The Latest: 50 pandemic experts you can trust

Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog
3 min readSep 18, 2020


Dear Reader,

As government leaders and agencies have become increasingly politicized and silenced, people are turning to other sources online for up-to-date and science-backed information and guidance. Today, Elemental launched a list of ✨ 50 Experts to Trust in a Pandemic. ✨

The folks on this list are health and science experts who share trusted information and insights on the Covid-19 pandemic and/or highlight the forces and structures that influence the virus’s impact.

The dissemination of quality information has never been more critical. Follow these experts for the latest information on how to navigate this pandemic.

Follow our Medium Coronavirus Blog for regular updates, and read some of the essential stories we’ve curated below.

Be well,

Alexandra Sifferlin
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog

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Here’s what we’re talking about on the blog

So, you probably don’t need that pulse oximeter you bought. In the early days of the pandemic, the clothespin-like devices used to measure the amount of oxygen in the blood had a moment in the spotlight thanks to belief they could help identify undetected cases of Covid-19. Now, they’re back in the news after Apple announced that its new Apple Watch Series 6 will have a pulse oximeter. However, medical experts question the value of the devices for healthy people during the pandemic. Read why.

A drug for Covid-19 shows some early promise. The drug company Eli Lilly released some early data on a drug it is studying for Covid-19 that’s called a monoclonal antibody. These are man-made antibodies — developed from the antibodies of someone who recovered from Covid-19 — that are used by the immune system to fight the virus. According to the data released by the company (note, not peer-reviewed), it appears the drug helped people sick with Covid-19 lower the levels of SARS-CoV-2 in their bloodstream and may have prevented hospitalizations. Read more about the experiment here.

Do-it-yourself vaccines are also a legal problem. Last week, we talked about the ethical questions that are raised when scientists decide to make vaccines outside of the scientific process. Now a new paper outlines why DIY vaccine projects are also legally murky. While scientists have long been using their own research on themselves, once a scientist shares a vaccine they made with another person in another state, the Food and Drug Administration can technically step in to regulate it. Read more about it here.

The health disparities of Covid-19 reach children, too. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published this week found that even though Hispanic, Black, and American Indian/Alaskan Native people account for 41% of the American population under age 21, these three groups accounted for about 75% of deaths from Covid-19 in this age group. Read up on the report here.

The best comment on the entire internet. If you haven’t read Dana Smith’s deep dive into everything we know about how the virus that causes Covid-19 is transmitted, do so now. It’s science-backed and also provides a sense of calm (you don’t need to scrub all your groceries!). The best part is a comment she received on the article: “After six months, we finally get a rational, nonpolitical discussion of the transmission. You and you alone have changed my mind on the mask issue. Thank you.” Read it here.

Smart reads

Do People With Glasses Have a Covid-19 Edge?

Second-Term Trump Will Care Even Less About Covid-19

The Cities Where Gentrification and Covid-19 Collide

It’s Still Not Too Late to Fight Covid-19 Like a Scientist

It’s Okay to Have Questions About a Covid-19 Vaccine. Here’s What to Ask.

Will Community Health Centers Be Another Covid-19 Casualty?

C.D.C. Testing Guidance Was Published Against Scientists’ Objections (New York Times)

Synthetic Biologists Have Created a Slow-Growing Version of the Coronavirus to Give as a Vaccine (MIT Tech Review)

Pandemic Isolation Has Killed Thousands of Alzheimer’s Patients While Families Watch from Afar (The Washington Post)



Alexandra Sifferlin
Medium Coronavirus Blog

Health and science journalist. Former editor of Medium’s Covid-19 Blog and deputy editor at Elemental. TIME Magazine writer before that