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As the novel coronavirus spreads — and fears over the virus seem to spread even faster — how do we separate fact from fiction?  And how well are we, as a nation, responding to this pandemic? USA TODAY's Editorial Board has been meeting with leading experts. Below, watch short video interviews or click the links for the full Q&A. 

Francis Collins, National Institutes of Health director

June 24

As COVID-19 cases continued to spike in the South and West, USA TODAY’s Editorial Board spoke Tuesday with Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Collins, 70, led the international Human Genome Project and is noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes.

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Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, urges Americans to not get complacent about COVID, continue social distancing. USA TODAY

Dr. Caitlin Rivers: Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security

June 17

Amid concerns about coronavirus spikes caused by reopenings or mass protests, USA TODAY’s Editorial Board spoke Tuesday with Dr. Caitlin Rivers, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, about the state of the pandemic.

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Masks and social distancing still necessary, says Johns Hopkins epidemiologist Caitlin Rivers. USA TODAY

schools in our country should be opened ASAP,” the USA TODAY Editorial Board spoke with Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers. The teachers’ union has issued detailed guidelines for reopening schools. 

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Randi Weingarten, head of the American Federation of Teachers, on safest way to reopen schools, including use of protective gear and monetary resources. USA TODAY

Dr. Michael Osterholm: Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy director 

May 12

As the number of U.S. deaths attributed to COVID-19 approached 81,000 on Tuesday, the USA TODAY Editorial Board spoke with Dr. Michael Osterholm, one of the nation’s leading epidemiologists. Osterholm, 67, is director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota and co- of "Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs."

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Infectious disease expert Michael Osterholm talks about our lack of national plan and when we will have testing available. USA TODAY

Dr. Tom Inglesby: Hopkins expert on pandemics and infectious diseases 

April 28

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States topped 1 million and states began reopening, USA TODAY’s Editorial Board spoke on Tuesday with Dr. Tom Inglesby, a leading expert on pandemics and infectious diseases. Inglesby, 53, is director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

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Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, talks with USA TODAY's Jayne O'Donnell about isolation, reopening and COVID-19 vaccines. USA TODAY

Marc Lipsitch: Harvard epidemiologist 

April 8, 2020

As daily coronavirus-related deaths reached new highs in New York and nationally, USA TODAY’s Editorial Board spoke Wednesday with Dr. Marc Lipsitch, one of the nation’s leading epidemiologists, about the state of the pandemic. Lipsitch is a professor of epidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and director of Harvard’s Center of Communicable Disease Dynamics. 

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Dr. Marc Lipsitch, a Harvard epidemiologist, talks about coming stressors on the health care system from coronavirus and loosening control measures. USA TODAY

Tom Frieden: Former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

March 24, 2020

Dr. Tom Frieden, one of the nation’s leading experts on public health and infectious disease, spoke with USA TODAY’s Editorial Board on Tuesday as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned that the new coronavirus is “spiking” in his state and President Donald Trump said he wants “the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” Frieden, 59, is a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and former New York City health commissioner.

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Dr. Tom Frieden, former head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warns of 'catastrophic scenes' in New York. USA TODAY

Scott Gottlieb: Former commissioner, Food and Drug Administration

March 9, 2020

As the stock market was plunging Monday amid coronavirus fears, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, who served as commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration from 2017 to 2019, met with USA TODAY’s Editorial Board to discuss the COVID-19 outbreak. Gottlieb, 47, did a residency in internal medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center and is currently a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. 

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Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Food & Drug Administration head from 2017-2019, talks mitigation tactics such as closing schools and teleworking to impede spread. USA TODAY

Anthony Fauci: Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Feb. 17, 2020 

With China taking extreme measures to prevent further spread of COVID-19 and previously quarantined American cruise ship passengers returning to the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s point man on infectious diseases, spoke with the USA TODAY Editorial Board about the latest coronavirus developments. Fauci, 79, has been director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

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Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, discusses spread of disease and flow of information from China. USA TODAY

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