Prognosis: Doubt

By Bloomberg

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 Apr 14, 2021
Interesting enough material, but the host mispronounced the name of the town Humble, TX (the 'h' is silent) for an entire episode. Her interview subject pronounced it correctly several times, why didn't she learn from that?


A few decades ago, nobody really questioned vaccines. They were viewed as a standard part of staying healthy and safe. Today, the number of people questioning vaccines risks prolonging a pandemic that has already killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. Doubt, a new series from Prognosis, looks at the forces that have been breaking down that trust. We’ll trace the rise of vaccine skepticism in America to show how we got here — and where we’re going.

Episode Date
Part Five: Getting Out of the Boat
We meet Dr. Timothy Sloan, a pastor of a black church in Texas, who is torn over how to talk to his congregants about the Covid-19 vaccines. He is skeptical about getting one, and knows the rest of his church is, too. But, the vaccines could also be a lifeline. Black Americans have died at about twice the rate of white Americans from the virus. So while there may be trust issues with the vaccines in communities of color, they’re also the communities that need vaccines the most. Dr. Sloan goes on a journey to find out who can help him learn more about the vaccines, and how the medical establishment can win back some of the trust it has lost over generations of mistreatment.
Apr 13, 2021
Part Four: 'Let's Go to War'
In October 2020, anti-vaccine elite gathered for a conference to discuss, among other things, how to use the pandemic to grow their movement. In this episode, we travel inside the world of anti-vaccine extremists to show how they weaponize uncertainty and mistrust to spread rumors about vaccines — rumors that threaten to prolong the global pandemic.
Apr 06, 2021
Part Three: The Happiest Place on Earth
The 2015 Disneyland measles outbreak was a pivotal moment in explaining the vaccine hesitation we see today. The outbreak made clear that number of people opting out of vaccination was significant. But it also changed the people protesting vaccines. Before that, activists speaking out about vaccines had mainly been parents concerned about the safety of their kids. California's push to get rid of vaccine exemptions in the wake of the outbreak changed the conversation. It became political. It became about choice and freedom and democracy.
Mar 30, 2021
Part Two: The Man Behind The Myth
Meet the man behind all the myths: Andrew Wakefield. Wakefield’s retracted 1998 study linking autism to vaccines helped kickstart the modern vaccine hesitancy movement. We’ll explore the forces that helped propel Wakefield into the spotlight and show how groundwork Wakefield laid decades ago helped seed the mistrust we’re seeing in the age of the coronavirus.
Mar 23, 2021
Part One: Rumor Has It
In the series premiere of "Doubt," we meet Jon, a New York City paramedic struggling to decide whether he should get vaccinated. Bloomberg health reporter Kristen V. Brown shows how the pandemic has led many people like him to question vaccines for the first time — and how this distrust threatens to prolong the pandemic.
Mar 23, 2021
What Closing Schools Has Done to Kids
This month marks the one-year anniversary in the U.S. of nationwide school closures. The public health measure was designed to help stem the spread of Covid-19. But in doing so, it’s had a profound effect on children. That’s in contrast to the disease itself, which rarely makes young people seriously ill. Jason Gale talked to experts about kids and Covid, and why keeping children out of the classroom may leave a lasting legacy.
Mar 15, 2021
The Science of Beating Variants
Fast-moving variants of the coronavirus seen in England, South Africa and Brazil have sparked concern around the world. Researchers worry some may diminish the potency of existing vaccines and complicate efforts to escape the pandemic. As COVID-19 cases started to climb in early 2020, British scientists decided to track the evolution of the pathogen. James Paton reports that this project gives the country and others the chance to respond quickly if alarming changes arise.
Mar 12, 2021
Introducing: Doubt
A few decades ago, nobody really questioned vaccines. They were viewed as a standard part of staying healthy and safe. Today, the number of people questioning vaccines risks prolonging a pandemic that has already killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. How we got to this moment didn’t start with the rollout of vaccines or in March 2020, or even with the election of Donald Trump. Our confidence in vaccines, often isn't even about vaccines. It’s about trust. And that trust has been eroding for a long time. Doubt, a new series from Bloomberg’s Prognosis podcast, looks at the forces that have been breaking down that trust. We'll trace the rise of vaccine skepticism in America to show how we got here — and where we’re going. Doubt launches on March 23. Subscribe to Prognosis today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.
Mar 11, 2021
One Year
It’s been one year since Coronavirus was declared a global pandemic. And in that time, our lives have changed dramatically.  The virus has imposed disease, death and loss on the U.S. and the world. It forced sweeping changes to daily life almost overnight.  For this special episode of Prognosis, Bloomberg reporters Emma Court and Nic Querolo spoke with people across the U.S. about what this last year has been like for them, and how things could change moving forward. 
Mar 10, 2021
What Israel Can Teach Us
Israel has had one of the world’s most successful vaccination efforts yet. Now a new study from the country shows the Pfizer vaccine was overwhelmingly effective against the virus. Public-health experts say the Israeli study shows that immunizations could end the pandemic. Naomi Kresge reports on what makes the Israeli study so significant, and why it might point to an eventual way out of the pandemic.
Mar 08, 2021
Coming Soon: The Pay Check Season 3
More than 150 years after the end of slavery in the U.S., the net worth of a typical white family is nearly six times greater than that of the average Black family. Season 3 of The Pay Check digs into into how we got to where we are today and what can be done to narrow the yawning racial wealth gap in the U.S. Jackie Simmons and Rebecca Greenfield co-host the season, which kicks off with a personal story about land Jackie's family acquired some time after slavery that they're on the verge of losing. From there the series explores all the ways the wealth gaps manifests and the radical solutions, like affirmative action, quotas, and reparations, that can potentially lead to greater equality.
Mar 08, 2021
Is Pfizer's Vaccine Plan Fair?
Vaccine distribution still has the feel of a zero-sum game. Five days after Israel received 700,000 doses of the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, Pfizer told other non-U.S. customers that it would cut supplies while it briefly closed a facility in Belgium. The disparity in vaccine allocation is the product of a company struggling to apportion doses while demand far exceeds supply. Stephanie Baker and Cynthia Koons reported for Bloomberg Businessweek that the company has determined how many doses a country gets through an opaque process that appears to involve a mix of order size, position in the queue, production forecasts, calls from world leaders, and of course the desire to make a profit.
Mar 05, 2021
Nursing Home Deaths Become a Political Football
In recent months, GOP lawmakers have heaped criticism on Democratic governors for how they handled outbreaks at nursing homes early in the pandemic. Michigan Republicans, who have been hostile to Governor Gretchen Whitmer throughout the crisis, are now asking the state’s attorney general to investigate how she coped with that challenge. Republicans say that people died unnecessarily thanks to Whitmer’s order that nursing homes readmit residents with Covid-19 if they had capacity and quarantine capabilities. David Welch reports that Michigan’s fatality rate was lower than the national average, and many of those on the pandemic’s front line dispute the assertions.
Mar 03, 2021
Johnson & Johnson's CEO on the Newest Vaccine
Now that Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine has been cleared by regulators, the company needs to ramp up doses fast. J and J is looking for manufacturing partnerships to increase supply. Riley Griffin spoke to the company’s chief executive officer, Alex Gorsky about his plan to immunize 20 million Americans by the end of the month, and 100 million by the end of June.
Mar 01, 2021
Can the Arts Recover?
New York City’s museums, sports arenas and entertainment venues are slowly coming back to life. But the sector has contracted dramatically under the pressure of the global pandemic. Jobs in arts, entertainment and recreation fell the most of all the city’s economic sectors, erasing a decade of gains in what was one of New York’s most vibrant industries. Spencer Norris explains what that means for cultural institutions, and the city that was one of the sector’s biggest boosters.
Feb 26, 2021
The Second Shot Squeeze
Almost a month after U.S. vaccination campaigns ramped up to give Covid-19 shots to more than a million people a day, their second doses are coming due. That’s putting a strain on state rollouts, and leaving some people without complete immunizations. John Tozzi reports that as President Joe Biden accelerates purchases and distribution, critical weaknesses in the system are starting to show.
Feb 24, 2021
How the Vaccines Will Change Our Lives
Nine vaccines have proved effective at protecting people from developing symptoms of Covid-19. But we don’t know yet how good they are at preventing asymptomatic infections, and keeping vaccinated people from passing the virus on to others. The good news is that preliminary signs suggest they do at least some of both. Jason Gale discusses what we’re learning about how the shots work, as vaccination campaigns continue around the world.
Feb 22, 2021
The Good Kind of Surge
The U.S. vaccine supply is poised to double in the coming weeks and months, according to an analysis by Bloomberg, allowing a broad expansion of doses administered across the country. Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers and U.S. officials have accelerated their production timelines, and Drew Armstrong reports that the spigots are about to open, providing hundreds of millions of doses just as pharmacies and mass-vaccination sites become more equipped to administer them.
Feb 19, 2021
Fixing Vaccine Inequity
As vaccines roll out across the U.S., logistics and supply are just some of the challenges in making sure everyone has equal access to the vaccine. Angelica LaVito reports how one Boston health system is also confronting another major problem in vaccine distribution: a long history of racial inequity in the U.S. healthcare system.
Feb 17, 2021
Combating COVID in the ER
Doctors and nurses can feel as if they’re living in two worlds. One in which patients are getting sick and dying from the coronavirus, and another in which people deny the virus is real. Emergency room physician Mike Hunihan describes what it’s like to live and work with that dissonance. Today's special episode is a collaboration with Tradeoffs, a podcast about our costly, complicated and counter-intuitive health care system. Subscribe to the Tradeoffs podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Or check them out at
Feb 15, 2021
The Pop-Up Vaccine Factories
On the outskirts of Marburg, a small college town in Germany, coronavirus vaccine manufacturer BioNTech has spent five frantic months renovating one of its factories to produce mRNA. Demand for the vaccine has been so massive that the Pfizer-BioNTech partnership can’t meet it with its existing facilities--hence the race to retrofit factories that weren't initially designed to support the vaccine. Naomi Kresge reports that success would mean being able to vaccinate about 375 million more people per year, and help bring the pandemic under control.
Feb 12, 2021
Racing to Update the Vaccines For Variants
Just two months ago, the incredible performance of new vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer had people cheering for an imminent end to the pandemic. But an onslaught of fast-spreading and potentially dangerous mutations of the virus changed that. So now, even as pharma companies ramp up production in the early stages of a massive rollout, they are racing to retool their vaccine strategies. Robert Langreth reports that booster shots could give drugmakers a lucrative new revenue stream. 
Feb 10, 2021
The Bitter Fight Over What's Safe For Schools
This weekend, Chicago Public Schools reached a tentative agreement with its teachers to resume in-person learning later this week. The deal isn’t final, and it’s the latest in a series of tense back-and-forth between the city’s schools and its teachers union. The bitter fight in Chicago echoes other big cities. Shruti Singh reports that tensions have escalated coast to coast between unions fearing the spread of Covid-19, and local officials under pressure to get teachers back into the classroom.
Feb 08, 2021
The Covid Symptoms Hidden in Our Voices
When we’re coming down with a cold or are feeling a bit stressed, or perhaps even exhibiting the first symptoms of COVID-19: minute changes to our voice are often one of the first indicators that something is wrong. These vocal biomarkers are often beyond what a human can detect: but what if an app on your phone could? Health reporter Michelle Fay Cortez recently spoke to David Liu, CEO of Sonde Health, which has released an app that uses a person’s voice to detect early symptoms of respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. She explores what vocal biomarkers can tell us. 
Feb 05, 2021
The Career Problem-Solver Taking on the Pandemic
Joe Biden’s new Covid-19 czar is a former business executive and Biden ally named Jeff Zients, who is little known to most Americans. Zients doesn’t have a medical or military background, like the two men who ran Operation Warp Speed, the Trump Administration’s vaccine delivery program. Anna Edney reports that the posting will test Zients’s reputation with Democrats in Washington as the go-to-guy when things go awry.
Feb 03, 2021
Some Health Workers Can't Get a Vaccine
Since Pfizer and Moderna vaccine shipments in the U.S. began in mid-December, the priority has been doctors, nurses and other professionals likely to come in contact with the novel coronavirus. But health care workers who aren’t with hospitals and major health systems say they’re being overlooked. Elise Young reports that thousands of health-care workers are still seeking vaccinations even as states and cities open eligibility to people far removed from the pandemic’s front line.
Feb 01, 2021
Can Biden's CDC Rehab Its Reputation?
Rochelle Walensky, the new leader of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, faces two difficult missions at the same time: Leading the agency’s Covid-19 response and trying to restore the agency’s stature, post-Trump. I talked to John Tozzi reports on the job ahead for Walensky, and how she plans to achieve it.
Jan 29, 2021
We're Not Hunting Hard Enough For Variants
The U.S. is struggling to monitor Covid-19 variants, a key part of watching for the emergence of dangerous mutations that might spread quickly, evade vaccines or kill more infected people. The country ranks 32nd in the world for the number of tests it’s done to detect mutations per 1,000 Covid cases. Kristen V. Brown reports that other countries, like the U.K., have established robust, nationwide surveillance programs to identify new Covid genomes and track the spread of existing ones.
Jan 27, 2021
What to Do About Schools
President Joe Biden has vowed to reopen most U.S. schools in his first 100 days. But that could ignite clashes among teachers, their unions and parents over how to do that safely. Petitions and potential teacher strikes loom, even while parents watch children struggle online. Nic Querolo reports that the issue has been one of the toughest pandemic challenges for local policymakers.
Jan 25, 2021
Can Drugstores Save Us?
Vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and others will have the power to one day end the pandemic, or at least tame it—but only after 70 percent or more of the world’s population gets inoculated against Covid-19. So far, the rollout has been anything but smooth. Big drugstores say they’re ready to come to the rescue. Robert Langreth and Angelica Lavito describe the potentially massive vaccine infrastructure that the neighborhood pharmacy could provide.
Jan 22, 2021
The Global Vaccine Gap
In a race to catch up with emerging coronavirus variants, wealthy countries are already benefiting from potent vaccines. While the U.S., Britain and European Union have given citizens about 24 million doses so far -- more than half of the shots administered globally -- vast numbers of countries have yet to begin their campaigns. James Paton reports that these disparities pose a threat to both have and have-not states.
Jan 20, 2021
Where to Be in a Pandemic (Rebroadcast)
Everyone is fighting the same coronavirus, but nearly a year into the pandemic, quality of life and control of the pathogen’s spread look vastly different across the world. Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking scores the largest 53 economies on their success at containing the virus with the least amount of social and economic disruption. Rachel Chang discusses the data and the analysis that went into determining the best places for weathering the pandemic. This episode was originally released on November 27, 2020.
Jan 18, 2021
Can We Fix the Chaotic Vaccine Rollout?
An accelerating rush to give coronavirus vaccines to Americans has caused confusion over who can get a shot when. And the difficulty getting shots -- or even information about the vaccine -- is complicating the push toward widespread immunity. Michelle Fay Cortez reports on what’s gone wrong with the vaccine rollout so far, and whether the upcoming Biden administration’s plans will improve it.
Jan 15, 2021
Why Healthcare Workers Refuse the Vaccine
Most states have prioritized health-care workers in their vaccination programs. But across the country, vaccine providers are finding that some of those workers don’t want the shot. Nurses and firefighters are among those questioning its safety after approval in record time. Elise Young reports that reluctance to get the shot that could end the pandemic goes well beyond anti-vax activists who spout unproven theories on social media.
Jan 13, 2021
What Allergic Vaccine Reactions Mean For You
As vaccinations roll out across the country, a few people have incurred serious allergic reactions. Though the rate is very low, it is still higher than that for the seasonal flu vaccine. Despite that, the CDC is sticking with its recommendation that most people should still get the shots. Emma Court explains why.
Jan 11, 2021
The U.K. Health System Threatens to Buckle
The United Kingdom’s national health system is in danger of breaking under the weight of its raging Coronavirus outbreak, and the next few weeks will be its biggest challenge yet. The death toll is the highest in Europe and daily infections are at a record. Medical staff say they may be forced to turn people away from hospitals if the latest lockdown fails to stop the spread quickly enough. James Paton reports from London on the fast-spreading new virus strain and the next crucial weeks for the country’s health system.
Jan 08, 2021
Vaccines via Eventbrite
As states struggle to piece together vaccine strategies without a coordinated national plan, some have resorted to web-based technology for logistical support. The result: they’re lining up appointments using software that’s better suited for arranging volleyball meetups than a historic public health campaign. 
Jan 06, 2021
Vaccinating the Worst-Hit Southeast Asian Country
Indonesia had planned to prioritize its working-age population for its Covid-19 vaccine. But they recently announced a change of plans: The inoculation program would instead start with healthcare workers, civil servants and the elderly. The government didn’t give a reason for the change, but the shifting procedures show some of the difficulties in coordinating a vaccine rollout for a massive nation spread across a string of islands.
Jan 04, 2021
How It All Started (Rebroadcast)
On today’s special edition of the podcast, we’re revisiting one of our early episodes that took a close look at how the novel coronavirus lived before it entered humans and who it lived in. Bats are almost certainly the source of this pandemic, but these flying mammals may also hold the clues to stopping the next one. Bloomberg senior editor Jason Gale explores how research into bats led to the discovery of what could be the precursor of the novel coronavirus.
Jan 01, 2021
What We Know About Covid's Origins
Scientists have long believed the source of the pandemic can be traced back to bats. Pioneering research by an Australian veterinarian named Dr. Hume Field more than 20 years ago showed why bats are an important host of some of humanity's most feared viruses. Bloomberg senior editor Jason Gale recently caught up with Hume to hear more about how the SARS-CoV-2 virus got from bats to people. Mentioned in this podcast: China Is Making It Harder to Solve the Mystery of How Covid Began
Dec 30, 2020
A New Technology Hiding in Covid Vaccines
The approved COVID-19 vaccines developed by Moderna and the Pfizer and BioNTech partnership use genetic material called messenger RNA to effectively transform the body’s own cells into vaccine factories. This approach is a first for vaccines. It relies on decades of clinical research into whether messenger RNA technology can be used to treat a broad range of ailments, from cancer to the seasonal flu. Naomi Kresge explores whether the validation of this breakthrough technology during COVID-19 could bring about a whole new field of medicine.
Dec 23, 2020
Lessons From Past Vaccines
The U.S. has begun a massive vaccination campaign to fight the coronavirus. But the effort will have plenty of challenges, including convincing people to get immunized. It’s not the first time the country has rolled out this kind of public health initiative. John Lauerman spoke with infectious-disease specialist William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University to learn more.
Dec 21, 2020
How Companies Are Lining Up Shots for Workers
U.S. companies are taking some of the first concrete steps to prepare for the unprecedented and complex task of distributing hundreds of millions of doses to the American workforce. That means, for some: procuring deep-freezers to store vaccines or setting up health clinics at their facilities. Others are weighing whether to require vaccination for employees returning to in-person work. And, as Ryan Beene reports, several industries are lobbying to get their workers near the front of the line after the first doses go to health-care workers and nursing home residents.
Dec 18, 2020
Voices From the U.S. Vaccine Program
Just one month ago, Iowa experienced its worst Covid-19 surge yet. Coronavirus cases began soaring there in early November, as they have throughout the United States. By the middle of the month, Iowa was recording about 4,000 new cases every day. But this week, staff at a University of Iowa Health Care system finally had reason to celebrate. The first doses of Pfizer’s vaccine arrived at the Iowa City location Monday morning, in tiny vials packed in dry ice. Angelica Lavito spoke to healthcare workers there just after they became some of the first Americans outside of clinical trials to get immunized against the deadly disease.
Dec 16, 2020
Louisiana's Vaccine Test Run
As the first shots of the Covid-19 vaccines in the U.S. are administered, one of many big hurdles has yet to be cleared: States must transport and distribute the massive orders to the millions who need it. The state of Louisiana has been thinking about this problem for months. In November, they decided to test their vaccination strategy, using the flu vaccine. Angelica Lavito went to Shreveport as the project was unfolding, to find out what a mass vaccination looks like during a pandemic.
Dec 14, 2020
The Doctor Behind the Government's Vaccine Deals
At the center of Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s program to accelerate the development of Covid treatments and vaccines, is a man named Moncef Slaoui. Dr. Slaoui is chief scientific adviser for the Operation, and is trying to leverage decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry to secure deals that can help curb the pandemic. Riley Griffin spoke to him about the possibility that his work might accelerate a treatment for the deadliest Covid-19 cases, a critical step in the months before a vaccine is widespread.
Dec 11, 2020
Who Should Get the First Doses?
The U.K. began administering the first Covid-19 vaccine this week, and the U.S. may do the same within days. But, the emergence of these vaccines brings tough choices around who gets it first and how it will be distributed. Bloomberg senior editor Jason Gale spoke with an ethics expert about the thinking behind some of these decisions and how the current vaccines could affect how we develop future ones.
Dec 09, 2020
A Turning Point Week Ahead
The coming week could mark an early turning point in the U.S. battle against Covid-19. An advisory panel made up of top medical experts will meet December 10th to help the Food and Drug Administration review the drug for possible emergency authorization. That would clear the way to making it a top weapon against the virus. Reporter Anna Edney breaks down the next steps in the approval process, and helps explain the reality of making the vaccine available to the public.
Dec 07, 2020
The Struggle to Distribute the Vaccine
Weeks before U.S. states expect to receive their first shipments of Covid-19 vaccines, they’re getting conflicting messages from the federal government about exactly how many doses may arrive. Some governors have made splashy announcements about how much of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccines they expect to get if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorizes them this month. Other states can’t provide a solid answer. But all of them must submit orders and distribution plans Friday. Reporter Angelica Lavito reports that the shifting expectations are creating all sorts of problems.
Dec 04, 2020
Biden’s Pandemic Response Overhaul
One of Joe Biden’s first acts as president-elect was to announce a Covid-19 advisory board, putting the fight against the pandemic front and center in his presidential plans. On today's episode, a member of that advisory board talks to us about how a Biden White House plans to overhaul the government’s Coronavirus response.
Dec 02, 2020
A Bubble Made Up of Millions
In Canada, the Covid-19 outbreak has affected much of the country. In Quebec, where three in five of Canada’s virus deaths have hit, rage over new lockdowns is palpable. In Ontario, ICUs are filling up. Out west, caseloads are hitting records. But four eastern Canadian provinces, comprising 2.4 million people, have banded together, barred outsiders, and hewed tightly to health guidelines. As a result, the region has a Covid-19 death rate that’s one tenth the rest of the country’s. With almost no one noticing, Atlantic Canada has become a pandemic Shangri-La. Montreal Bureau Chief Sandrine Rastello reports on the outpost of quiet obedience that calls itself the Atlantic Bubble.
Nov 30, 2020
Business, Interrupted
Today’s episode is a collaboration with Bloomberg Law. Hosted by David Schultz, this special investigative podcast examines how businesses of every stripe, large and small, assumed they had insurance that covered them in the event of a shutdown and how those assumptions were, by and large, wrong. 
Nov 27, 2020
Where to Be in a Pandemic
Everyone is fighting the same coronavirus, but nearly a year into the pandemic, quality of life and control of the pathogen’s spread look vastly different across the world. Bloomberg’s new Covid Resilience Ranking scores the largest 53 economies on their success at containing the virus with the least amount of social and economic disruption. Rachel Chang discusses the data and the analysis that went into determining the best places for weathering the pandemic. 
Nov 25, 2020
Governors Brace For Winter
Amid a lame duck presidency and with the widespread availability of a COVID-19 vaccine still months away, US governors have become the first line of defense against the pandemic’s winter onslaught. Emma Court discusses how, with a lack of federal leadership, it has fallen to local authorities to impose mask mandates, curfews, and potentially even lockdowns before the winter, and the holidays, hit.
Nov 23, 2020
Can Enclosed Outdoor Dining Really Be Safe?
Restaurants across the country have been building and using outdoor dining spaces since the summer. But as winter approaches, many establishments are converting them into sheds or tents to help keep customers warm. As Kristen V. Brown reports, these new structures can sometimes feel more indoors than outdoors. We wondered how safe they really are for patrons.
Nov 20, 2020
Can We Make Enough Covid Drugs?
In a mere nine months, Eli Lilly accomplished an unprecedented feat: The drug giant took a blood sample from one of the first U.S. patients to recover from Covid-19, identified an antibody that could fight the virus, and created a version of the antibody to treat people with the disease. Riley Griffin spoke to Lilly's CEO David Ricks about the challenges facing the company and its new treatment amid the worsening pandemic.
Nov 18, 2020
Dr. Fauci on What the Vaccine News Means
It’s taken less than a year for scientists to develop what appears to be an effective vaccine against the coronavirus. Drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech delivered dazzling preliminary results in a large patient trial this month, and just today Moderna announced that its vaccine also looks extremely effective. But creating a vaccine is only part of the challenge. Jason Gale spoke with top US infectious-disease doctor Anthony Fauci about another impediment to a successful vaccination strategy: people not wanting to take it.
Nov 16, 2020
A Global Virus Report Card
New Zealand is one of the countries that has been most successful in crushing the spread of the coronavirus. Now, the World Health Organization has asked former New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark to co-chair an independent panel evaluating the critical steps taken early in the pandemic. She spoke to senior editor Jason Gale about how different countries approached the virus spread, and which approaches worked.
Nov 13, 2020
Special Edition: The Next Year of the Virus
Eight months into the pandemic, the coronavirus is on a rampage around the world. In Europe, a surge in cases has led to a new wave of lockdowns. The U.S. is entering its most dangerous period for the virus yet, and more than 10 million people have been infected. With Michelle Fay Cortez and Robert Langreth, we look back at how we got here, and ahead to what’s next for the outbreak.
Nov 11, 2020
The Cost of Taking Cases to Zero
Countries like the United Kingdom and France are locking down amid a spike in cases. They’re concerned that winter will only make things worse. But if Europe and America want to see an example of how well lockdowns work during colder months, they need only look at Melbourne, Australia. The country’s second-largest city went through two lockdowns – one of which happened during its winter. Remarkably, the city has reported no new cases since late October. But, Jason Gale reports, it has come at a cost.
Nov 09, 2020
One College Is Containing Covid
Cornell University, in upstate New York, welcomed around 24,000 people back to campus this fall. The idea of students packed into dorms and mingling in classrooms made many people nervous. But while outbreaks have plagued colleges across the country, Cornell has managed to keep a lid on its Covid cases. In fact, the college’s test-positivity rate has been among the lowest of any college or university in the country doing large-scale testing. Reporter Emma Court looked into how the school has done it.
Nov 06, 2020
Your Questions About the Coming Winter
The holidays will not be business as usual this year. Instead of just figuring out what to cook for Thanksgiving dinner, we have to consider things like who we can invite to dinner safely, or whether we should even be hosting a meal at all. Reporter Kristen V. Brown finds expert answers to your questions around social distancing etiquette and the Holiday season.
Nov 04, 2020
Inside the Push For a Vaccine in the U.S.
Operation Warp Speed, The White House’s effort to fast-track a vaccine for covid-19, appears to be a conspicuous exception to the government’s otherwise disastrous management of the pandemic. The project has cleared bureaucratic hurdles and awarded more than $12 billion in vaccine-related contracts and has an overall budget of as much as $18 billion. Cynthia Koons reports on what Operation Warp Speed is doing behind the scenes.
Nov 02, 2020
Fighting the Misinformation Crisis
The coronavirus is both a medical problem and a public-health problem – that’s baked into its biology. But the pandemic in the U.S. has been exacerbated by another challenge of our own making: a pervasive atmosphere of distrust. That atmosphere has let misinformation about the virus flourish. That misinformation is often amplified by the man with the country’s loudest megaphone, President Donald Trump. John Tozzi reports that the information crisis has made practicing medicine in a pandemic even more difficult.
Oct 30, 2020
The Obsession With a Vaccine Could Hurt Us
The U.S. government’s Covid-19 strategy has been to rely on developing vaccines and treatments, rather than emphase measures to limit the spread of the disease. That could delay the return to normal life for Americans. One report suggests that if the vaccine program has any hiccups, we could be living with the virus well into 2023. Health reporter Naomi Kresge reports on the cost of the government’s focus on developing drugs rather than changing behavior.
Oct 28, 2020
An Addictive Trading App Gets a Quarantine Boost
Robinhood has become one of the Covid economy’s breakout successes. Americans marooned at home binge-watched Netflix shows, went shopping on Amazon Prime, and discovered day trading on their mobile phones. “Robinhood traders” became the shorthand explanation for the frenzy of often speculative retail investing in the pandemic lockdowns. But Annie Massa reports that Robinhood is now racing to prove it can manage a simple online trading platform and overcome a reputation for poor customer service.
Oct 26, 2020
The Dangers of Pollution in a Pandemic
Black Americans have an increased vulnerability to Covid. Many explanations have been floated for that: Black people are more likely to have chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure; many work in frontline jobs. But Cynthia Koons reports that scientists are increasingly certain that bad air plays a role in the coronavirus’s course. One ZIP code in Detroit illustrates the relationship between severe Covid cases and disproportionate pollution.
Oct 23, 2020
What Herd Immunity Really Means
In the U.S., enthusiasm on the right is building for so-called herd immunity, as the public grows skeptical of coronavirus vaccines. These developments could dash hopes for containing Covid-19 in the months ahead. Proponents of herd immunity say exposing more people to the coronavirus will build protection broadly in the population. But experts say that will result in many more illnesses and deaths, and that vaccines are a safer route to herd immunity. Emma Court reports that the concept gained traction in the White House, due to the increasing influence of Trump medical advisor Scott Atlas. It was backed this month by a group of academics in a treatise titled the Great Barrington Declaration.
Oct 21, 2020
Europe's Coronavirus Déjà Vu
Millions of Europeans are facing tighter restrictions on their movements, with London, Paris, and Vienna enforcing stricter curbs. On Monday, the government of Wales announced a two-week “fire-break” lockdown designed to curb the spread of coronavirus. All non-essential retail outlets, including pubs and restaurants, will be closed from October 23rd to November 9th. Bloomberg reporter Catherine Bosley reports how Europe is hoping to control this new wave of coronavirus infections and whether another round of restrictions and lockdowns can offset the economic devastation in the region the pandemic has already caused.
Oct 19, 2020
What the NBA Bubble Can Teach Us
The Los Angeles Lakers took home the NBA championship this week. But the close of the season also marked a big victory for the league itself. The NBA played its finals in a unique environment that came to be known as the bubble. Players were frequently tested and social distancing was heavily enforced. And, the experiment worked. The NBA did not report a single positive coronavirus case from players or staff. Reporters Emma Court and Brandon Kochkodin describe how the league did it, and whether other organizations can replicate its success.
Oct 16, 2020
U.S. Vaccine Distribution Strategy is a Mess
States are racing the clock to meet a Friday deadline from the Federal government to submit their plans to distribute a vaccine, once an effective one is ready. But Angelica Lavito reports that they’re putting together their strategies effectively blindfolded. State health officials have no clue which vaccine they will be distributing, nor when — or even if — a vaccine will be forthcoming.
Oct 14, 2020
The Virus Dogs Trump's Campaign
President Donald Trump returned to the campaign trail today a little over a week after testing positive for the coronavirus. His campaign hopes to reverse polling trends that show him falling further behind Democratic nominee Joe Biden. But as the president prepares to address supporters amid record U.S. deaths from the pandemic, the virus stays with him, both literally and figuratively. Michelle Fay Cortez reports that Trump’s handling of his own infection, and the cluster of infections at the White House, is a microcosm of the country’s pandemic response.
Oct 12, 2020
The Risk to Overweight People
Obesity is a known risk factor for severe complications of Covid-19. But scientists are learning that the link between extra pounds and severe Covid-19 may be even stronger than they thought. This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that people who are merely overweight, not just the obese, may be at high risk of serious disease from the infection. Emma Court reports that the warning means about two-thirds of Americans could face higher risks.
Oct 09, 2020
Trump's Dream of an Ultra-Fast Vaccine is Crushed
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been working for months to hammer out clear standards for vaccines seeking fast-track approval. Yesterday, The agency made a series of moves that all but assured that a shot won’t be widely available by Election Day. Senior editor for Health Care Drew Armstrong explains what that means for a fast vaccine, and for Trump’s re-election.
Oct 07, 2020
The Fringe Scientists Making a Homemade Vaccine
Dozens of companies are rushing to test and produce a Covid-19 vaccine as fast as possible. But a fringe group of DIY scientists made a bet that without regulatory hurdles, they could produce a vaccine themselves a whole lot faster. But as Kristen V. Brown reports, they learned that making a vaccine that works reliably--and can be proven safe--is incredibly difficult.
Oct 05, 2020
What Trump's Diagnosis Means
President Donald Trump’s diagnosis of coronavirus has raised questions about everything from the Supreme Court nominating process to the possibility of future presidential debates. And of course, the unprecedented possibility of a candidate being removed from the ticket this late in an election year. Drew Armstrong and Michelle Fay Cortez discuss what we know, and still don’t, about what happens next.
Oct 02, 2020
The New York Case Spike
New York City was hit hardest in the early months of the pandemic in the U.S. But after a strict lockdown, the city has enjoyed months of some of the lowest case rates in the country. But as schools reopen and the weather gets cooler, cases have begun to rise. The rate of positive cases exceeded 3 percent for the first time in months, and the mayor is considering shutting select schools and businesses in the ZIP codes driving the increase. Drew Armstrong describes the citry's efforts to recover from the outbreak’s devastating toll, and to safely repair its wounded economy.
Sep 30, 2020
What We Can't Know About a Vaccine
The race for a COVID-19 vaccine entered a new phase recently. Four different vaccine candidates, developed by Moderna, Pfizer, BionTech and Johnson & Johnson, entered final-stage trials, with two others close behind. But we won’t know exactly how these four vaccines work for months. Robert Langreth explains what we can, and, more importantly, can’t know about a vaccine developed at breakneck speed.
Sep 28, 2020
The Test Market Is a Free-for-All
Six months into the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. is still hamstrung by testing efforts. There are not enough Covid-19 tests. But even when there are tests available, they aren’t always reliable. Kristen V. Brown reports on the free-for-all that U.S. coronavirus testing has become.
Sep 25, 2020
The People Who Get Covid Twice
Scientists in Hong Kong reported last month what many had long suspected could happen. Someone who had recovered from Covid-19 caught the coronavirus again. Since then, about a dozen cases of re-infection have been reported worldwide. These cases demonstrate that a natural infection doesn’t lead to lasting protection, and that the pandemic could persist in the human population. Bloomberg News senior editor Jason Gale talked to health experts about what this means for our ability to stop the virus and to produce an effective immunization.
Sep 23, 2020
The Pandemic Census
The 2020 U.S. Census is about to draw to a close. Bureau field workers have until September thirtieth to avoid an undercount. They’ve been going door-to-door to confirm the number of people living in cities across the country. But Jordan Gass-Pooré reports that pandemic-scarred residents, fraudsters posing as census workers, and a lack of P.P.E. are standing in their way.
Sep 21, 2020
Another Ugly Number
The U.S. will top 200,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus in the next few days. It’s a devastating milestone that comes only weeks before a presidential election where the virus response is front and center. The virus first struck New York City the worst, then blazed through populous states like Texas, Florida and California this summer after New York contained its infection. Emma Court explains what Covid-19 in the U.S. looks like now, eight months after it was first found on American soil, and what we have learned about it since.
Sep 18, 2020
A Loud Voice Can Be a Virus Ally
We’ve heard there are many things we can do to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Staying six feet from someone else, washing our hands, and wearing a mask. But there’s something else we can also do: Talk less. Speaking is a powerful generator of aerosols -- the fine particles emitted from our mouths that can harbor the SARS-CoV-2 virus and potentially linger for hours in poorly ventilated spaces. Turns out, shutting up can help shut those particles down. And as Bloomberg senior editor Jason Gale found out, if you must speak, it’s safer if you do it softly.
Sep 16, 2020
The Slim Chance of a Cure
Even after a vaccine is developed, the coronavirus is likely to remain with us for years. That means researchers must pursue efforts to find a cure for those who still fall sick.  Viruses are tricky to fight, and prevention with vaccines has been far more successful than treatment with drugs. In fact, modern medicine has come up with a true cure for only one viral infection. For many serious infections, the best approaches are a cocktail of drugs that throw speed bumps in front of the infection. Michelle Fay Cortez reports that the best solution for fighting viruses is often letting our own bodies attack them.
Sep 14, 2020
How the Virus Will Be Different This Winter
We’re learning constantly about SARS-CoV-2: what it does to the human body, how it spreads, and why it seems to transmit more readily in certain situations compared with others. Knowing how long the virus lives under different conditions is crucial for understanding the drivers of transmission and how to stop it. Jason Gale spoke with a scientist looking into some of these critical questions. And his answers don’t bode well for winter in the Northern Hemisphere.
Sep 11, 2020
Getting the Public to Trust a Vaccine
An unsubstantiated claim two weeks ago by President Donald Trump — that the “deep state” was slowing approval of a Covid-19 vaccine — has set off an effort by government officials and private industry to ensure the White House doesn’t interfere with a methodical, careful scientific process. Leaders of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration leaders are trying to insulate the agency’s vaccine reviewers from outside political pressure, and drug companies have vowed to make a safe vaccine. Drew Armstrong reports on how government agencies and companies are doing to reassure the public a vaccine will be safe.
Sep 09, 2020
Learning As We Go
How are educators and families navigating what we know, and don’t know, about the risks of restarting school during a pandemic?   Today's special episode is a collaboration with Tradeoffs, a podcast about our costly, complicated and counter-intuitive health care system. Tradeoffs' Dan Gorenstein explores how scientists could ethically and safely infect people to speed up the fight against COVID-19. Subscribe to the Tradeoffs podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Or check them out at
Sep 07, 2020
The Economy May Never Be the Same
The global economy could lose up to $22 trillion in 2020 alone due to Covid-19, according to Australian economist Warwick McKibbin. He predicts that successive waves of coronavirus infections will mean the world will continue to count the cost of the pandemic for years. McKibbin explains to Jason Gale that the pandemic will result in lasting changes to the way we work, live and interact.
Sep 04, 2020
A System Shock to the Real Estate Economy
The future of the commercial real estate market has been under serious question. That’s thanks to the virus itself, a potential mass migration out of cities, and the new realities of working from home. For Bloomberg’s Odd Lots podcast, hosts Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal spoke with Mosaic Real Estate Partners Managing Partner Ethan Penner, who has been described as the father of Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities.
Sep 02, 2020
The Swedish Strategy
Recently, Sweden won praise from the World Health Organization for its unusual approach to battling Coronavirus. The Nordic nation imposed far fewer restrictions on movement than other countries, and instead relied on Swedes to act responsibly and embrace the guidelines laid out by the country’s health authorities. The strategy has been controversial. Sweden’s Covid-19 death rate is considerably higher than in many other countries, at 57 per 100,000. But the pace of new infections and deaths has slowed markedly since the end of June. Stockholm based reporter Niclas Rolander explains where the country has gone right--and wrong.
Aug 31, 2020
South Africa's Multiple Epidemics
The coronavirus has swept through South Africa. But the country was already carrying a heavy burden of chronic and infectious diseases. Its healthcare system is fragile. Johannesburg-based reporter Janice Kew explains what happened when the country went into a strict lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19 from overwhelming its medical facilities.
Aug 28, 2020
The FDA Under Pressure
This weekend, Stephen Hahn, the commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, attracted criticism when he substantially overstated the benefits of an experimental Covid-19 therapy. At a press conference with Trump, Hahn said that a treatment using blood plasma from recovered patients could save 35 of every 100 people who would have died. Those high-profile remarks were incorrect, and they were repeated by others in the Trump administration. Hahn late Monday clarified some of what the data on blood plasma actually show. But the episode has raised questions about how the agency will review a vaccine, as well as its scientific independence. Senior Editor for Health Care Drew Armstrong spoke to Hahn about the agency’s role in an increasingly politicized federal virus response.
Aug 26, 2020
What Do We Really Know About Plasma?
President Donald Trump expanded access to a coronavirus treatment that involves blood plasma donated by people who’ve recovered from Covid-19. But while convalescent plasma, as it’s known, is a promising therapy, researchers don’t yet fully understand how well it works. Michelle Fay Cortez explains what the announcement means, and the concerns that agencies like the FDA are letting pressure from the White House, rather than science, guide their decisions.
Aug 24, 2020
The Future of Packed Tourist Towns
One thing the pandemic seems to have rendered obsolete, at least for now, is mass tourism. Beach towns lined with hotels that boast hundreds of rooms are struggling in a socially distanced age. Jeannette Neumann reports one tourist hotspot in Spain that once drew throngs of young people is trying to reinvent itself for a future of tightly controlled and intimate trips.
Aug 21, 2020
The Pandemic During Flu Season
Before the novel coronavirus, the world was focused on another killer respiratory virus: influenza.The flu kills hundreds of thousands of people globally each year. The Covid-19 pandemic hit the U.S. after flu cases had peaked. But with the next flu season only a couple of months away, doctors are worried that a flu epidemic on top of a Covid pandemic could stretch medical resources to the breaking point. Jason Gale reports that countries like Australia and New Zealand can be a model for dealing with the flu.
Aug 19, 2020
The Shadow Over College Athletics
About a dozen student athletes have experienced heart inflammation after being diagnosed with the disease. The NCAA’s chief medical officer discussed the cases of myocarditis, a heart condition that can cause sudden death in young athletes, at a briefing last week. His remarks came two days after the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced they would postpone fall sports. Angelica LaVito reports that the new complication is casting a shadow over college athletics, and creating questions about what the disease does to young people.
Aug 17, 2020
Our Vaccine Expectations Are Unrealistic
In the fight against COVID-19, so many are pinning their hopes on a vaccine. But how long will it take? Russia’s super-fast-tracked COVID-19 one is technically the first in the world. But the first vaccine may not be the best one. And even with other vaccine trials underway around the globe, it would be wrong to think we can resume normal life as soon as we have one. Bloomberg healthcare reporter Michelle Fay Cortez explains why Russia’s approach to vaccine development is so different, and why the world may be expecting way too much from an inoculation.
Aug 14, 2020
The Race Gap in Clinical Trials
In the rush to develop a vaccine or treatment for Covid-19, drug companies are fast-tracking clinical trials. But those trials have a major diversity problem. Participants in major drug trials range from 70 percent to 89 percent white. This is a big problem, considering it’s a disease that disproportionately affects people of color. Kristen V. Brown reports that failing to account for minority groups could potentially impact how well a drug eventually works for those that the virus has harmed the most.
Aug 12, 2020
The Cost of Keeping Schools Safe
Arne Duncan, the former US secretary of education, recently warned a House panel against opening schools prematurely. He’s one of a growing chorus of voices sounding the alarm about opening schools without properly funding safety measures. The schools, they say, simply don’t have the money they need to make their buildings safe for students and teachers. At that same house panel, witnesses said public schools would need $200 billion in federal aid to open safely with the virus continuing to circulate. Skylar Woodhouse reports on costs, and challenges, of creating safe classrooms.
Aug 10, 2020
A Generation of Health Damage
The coronavirus has been spreading worldwide for over seven months now, and more than 18 million people are known to have been infected by it. Over that time, we’ve come to understand that, in most people, the virus causes mild symptoms or none at all -- at least at the time they have the virus. But even asymptomatic patients may suffer lingering effects. Jason Gale reports that it may contribute to the pandemic’s significant, long-term social and economic costs.
Aug 07, 2020
Will Kids Spread COVID to Teachers?
Earlier this year, school gates around the world slammed shut. The drastic measure worked in many places. Now, as fall approaches, attention is turning back to a pillar of a pandemic-resilient society: schools. The role of children in driving transmission of the coronavirus isn’t clear, and what we know about past respiratory infections isn’t a lot of help. But, as Bloomberg senior editor Jason Gale finds out, some clearer trends are emerging.
Aug 05, 2020
The Promise of a New Treatment
The drug company Eli Lilly is about to start testing its Covid-19 antibody drug in nursing homes. Vaccines may not work as well on elderly people or those with compromised immune systems. Since these are the very groups most at risk for severe disease or death if they contract the coronavirus, a successful antibody treatment could have a marked effect on lowering the pandemic’s death toll. Riley Griffin talks about the new drug, and the promise of antibody treatments.
Aug 03, 2020
What We Know About Immunity
In the race to study immunity to the virus, scientists first focused on antibodies -- proteins that stick to and disable foreign invaders. That’s because creating antibodies is the basis for most successful vaccines, so scientists are interested in learning who develops coronavirus antibodies, how long they stick around, and how effective they are at keeping people from getting infected again. But recent studies show there may be another weapon inside the human body that can rouse fresh antibody soldiers long after the first have left the battlefield. Bloomberg senior editor Jason Gale explains that T cells may be part of the key to blunting the coronavirus contagion.
Jul 31, 2020
The Data Disaster in the U.S.
More than a month into a resurgence of the novel coronavirus that has besieged Sun Belt states, flooded hospitals and strained public-health infrastructure, the U.S. still lacks a complete picture of the reality on the ground. That’s because the U.S. doesn’t have ANY real-time system to track the virus’s spread. At times, even the federal government has had to rely on third-party databases. Emma Court reports on the danger of a Covid-19 data black hole. 
Jul 29, 2020
Why a Vaccine Won't Create Instant Immunity
An effective vaccine is seen as the world’s greatest hope for achieving some kind of return to normal, and the timeline for developing one has been sped up dramatically. But as hard as it’s going to be to make a vaccine quickly, once we do, we’ll have a new problem: Getting it to billions of people. Brendan Murray explains how difficult it will be for the global supply chain to distribute and administer the drug.
Jul 27, 2020
Why The Crisis Hurts Maine's Lobster Industry
A few places in the U.S. are still relatively unscathed by the virus, but they haven’t been able to escape the economic devastation. Esmé E. Deprez reports on why the fallout from Covid-19 is devastating Maine's lobster business.
Jul 24, 2020
The Campaign to Lure You Back to the Doctor
When physicians and hospitals became overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases, other medical services, from routine tests to emergency room visits, fell dramatically. The long-term consequences of Americans putting off basic medical care may be disastrous. John Tozzi reports on a new push by the health-care industry to stop so-called "Medical Distancing.”
Jul 22, 2020
The Latin American Country That's Beating Covid
The small South American nation of Uruguay is best known for its grass-fed beef and Atlantic beaches. But the country of 3.5 million people has another distinction: It seems to have dodged the worst of the Covid-19 outbreak despite being nestled between hotspot countries. The country has seen just 1,000 or so cases since the pandemic began, and only 33 deaths. Ken Parks reports the reasons may have as much to do with its policies from years past, as its present day virus response.
Jul 20, 2020
The First Vaccine May Not Be the Best
An experimental Covid vaccine from Australia joined almost two dozen candidates in clinical trials this week. Development-wise, it’s months behind some of the frontrunners. Jason Gale explains that speed isn’t everything when it comes to fighting the pandemic.
Jul 17, 2020
Introducing: Blood River, A New Podcast From Bloomberg
The killers of Berta Caceres had every reason to believe they’d get away with murder. More than 100 other environmental activists in Honduras had been killed in the previous five years, yet almost no one had been punished for the crimes. Bloomberg’s Blood River follows a four-year quest to find her killers – a twisting trail that leads into the country’s circles of power. Blood River premieres on July 27.
Jul 16, 2020
The Story Behind the Six Foot Rule
While wearing a mask, or refusing to wear one, has become politicized, there’s one Covid safety measure we seem to be comparatively united about: Everyone knows they should stand six feet away from other people in public. But where did this guidance come from? Kristen V. Brown reports that one simple number is already changing our behavior, and will soon change the places where we live, work and play.
Jul 15, 2020
New Ways to Catch the Virus
We’re learning more about how the virus that causes Covid-19 is spread from person to person. For the most part, it happens when we’re in close contact with an infected person, who emits tiny liquid particles by coughing, sneezing, speaking or singing. You get sick by inhaling the droplets, or having them travel into your ears or nose. But researchers are looking at another way it may be transmitted. Jason Gale reports that virus-laden aerosols, floating in gas clouds, might be capable of infecting us.
Jul 13, 2020
Excruciating Choices For Schools
With the start of school fast approaching, institutions from elementary schools to colleges are rushing to reinvent themselves for the coronavirus era. Some are shifting to a mix of in-person and virtual classes. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is pushing schools to reopen completely, regardless of safety. Emma Court reports that as schools become the latest political touchpoint in the Covid crisis, there are far more questions than answers about how to keep classrooms safe.
Jul 10, 2020
Virus Treatment Is Changing
In the almost 200 days since coronavirus cases were first reported in central China, health workers and researchers have raced to learn more about the brand new pathogen. As many as 1,000 Covid-19-related research papers are being released daily. Jason Gale reports that the research, and the experience of front-line health care workers, is informing better ways to diagnose, prevent and treat the disease. That’s helping to save lives.
Jul 08, 2020
Unemployed, Uninsured and Falling Through the Cracks
As a second Coronavirus wave threatens America, a wave of job losses since the disease first hit has left millions without health insurance. Reade Pickert explains that in other developed economies, the newly unemployed could rely on systems of universal health care. In America, they’ve had to navigate a bewildering menu of options to figure out if they have access to a patched-together safety net.
Jul 06, 2020
A Divided America Feeds the Crisis
The U.S. is home to the highest number of Covid-19 cases—2.6 million and counting—and the most deaths. The reasons for that are at least, in part, very American ones: Politicized science, a fragmented media landscape, and inequality. Executive Editor Brian Bremner reflects on how decades of political division have made the country a coronavirus superpower in the worst way--an outcome that was entirely avoidable. 
Jul 03, 2020
Why Deaths Seem to Drop as Cases Rise
Coronavirus continues its terrifying rampage of large swaths of the country. But the Trump administration has made a point of mentioning that even while cases are rising, deaths are declining. That disconnect is, he says, proof the Covid-19 pandemic is under control. But the mismatch could be an anomaly caused by quirks in how deaths data is collected and reported. It's not necessarily a sign the coronavirus is becoming less lethal or easier to treat. Robert Langreth and Emma Court report that it’s too soon to know for sure that deaths are still declining.
Jul 01, 2020
Learning to Love Big Pharma
Gilead Sciences announced today that it will charge the U.S. government and other developed countries $390 per vial for its coronavirus-fighting drug remdesivir. That begins to answer a big question as drug companies race to find treatments and develop vaccines for the virus: How much will it cost us? But Riley Griffin and Emma Court report that the Pharmaceutical industry is hoping Covid-19 will give it a chance to rebrand; and get the focus off drug prices.
Jun 29, 2020
Keeping Elderly Patients Safe
Around the world, nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been a hotbed for Covid-19 outbreaks. Because older people are particularly vulnerable, the facilities have had some of the deadliest outcomes during the pandemic. But some nursing homes have done much better than others at containing the virus. Angelica LaVito reports on a Seattle-area assisted living company that learned the lessons of the pandemic early, and has managed to keep outbreaks from raging out of control.
Jun 26, 2020
What Happened in Houston
In Houston, Texas, new Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are surging. Some experts expect the virus outbreak to swamp the city’s medical infrastructure by July 4th. Emma Court and Joe Carroll report that if cases keep rising at their current pace in Harris County, which includes Houston, they will triple or quadruple by mid-July. The city’s hospital system may not be able to manage the crisis.
Jun 25, 2020
These Gadgets Know You're Sick Before You Do
The NBA is giving players the option to wear a device that tracks their health data when basketball games begin this July. The device - called an Oura Ring - can measure things like the body’s temperature and heart rate. The hope is that it could provide the league with early warning signs that someone may have contracted an illness like COVID-19. Bloomberg reporter Kristen V. Brown reports that the move is part of a larger conversation about whether or not wearable technology like a Fitbit or an Apple Watch can help fight the pandemic.
Jun 24, 2020
The Next Two Years of the Virus
More than six months into a shape-shifting pandemic that’s killed more than 454,000 people worldwide, it’s clear we are losing the battle against the outbreak. Most experts believe an effective vaccine won’t be ready until well into 2021. So how do we adjust our thinking from beating the virus, to coexisting with it? Michelle Fay Cortez discusses the next phase of the virus, and what public health professionals say we have to do to survive it.
Jun 23, 2020
History's Lessons for Our Post-Virus Future
As soon as the Coronavirus became a pandemic, people began making parallels to the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918, and reaching even further back to the black death of the middle ages. It makes sense--past pandemics may be our only reference point for whole populations being stricken with illness. But they can also tell us a lot about how economies recover after outbreaks. From the Odd Lots podcast, Tracy Alloway and Joe Weisenthal talk to Jamie Catherwood, an expert in finance history, about how Covid-19 is different -- and similar -- to decades-, and even centuries-old diseases.
Jun 22, 2020
How to Spot a Fake Mask
If there’s one simple technology that has come to the forefront during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s the face mask. Special masks called respirators are designed to prevent doctors and nurses from catching the virus when they treat infected people. But not all respirators do what they’re labelled to. Fakes and shoddy products abound. And you can’t always tell how many particles a mask can filter just by looking at it. Naomi Kresge reported on how you catch a fake mask – and the lengths one German company is going to, to fight the problem.
Jun 19, 2020
The New Superbug Threat
Long before the Covid pandemic, another global health disaster was brewing, threatening to kill millions of people annually. Superbugs – germs even our most potent antibiotics can’t defeat – pose a massive challenge to human health and wellbeing. The coronavirus, of course, isn’t stopped by antibiotics, which target bacteria. Even so, antibiotics have been used liberally for Covid-19 patients. Jason Gale reports that could worsen the superbug crisis.
Jun 18, 2020
Should You Take an Antibody Test?
It’s now relatively easy to get tested to see if you carry the antibodies for Covid-19. Urgent Care centers and many doctor’s offices are offering the tests widely. But the science is still out on whether or not people who have had Covid-19 become immune to it. Not to mention the possibility that the test you take may not be accurate. Reporter Kristen V. Brown tries to answer the question: is it worth taking the test at all?
Jun 17, 2020
The Virus Explodes in Latin America
As the pandemic spreads around the world, new hotspots are emerging. Coronavirus is spiking in Brazil, Mexico, Peru and elsewhere, and health experts have called Latin America the new epicenter of the pandemic. But the impact has been uneven. Some countries have successfully slowed the rate of new infections; others see that rate continuing to climb. Jason Gale spoke with the World Health Organization’s top official for the Americas to find out what makes some populations especially vulnerable.
Jun 16, 2020
Welcome to the Second Wave
Covid-19 is on the rise around the country. Texas and Florida, two of the most populous U.S. states, reported record numbers of new infections on Sunday. The recent surge in those states and others has led public-health officials to worry that reopening the economy has come at too grave a cost. What's clear is that between reopening policies, weariness with staying home, and large protests around the country, Americans are moving around and interacting more than they have in months. Emma Court has been covering what is increasingly looking like a second wave of the virus.
Jun 15, 2020
The Effect of Quarantine on Kids
When the country went into lockdown this spring, it forced kids to adapt to a new life at home. The adjustment for them--and their parents -- has been huge. Experts still aren’t sure what will happen in the upcoming school year, meaning kids could be living in quarantine for much longer. Kristen V. Brown reports on what we how children are coping with the virus so far.
Jun 12, 2020
The New Threat to Mexico's Failing Hospitals
The coronavirus is hitting Latin America in ways unseen in the developed world. In Mexico, Covid-19 is savaging a health care system that was already inadequate. Doctors and nurses in Mexico say they lack masks and gloves. Hospitals are at 80% capacity in Mexico City. More than 20,000 health care workers have caught the virus. Nacha Cattan reports on what happens when a crisis hits a system that was unprepared, and underfunded, in the best of times.
Jun 11, 2020
Understanding Silent Spreaders
A top World Health Organization official sparked a controversy earlier this week when she said cases of asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 spreading the virus are "very rare.” She later clarified her remarks. That provided a moment to explore the debate over so-called silent spreaders -- people who don't get sick after they're infected with the virus -- and their role in its transmission.
Jun 10, 2020
Why COVID-19 Lingers
Never in the modern scientific era have so many people been infected with the same virus in such a short period of time. For many survivors of coronavirus, symptoms hang on for weeks or even months. Bloomberg senior editor Jason Gale reports on efforts for finding ways to prevent such cases of post-Covid-19 illness in the future.
Jun 09, 2020
The Truth About Hydroxychloroquine
The controversial drug is back in the news. In the early days of the pandemic, President Trump and some doctors touted it as an effective treatment. But studies soon discredited the treatment. Now, in an unexpected twist, some research papers dismissing the drug have also been thrown in doubt. So how useful is Hydroxychloroquine and how reliable are the reviews we rely on to assess a drug's safety? Laura Carlson speaks to Bloomberg reporters Michelle Cortez and Robert Langreth for answers.
Jun 08, 2020
Madrid's Bittersweet Spring
Madrid was one of Europe’s hardest hit cities by the coronavirus, but now it's coming back to life. We explore how the reopening is going as Bloomberg reporter Jeannette Neumann talks to owners of some of the hundreds of bars, restaurants, and hotels that dot the city.
Jun 05, 2020
Will Protests Spread The Virus?
Social distancing has been the guiding principle in how to open up the U.S. amid the pandemic. But no one could have foreseen the densely-packed protests after George Floyd’s death in police custody. Could the protests now set off a new wave of infections? Bloomberg’s Michelle Cortez spoke to scientists about that possibility. What they have to say is not reassuring.
Jun 04, 2020
Will Anyone Be Able to Afford Covid Drugs?
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley insists that the long-delayed drug-price bill he is co-sponsoring will get a vote this year. Grassley worries that if the bill doesn't pass, drugmakers will charge whatever they want for Covid-19 related drugs. But drug lobbyists are counting on the coronavirus making drug pricing reform obsolete. Emma Court and Riley Griffin spoke to Senator Grassley about the bill.
Jun 03, 2020
Why New York Got Hit So Hard
At least 21,000 New Yorkers are dead from Covid-19, with a few dozen added to the city’s count every day. The city’s deaths are 10 times those of Los Angeles County’s. They’ve surpassed the 16,000 lives lost in Italy’s hard-hit Lombardy region. Drew Armstrong reviewed the statements of experts, officials, and politicians to better understand the root causes of New York City’s devastating outbreak.
Jun 02, 2020
A Canine Virus Detection System
Dogs have long had a positive link with human health. Science has shown that the benefits of dog ownership extend from reducing the risk of schizophrenia to improving cardiovascular health. But Jason Gale reports they may have other, untapped powers to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Plus: How coronavirus created the conditions for the recent nationwide protests.
Jun 01, 2020
What Heat Really Does to the Virus
Scientists and politicians have wondered for months whether the coronavirus would diminish, if not disappear entirely, over the summer. As the weather heats up in the Northern Hemisphere, and cools down in the Southern part of the world Jason Gale talked to one of America’s most respected public health experts to understand the facts about the virus in warm weather.
May 29, 2020
A New Vaccine Frontrunner
As competitors publicly entered the race to produce a vaccine, drug giant Merck stayed quiet about its development plans. Now, the company has revealed it’s working on two vaccines and a treatment pill -- emerging as a frontrunner in the development contest. Although the company has refused to give firm timelines for its research, it has pledged to make its vaccines and pill available globally, if they're successful. Riley Griffin talked with Merck Chief Executive Kenneth C. Frazier about the company's plans.
May 28, 2020
How Many People Have Really Died?
So far, more than 300,000 people globally are known to have died because of the coronavirus. The U.S. is fast approaching the grim milestone of 100,000 fatalities. And as shocking as those numbers are, experts believe there are actually many more deaths we’re not counting. We need to understand how fast, and in what groups, mortality is rising, in order to fine-tune the policies that govern our response to the virus. Jason Gale reports that experts are looking past the official count to find other ways to investigate just how many people are dying.
May 27, 2020
Virus Hunting With the 'Pirate CDC'
Knowing how many people are being tested for coronavirus is essential for getting an accurate picture of the spread of the virus. But the government hasn’t readily provided this data. Instead, experts, media outlets and even the Trump administration have turned to a surprising source for these numbers: A volunteer effort by a team of journalists, called the Covid Tracking Project. Emma Court reports on what we're learning from the project.
May 26, 2020
The Home Run Approach
There's an innovative, but risky way we could speed up development of a COVID-19 vaccine. Some scientists argue we should intentionally infect volunteers with the coronavirus to get a vaccine sooner. How would it work? Today's special episode is a collaboration with Tradeoffs, a podcast about our costly, complicated and counter-intuitive health care system. Tradeoffs' Dan Gorenstein explores how scientists could ethically and safely infect people to speed up the fight against COVID-19. Subscribe to the Tradeoffs podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen. Or check them out at
May 25, 2020
Curing Social Distance Fatigue
There’s a growing public health argument about how people should calculate risk when it comes to social distancing. Many states are now lifting stay-at-home restrictions, summer is around the corner, and people in the third month of what many hoped would be a weeks-long disruption are desperate to visit friends and get outside. That means we will be socializing a lot more--in many cases, without clear guidelines as to what’s really risky. Kristen V. Brown reports that as we learn more about how the virus spreads, and what constitutes risky behavior, messaging from experts will have to become a little more nuanced than just “stay home, stay safe.”
May 22, 2020
The Dire Situation at U.S. Prisons
Calls continue to mount for the release of inmates at risk of COVID-19 infection as cases rise at correctional facilities across the country. So far, 70 percent of inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Bureau of Prisons. Oakdale Federal Correctional Complex, a low-security prison about 200 miles west of New Orleans, is one of the federal prisons hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Jordan Gass-Poore’ reports on what is being done to combat the spread of the disease in the prison population.
May 21, 2020
The Rise of Vaccine Nationalism
Covid-19 has sparked an unprecedented mobilization of researchers looking to create a drug that can stem the spread of the virus. Globally, drug developers are working on as many as 100 experimental vaccines. But as nations rush to ease lockdowns and restart economies, some countries seem to want to secure early supplies of a vaccine for themselves. James Paton reported on efforts to democratize international access to vaccines, and the dangers of creating immunization gaps.
May 20, 2020
The True Origins of the Virus
The Internet has been teeming with theories about the origin of the coronavirus. Scientists have been saying for more than three months that it most likely originated in a species of bat found in the south of China, and then managed to somehow jump into people. But alternative explanations have been floated. United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has repeatedly blamed China, and specifically a laboratory in Wuhan that was researching dangerous viruses. Jason Gale talked to a World Health Organization scientist to tease out the most plausible explanation for where the virus came from.
May 19, 2020
The Virus Trackers
The tedious and time-consuming practice of contact tracing is seen as an essential ingredient for suppressing the coronavirus around the world; but not every country has invested in it. The World Health Organization has praised Germany for its contact tracing practices. The country has about a quarter the deaths of neighboring France, despite a more flexible lockdown. Last weekend it continued its cautious move toward pandemic normalcy by letting restaurants re-open. Naomi Kresge reports on the Würzburg region, where armies of tracers are fighting the virus with old-fashioned tools.
May 18, 2020
Can The Aviation Industry Afford To Keep You Safe?
The aviation industry is wrestling with ways to control the coronavirus and get people back to flying. Airports have seen a 90 percent drop in passengers since mid-March. But as states ease lockdown restrictions, more people are expected to fly. Airports today are starting to make changes in the hopes that passengers will be safer as they fly. Justin Bachman reports on what it looks like to fly during a pandemic, and how air travel may change going forward.
May 15, 2020
This Drug Maker Saw the Pandemic Coming
When Covid-19 hit, Gilead Sciences Inc. had enough of its experimental drug remdesivir ready to test and start manufacturing it at a larger scale. That's because it had started stockpiling not just the drug, but its ingredients, at the first hint there may be a new coronavirus. Robert Langreth reports on why the company was able to act early to prepare for a pandemic when so many businesses and institutions did not.
May 14, 2020
The Scary Implications of 'Covid Toe'
As Covid-19 infects more and more people, doctors around are learning that the coronavirus doesn’t just attack the lungs. The virus can cause kidney failure; send the body’s immune system into high gear; and lead to a range of clotting-related disorders. Jason Gale reports on how much more we have yet to learn about what the virus does to the body.
May 13, 2020
Your Quarantine Questions, Answered
After months of sheltering in place, some people have begun looking for ways to get around some of the more onerous social distancing guidelines. That’s especially true as the weather warms up in the U.S. Bloomberg reporter Kristen V. Brown collected listener questions around social distancing etiquette, and brought them to an expert to clear up the confusion. If you have any more quarantine questions, give us a call at 646 324 3490. We may even play your voicemail on a future show.
May 12, 2020
New Fears About Kids Getting Sick
Last week, a five-year-old boy in New York died from Covid-19-related complications. Dozens of other children are becoming sick with a similar cluster of symptoms that mirror a rare condition called Kawasaki disease. The accepted wisdom had been that children could transmit the virus, but not get sick from it. The new illness is throwing that assumption into question. Jason Gale talked to the world’s leading expert on Kawasaki disease to help unpack what is going on.
May 11, 2020
Is the Virus Getting Worse?
Last week, researchers at the Los Alamos National Laboratory released alarming news: At least one variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 had significantly mutated to become more contagious. If true, this would have major implications. A new variant could, for example, hamper efforts to develop a vaccine or mean that people who’ve already had Covid-19 might face a greater risk of getting it again. But critics said the data didn’t support such a big claim. Kristen V. Brown discusses what it really means that the virus is changing.
May 08, 2020
The Problem With Antibody Tests
Antibody tests are suddenly everywhere. These tests are designed to determine whether someone contracted the virus in the past. They help policy makers understand how the virus spreads, and whether measures to contain the virus are working. Federal regulators relaxed guidelines to make it easier for companies to produce the tests, but this has allowed for a flood of unreliable--and sometimes fraudulent--tests to be offered to consumers. Now, Kristen V. Brown reports, the government is trying to control the mess.
May 07, 2020
Inside a Vaccine Clinical Trial
Dozens of research teams across the world are racing to deliver a vaccine for the coronavirus. Developing, testing and bringing a vaccine to market is a process that usually takes years, even decades. But that process is being ramped up to warp speed as the virus ravages the globe. A small group of volunteers is already receiving an experimental vaccine. Jason Gale spoke to one of them, and gives us a peek inside the fast-moving world of coronavirus vaccine development.
May 06, 2020
We May Never Have A Vaccine
Doctor Richard Besser was the acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2009, when the H1N1 Swine flu pandemic broke out. The physician-turned-epidemiologist now runs the Robert Wood Johnson foundation with a mission to improve health equality. Reporter Riley Griffin spoke to him about what happens to the most vulnerable communities as states begin to relax social distancing rules; and the danger that we'll never have a vaccine.
May 05, 2020
Fraying Mental Health on the Front Lines
Health-care workers are under threat from more than just the coronavirus itself: The mental health effects of the work are grave. Doctors and nurses fighting Covid-19 are watching patients die at rates rarely seen in civilian medicine; and they’re delivering the news to family members who aren’t allowed inside the hospital for fear of spreading the disease. Hospitals are trying to treat the minds and hearts of the healers by offering counseling, crisis hotlines and therapy dogs. Emma Court discusses the scars the pandemic is leaving on hospital workers, and what the health care system can do about it.
May 04, 2020
The Dangers of Superfast Science
Scientists are facing unparalleled pressure to provide information about the coronavirus as quickly as possible. And when every day brings forth new data, what was clear one day may be confusing the next. Guidance has shifted rapidly about the benefits of wearing masks, how the virus spreads, and even the efficacy of promising new drugs like Remdesivir. Science doesn't usually move this fast. Michelle Fay Cortez and Robert Langreth report on what happens when the slow and steady process of research, peer review, and the traditional publication process hits warp speed?
May 01, 2020
What Puts Patients at Risk
As Covid-19 spreads, doctors are learning more about why some patients get very sick, and why others only get mildly ill. Some of the people most at risk for severe illness have underlying conditions that affect their lungs. Older people are also at a higher risk. But certain factors, when combined with age, create a powder keg for the effects of the disease. Both smoking and obesity are conditions that can lead to fatal results in Covid-19 patients. Bloomberg Senior Editor Jason Gale explains how these conditions have made the coronavirus more lethal in some countries.
Apr 30, 2020
Who's Really Immune?
As states grapple with the question of when it will be safe to reopen businesses and relax social distancing, there's increasing urgency to better understand who's immune to Covid-19. Does having the virus and recovering mean you can't get it again, or at least that you can’t be reinfected for some time? No one yet has good answers to these questions. Kristen V. Brown looked into what we do, and don't, know about the science of coronavirus immunity.
Apr 29, 2020
The Problem With Trump's Testing Plan
The Trump administration announced a plan yesterday to ramp up coronavirus testing. But even as it announces this new push, the Federal government has pushed much of the responsibility for testing to states. Experts say the lack of Federal leadership has led to a free-for-all, where states compete to get their hands on tests, and few states are left in a good position to reopen. Emma Court and John Tozzi report on the difficult logistics required to mount a meaningful testing operation.
Apr 28, 2020
All Eyes on Iceland
Iceland has become one of the best places in the world to study Covid-19. That’s because the country is an island nation with only one real port of entry and a small population. It also introduced widespread testing as soon as the virus arrived in March. Bloomberg reporter Kristen V. Brown traveled to Reykjavik, the capital, just as the global scale of the pandemic was starting to become clear. She reports that the rest of the world is learning from Iceland about how the virus moves through a population.
Apr 27, 2020
Life Can Be Hell After a Ventilator
Ventilators have become prized in hospitals across the U.S. and beyond because they are desperately needed to treat very ill Covid-19 patients. But they are also feared for the damage they can inflict, and for the slim odds of survival they offer. Michelle Fay Cortez and Olivia Carville report that it's not yet clear what the long-term consequences ventilators have for those lucky enough to recover after having been on one.
Apr 24, 2020
Life After Lockdown in Wuhan
Millions in Wuhan, China, the city where the novel coronavirus first emerged, are trying to figure out what life looks like in the bustling industrial city after the worst pandemic in a century. Bloomberg’s Beijing bureau chief Sharon Chen went to Wuhan recently to explore life after lockdown. She found a world that still feels far from normal, and a population that’s keenly aware of both the threat of disease, and the watchful eye of China’s surveillance state.
Apr 23, 2020
The Patients Left Behind
The pandemic is putting care on hold for a lot of people with other serious health conditions, like cancer. Doctors are delaying procedures and surgeries in order to save resources like hospital beds and ventilators for Covid-19 patients, and prevent the infection from spreading. Emma Court reports on the difficult choices doctors are forced to make, and the danger that we're creating another health care crisis.
Apr 22, 2020
Inside China's Chaotic Mask Market
The shortages of protective masks that keep healthcare workers safe from Covid-19 are well documented by now. To meet the need, U.S. hospitals have taken the extreme step of turning directly to Chinese manufacturers. Reporter Riley Griffin reports that the demand has helped spur a Wild West scenario, where Profiteering middlemen ratchet up prices. Buyers must sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to try to ensure quality.
Apr 21, 2020
The Other Epidemic
Before COVID-19 started spreading around the U.S., the country was already attempting to deal with another health crisis: opioid dependency. Although opioid-treatment programs are considered essential public facilities and are allowed to stay open during statewide stay-at-home orders, experts are worried the coronavirus could exacerbate the opioid epidemic, possibly leading to more overdoses.
Apr 20, 2020
A Cure in Survivors' Blood?
There’s a sliver of hope for people very ill with Covid-19. It’s a bold new treatment that involves taking the blood plasma of people who have recovered from the disease, and injecting it into people who are very sick.  The secret is in the antibodies: a protein that is produced when someone’s immune system has fought the virus. But using antibodies to treat the sick is more complicated than just transferring them from one person to another. Jason Gale reports on what researchers are doing to sift through the many antibodies out there, and find the right ones to help people recover from being infected.
Apr 17, 2020
The One-Two Punch to Black America
As data about the health outcomes of the new coronavirus come in, it's clear that black people are dying at disproportionate rates to their percentage of the population. But a new report shows it’s not just black Americans’ health that will suffer. The virus will likely have a devastating effect on their jobs and future earnings. Donald Moore talked to researchers about the economic and physical traps the virus is setting for the demographic.
Apr 16, 2020
A Covid Early Warning Sign
Losing the ability to smell is one of the strangest clues that someone may have COVID-19. Experts around the world are still trying to understand why this symptom pops up, and what it means for patients. Some are calling on people who have lost their sense of smell to get tested and isolate themselves, even if they have no other symptoms. Jason Gale reports that the symptom could be an early warning sign--and screening for it could help contain the virus.6
Apr 15, 2020
Apple and Amazon vs. the Virus
Two of the worlds biggest companies, Apple and Amazon, rely on a supply chain that is spread all across the world, in many countries that have been hardest hit by the coronavirus. The tech giants employ hundreds of thousands of people so their fate, in many ways, is the fate of the global economy. Brad Stone, Bloomberg's head of global technology coverage, reports.
Apr 14, 2020
What Happened to the CDC?
Historically, the U.S. Centers for Disease control and Prevention has been the agency in charge of predicting, and containing outbreaks of disease. But as Covid 19 ravaged the country, the agency took a backseat to the White House. Michelle Fay Cortez and John Tozzi discuss how the agency has handled the pandemic response, its early missteps, and how its role is likely to change in the future.
Apr 13, 2020
How It All Started
On a special episode of Prognosis Daily, we’re taking a close look at how the novel coronavirus lived before it entered humans and who it lived in. Bats. They’re almost certainly the source of this pandemic, but these flying mammals may also hold the clues to stopping the next one. Bloomberg senior editor Jason Gale explores how research into bats led to the discovery of what could be the precursor of the novel coronavirus. This vital research is also laying the groundwork for potential treatments.
Apr 10, 2020
Hunting For the Virus in Sewage
Scientists are desperate for a way to detect the novel coronavirus in communities as early as possible. So far, those efforts have focused on widespread testing of people. But a group of Dutch researchers may have discovered a way to tell where the virus is spreading, right beneath their feet. Jason Gale looks at the people hunting for early-warning signs in sewage.
Apr 09, 2020
A Mental Health Crisis Worsens
The effects of the outbreak are putting unprecedented stress on thousands of people. But the difficulty of obtaining mental health services while under lockdown threatens to break a treatment network that was already strained to the breaking point. Cynthia Koons explains how companies are trying to meet that demand and how the crisis may change the way we receive mental health care.
Apr 08, 2020
How to Wear a Mask
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently changed their guidelines on whether healthy people should wear masks, suggesting that people cover their faces to help slow transmission of the novel coronavirus. The evolving view on face masks is just one more example of how quickly our understanding of the virus is changing. It also makes it hard for the public to know what information to take seriously. James Paton reports on what masks really do, why some still warn against their use, and how many people might be wearing them wrong.
Apr 07, 2020
This is How We End It
With Covid 19 crippling much of the world, there’s intense uncertainty about what’s next. In the United States, it’s hard to envision when the economy, and our lives, will get back to normal. But it turns out there is a plan to beat the virus, and to get the country back to work. The question is whether the government will follow it. Health reporter Anna Edney spoke to Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner and current informal adviser to the White House, about what happens in the coming months, and years.
Apr 06, 2020
What Germany Did Right
Italy has been among the hardest hit countries by coronavirus. An outbreak epicenter, Italy’s cases are at nearly 120,000 with over 14,000 deaths. It’s sobering evidence of how vicious the virus can be. And yet, just to the north, Germany seemed like it was escaping the worst of the outbreak by enacting widespread testing and taking the virus seriously earlier. With fewer cases and, until recently, a mortality rate that hovered under 1%, Germany appeared to be a model of how to successfully navigate the crisis. But now there’s some doubt about whether Germany is really a Covid-19 success story. Naomi Kresge reports.
Apr 03, 2020
The Case For Writing Every American a Check
Under the $2 Trillion economic stimulus bill passed last week, the US government will make direct payments to Americans who are suffering because of the coronavirus pandemic. Giving everybody money, with no strings attached, has an obvious benefit in an economic emergency. But some economists have always advocated for handing out money to nearly everyone, in good times and bad. Joe Weisenthal explains. Plus the day's Covid-19 headlines.
Apr 02, 2020
When Will We Have a Vaccine?
Scientists around the world are racing to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. But experts have said it could take a year to 18 months for one to hit the market. The process for testing and approving a vaccine is long and complicated. That can be frustrating when the coronavirus is taking more and more lives every day. But cutting corners to push a vaccine through faster can lead to devastating consequences. We know that, because it’s happened before.
Apr 01, 2020
When You Can't Go See the Doctor
Around the country and the world, more and more people are locked down in their homes, but people still need to see the doctor. That has made telehealth companies -- businesses that let doctors treat patients remotely -- the new stars of the Covid-19 economy. And companies that until now have mainly offered prescriptions for birth control or hair loss pills are pivoting to provide services related to the pandemic. Plus: Today's headlines.
Mar 31, 2020
This is How the Virus Kills
Covid-19 acts in a way that scientists are still trying to figure out. In some people who are infected, symptoms are mild -- like a common cold. Some are completely fine. In others, the infection can be fatal, stopping the lungs from functioning and causing the body to shut down. So why are symptoms so mild in some people and deadly in others? It turns out there's a tipping point -- a moment where the virus moves from one part of the body to another -- that takes the infection from manageable to fatal.
Mar 30, 2020
Prognosis Daily: The Coronavirus Detectives
A little known geneticist in Seattle has become something of a CSI detective, unraveling the origins of Covid 19 in the U S. Could his research hold secrets to a better understanding of the disease? Some policymakers seem to think so. Plus: today's headlines.
Mar 27, 2020
Special Episode: Understanding Pandemics
How can we make sense of the scary reality we are all now living in? Where do pandemics come from? And why are they occurring more frequently? On this special episode, Bloomberg’s Jason Gale talks to some of the world’s most experienced pandemic experts to get their insights.
Mar 26, 2020
Prognosis Daily: What Went Wrong With Testing
On the series premiere of the Prognosis daily podcast, host Laura Carlson gives the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak. Health officials around the world have been urging countries to conduct widespread testing. Jason Gale explores why some nations have been slow to respond.
Mar 26, 2020
Announcing Prognosis Daily: Coronavirus
Harnessing Bloomberg's reporting from every continent, Bloomberg's daily Prognosis podcast brings the news, data and analysis you need for living in the time of Covid-19. In around ten minutes, we will explain the latest developments in health and science, the impact on individuals, industries and governments and the adaptions they are making in the face of the global pandemic. Come back every weekday afternoon for a short dose of the best information about the novel coronavirus from more than 120 bureaus around the world. First episode drops Thursday, March 26.
Mar 24, 2020
Introducing Deep Background with Noah Feldman: Civil Liberties in the Time of COVID-19
From Pushkin Industries, introducing Deep Background with Noah Feldman. Every story has a backstory, even in today's 24-hour news cycle. In Deep Background, Harvard Law School professor and Bloomberg Opinions columnist Noah Feldman will bring together a cross-section of expert guests to explore the historical, scientific, legal, and cultural context that help us understand what's really going on behind the biggest stories in the news. This week, Richard Lazarus, a law professor at Harvard and a leading Supreme Court advocate, discusses where public health stops and our individual liberties begin. Plus, what does it mean that the Supreme Court has postponed oral arguments? Learn more and subscribe to Deep Background on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen.
Mar 17, 2020
Superbugs' Natural Predator (Rebroadcast)
We continue our look back at some of our favorite episodes from the podcast. Joel Grimwood was almost certainly going to die. The pump that kept his failing heart going had become infected, and surgery after surgery had scraped away parts of his chest. Drugs didn’t work because the bacteria were in a slime, impenetrable to antibiotics. What saved his life was a little-known treatment called phage therapy. Popular in the former Soviet Union, they’ve fallen out of favor in the West. The viruses are the natural predator of bacteria, and a small number of scientists are trying to turn them against the threat.
Feb 27, 2020
Superbugs Force a Deadly Choice for Cancer Patients (Rebroadcast)
We continue our look back at some of our favorite episodes from the podcast. Among those most vulnerable to superbug infections are cancer chemotherapy patients. In India, many are dying from bacteria poisoning their blood that even the most potent antibiotics available can't stop. This calamitous scenario portends a global crisis as superbugs spread through international travel and trade.
Feb 20, 2020
The Skinny on Diet and Health Apps (Rebroadcast)
We continue our look back at some of our favorite episodes from the podcast. Do exercise-tracking apps and gadgets like the Fitbit actually make us healthier? Or do they just create a high-tech, data-centric illusion of control over our weight, sleep and general well-being? Bloomberg's Naomi Kresge loaded up some popular apps to find the answer –- and to see if she could get a better night’s sleep than her husband.
Feb 13, 2020
Engineering Your Own Pancreas (Rebroadcast)
We're revisiting some of our favorite episodes, starting with our very first. More than a million Americans suffer from Type 1 diabetes. The disease occurs when the pancreas mysteriously stops producing insulin, the hormone that converts food into energy. Modern medicine has been able to recreate insulin, but not the finely calibrated delivery mechanism of the pancreas. Now a group of like-minded do-it-yourselfers have gotten together on the internet and—working outside the purview of organized medicine—have figured out how to link a pump, glucose monitor and smartphone to simulate a functioning pancreas. The results have been spectacularly successful.
Feb 06, 2020
How to Buy a Better Birth
The average cost of having a baby in the United States is $11,000 for people on private health insurance. But the price tag can vary by tens of thousands of dollars, depending on what hospital you go to and what doctor you see. And high-price medical care isn’t necessarily better: In the U.S., regardless of how much they or their insurance company pays, women experience unexpected problems related to pregnancy and childbirth at alarming rates. The problem, of course, isn’t limited to maternity costs. Across the health-care system, wide differences in price and quality for the same procedures have led many economists and policymakers to conclude that the marketplace for medical care is broken. This week on Prognosis, we look at one health plan’s attempt to make it work better. It’s pushing hospitals to improve maternity care while keeping costs in check. These efforts bring to light a lot about what’s wrong with American health care, and one ambitious attempt to fix it.
Jan 30, 2020
Fixing Health Care for the People It Often Fails
In America, poverty is linked to shorter lifespans. The wealthiest 1% of Americans live more than a decade longer than the poorest 1%, and the longevity gap has expanded in recent years. The medical community is increasingly examining the role that poverty and difficult social circumstances play in illness. Some people are asking whether the health care system could do more to address the things that influence people’s health beyond their medical care. This week on Prognosis, we look at one startup that’s trying to redesign care for some of the most vulnerable patients, taking into account the complex realities of their lives. The company is trying to improve care for people and communities the medical system often fails – and it believes that fixing those failures will not only make people healthier, it will also save money.
Jan 23, 2020
The Doctor, the Patient, and Everything in Between
Independent doctors are a vanishing breed. Hospitals have spent decades scooping up physician groups to build large, powerful health-care systems. The rationale was to increase efficiency and save money but often the opposite occurred. In fact, lots of evidence shows that consolidation in health care has driven prices higher. And both physicians and patients increasingly feel that big health systems and insurance companies have too much sway over what happens in the exam room. A few years ago, a group of doctors in Charlotte, North Carolina, decided they’d had enough. They split from the big hospital system that owned their practice to strike out on their own. They’re betting that they can be more competitive, and serve their patients better, independent of their former owners. In this episode of Prognosis, we tell the story of how one doctors’ group bucked the trend toward more concentrated health-care markets, and what it might mean for the future of the U.S. health-care system.
Jan 16, 2020
How U.S. Health Care Broke The Bank
In 2020, Americans will spend almost $4 trillion on health care. Yet for all that spending, Americans overall tend to be less healthy and die younger than citizens of other wealthy nations. The cost of health care has become so burdensome that people all across the United States are forced to make difficult choices every day: forgo urgently needed medicines or treatment for serious injuries out of fear the cost, even with insurance, could bankrupt them. How did the U.S. health-care system get this way? And what are some people trying to do to change it? This season’s Prognosis explores these questions. 
Jan 09, 2020
Introducing Prognosis Season 4: America's Broken Health-Care Costs
Americans are paying more and getting less for their health care than ever before. On the new season of Prognosis, reporter John Tozzi explores what went wrong. 
Jan 08, 2020
Coming Soon: Travel Genius Season 2
Bloomberg's Travel Genius podcast is back! After clocking another hundred-thousand miles in the sky, hosts Nikki Ekstein and Mark Ellwood have a whole new series of flight hacking, restaurant sleuthing, and hotel booking tips to inspire your own getaways—along with a who's who roster of itinerant pros ready to spill their own travel secrets. From a special episode on Disney to a master class on packing, we'll go high, low, east, west, and everywhere in between. The new season starts Nov. 6.
Oct 29, 2019
Introducing Stephanomics Season 2
Stephanie Flanders, head of Bloomberg Economics, returns to bring you another season of on-the-ground insight into the forces driving global growth and jobs today. From the cosmetics maker in California grappling with Donald Trump's tariff war, to the coffee vendor in Argentina burdened by the nation's never-ending crises, Bloomberg's 130-plus economic reporters and economists around the world head into the field to tell these stories. Stephanomics will also look hard at the solutions, in the lead-up to Bloomberg’s second New Economy Forum in Beijing, where a select group of business leaders, politicians and thinkers will gather to chart a better course on trade, global governance, climate and more. Stephanomics will help lead the way for those debates not just with Bloomberg journalists but also discussion and analysis from world-renowned experts into the forces that are moving markets and reshaping the world. The new season of Stephanomics launches Oct. 3.
Oct 02, 2019
Fighting Back Against Killer Superbugs
Many antibiotic pills we’ve relied on for decades to treat infections no longer work. It’s a global crisis. Hospitals are increasingly stumped. But where do resistant bugs come from?    In our final episode of this season’s Prognosis, Bloomberg Senior Editor Jason Gale takes us to Copenhagen, Denmark, where one scientist searches for clues in airplane waste from all over the globe. He found killer superbugs thriving in healthy people from countries far and wide. Even in countries where antibiotic use has been strictly controlled, resistant bacteria have made their way to people via the food chain. Yet it’s not too late to turn back 
Sep 26, 2019
The Mystery That Makes Hospitals Sick
It's no secret that dangerous superbugs are showing up more and more in hospitals around the world. But where do they come from? How do they get into hospitals in the first place? In this episode of Prognosis, Bloomberg's Jason Gale unravels the mystery, taking us on a detective's search for the world's most deadly superbugs as they stealthily sneak into hospitals. And how one hospital has come up with a simple yet virtually foolproof safeguard against spreading those bugs once inside the building. The implications are huge for how hospitals around the world fight back against the spread of killer germs.
Sep 19, 2019
Superbugs' Natural Predator
Joel Grimwood was almost certainly going to die. The pump that kept his failing heart going had become infected, and surgery after surgery had scraped away parts of his chest. Drugs didn’t work because the bacteria were in a slime, impenetrable to antibiotics. What saved his life was a little-known treatment called phage therapy. Popular in the former Soviet Union, they’ve fallen out of favor in the West. The viruses are the natural predator of bacteria, and a small number of scientists are trying to turn them against the threat.
Sep 12, 2019
Superbugs Force a Deadly Choice for Cancer Patients
Among those most vulnerable to superbug infections are cancer chemotherapy patients. In India, many are dying from bacteria poisoning their blood that even the most potent antibiotics available can't stop. This calamitous scenario portends a global crisis as superbugs spread through international travel and trade.
Sep 05, 2019
Introducing Prognosis Season 3: Superbugs
On this new season of Prognosis, we look at the spread of infections that are resistant to antimicrobial medicines. You're probably more likely to have heard of these as superbugs. Their rise has been described as a silent tsunami of catastrophic proportions. We travel to countries on the frontline of the crisis, and explore how hospitals and doctors around the world are fighting back. Prognosis’ new season launches Sept. 5.
Aug 26, 2019
Why China Loves DNA Tests for Babies
Chinese consumers, just like Westerners, are lining up for DNA tests. But unlike their American and European counterparts, the Chinese appear to have far fewer qualms about privacy and sharing their data. And what they’re expecting to glean from their genetic information goes far beyond family trees or hints of future disease. From assessing the talents of hours-old infants to making career and life decisions based on DNA tests, the Chinese have fully embraced the genetics boom. 
Jul 04, 2019
The Skinny on Diet and Health Apps
Do exercise-tracking apps and gadgets like the Fitbit actually make us healthier? Or do they just create a high-tech, data-centric illusion of control over our weight, sleep and general well-being? Bloomberg's Naomi Kresge loaded up some popular apps to find the answer –- and to see if she could get a better night’s sleep than her husband.
Jun 20, 2019
“I’ve Given Up on the Idea of Privacy”
By now most of us understand the privacy consequences of all the data we handed over to social media and Internet companies. But what happens to the huge amount of health information we generate from health apps, DNA kits, doctors' visits, blood tests and fitness trackers? Some of it's carefully protected by law. Other data -- including intimate details about our lives -- can be sold to brokers who trade it like a commodity. How worried should we be?
Jun 06, 2019
Gift Cards for Your DNA Data
On our latest episode of Prognosis, reporter Kristen V. Brown sells her DNA data to the highest bidder. Health data has turned into big business, but Brown quickly realized she wasn’t about to get rich. In exchange for an Amazon gift card or a few shares of marginal value, companies promise to use your data in the quest for better healthcare. 
May 23, 2019
Should We Be Scared of Our DNA?
On this episode of Prognosis, reporter Michelle Fay Cortez probes one of the more disturbing unintended consequences of the genetic testing revolution. DNA tests have become so prevalent that more and more people are discovering they have rare and potentially dangerous or even lethal genetic mutations. But how accurate are those findings? And what should people and their doctors do about them? Michelle tells the story of one family faced with the decision whether to proceed with life-altering surgeries to avoid facing a cancer diagnoses one day in the future.
May 09, 2019
Why the Mormon Church Loves Your DNA
A century-old quest for family records to unite relatives in heaven has transformed the church into a global leader in genealogy technology. That's paved the way for the success of companies like 23andMe who sell the promise of helping us figure out who are and where we come from.
Apr 25, 2019
Introducing "What Goes Up," A New Show From Bloomberg
On this new show from Bloomberg, hosts Mike Regan and Sarah Ponczek speak with expert guests each week about the main themes influencing global markets. They explore everything from stocks to bonds to currencies and commodities, and how each asset class affects trading in the others. Whether you’re a financial professional or just a curious retirement saver, What Goes Up keeps you apprised of the latest buzz on Wall Street and what the wildest movements in markets will mean for your investments. 
Apr 19, 2019
Building a Better Period-Tracking App
On this episode of Prognosis, we'll meet the Bloody Health collective – a group of feminist coders in Berlin who are looking for a safer way to track their periods. Targeted advertising, third-party data sharing and tracking make most menstruation apps just as problematic as they are popular, privacy activists argue. For the women of Bloody Health, the sure way to keep control is to build their own open-source app.
Apr 11, 2019
Coming Soon: The Pay Check Season 2
The Pay Check is back for a second season! For the next six weeks, we’re going to dig into the number one reason women still make less money than men: Motherhood. Women start their careers earning just about the same as men do, but once they have their first kid, that pay gap grows to a chasm. This season, we’ll show you how this “motherhood penalty” plays out for real women, in real life and how it affects the global economy.
Apr 05, 2019
DNA Testing Is Changing Families
On the latest edition of Prognosis, we'll tell you how a simple DNA genealogy test upended the life of a Washington state sheep farmer. Instead of finding out more about the Swedish and Jewish roots she'd heard about, she found that she had an entire family she didn't know about, and a connection to a man with a mysterious and controversial past. These types of genetic surprises are getting more common, and redefining who we call family.
Mar 28, 2019
Coming Soon: Prognosis Season 2
Prognosis is back for a second season. Over the next few weeks, we're acknowledging how science and technology are making it easier for us to know pretty much everything there is to know about ourselves: Where we come from. The best time to conceive. What might kill us. And what happens when we start getting all that information, and handing it over to others.
Mar 21, 2019
A Message from The Pay Check
The Pay Check is collecting stories for our upcoming season, and we want to hear from you! Did having a kid change your career trajectory or the way you work? If you have anything you want to share, call and leave us a voicemail at (212) 617-0166. Stay tuned for more very soon!
Feb 08, 2019
How to Buy a Cure
Some patients can't wait for pharmaceutical companies to develop drugs. They're pushing the drug industry to make the cures they and their loved ones need. But what's good for patients is also good for pharma's profits, creating a web of murky incentives that makes the issue of high drug costs all the more difficult to parse. In episode 8, Bloomberg's Rebecca Spalding talks to these professional patients about their relationships to the big companies whose therapies they need.
Dec 24, 2018
Right to Try, Right to Fail
Should a patient dying of a disease with no proven cure have the right to try whatever experimental drug they want? A controversial new law signed by President Trump this year says that they should, bypassing the FDA. In episode seven, Bloomberg's Michelle Fay Cortez explores what the new Right To Try law means for desperate patients who want access to experimental treatments. It isn't as simple as it sounds.
Dec 17, 2018
One Drug's Journey
When you pick up your prescription at the pharmacy, do you ever wonder how that pill made it your way? Who discovered it? Who believed in it when no one else did? Who invested the money to bring it to market? This week on Prognosis, Bloomberg's Rebecca Spalding tells the surprising journey of one life-saving drug, from discovery to market. It's a story about a Nobel Prize winner, cutting edge genetic research, billions of pharmaceutical dollars, and of all things, a worm. What does it tell us about health care in America?
Dec 10, 2018
The Quest for a Weight-Loss Drug That Actually Works
Researchers and pharmaceutical companies have poured time and money into developing an effective drug to combat obesity. But time and again, the drugs have failed to deliver. In episode five of Prognosis, Bloomberg's James Paton talks to scientists on the cutting edge of weight-loss research, and the companies that may finally be close to finding a medical solution to the obesity crisis.
Dec 03, 2018
Decoding the Genome Was Just the Beginning
Eighteen years ago, scientists decoded the human genome. But what was supposed to create an era of new cures didn't work out that way, at least not at first. In episode four of Prognosis, some of the most famous names in genetics explain why it took so long to go from mapping life's code to actually helping people, laying the foundations for technologies on the scientific and ethical cutting edge, like modifying people's genes.  
Nov 26, 2018
Searching For a Cure to PTSD at Burning Man
In episode three of Prognosis, Kristen V. Brown and Sarah McBride take a trip to Burning Man. They're there to follow Rick Doblin, who has become something of a folk hero for those who believe MDMA—Ecstasy—could be a viable clinical treatment for things like PTSD. But to help push an illegal drug into the mainstream, it takes lots of cash. And to find money for an unconventional treatment, what better place than Burning Man?
Nov 19, 2018
Biohacking a Ripped Frog
If you had told people from the 1970s that few decades later the globe would be connected with powerful computers held in the palm of your hand, they could be forgiven for thinking you were seriously deluded. Now, a growing number of scientists are convinced we're on a similar threshold with genetic engineering. Today we'll take you on a tour of a biohacker's DNA experiment to change how frogs—and possibly people—grow muscles. It's an experiment which he insists anyone can try at home. He'll even sell you a kit—frogs included—to do it.
Nov 12, 2018
How To Build Your Own Artificial Pancreas
More than a million Americans suffer from Type 1 diabetes. The disease occurs when the pancreas mysteriously stops producing insulin, the hormone that converts food into energy. Modern medicine has been able to recreate insulin, but not the finely calibrated delivery mechanism of the pancreas. Now a group of like-minded do-it-yourselfers have gotten together on the internet and—working outside the purview of organized medicine—have figured out how to link a pump, glucose monitor and smartphone to simulate a functioning pancreas. The results have been spectacularly successful.
Nov 05, 2018
Prognosis, a New Show From Bloomberg
Where does a medical cure come from? 100 years ago, it wasn't uncommon for scientists to test medicines by taking a dose themselves. As medical technologies get cheaper and more accessible, patients and DIY tinkerers are trying something similar—and mainstream medicine is racing to catch up. Prognosis explores the leading edge of medical advances, and asks who gets—or should get—access to them. We look at how innovation happens, when it fails, and what it means to the people with a disease trying to feel better, live longer, or avoid death.
Oct 24, 2018