Big Books & Bold Ideas with Kerri Miller

COVID-19: Hard questions, real answers with WABE

Medical staff wearing safety gear stand outside near cars.
Medical staff wearing safety garments assist a driver at a new coronavirus drive-up test clinic, one of several in the metropolitan Twin Cities area, Friday, March 13, 2020, in Bloomington, Minn.
Jim Mone | AP

Editor’s Note: This conversation was part of a two-day national special, “COVID-19: Hard Questions, Real Answers” in partnership with WABE in Atlanta and distributed by American Public Media.

You can listen to the first part of the special here.

Public health officials and researchers are racing against the spread of the new coronavirus in an effort to slow it down, ease a surge of patients in the nation’s hospitals and protect vulnerable Americans. Many disease experts are calling for a nationwide closure of all schools and nonessential businesses.

Our hosts — Rose Scott of WABE in Atlanta and Kerri Miller of MPR News — talked to three public health experts about the science behind the spread of the virus and what needs to happen to keep communities safe so those in need can access care.


  • Dr. Nancy Messonnier is the director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Dr. David Satcher is the founding director of the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. He’s also a former U.S. surgeon general; former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; and former assistant secretary for health in the Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Dr. Carlos del Rio is the Rollins professor and chair of the Hubert Department of Global Health at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. He also co-directs the Emory Center for AIDS Research and leads the Emory AIDS International Training and Research Program.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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