What Next

What New York City Did Wrong

Health experts and politicians looked for a definitive sign that this outbreak would be serious. It came too late.

Illustration depicting a female with a microphone

Listen longer

Slate Plus members get ad-free versions of all Slate podcasts, plus extra segments, bonus episodes, and more. Try it free today.

Join Slate Plus

Episode Notes

Just a few weeks ago, officials were saying the coronavirus outbreak posed a relatively low risk for people living in New York City. How did health experts and government officials misread the threat so completely? And what can the rest of the country learn from what’s happening in New York now?

Guest: Elizabeth Kim, senior editor for Gothamist and WNYC.

Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, Danielle Hewitt, and Mara Silvers.

About the Show

The problem with the news right now? It’s everywhere. And each day, it can feel like we’re all just mindlessly scrolling. It’s why we created What Next. This short daily show is here to help you make sense of things. When the news feels overwhelming, we’re here to help you answer: What next? Look for new episodes every weekday morning.

All episodes


  • Mary Harris is the host and managing editor of What Next, Slate's new daily news podcast. She has reported throughout the public radio system, for NPR, Marketplace, and WNYC.