The Gist

Comparing COVID-19 Vaccines and Climate Change With Dr. Abdul El-Sayed

An epidemiologist says we’re handling both crises wrong.

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Episode Notes

On the Gist, ads for “The Big Game” are given the Pesca treatment.

In the Interview, it’s vaccine talk. Mike sits down remotely with Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, a former Detroit health director and epidemiologist, about the COVID-19 vaccine. They talk about how social media has spread both information and misinformation, how the response to the coronavirus is eerily similar to climate change, and how Canadians have managed to get things right. Plus, when politics and health collide: El-Sayed’s new book Medicare for All: A Citizen’s Guide is out now. He’s also the host of America Dissected from Crooked Media, among many other projects.

In the spiel, George Shultz’ legacy as a public servant.

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Podcast production by Margaret Kelley and Cheyna Roth.


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