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On The Trail: Global Pandemic Edition

A woman leaves an already-closed drop-off site after not being able to cast her ballot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on April 6, 2020.
A woman leaves an already-closed drop-off site after not being able to cast her ballot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on April 6, 2020.

For years, public health experts warned that we were not well-prepared for a future pandemic. The lessons from the Ebola outbreak were supposed to be a wake up call.

But after COVID-19 came to the United States, despite all the warnings, we were not ready,

Journalist (and friend of the show) Reid Wilson spoke up early about pandemic preparedness. He covers national politics for The Hill, but his latest book is Epidemic: Ebola and the Global Scramble to Prevent the Next Killer Outbreak.

When we talked to him in 2018, he said we should be getting ready for the next pandemic.

“The fact is, we need to do something now. We need to do something before the next Ebola breaks out and starts traveling around the world. We need to put in place the global public health systems that will enable us to fight this — whether is happens in New York City, or in Delhi, or in the heart of Baghdad.”

And a new data analysis by The Washington Post reveals that COVID-19 “appears to be infecting and killing black Americans at a disproportionately high rate.” They reported “counties that are majority-black have three times the rate of infections and almost six times the rate of deaths as counties where white residents are in the majority.”

Meanwhile, amid outcry regarding public safety, Wisconsin voters headed to the polls on Tuesday. But election results won’t be announced until April 13.

We talk to Reid about elections in the time of coronavirus and beyond.

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.