Making a Vaccine Go Viral
Play • 22 min

In the last month, multiple drug companies have announced highly effective vaccines for the coronavirus. But getting everyone vaccinated will be a challenge - not just logistically, but also from a PR standpoint. With distribution on the horizon, how can we build vaccine trust?

Guest: Heidi Larson, director of the Vaccine Confidence Project and author of Stuck: How Vaccine Rumors Start -- and Why They Don't Go Away.

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The United States of Anxiety
The United States of Anxiety
WNYC Studios
New Hopes, Old Fears
Kai checks in with poet Jericho Brown, historian Kidada Williams, and listeners as we all try to transition out of the Trump presidency. Jericho Brown, recipient of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, reads his new work ‘Inaugural,’ and reflects upon the power of our words - political rhetoric and prose alike - to strengthen communities. Professor and historian Dr. Kidada E. Williams reflects on the relationship between justice, history and why we must make space for uncomfortable truths about our nation. Her research centers around the impact of racist violence on African Americans and she will be the host of a new podcast ‘Seizing Freedom,’ which debuts on February 1st. Arun Venugopal, senior reporter of WNYC’s Race and Justice Unit, then joins Kai as he invites callers to share what they have been carrying through the Trump era and what they are ready to put down. Companion listening for this episode: “‘I Did Not Watch The Video’” (5/21/20) In response to the viral video of Ahmaud Arbery’s death, dystopian fiction writer Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah talks about reimagining America's responses to anti-black violence, dealing with the spectacle and living through a pandemic. “Meditations on a Bittersweet Victory” (11/9/20) A post-election call-in show with Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry to explore complex feelings as Donald Trump’s presidency comes to an end. “The United States of Anxiety” airs live on Sunday evenings at 6pm ET. The podcast episodes are lightly edited from our live broadcasts. To catch all the action, tune into the show on Sunday nights via the stream on or tell your smart speakers to play WNYC.
49 min
Left, Right & Center
Left, Right & Center
President Biden calls for unity. Will he get it?
America has a new president. Joe Biden called for unity in his inaugural address, but he enters office with the country facing huge challenges and with the slimmest of majorities in Congress, making it harder for him to move the agenda he wants. Can he get unity in Congress to support his agenda, or will the fate of the filibuster make or break his agenda? How much could it slow down priorities, and should Democrats just get rid of it now? Lanhee Chen says there’s a good reason for Republicans to fight for the filibuster: it’s an important and meaningful way for the party to have an impact and build messaging into the 2022 midterms. David Dayen says Democrats might need to see a big, important piece of policy — like Biden’s proposed coronavirus relief package — fail because of the filibuster in order for Democrats to support getting rid of it. On that coronavirus relief bill, moderates aren’t thrilled about everything in it. The panel discusses whether a slimmed down approach (checks and vaccine money) could be enough. And is the Biden administration really at square one, with no vaccine rollout plan they can work with? Finally: in President Biden, the United States has an internationalist leader again, and the world is watching. Do we just carry on as things were before President Trump and America First, or will there be persistent changes to our foreign relations, either because of damage that is difficult to undo or because President Trump rightly pointed out necessary departures? And as there is more bipartisan agreement about countering China, what will the Biden administration’s strategy be?
52 min
The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg
The Oath with Chuck Rosenberg
Chuck Rosenberg, NBC News
Carla Hayden: Palace to Knowledge
Dr. Carla Hayden is the 14th Librarian of Congress, and the first woman and the first African-American ever to hold that prestigious pose. Born in Tallahassee, Florida, Carla grew up in Queens and in Chicago. Her parents were both talented musicians – her father taught music at Florida A&M University – but Carla, by her own admission, did not have the music gene. What she did have was a love of knowledge and of reading. After graduating from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and while looking for work, she became an “Accidental Librarian.” A college friend gave her a lead on a job in a public library. That tip led to a career in librarianship, including a doctorate in library science from the Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago, a teaching post at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Science, and leadership roles in the public library systems in both Chicago and Baltimore. In Baltimore, as Executive Director of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Carla led that city’s magnificent public library system for almost a quarter of a century and was widely praised – and properly so – for keeping the libraries open in the wake of riots that shook Baltimore in 2015, following the death of Freddie Gray - an African-American - man in police custody. In 2016, President Barack Obama nominated Carla to serve as the 14th Librarian of Congress. Upon her confirmation by the Senate, she took over that prestigious post. The Library of Congress is a crown jewel. It dates to 1800, and one of its first large acquisitions of books came from the personal library of Thomas Jefferson. Though the Library of Congress was originally housed in the U.S. Capitol Building itself, fires in 1814 and 1851 – the first set by the British, the second, an accident – and a burgeoning collection required that the library move to its own building. Today, its astonishing collection is housed in numerous buildings, including the Jefferson Building, which contains the breathtaking Main Reading Room, completed in 1897. The Library of Congress today has more than 171 million items, including 32 million catalogued books in 470 languages, 61 million manuscripts, 15 million photographs, 5 million maps, the papers of 23 presidents, and extraordinarily rare and precious books, including an original Gutenberg Bible and the Lincoln Bible. In fact, when Carla Hayden took the oath of office for the post she now holds, she took it on the original Lincoln Bible. She shares with podcast host Chuck Rosenberg a wonderful story about that day, that Bible, her mom, and the oath. In 2021, Carla is also leading a new Library-wide initiative, _Of the People: Widening the Path_, to connect the national library more deeply with Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and other underrepresented communities. To do this, the Library of Congress plans to expand its collections, use technology to enable storytelling, and offer more internship and fellowship opportunities to attract diverse librarians and archivists. The initiative, supported by a $15 million investment from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will allow the Library of Congress to share a more inclusive story about our contemporary American culture, our historical record and how we understand our past. The Library of Congress is a Palace to Knowledge. It is one of the most important cultural institutions in the United States, and in the world. The person privileged to run it is Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress. If you have thoughtful feedback on this episode or others, please email us at Find the transcript and all our previous episodes at
1 hr 7 min
Stay Tuned with Preet
Stay Tuned with Preet
Newscraft (with Dana Bash)
On this week’s episode of Stay Tuned, “Newscraft,” Preet answers listener questions about the upcoming Senate impeachment trial of former President Trump, Trump’s pardon of Steve Bannon on his way out of office, and the arrival of Doing Justice, the new free six-part podcast based on Preet’s bestselling book of the same name. (Listen to the first episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.) Then, Preet is joined by Dana Bash, the Chief Political Correspondent at CNN, to talk about the craft of cable news journalism, what it was like to cover the recent insurrection attempt, and the power players on Capitol Hill at the dawn of the Biden era.  In the Stay Tuned bonus, Preet and Bash talk about whether the business of cable news will change with Trump out of office, and her recent (unsparing) interview with incoming Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra.  For show notes and a transcript of the episode, head to: To listen to Stay Tuned bonus content, become a member of CAFE Insider at:  Sign up to receive the CAFE Brief, a weekly newsletter featuring analysis by Elie Honig, and features by CAFE staff: And if you haven’t already, sign up to receive a link to this week’s election focused episode of CAFE Insider:  As always, tweet your questions to @PreetBharara with hashtag #askpreet, email us at, or call 669-247-7338 to leave a voicemail. Stay Tuned with Preet is produced by CAFE Studios.  Executive Producer: Tamara Sepper; Senior Editorial Producer: Adam Waller; Technical Director: David Tatasciore; Audio Producer: Matthew Billy; Editorial Producers: David Kurlander, Noa Azulai, Sam Ozer-Staton. See for privacy information.
1 hr 13 min
The Mother Jones Podcast
The Mother Jones Podcast
Mother Jones
Dr. Seema Yasmin Grew Up Believing Conspiracies. Now She Fights Them.
Trump is gone. But assessing the wreckage wrought by his lies has only just begun. Emerging, battered, from a year advising the former president, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and Dr. Deborah Birx, the former coronavirus taskforce coordinator, both agree: Trump’s embrace of disinformation and chaos made the pandemic worse. “I think if we had had the public health messages from the top right through down to the people down in the trenches be consistent, that things might have been different,” Fauci told CBS on Sunday. On Face the Nation, Birx described working around Trump, and competing with “parallel data streams coming into the White House.” In his first press conference as President Biden’s top medical adviser, Fauci described the “liberating feeling” of letting “the science speak.” The damage done by anti-science messaging—along with self-delusion, denial, and happy talk—can’t be underestimated, says Dr. Seema Yasmin, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, epidemiologist, and author of the new book, Viral BS. It amounts to a pandemic within a pandemic. “It’s not just a pathogen that threatens our public health,” she tells MoJo’s Kiera Butler, on this week’s episode. “It’s the misinformation and disinformation about the disease, about the vaccine, about the pandemic, that can undo everything you’re trying to do in public health.” Effective communication is the “make or break”, she says. But it’s been in short supply. “Public health agencies and other establishments have not taken the information aspects seriously for many years,” she says. And so the challenge is even tougher when it comes to encouraging Americans to get the coronavirus vaccine, especially in marginalized or underserved communities. “If you interviewed six of them, you would have six different reasons—historical, cultural, religious, all of that—for being vaccine-hesitant, so we have to meet people where they are.” Yasmin lays out her playbook for tailoring messages across a wide range of groups during this live-streamed Mother Jones event, recorded earlier this month. You can also replay the full video on our YouTube page.
29 min
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