The Gist

Wrecking Public Trust

Those who downplayed the virus because their brand is contrarianism have greatly damaged our ability to recover.

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Episode Notes

On the Gist, Corey Lewandowski has caught the virus. And, today’s installment of Remembrances of Things Trump: criticizing Chucks.

In the interview, Maria Konnikova is back for another round of “Is That Bullshit?” She and Mike dissect the stipulations around the socially distanced fifteen-minute time limit.* While in close proximity to another person, how long does it actually take to get exposed and what are the variables? Turns out, the time frame depends on a variety of factors like weather, mask fabric, location, and even air quality. Maria’s latest book The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win is a New York Times bestseller and listed as one of their 100 Notable Books for 2020.

In the spiel, the detriments of downplaying Covid-19.

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Podcast production by Daniel Schroeder and Margaret Kelley.

* Links: Beyond Six Feet: A Guideline to Limit Indoor Airborne Transmission of COVID-19, COVID-19 Indoor Safety Guideline and app.


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