Nicholas Christakis: How To End the Covid Pandemic

Misinformation and bad policy can only be defeated by robust, open debate in the public square.


All respiratory pandemics follow a script, one that's as much social and political as it is medical or epidemiological, says Yale sociologist and medical doctor Nicholas Christakis, who has just released a new paperback edition of his authoritative book, Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live.

In his conversation with Nick Gillespie, Christakis pulls no punches when slamming the failures of our politicians and public health officials to act quickly and speak honestly about the COVID-19 pandemic which has left 750,000 Americans dead. 

As a newly minted member of the advisory council for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and a high-profile target of ultra-woke campus activists, Christakis talks about how COVID misinformation has also been spread by pundits and politicians who seem more interested in pushing ideology than science and why the best way forward—really, the only way forward—is through robust debate in the public square. He also argues that recent events on campuses—such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology canceling a talk by a scientist due to his critical views on affirmative action—underscore the need for a radical shift in favor of free speech at our colleges and universities.

Christakis previously appeared on The Reason Interview in April 2019, to discuss his book Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society and his viral showdown with students over Halloween costumes. Listen to it or watch it here.