Insights From the Doctor Who Helped the World Beat Small Pox

WIRED’s interview with disease expert Dr. Larry Brilliant is a mix of dread and reassurance

Coronavirus Blog Team
Medium Coronavirus Blog
1 min readMar 21, 2020

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Epidemiologist Larry Brilliant, who helped eradicate smallpox, warned the world in 2006 of a future pandemic during a TEDPrize speech. His recent interview with WIRED is riveting.

Here’s one question that provides some key advice (and hope):

Now that we’ve missed the opportunity for early testing, is it too late for testing to make a difference?

Absolutely not. Tests would make a measurable difference. We should be doing a stochastic process random probability sample of the country to find out where the hell the virus really is. Because we don’t know. Maybe Mississippi is reporting no cases because it’s not looking. How would they know? Zimbabwe reports zero cases because they don’t have testing capability, not because they don’t have the virus. We need something that looks like a home pregnancy test, that you can do at home.

Read the rest of the interview.

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Coronavirus Blog Team
Medium Coronavirus Blog

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