PODCAST-19: FiveThirtyEight on the Novel Coronavirus

By FiveThirtyEight, Anna Rothschild

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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 do it all with FiveThirtyEight's trademark blend of transparency and rigor.

Episode Date
How To Trust That A COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe
1273
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 have a serious reaction to the COVID vaccine after it was released? This week, we’re devoting our whole show to vaccine safety.
Nov 21, 2020
There's No Longterm Plan For Long COVID
972
Our producer, Sinduja Srinivasan, reports on long COVID, and how our health care system might cope with so many patients with ongoing symptoms.
Nov 13, 2020
What To Make Of Pfizer's Big Vaccine Announcement
822
This week, Pfizer announced that its coronavirus vaccine may be more than 90 percent effective. Anna and FiveThirtyEight's senior science writer, Maggie Koerth, discuss what we know (and don't know) about about the vaccine.
Nov 10, 2020
How To Vote Safely In A Pandemic
1280
We talk with FiveThirtyEight’s Nathaniel Rakich and Maggie Koerth about how states are trying to make it safe to vote in person this Election Day, and what you should keep in mind as you go to the polls.
Oct 29, 2020
Would Biden’s COVID-19 Plan Be Able To Control The Pandemic?
1074
Joe Biden says he can fight the pandemic better than President Trump. But is his plan really that different? And does it address what experts say needs to be improved upon?
Oct 16, 2020
The President Took A Rare Combo Of COVID-19 Drugs. Will It Help?
1150
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.
Oct 07, 2020
The Significance Of Trump Testing Positive For COVID-19
1396
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.
Oct 02, 2020
The New College Experience
1100
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 the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Sep 26, 2020
Can We Trust A Vaccine That Gets Approved?
1237
On this week’s episode of PODCAST-19, we discuss whether the FDA vaccine approval process can withstand political interference and how the agency can reassure the public that everything is working as it should.
Sep 19, 2020
Why A Vaccine Trial Would Press Pause
1103
We discuss the news that AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine trial has been paused because of a severe side effect for one participant, and how temporarily halting a trial can sometimes mean the process is working as intended.
Sep 12, 2020
The U.S. Wants Out Of A Global Effort To Stop A Global Pandemic
717
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.
Sep 04, 2020
What's It Going To Take For Us To Become Immune?
1891
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.
Aug 28, 2020
Russia Approved A COVID Vaccine. Will It Be Available In America?
1911
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 the people who want to get COVID, for science! And we explore a new vaccine with promising early results.
Aug 14, 2020
PODCAST-19 Has The Week Off!
23
We were no match for extreme weather this week, but we'll be back next week!
Aug 07, 2020
Lab-Grown Antibodies Might Protect Essential Workers
1397
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 ventilators.
Jul 31, 2020
It's Harder to Get A COVID Test If You're Black Or Hispanic
1540
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’ humpback whales. Yes, whales. On a coronavirus podcast.
Jul 24, 2020
When Does A Pandemic Start To Erode Civil Liberties?
1789
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.
Jul 17, 2020
Dr. Anthony Fauci Talks With PODCAST-19
1686
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.
Jul 09, 2020
How To Convince People To Stop A Pandemic
1193
How do you convey information about the coronavirus in a way that will compel people to change their behavior? As COVID cases rise in Florida, Texas, and Arizona, we look at how psychologists recommend we talk about public health.
Jul 03, 2020
Do Masks Actually Work?
1212
Maggie Koerth and Kaleigh Rogers join the show to discuss the science of face masks, and whether we actually know anything now that we didn't when the pandemic started.
Jun 26, 2020
Who Will Be First To Get A COVID Vaccine?
1409
Creating a vaccine for COVID-19 is just the first step. Policy makers and manufacturers then need to make a lot of it. So, who will be first in line for the immunization?
Jun 19, 2020
The Case Of The Bogus Hydroxycholoroquine Study
1781
A major medical journal reported that hydroxychloroquine harmed COVID patients, but a group of Twitter sleuths uncovered evidence that the paper wasn't what it seemed.
Jun 12, 2020
What It's Like To Be A Black Doctor And Nurse Right Now
1243
Black Americans are facing two crises: a pandemic that has an outsize impact on their community, and decades of police brutality that have sparked protests nationwide.
Jun 05, 2020
Is One Coronavirus Strain Worse Than Another?
1321
Plus, why have Americans retained their trust in science despite protests against its findings? And finally, the good news is poopy news this week.
May 29, 2020
Why The Death Count Is Almost Certainly Too Low
2094
One man's story helps show who is going uncounted in the COVID-19 death count. Elsewhere, there's some promising immunity news to share.
May 22, 2020
How Close Are We To Herd Immunity?
1801
Without a vaccine, just how likely are we to reach herd immunity? Also, we hear some good news about COVID-19 antibodies -both in humans and...llamas?!
May 15, 2020
How An Army Of Contact Tracers Could Help
1755
Experts say that to fight COVID-19 we need to track every infection. But is it too late? Also, we investigate why the disease is killing more men than women.
May 08, 2020
Are Coronavirus Antibody Tests Reliable?
1842
And why are some young people getting so sick? Find out on FiveThirtyEight's new COVID-19 podcast.
May 01, 2020
PODCAST-19: FiveThirtyEight on the Novel Coronavirus
85
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 do it all with FiveThirtyEight's trademark blend of transparency and rigor.
Apr 28, 2020