A screen capture of the interactive COVID-19 Global Tracker Map from Microsoft Bing taken on 04/24/2020.
A screen capture of the interactive COVID-19 Global Tracker Map from Microsoft Bing taken on 04/24/2020.

COVID-19 Update, with Neil deGrasse Tyson

COVID-19 Tracker Map on 04/24/2020. Image Credit: Microsoft Corporation.
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About This Episode

This episode was recorded on April 23, 2020. Note – This episode contains factual discussions of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and may contain certain topics and discussion of statistics and information that might cause distress.

On this episode of StarTalk Radio, Neil deGrasse Tyson gets and update on the ever-evolving COVID-19 pandemic from Dr. Irwin Redlener, Director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness. 

To start, you’ll learn what constitutes a “pandemic.” Irwin tells us about the difference between “physical distancing” and “social distancing.” He explains why we want to be physically distant but remain socially together. You’ll learn more about pandemic modeling and projections. We investigate the importance of “contact tracing.” And, Irwin explains why we have to be careful when discussing “small” percentage changes.

Discover more about the possibilities of a second and third wave of the outbreak. We explore why a rush back to open things is concerning. Irwin shares his thoughts on the death rate during the pandemic and why there might be severe undercounting. We also investigate statistics coming from other countries and if there’s any reason to not believe the reports. 

Lastly, we find out what the United States did wrong that lead to the mishandling of early preventative steps. We also explore what other countries have been doing right to flatten the curve. You’ll hear how policy evolves throughout a crisis and how the public should react to constant flipflopping of messaging. All that, plus, Irwin leaves us with a message of hope for the future.

Thanks to our Patrons Saad Algwaizani, Christopher Lowther, Briana Dupre, Dylan Quercia, Heidi Ritzel, Matt Shaffer, Paris Paraskevopoulos, and Constantin Iancu for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons and All-Access subscribers can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.


About the prints that flank Neil in this video:

“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, https://inuit.com/.

In This Episode

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