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Don’t Touch Your Face

Don’t Touch Your Face: Media Coverage of the Coronavirus

U.S. President Donald Trump appears on television monitors as he hold a news conference with members of his Coronavirus Task Force at the White House in Washington on March 19.
U.S. President Donald Trump appears on television monitors as he hold a news conference with members of his Coronavirus Task Force at the White House in Washington on March 19. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On Today’s Podcast: We look at the challenges of reporting on a fast-moving pandemic

On Wednesday, NBC news anchor Lester Holt described the coronavirus pandemic as “the biggest story we have ever seen.” A Pew Research Center poll published that same day found that almost 90 percent of Americans are following the news about the virus.

In the early days of the outbreak, U.S. President Donald Trump made multiple efforts to downplay its severity, leaving the media to pick up the slack. But were journalists quick enough to convey the seriousness of the looming pandemic? And how have they fared in keeping the public informed, when scientists themselves are still learning  about the virus? 

To help answer these questions, Don’t Touch Your Face host Amy Mackinnon is joined by Roxanne Khamsi, a science writer and editor who until recently served as chief news editor at Nature Medicine.

About Don’t Touch Your Face:  On the last day of 2019, China reported an unusual outbreak in Wuhan, a port city with a population of 11 million. Within two months, the disease would spread to almost every continent on the globe and kill thousands of people. From Foreign Policy, a podcast about the extent of the COVID-19 contagion, the threat it poses, and what countries are doing to contain it. Join FP’s James Palmer and Amy Mackinnon as they track the spread of the virus and explore what it means for people’s everyday lives. Have a coronavirus question for us to explore? Email it to donttouchyourface@foreignpolicy.com.  See All Episodes

More Don’t Touch Your Face episodes:

Don’t Touch Your Face: What the AIDS Epidemic Tells Us About COVID-19

On our final episode (for now), we examine an older public health crisis and the lessons it offers.

Don’t Touch Your Face: Dating During Covid-19

On this week’s episode: How the pandemic is changing the way we meet people.

Don’t Touch Your Face: Pandemic Within a Pandemic

On this week’s episode: How the world may see more protests as lockdowns lift.

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