a national health crisis, and how the Congress needs to support Americans during the economic crisis. (Patreon)
Apr 03, 2020
Find the Helpers (with Mark Cuban)
Here we are, in the midst of a global pandemic. How do we get through it? For starters, we find the helpers. This week, we meet host Andy Slavitt and his teenage son Zach, recording from their studio (er, home office) in Minneapolis. In many respects, the moment the NBA suspended its season is the moment America realized COVID-19 was a real threat. So for his first episode, Andy is joined by Mark Cuban, Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank superstar. Mark and Andy issue a call to action for everyone to help first and ask questions later and talk candidly about COVID-19’s impact on small businesses, the stock market, hospitals, and basketball. (Patreon) (The NIAID / Dr. Fauci)
Apr 01, 2020
Official Trailer: In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt
First episode launches Wednesday, April 1. Subscribe now for weekly episodes.
Mar 27, 2020
Official Trailer: In The Bubble With Andy Slavitt
In the middle of a global pandemic, we’re scrambling to understand our new normal and what the future holds. Anxiety is high and questions are endless. What is really happening behind the scenes? What measures do we need to take? Will life our lives ever return to normal? Is joy still possible? (Spoiler alert: of course it is!)? Right now, each of us is living in our own little bubble. An emotional bubble, an information bubble, a trapped-at-home-stir-crazy bubble. From his bunker, health care expert and #stayhome architect Andy Slavitt, along with leading experts, brings facts and hope to bear, helping us process, understand, and plan our lives together.
Mar 23, 2020