Over the last two years, one topic has dominated headlines and conversation across the world: the COVID-19 pandemic. Since the beginning of the pandemic, new variants of the coronavirus have emerged, but so too have vaccines, antiviral treatments, mask mandates and more. In this episode, co-host and Partner Felicia Ellsworth is joined by fellow Partner Thomas Strickland to discuss the current landscape of COVID-19 with one of the nation’s leading authorities on the pandemic, Andy Slavitt.
Slavitt is a former senior advisor to the White House’s pandemic response team under President Biden and a former consultant to WilmerHale. Prior to serving on Biden’s COVID-19 response team, Slavitt served as the acting administrator of the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services under President Obama. He is the author of “Preventable: The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics, and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response,” and host of his own podcast, “In the Bubble with Andy Slavitt.” Strickland served as Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks for the United States Department of the Interior during the Obama Administration. He also served as United States Attorney for the District of Colorado and Chief Legal Officer at UnitedHealth Group.
Ellsworth and Strickland speak with Slavitt about the trajectory of COVID-19 over the next few months and the politicization of the pandemic response. They also delve into the complex patchwork of local and state government policies to combat COVID-19 infection rates. The episode wraps up with an eye toward the future, attempting to answer one salient question: are we ready for the next pandemic?