Yale Epidemiologist Gregg Gonsalves doesn’t mince words about the nation’s response to COVID-19, either on Twitter, or in person. He’s been calling for a wholesale overhaul of the nation’s public health infrastructure – which has been failed during the pandemic. In a new piece in The Nation, he calls on President-elect Joe Biden to create a “New Deal” for public health.

But for now, we’re stuck with the system we have, and Gonsalves says it’s falling woefully short in terms of vaccinating the public. Despite Connecticut’s strong national ranking in vaccine distribution, the state has still only vaccinated under 5% of its population.

Gonsalves also takes on local health systems, like the one he works for at Yale, for primary care that’s “shunted off to the periphery of our city” and away from the people who need it the most.

And, he continued his criticism of the Lamont administration for what he calls “abominable” policies regarding COVID in prisons. Gonsalves and other activists have called for more widespread decarceration of inmates to slow the spread of disease. A spokesman for the governor says the state has issued more “discretionary releases” than at any time in a decade, and that the spread of COVID has been nothing like in many other states’ prisons.

John is CT Mirror's Director of Events. A well-known and highly-regarded radio personality and moderator, he divides his time between CT Mirror — where he heads up our events program and serves as a multi-platform consultant — and the NPR / PRI program Science Friday. Previously, John was executive editor of the New England News Collaborative and the host of NEXT, a weekly program about New England. He also appeared weekly on The Wheelhouse, WNPR’s news roundtable program. His 25 years in public media also include serving as vice president of news for Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, host of WNPR’s Where We Live, and regular fill-in host for the PRI program Science Friday in New York. He was twice recognized by PRNDI as America’s best public radio call-in show.