The Gist

Forecasting Federal Inaction

How could scientists predict the government wouldn’t trust them?

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Episode Notes

In the Gist, the new White House Press Secretary reiterates that the media sometimes gets it wrong.

In the first half of this two-part interview, Mike talks with Dr. Nina Fefferman from the University of Tennessee Knoxville about predictive modeling and the Covid-19 crisis. Today, they focus on the difficulty of making projections when the government is actively disregarding expert guidance, and Dr. Fefferman’s ideas about food distribution adaptations for restaurants during this time.

In the spiel, a canadian kerfuffle but with license plates.

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Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.


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  • Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.