Disease outbreaks are inevitable. Germs are part of our world, and there’s no way to completely eradicate them.

But epidemics and pandemics are preventable. Vaccines, better treatments, hygiene, improvements in ventilation, and teaching people how diseases spread can all give individuals and communities the tools they need to contain disease outbreaks before they turn into epidemics and pandemics. Trust in public health and in the governments that administer public health measures is key to making them work.

In this episode, Dr. Tom Frieden talks to host Maggie Fox about epidemics that were prevented and how they were stopped.

Dr. Frieden is the President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives and a former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Man in navy blue suit with red tie in front of building

Dr. Tom Frieden is a physician trained in internal medicine, infectious diseases, public health, and epidemiology. He is former director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and former commissioner of the New York City Health Department. Dr. Frieden is currently President and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives.

Dr. Frieden began his public health career in New York City confronting the largest outbreak of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis to occur in the U.S. He was then assigned to the World Health Organization, on loan from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he supported the Government of India to scale up a program for effective tuberculosis diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring. Asked to return to New York City to become Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Health Commissioner, he directed efforts to reduce smoking and other leading causes of death that increased New York City life expectancy by 3 years. As Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Frieden oversaw the work that helped end the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic. He now leads Resolve to Save Lives, an organization that partners with countries to prevent 100 million deaths from cardiovascular disease and make the world safer from epidemics. Dr. Frieden is also Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations.


Hosted and written by Maggie Fox
Special guest: Tom Frieden
Produced and edited by Samantha Serrano
Music composed and sound edited by Raquel Krügel