Publications and Press

Dr. Saskia Popescu has been a source for COVID-19 information and seen on CNN, Good Morning America, Reuters, NPR, BBC, EuroNews, and quoted in a variety of news sources ranging from the New York Times to the Washington Post, VICE, Vox, The Atlantic, and more.

Top recent publications include – “Arizona reopened too fast. Epidemiologists knew it, but we couldn’t stop it” in The Washington Post and “Opening Schools Won’t Be Easy, but Here’s How to Do It Safely” in the New York Times


May 2, 2020 – The Washington Post: Boom-and-bust federal funding after 9/11 undercut hospitals’ preparedness for pandemics

April 30, 2020- Slate: Stop Yelling at Runners for Not Wearing Masks

April 30, 2020 – VICE: How to Protect Yourself When Your State Reopens Way Too Early

April 29, 2020 – Vox: Gyms in some states are starting to reopen. Is it actually safe to go?

April 28, 2020 – Good Morning America: Expert advice on when you should and shouldn’t wear a face mask

April 27, 2020 – Vice: The People Who Fled Their Cities Now Want to Come Back

April 26, 2020 – The New York Times: Can Antibody Tests Help End the Coronavirus Pandemic?

April 20, 2020 – AFAR: Will We Be Able to Travel This Summer?

April 16, 2020 – Vox: No country has beaten the coronavirus yet

April 15, 2020 – NPR: At Least 9,000 U.S. Health Care Workers Sickened With COVID-19, CDC Data Shows

April 14, 2020 – City & State New York: Public health experts’ prescription to fight the coronavirus

April 10, 2020 – TeenVogue: How to Safely Shop Online During the Coronavirus Pandemic

April 10, 2020 – National Geographic: Early coronavirus actions appear to be working in Washington state

April 3, 2020 – Slate: A Comprehensive Guide to Masks

March 27, 2020 – Vox: Why America ran out of protective masks — and what can be done about it

March 27, 2020 – ProPublica: This VA Hospital Cited “Misleading” Data to Restrict Mask Use for Health Care Workers

March 27, 2020-  WIRED: The Race to Keep Health Care Workers Protected from COVID-19

March 27, 2020 – WGBH/NPR: Coronavirus FAQs

March 26, 2020 – The New York Times: Expert Advice: Should ‘Snowbirds’ Stay or Go?

March 26, 2020 – Vox: Social distancing can’t last forever. Here’s what should come next

March 25, 2020 – The Atlantic: How the Pandemic Will End

March 20, 2020 – Huffington Post: What Nurses And Doctors Wear While Fighting The Coronavirus Pandemic

March 20, 2020 – Infection Control Today: From the Frontlines: Insight Into Infection Prevention During COVID-19 Pandemic

March 19, 2020 – The New York TimesCan I Jog Outside? Is That Drinking Fountain Safe? Exercise in the Time of Coronavirus

March 14, 2020 – Vox: The risks in going to the gym during the coronavirus pandemic, explained by experts

March 13, 2020 – Science Friday: Coronavirus: Sanitizing, According To Science

March 13, 2020 – WIREDUS’ Health Depends on How It Cares for Health Care Workers

March 13, 2020 – Bulletin of the Atomic ScientistsAssessing Trump’s coronavirus approach: a Q&A with public health expert Saskia Popescu

March 13, 2020 – The New York Times: What Are the Rules for Play Dates During the Coronavirus Crisis?

March 13, 2020 – GQ: Can I Go to the Gym During the Coronavirus Crisis?

March 12, 2020: InsiderHow to protect yourself during the coronavirus outbreak if you live with roommates and How to embrace phone sex if you’re avoiding contact during the coronavirus outbreak

March 12, 2020 – AAMC: Coronavirus testing: How academic medical labs are stepping up to fill a void

March 12, 2020 – Good Housekeeping: How to Prepare for Coronavirus in Your Area, According to Doctors

March 10, 2020 – NPR: You Have A Fever And A Dry Cough. Now What?

March 10, 2020 – FoxBusiness: Coronavirus, nursing homes, and elderly: the age at which you’re considered ‘at risk‘ – authored by Drs. Syra Madad and Saskia Popescu

March 7, 2020 – Business Insider: Photos show how people around the world are disinfecting schools, mosques, and streets to stop the coronavirus from spreading

March 6, 2020 – The Washington Post: 21 people test positive for coronavirus on California cruise ship, out of 46 tested so far

March 5, 2020 – New York Magazine: Inside the Desperate Scramble for N95 Masks

February 28, 2020 – FoxBusiness: Coronavirus crisis – Hospitals need to do these 4 things now to prepare for a pandemic, authored by Drs. Syra Madad and Saskia Popescu

February 28, 2020 – The Washington Post: Coronavirus is spreading through communities on the West Coast

February 28, 2020 – ScienceFriday: How To Prepare Your Healthcare System For A New Coronavirus

February 27, 2020 – SELF: 5 Things to Do If You’re Worried About Coronavirus in the U.S.

February 27, 2020 – NPR On Point: As Coronavirus Spreads, So Do Questions About U.S. Preparedness

February 25, 2020 – The Guardian: Coronavirus could cause ‘severe disruption’ in America, CDC says

February 14, 2020 – The Washington Post: Virus takes big toll on China’s health workers

February 14, 2020 – Euronews on COVID-19 quarantine, isolation, and impact

February 14, 2020 – Business Insider: Men represent the majority of coronavirus cases so far. Researchers think smoking could play a role

February 12, 2020 – Business Insider: More than 500 healthcare workers in Wuhan have gotten the coronavirus. One study found that 29% of infections were in medical staff

February 7, 2020 – CNN: The US coronavirus travel ban could backfire. Here’s how

February 4, 2020 – WIRED: Amid Coronavirus Fears, A Mask Shortage Could Spread Globally

February 2, 2020 – Authors of Mass Destruction: Interview with Dr. Saskia Popescu

January 31, 2020 – TIME: Can Facemasks Prevent Coronavirus? Experts Say That Depends

January 31, 2020 – The Guardian: US underprepared for coronavirus due to Trump cuts, say health experts

January 28, 2020 – CNN: There’s been a run of surgical masks in the U.S. because of the coronavirus scare. You don’t need them, physicians say 

January 27, 2020 – AFAR: Please Stop Packing Your Dirty Shoes With Clean Clothes

January 24, 2020 – AFAR: Can wearing masks protect travelers from coronavirus?

January 24, 2020 – ScienceFriday – “New virus paralyzes Chinese cities” 

January 22 2020 – Kaiser Family Foundation: Epidemiologist urges U.S. Congress to examine domestic disease outbreak preparedness 

2018- Science Channel, Deadly Intelligence, Episode 3 Anthrax Killer 


Peer-Reviewed Articles:

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist

  • If the coronavirus outbreak grows, can a strained US health care system keep up? China is taking dramatic measures to halt the spread of a new coronavirus that has already infected more than 42,000 people and killed more than 1,000 there. The country built two new hospitals in just over a week. With 2,600 beds between them, they represent an impressive feat of engineering meant to take some burden off the health care network in Hubei province, the epicenter of the outbreak. Meanwhile, the United States, with only a handful of confirmed cases of the disease, has strained to respond, raising concerns about how prepared the country’s health care system is, should the number infections begin to swell…
  • Of quarantines and robots: How smart are US and Chinese efforts to combat the Wuhan coronavirus? As officials in countries around the world race to respond to an outbreak of the new coronavirus that originated in Wuhan, China, they’ve been implementing measures ranging from mass quarantines to robotic patient care to halt the spread of the disease—methods that may prove ineffective or worse in limiting future infections. So how effective are the methods used in China and the United States likely to be?…
  • Outbreaks of lethal diseases like Ebola and Wuhan coronavirus happen regularly. The US government just cut funding for the hospitals that deal with them – When a Liberian man named Thomas Duncan first showed up at a Dallas hospital in September 2014 with a fever and abdominal pain, he was sent home with some antibiotics. Days later, Duncan was dead from Ebola. Outbreaks of dangerous diseases like Ebola or the new respiratory coronavirus that’s killing people in Wuhan, China—cases of the latter now have appeared in other countries, including the United States—are a feature of modern life, not a bug. And it’s only a matter of time before a patient shows up at a doctor’s office somewhere in the United States suffering from what could be the next epidemic disease. Hospital practices can expose healthcare workers and others to infection. The type of failures that resulted in two of Duncan’s nurses becoming infected with Ebola were prolific in the US healthcare system, even before the 2014 crisis. According to Nina Pham, one of the nurses who contracted Ebola, her preparation for caring for an Ebola patent “consisted of what her manager ‘Googled’ and printed out from the internet.”..
  • The dread and the awe: Crispr’s inventor assesses her creation – In contrast, Jim Kozubek’s Modern Prometheus takes a more technical approach to understanding Crispr and assessing what the technology means for the future of genome editing and humanity as a whole. Kozubek, a computational biologist and freelance writer, provides a holistic history of the discovery of Crispr-Cas9—necessary if one is to understand the well-publicized patent dispute involving Doudna’s laboratory at Berkeley and Feng Zhang’s Broad Institute laboratory. Kozubek has held an affiliation with the Broad Institute—and though he takes care to include comments from major players in the Crispr-Cas9 community and communicate their stances on the future of the technology itself, germline editing, and the patent war, readers might find that his account seems at times to favor the Broad Institute, particularly in the section that discusses the patent battle….

  • Antimicrobial resistance: an underrated biological threat – Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, predicted an age when the efficacy of antibiotics would diminish and wither away. Sadly, it seems as if we’re nearing that point. Highly virulent and deadly outbreaks of multi-drug-resistant organisms are becoming increasingly common. Even prestigious hospitals, like the US National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, are not immune to the spread of resistant organisms. Within the United States alone, at least 2 million people become infected with drug-resistant bacteria and at least 23,000 die every year as a result of such infections. Globally, an estimated 700,000 people die from antimicrobial resistance (AMR) annually. Despite efforts by the World Health Organization’s Global Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System and other groups, it has been hard to paint an accurate picture of the problem….


  • A Modern Take on the Broad St. Pump Outbreak A city, an outbreak, and a contaminated well. Surely this sounds like some kind of modern version of the John Snow cholera outbreak and the Broad St. pump. But unfortunately, it’s this week’s US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report with a much more recent example of how bad sanitation and contaminated water can affect a city….

  • Changing the Game in Pediatric Diagnosis of Serious Bacterial Infections– There are many challenges when it comes to diagnostics in pediatrics, especially in infants. Figuring out why that 2-month-old with a fever is crying often includes spinal taps, which are painful and risky, alongside rapid antibiotic treatment to avoid meningitis. Bacterial meningitis can be deadly, especially in infants; the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that between 2003 and 2007, there were 4100 cases of bacterial meningitis reported in pediatric patients in the United States, as well as 500 deaths. Given these rates and the risk of life-threatening infections, it’s not unusual that pediatricians would want to perform a spinal tap or administer antibiotics until further diagnostics can be performed. Fortunately, a new protocol has been developed that could not only make a diagnosis of bacterial infections in infants easier but would remove the need for spinal taps and unnecessary antibiotic treatments…

  • Cutting MRSA Infections Post-Discharge – Hospitalization can increase the risk for acquiring an infection and sadly, that’s what infection preventionists like myself try to prevent. Hospitalization can result in exposure to a number of organisms that prey on substandard hand hygiene and environmental disinfection. Multidrug-resistant organisms, like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are just one of the germs that are easily spread through these environments…

  • Are We Taking a Step Back in Staph? – Staphylococcus aureus is one of those bacteria that’re becoming all too common so, despite the seriousness of these infections, they don’t seem to cause as much of a stir when we hear about cases or outbreaks. But the facts remain: Staph infections are easily spread, increasingly common, and the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains are only becoming more widespread in the community. But attention tends to focus on the newer resistant infections, like those with the MCR-1 genes, which are surely an issue in the struggle against antimicrobial resistance, but lack the commonality of staph infections. Now, a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revealed some unsettling findings about this somewhat forgotten bug…

  • The Supportive Role of Tech Platforms in Disease Outbreaks – Measles has been making a comeback in recent years and, with the growth of the anti-vaccine movement, it’s poised to become even more common. With outbreaks ongoing and 159 confirmed cases reported across 10 US states since the start of 2019, much of the attention has been directed toward vaccine exemptions. Many states are looking to rein in the ability to opt out of vaccinations for school-age children for personal or philosophical beliefs, as is allowed in 17 states. In fact, the debate on vaccine exemptions has become increasingly partisan