Let's take a closer look at the coronavirus outbreak and the issue of global pandemics from someone who knows this issue inside out.
Sheri Fink is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who works as a correspondent for the New York Times and is one of the Executive Producers of the documentary series 'Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak' and she joins us live on Skype this morning from New York.
Sheri, your documentary debuted toward the end of January, just as the coronavirus outbreak was making headlines around the world. The comments section on the trailer is ablaze with people raising suspicions about the timing of the release
1. Now we've addressed that, in your series, you bring up the Spanish Flu that swept the world in the late 1910s. That was a century ago, but viruses don't much care for humankind's scientific and medical advancements over the past century, do they?
2. Your documentary is 'Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak.' How do you rate the response to the coronavirus outbreak, do you think the powers that be are gradually getting better at containing them?
3. More often than not these pathogens leap from another animal species to humans. That's always going to be a threat, but there are people that suggest rightly or wrongly that the coronavirus could have been cooked up in a lab somewhere. Are you equally concerned about an artificially-produced pathogen sweeping the world?
4. You won your Pulitzer Prize for your work covering the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. In terms of the coronavirus, few people are talking about how it could affect North Korea. Given how neglected and broken the public health system is in North Korea and its proximity to China, do you see any way North Korea avoids a serious coronavirus epidemic?
Ok, Sheri, unfortunately we are out of time. We appreciate your insights and best of luck with your series, we look forward to the next one. That was Sheri Fink, New York Times correspondent and an Executive Producer of the documentary series 'Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak. Thank you.