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FROM THIS EPISODE

The World Health Organization today declared the spread of the Zika virus a public health emergency… but said that travel restrictions are not necessary. It's still not clear if the illness causes birth defects, and US health officials say there's no crisis here yet.

Later on the program, how did Iowa get to be so important? Is it good or bad for American democracy? 

Producers:
Christine Detz
Katie Cooper
Jenny Hamel

The Lead up to the Iowa Caucuses 6 MIN, 30 SEC

The Iowa caucuses are today. Both parties are looking at races that are neck-and-neck — if the latest polls can be believed. Jay Newton-Small of Time magazine joins us from Des Moines.

Guests:
Jay Newton-Small, Time magazine (@JNSmall)

More:
Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Poll on Iowa vote

The Zika Virus: The Knowns…and the Unknowns 35 MIN, 18 SEC

The World Health Organization says, "alarm is high." But so is "uncertainty." In the next year, the Zika virus might infect three to four million people. But nobody knows for sure if the mosquito-borne illness really is responsible for birth defects in South American babies. Women there are being warned about pregnancy, and the WHO today called an emergency. US health officials say an outbreak here is unlikely. We hear from Brazil, where fear is on the rise, and get the latest on controlling mosquitos.

Guests:
Helen Branswell, STAT News (@HelenBranswell)
Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (@NIH)
Phil Lounibos, University of Florida (@UFEntomology)
Will Carless, PRI / Global Post (@willcarless)

More:
Branswell on WHO calling a public health emergency related to Zika
CDC on the Zika virus
Carless on the sketchy numbers behind Brazil's Zika crisis
Fauci on Zika virus in the Americas

Has Iowa Hijacked American Democracy? 8 MIN, 14 SEC

The Iowa caucuses have been first on the presidential campaign agenda for 40 years, but they've never identified the ultimate nominee of either party. They distort the political process and lead to "bad policy."


Photo: Gage Skidmore

That's according to Jeff Greenfield, veteran national TV news reporter and commentator, writer for the Daily Beast. Last week, Politico published his piece with the headline, "How Iowa Hijacked Our Democracy." 

Guests:
Jeff Greenfield, Daily Beast / Politico (@greenfield64)

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