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Take as Directed

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Take as Directed

CSIS Global Health Policy Center | Center for Strategic and International Studies

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Take as Directed is the podcast series of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center. It highlights important news, events, issues, and perspectives in global health policy, particularly in infectious disease, health security, and maternal, newborn, and child health. The podcast brings you commentary and perspectives from some of the leading voices in global health and CSIS Global Health Policy Center in-house experts
 
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Dr. Taison Bell, MD, an acclaimed African-American doctor, educator, and emergency medicine director in Charlottesville, Virginia, shares his personal story of how medicine – back home in Virginia – became the center of his life. “Success was not assumed in my neighborhood.” As a child with asthma, he connected with his physician, as he did also wi…
 
We asked Cary Funk, Pew Research Center, to make sense of how the pandemic has impacted our society and American opinion as we approach the pandemic’s two years. “It can be confusing.” Polarization now increasingly aligns between the vaccinated versus the unvaccinated, versus simple partisan identity. At the fundamental level, Americans are split o…
 
From September 17-October 1, Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg created the largest participatory art installation on the Washington National Mall since the AIDS quilt of 1996, entitled ‘In America: Remember,’ composed of 700,000 white flags, in the shadow of the Washington Monument. A stunning achievement. Listen to her reflections on listening to those …
 
Dr. Richard Brennan, WHO Emergency Operations, sat down this week with Steve and Professor Leonard Rubenstein, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Rick has been at the very center of urgent efforts, following the Taliban’s coming to power in mid-August, to avoid the collapse of Afghanistan’s health system, through fast-moving negotiati…
 
Dr. Jennifer Nuzzo has emerged as a forceful expert voice making sense of the complex and times confusing, shifting shoals of the pandemic. ”All of us have had to step into this sphere,” filling “a power vacuum.” It has however been chaotic. Public communication is essential “to move the needle” but the experience can be “tough.” Vocal experts are …
 
On October 7, Andrew and Steve sat down with a close friend, Georgetown’s Prof. Larry Gostin, for a lively live-cast conversation about his new book, ‘Global Health Security: A Blueprint for the Future.” The podcast captures that rich, vivid exchange. The big messages: We underestimate the power of the SAR-CoV-2 virus: it is wily and pernicious and…
 
Dr. Leana Wen joined us this week to explore her personal history and its revelations, laid out in remarkably candid detail in her newly released memoir, Lifelines: A Doctor’s Journey in the Fight for Public Health. And to speak to the most pressing current challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Her childhood struggles, as a young immigrant Chi…
 
Carmen Paun, a dynamic, fresh media voice on global health in Washington, shares her personal and career journey from Romania to Brussels, and on to her arrival in Washington D.C. one year ago, amid the pandemic, to launch POLITICO Global Pulse. This past summer, while visiting family in a small village in the Romanian countryside, she was “shocked…
 
In a recent New Yorker ‘Letter from Biden’s Washington,’ Susan Glasser delivers a stark indictment: Trumpists and Republican leadership are consciously keeping enough people resisting the Biden administration’s efforts to control the virus “to keep the disease wreaking havoc.” Why that conclusion now? “It is no accident” that 1 in 500 Americans hav…
 
Dr. Monica Gandhi toured the landscape with us. The recent recall of California Governor Gavin Newsom has bipartisan roots, in dissatisfaction with the “lockdown mentality” that closed playgrounds and parks, and kept San Francisco’s schools shuttered for 18 months. It was to a significant degree a “referendum on the illiberal liberals.” Once “the p…
 
Dr. LaQuandra S. Nesbitt, Director of the DC Department of Health, returned as our guest to share her reflections. Her view of President Biden’s six-point plan? Tying vaccination to sustained employment is the next phase: mandates will bring about an uptake in vaccines. The rising emphasis on monoclonal antibodies is a “huge initiative” that brings…
 
Tom Bollyky joined us on the occasion of our 100th episode to reflect on President Biden’s six-point re-set of US pandemic policy, unveiled September 9, and to discuss what can be done to break the deadlock over determining the origin of SARS-CoV-2. President Biden’s patience has clearly run out, and the new approach, heavily reliant on mandates, w…
 
Professor Larry Gostin joined us for a spirited conversation of where America as a country stands today, almost two years into Covid-19. Human ingenuity and scientific gains have been “astounding,” while our preparedness, in the face of such a “wily enemy,” has too often been “abysmal.” We experienced shock when the first wave that began in Wuhan l…
 
In conversation with Steve Morrison on August 3, Dr. Fauci began by laying out the $3.2b Antiviral Program for Pandemics. Its dual aims are quick and long-term wins. The optimal antiviral: a single pill, oral, that early in infection stops replication. Any solution has to be grounded in equity of access, at home and abroad; requires a massive incre…
 
Chris Murray, director of IHME, joined our podcast once again, at this major moment of reset of expectations – of our ability to control the pandemic, of policy decisions, data gaps, political attitudes and behavior, hitting the wall of hesitancy and refusal to vaccinate, and public confusion. We cover the full gamut: the forecast for the fall surg…
 
Dr. Birx, former Response Coordinator during the Trump administration of the White House Covid-19 Task Force, served also as the Global AIDS Coordinator and Special Representative for Global Health Diplomacy between April 2014 and January 2021. She joined us for an extended conversation on the accelerating changes surrounding us – the Delta variant…
 
Gary Edson, President and founder of The Covid Collaborative, has for decades been a highly visible and impactful leader across government, business, and the non-profit worlds. While serving in senior White House positions in President George W. Bush’s administration, he played a key role in the design and launch of the President’s Emergency Plan F…
 
We’re blessed to sit down with Dr. Charity Dean, the central figure of Michael Lewis’ pandemic book, The Premonition, former Assistant Director of the California Department of Public Health in 2020, and co-founder of The Public Health Company. Her premonition on her birthday in December 2019 — a “giant blue tsunami wave” engulfing the US - prompted…
 
Washington Post ace reporters Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta take us inside their newly released blockbuster, "Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration's Response to the Pandemic That Changed History." A gripping, provocative tour d’horizon. Give a listen.By CSIS Global Health Policy Center | Center for Strategic and International Studies
 
Steve Morrison, who lives in the shadow of the Capitol, brought together Liz Lynch, a freelance professional photographer who attended the January 6 rally at the ellipse and both sides of the Capitol during the insurrection, and Alex Lazar, an academic pathologist, the University of Texas/MD Anderson, who on January 6 was working inside the Capitol…
 
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), the senior House appropriator and a respected national leader on health security at home and abroad, has served on the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security since 2018. In this wide-ranging conversation, he reflects on the 100th anniversary of the Tulsa massacre of the Black Greenwood community; the “succe…
 
Krishna Udayakumar explains how he systematically assembled data to make sense of the fast-moving global marketplace in vaccines, amid the pandemic, building on prior trust with private and public entities, and positioning the Duke Global Health Innovation Center as the go-to source. Starting in late 2020, that meant painting the picture of worseni…
 
Philip Zelikow, former executive director of the 9/11 Commission, has launched an ambitious fast-moving planning effort to scope what a commission on the pandemic in America would examine, how it would be organized, what value it would deliver, how it would navigate our treacherous political terrain, why it needs to move fast to nail down what happ…
 
This week the CSIS Schieffer Series hosted a high-energy exchange on “The Next Phase Of Covid-19.” Steve and Andrew were joined by Jeremy Konyndyk, executive director of USAID’s Covid-19 Task Force, who delivered a stirring keynote address outlining USAID’s vision for addressing the burgeoning pandemic crisis while simultaneously investing in long-…
 
Dan Diamond has covered health, politics, and the White House for the Washington Post since January 19. What is going on in the international side of the US response to the pandemic? It is “piecemeal,” unclear who is making decisions, lacks a strategy, the approach is “much vaguer” than the domestic response. The US has announced a number of import…
 
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