If we really want to reopen our economy, we need to do more than just flatten the curve. In the words of Dr. Jim Kim, the former president of the World Bank, we need to “start coming down the mountain.” And to do that, Dr. Kim says there is only one valid solution: “contact tracing,” one of the most low-tech and labor-intensive weapons in our public health arsenal. On this week’s episode, Steven talks to Dr. Kim about how he convinced Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to invest in contact tracing when other governors wouldn’t even return his calls, and why contact tracing is the best way to contain the spread of Covid-19.
When public health is threatened on a mass scale, we have a long history of working together to take on the challenge. As the host of Wondery’s American Innovations, Steven Johnson has told the stories of some of the most crucial breakthroughs in health, medicine, and technology. He’s also the author of one of the seminal books on epidemics, “The Ghost Map.”
On this new weekly series, Steven will speak with experts from the worlds of health and technology about how the current moment compares with past pandemics, and what the coming months might look like. What will it take to develop a COVID-19 vaccine? How will our educational system change? How can crowdsourcing help us battle the spread of the coronavirus? We’ve vanquished more dangerous threats before. Let’s roll up our sleeves and tackle this one together.