The Gist

The Pandemic That Never Happened

In 1976, Gerald Ford faced the very real threat of a swine flu epidemic.


Episode Notes

On the Gist, consolidation.

In the interview, Mike talks with Matthew Dickinson, author and professor of political science at Middlebury College, about the 1976 Gerald Ford controversy regarding the threat of a global pandemic with swine flu, as well as Richard Neustadt and Harvey Fineberg’s examination of the political failures around an approaching pandemic that never actually materialized.

In the spiel, the democratic nominating process didn’t work so well.

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Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.


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  • Mike Pesca hosted Slate’s daily podcast The Gist from 2014 - 2021.