KHN Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Rosenthal has joined comedian Adam Conver to discuss her new Netflix series, “The G Word with Adam Conver,” which has been created in partnership with Barack and Michelle Obama’s Higher Ground Productions. In the hybrid docu-comedy series, the federal government is pulling the convergence curtain on the amazing ways that affect our daily lives, from mundane to life-changing.
In a roughly 25-minute conversation, Rosenthal and Conover dive deeper into episode 5, “Disease,” which examines the government’s approach to illness and other health threats. Conver explained that while the season was being written – just a week after the author’s house opened – the Covid-19 shutdown came. The author’s house has been moved to Zoom and that episode has suddenly become urgent. The “disease” explores why the government is adept at extinguishing fires and sending people into space – highlighting how it eradicated malaria from the United States in the 1940s – yet a tiny virus seemed incapable of dealing with it.
The KHN-AP series touches on the underfunded and under-threatened, discussing the dilemma of rosenthal and conver vaccines, the price of prescription drugs, and the evasion of the American public health system. Conover suggests that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health are “Ivory Tower” organizations. They do. NIH has led mRNA vaccine technology, Conover notes, so why aren’t companies like Pfizer and Moderna saying “thank you, thank you”?
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