What are the challenges and opportunities COVID-19 presents for disaster researchers? What are the central problems with emergency management in the United States? What is the state of the pandemic in Philadelphia in early May 2020? Dr. Esther Chernak, professor at the Drexel University School of Public Health, rejoins to update listeners on the state of COVID-19 in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania as of May 5, 2020, focusing particularly on the data of the pandemic and how it affects modeling. Dr. James Kendra, Professor at the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration and co-director of the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware, discusses how COVID-19 has impacted disaster research, what it has revealed about our political economy, and how emergency managers have responded. Dr. Kendra discusses the familiar and unfamiliar aspects of the pandemic and how it has affected the fieldwork of disaster researchers as they work from home. He also discusses the fragmented system of disaster management in the United States and the consequences of its discontinuous structure. He also talks about the crisis of legitimacy faced by higher education and how academics can explain their value in this moment. In this episode the obituary of Daniel and Valerie Zane of Haverford, PA is read in remembrance of their lives. For further reading: “As Trump Pushes Reopen, Government Sees Virus Toll Nearly Doubling” American Dunkirk: The Waterborne Evacuation in Manhattan on 9/11 “Before Outbreak, a Cascade of Warnings Went Unheeded” “States Made it Harder to Get Jobless Benefits. Now That's Hard to Undo.”


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