Interview with Dr. Saskia Popescu, AOMD Episode 032 – Natasha Bajema

Interview with Dr. Saskia Popescu, AOMD Episode 032

Welcome to the episode number 32 of the Authors of Mass Destruction podcast. My name is Natasha Bajema, aka WMDgirl on Twitter. I’m a fiction author, national security expert and your host for this podcast.

  • If you’re interested in science & technology, in reading good fiction, or want to write fiction based on technology, you’re in the right place.
  • Before we get started, a few notes:
    • The views expressed on this podcast are my own and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
    • The AOMD podcast is proud to be part of the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network. Check us out at
    • If you enjoy my podcast and want me to keep it up, I hope you’ll become a patron for only two dollars a month at Patreon at – p a t r e o n / natashabajema
  • Personal Update: I just finished the first draft of my new novel, Rescind Order, a technodrama set in the future about the threat of nuclear weapons and artificial intelligence. For my next project, I’m working on a dark comedy stage play entitled American Doomsday.
  • My headline for this week is about the coronavirus outbreak, “8 questions about the coronavirus outbreak, answered,” published on Feb 2 on
    • Coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China in late 2019
    • First case in the U.S. on January 21
    • More than 14,000 cases in China as of today
    • A few facts:
      • A virus (not bacteria) – antibiotics don’t work – that spread from animals to humans
      • Causes a respiratory infection, symptoms range from common cold to severe pneumonia, starts with fever, cough, shortness of breath
      • Lower death rate than SARS, but appears to spread more quickly
      • Spreads from exposure to droplets – sneezing, coughing – appears to be spreading before symptoms
      • Hand washing is key
      • Both the CDC and the State Department have issued their highest-level travel alerts for China
      • The WHO has declared the outbreak a global health emergency
      • Risk to public health in the US is considered low
      • R Naught – reproduction number – how contagious is an infectious disease – average number of people who will catch a disease from one contagious person
        • Incubation period
        • Contact rate
        • Public health preparedness
      • The reproduction number for the 2019 Coronavirus appears to be 1.4 to 3.3.
        • Ebola – 2
        • Seasonal flu – 1.3
        • Measles – 11-18
  • Let’s go to my interview.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.