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Episode summary: David and Helen talk this week with Amy Maxmen, senior reporter at Nature. Amy has covered the Ebola epidemic in Western Africa and now COVID-19 in the US. Does she see comparisons between the two? What explains the failures of the US response? Can the WHO still make a difference? Plus we explore the implications of the growing politicisation of science. When did data become so divisive? Talking Points: There are significant parallels between what is happening now and epidemics such as ebola. - Outbreaks turn slight cracks into gaping holes: they reveal political and systemic issues. Politics made the ebola outbreak in DRC worse. - Conspiracy theories emerged that ebola was being used to suppress the political opposition. - Ultimately Tedros and other experts were able to convince both politicians and local leaders to focus on the public health response instead of the politics. - The parallels to the US now are clear, but could any figure get past the politics? For Amy, the lack of tests and the failure to…

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