What Next

What Next: How California Created Its Newest COVID Hot Spot

Cases have exploded at the state’s oldest prison. It all started with a prisoner transfer.


Episode Notes

At the end of May, California’s oldest prison, San Quentin, had zero reported cases of COVID-19. Now, the facility has more than 1,300. Guards are falling ill. Some inmates are refusing tests, making it difficult to track the severity of the outbreak. One federal judge says the only way to save lives at this point is for the governor to approve a widespread release of inmates.

Guest: Megan Cassidy, reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle.

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


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.

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  • 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.