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Politics Podcast: How Government Can Prepare For The Next Pandemic

Over a year and a half ago, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Since then, an estimated 767,000 people in the U.S. have died from the disease, and 120.2 million have been infected. Though vaccination rates have increased and new cases have decreased in recent weeks, COVID-19 continues to affect the lives of people across the country.

In a new book, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a Pfizer board member and former head of the Food and Drug Administration, argues that the U.S. was unable to control the spread of the novel coronavirus because of structural failures, and offers recommendations on how to prepare for future pandemics. In this episode of the Politics podcast, he joins FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver and Maggie Koerth to discuss why the U.S. was so unprepared and how much the country’s response to the public health crisis has improved since the onset of the pandemic.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or by downloading it in iTunes, the ESPN App or your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

The FiveThirtyEight Politics podcast is recorded Mondays and Thursdays. Help new listeners discover the show by leaving us a rating and review on iTunes. Have a comment, question or suggestion for “good polling vs. bad polling”? Get in touch by email, on Twitter or in the comments.

Galen Druke is FiveThirtyEight’s podcast producer and reporter.

Nate Silver founded and was the editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.

Maggie Koerth was a senior reporter for FiveThirtyEight.