Imagine a world where we can know all the viruses within a certain population on a daily or weekly basis.
Before Covid-19 began spreading across the globe last year, virologist Nathan Wolfe already knew what was becoming abundantly clear: The world was woefully unprepared to prevent the spread of novel viral threats. To prevent similar devastation, he challenges people to imagine a different future where viruses are regularly tracked in groups of individuals—providing a sort of weather map of viruses. "We should have always-on systems that are capable of monitoring for all of the viruses present, all of the microbes present within a society, and that’s within reach." He speaks with Sarah Zhang, staff writer for The Atlantic, about where viruses come from, how to eliminate future pandemics, and why he doesn't think Covid-19 was deliberately released into the world. Wolfe is the founder and chairman of Metabiota and was a professor of epidemiology at UCLA.
With millions of Americans already infected with COVID-19, public health officials are working to ensure that a safe and effective vaccine is available for every American who wants one. They also want to be sure people aren’t afraid of getting those shots. Nancy Messonnier, M.D., is director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. She leads the Ce...