Episode 58: The Original (Antigenic) Sin

The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare the racial health disparities in the United States, with markedly increased mortality especially among Blacks and Native Americans. In this episode, Tony Breu and I will discuss the conception of race, racism, and the social determinants of health through three historic plagues in the United […]


Episode 57: The Second Wave

In August of 1918, a horrific second wave of the Spanish Flu crashed across the world. In this episode, the third of a four-part series exploring hydroxychloroquine and COVID-19, I’ll explore this single moment in time, through the mysterious origins of the Spanish Flu and historiographical controversies, scientific missions to […]


Episode 56: La Grippe

The 1889 Russian Flu was the first influenza pandemic in an increasingly globalized world. In this episode, the second of a two-parter on how hydroxychloroquine became a great hope in COVID-19, we’ll talk about how quinine became the standard of care for influenza. Along the way, we’ll discuss the astrological […]


Episode 55: The Fever Tree

Where did cinchona, the first medication to cure malaria, come from? This episode explores the murky history of the bark of the fever tree and its derivative chloroquine with mysterious pre-Columbian Pacific crossings of the plasmodium parasite, Jesuit priests and Inca healers, a Chinese Emperor performing a clinical trial to […]