Six months into the pandemic, cases are spiking in parts of the country, the death toll continues to rise, and the economy is in shambles. What comes next in the fight against Covid-19? With three vaccine candidates entering phase three clinical trials, Anthony Fauci provides an update on the progress in developing a safe and effective vaccine. He predicts when and how Americans may have widespread access to a Covid-19 vaccination. Bill Gatesshares his expectations for a vaccine timeline and elaborates on the mysteries of the virus still being explored. Kai-Fu Lee expounds on the role of artificial intelligence both now and in the future, and Walter Isaacson posits that our biggest scientific advances, including biotechnology to help us attack viruses, may come by way of the genome-editing technology CRISPR. Watch their conversations and see Adaora Okoli’s big idea about using the pandemic as an opportunity to reimagine healthcare in the US. — Presented by the Aspen Ideas Festival
Fighting the Covid-19 Pandemic: A Conversation with Anthony Fauci
Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, joins CNN Senior Medical Correspondent, Elizabeth Cohen, to discuss the current state of the Covid-19 pandemic and the recent surge in cases as the US reopens. Fauci talks about the US response to the pandemic, including missed opportunities to curtail the impact of the coronavirus early on as well as the difficulties in now containing community spread of the virus. With three vaccine candidates entering phase three clinical trials, Fauci provides an update on the progress in developing a safe and effective vaccine and predicts when and how Americans may have widespread access to a Covid-19 vaccination.
The Global Vaccine Race: A Conversation with Bill Gates
Since its founding, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed billions of dollars to the search for and distribution of vaccines across the globe. Its knowledge, network, and resources are now being tapped amid the accelerated search for treatments for COVID-19. Gates joins Stephanie Mehta, editor in chief of Fast Company, and shares his expectations for a vaccine timeline, and elaborates on the mysteries of the virus we’re still exploring. How is the United States government’s response to the pandemic affecting the search for a cure? What about the private sector? What resources does Gates recommend for deeper understanding of diseases? And why does he believe that in five years we will be ready for the next pandemic?
Artificial Intelligence and the Coming Healthcare Revolution
Kai-Fu Lee, a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence, gives AI a B- for its performance during the pandemic. It’s far from perfect, he says, but gets a solid pass for its contributions to contact tracing and containment in China, where Lee lives and works. Importantly, he says, advances in artificial intelligence give us plenty of reasons to believe that the next pandemic will be different. Lee joins Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of Wired, for a conversation about the coming AI healthcare revolution, how Covid-19 will drive the acceleration of automation across the economy, and the ongoing tension between personal privacy and protecting public health.
Breaking the Code: Good for the Human Race?
Thanks to the genius of biochemists such as Jennifer Doudna, who’s credited with the co-discovery of CRISPR, our biggest scientific advances in the near future may easily come by way of the genome-editing technology. CRISPR enables scientists to change or remove genes quickly, with a precision only dreamed of just a few years ago. But just how far are we willing to go to edit our gene pool? Damning disease is one thing. But what about designing for intelligence? Beauty? Height? The power to pick and choose traits sends us down a slippery ethical slope. Noted author and University Professor of History at Tulane Walter Isaacson discusses his latest dive into the often dramatic subject of innovation with Susan Goldberg, editor in chief of National Geographic.