Tonight, late last year, Brazil saw unusually high numbers of a birth defects called microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads. The phenomenon was soon linked to a mosquito-borne illness known as the Zika virus. The epidemic soon spread beyond Brazil to most of South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. In February, the World Health Organization declared Zika a public health emergency, and now the virus has reached New York State, with over 530 people infected; 444 of those cases in New York City. Don’t panic, though. Commissioner of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Dr. Mary Bassett joins us tonight to put your worries at ease and tell you about the real threat Zika poses, plus the city’s plan to deal with it. In addition, Commissioner Bassett will address how to stay safe during the ongoing heat wave hitting the metro area.
Next, ever wonder why New York City seems to feel the heat more than the rest of the area? Turns out, it’s not all in your head. New York Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy Bill Ulfelder joins us to explain the “Urban Heat Island” effect and how New York City plans to battle it.
Finally, tonight, we continue our conversation on the Presidents with Tim Naftali, former director of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum. This time, we take a look at the presidencies of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush. This election year, the PBS documentary series American Experience is taking us inside the oval office with its special presentation The Presidents, which looks at the critical moments of consequential modern presidents. The series continues this week with episodes featuring Jimmy Carter on August 15th, Ronald Reagan on August 16th and 17th, and George H.W. Bush on August 18th.