What Next

Mask Wars and the Start of School in the South

Mississippi’s hospital system is days away from collapse.


Episode Notes

Masks were uncontroversial for many state leaders at the onset of the pandemic last year. But now, masks have become politicized, and in Mississippi, Governor Tate Reeves has reversed his previous stance, refusing to order a mask mandate and leaving local school districts to fend for themselves during a massive surge in COVID cases.

Guest: Nick Judin, reporter for the Mississippi Free Press.

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Podcast production by Mary Wilson, Davis Land, Danielle Hewitt, Elena Schwartz, and Carmel Delshad.


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.