What Next

Are We Ready for the Next Pandemic?

With bold social welfare programs, our chances are better.


Episode Notes

You might think that the wreckage caused by COVID-19 would be enough to make the U.S. take pandemic planning seriously. But a close look at current pandemic preparedness efforts reveals that’s far from the truth. It’s not too late, though, to get ready for the next Big One—if we’re willing to make serious investments beyond fighting germs.

Guest: Ed Yong, a staff writer at the Atlantic covering science.

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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.