What Next

Best of 2020: He Saw the Coronavirus Coming

Where this pandemic originated, and how we can prevent the next one.

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Episode Notes

The coronavirus that gave rise to our present pandemic started in China as a bat virus that eventually made contact with humans. Researchers say this leap between species was highly predictable – so why were communities and governments caught flat-footed?

Guest: Peter Daszak, president of EcoHealth Alliance.

We’re re-running some of our favorite episodes from the past year. This episode originally aired in March, 2020.

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This episode was produced by Mary Wilson, Jayson De Leon, Danielle Hewitt, and Mara Silvers, with help from Frannie Kelley.

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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.

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