A Post-Roe Update on Male Birth Control

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The number one way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy (apart from abstinence) is with contraception. But why does so much of that burden fall on women? In an eye-opening conversation about the development of male birth control, Dr. Brian Nguyen and Dr. Stephanie Page reframe pregnancy as an equally shared responsibility between two partners. They trace a line between the Dobbs v. Jackson decision and the need for male contraception, discuss the clinical trials happening right now, and explain why it’s a step toward building a culture of gender equity.

Keep up with Andy on Twitter @ASlavitt.

Follow Dr. Brian Nguyen on Twitter @DrBrianTNguyen.

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Andy Slavitt, Dr. Stephanie Page, Dr. Brian Nguyen

Andy Slavitt  00:20

Welcome to IN THE BUBBLE. This is Andy Slavitt. It’s Friday, July 22nd, summer’s flying by. So, in the wake of the Dobbs Supreme Court case, it’s interesting to note that there are about two and a half million unplanned pregnancies in the country every year. And a large portion of them something like half, end up in abortion. And if I think back to when I first learned about how this whole getting someone pregnant process works, which I did with at some young age, I think I remember that it requires two people, somebody to produce the sperm and somebody else to get pregnant. And by the way, I’m sure on this episode, we will be referring to people as men and women in those traditional ways that many of us learn them. But it is important to point out, that is not the case. Always there are people who identify as women that of course, can get people pregnant. And the reverse is true. And I don’t mean to oversimplify, but the question still remains in the face of Roe, why is one party? Why is the person who gets pregnant? 100% accountable for everything or often 100% accountable for everything? And is the culture shifting? Are there options to change this? So we have, I think that’s what the conversation is about today. You know, it took, it’s probably if I’m not mistaken, 50-55 years, since the pill came on the market, get plenty of other things, rings, IUDs, etc. Men do have, of course, birth control options. Condoms, vasectomies. So given the fact that many women can’t safely take birth control. And given that they can often create side effects that are at a minimum unpleasant. It kind of begs the question, well, why can’t this happen from the side of the sperm provider, the man in most situations here, and I think it’s worth exploring. And it’s fascinating to me, that the concept and the studies of male birth control have been around almost as long as the pill. For almost four or five decades. I’ve got two guests on the show today who are both active in R&D around male contraception, and both active thought leaders around the topic. Dr. Brian Nguyen, whose right down the road here at University of Southern California, where it’s the head of the Center for male contraception Development and Research. Welcome to the bubble, Brian.

Dr. Brian Nguyen  02:54

Hi, Andy. Thanks for inviting me.

Andy Slavitt 

I’m here in Pasadena you could have come over except I know you’re on clinical call today. And Dr. Stephanie Page, who is at the University of Washington, an endocrinologist and a thought leader. And someone who’s been writing an awful lot about male contraceptives also on a little bit up north from where we are. Welcome to the show.

Dr. Stephanie Page 

Thanks so much for having me, Andy, I look forward to the conversation.

Andy Slavitt 

Stephanie, maybe we should just dig right in. You know, you and a colleague wrote a piece in the wake of Roe getting overturned, which said that it’s time for us to start putting the concept of the shared responsibility of male contraception on the table. Can you start by just explaining in your mind the connection between abortion rights and how they’re disappearing and parts of the country and the work you’re doing the male contraception?

Dr. Stephanie Page 

So, the restriction on abortion that has come into play if since the daughter’s decision really limits the access to safe abortion for millions of women in our country, and we know that the number one way to prevent unplanned pregnancy is with contraception. That’s been shown time and time again. So the link really to the development of male contraceptives in the Dobbs decision is trying to expand the option so that we can prevent unplanned pregnancies as best we can and minimize the loss of access to safe abortion. I just do want to be clear that even with expansion of contraception, we will always need access to safe abortion because no method is perfect. But nonetheless, it really is a call out to how do we both improve access to contraception and improve options.

Andy Slavitt  04:41

Well, you know, there’s something really appealing about the idea of making it very clear that there’s a shared responsibility here. We should come back and talk about the impact we think this will have on unplanned pregnancies, but maybe you could just help just give us a grounding if you would. On how male contraception works, Walk us a little bit through the science with various types of male contraception are being worked on, and what is going on and some of the clinical trials, including the ones you’re running.

Dr. Stephanie Page 

Sure. So there’s basically two different forms of male contraception, there’s hormonal contraception, and non-hormonal methods. And our group and Dr. Nguyen, work mostly on development of hormonal contraception for men. So hormonal contraception for men works very similarly to hormonal contraception for women. The differences are that with for women, we’re preventing ovulation. For men, it’s preventing the development of sperm, we are trying to develop them but as a gel that people put on the skin every day as long term injections. And as implants as well as a male pill. That current studies that we’re doing are really focused on the contraceptive gel for men. And there’s actually a trial going on right now sponsored by NIH and the Population Council, which is a global trial. So men in the, couples, I’m sorry, in the United States, Europe, Africa and South America are enrolling. And we hope to complete that trial in about a year’s time. There are other studies that are going on developing the male pill that were involved with, as well as developing injections for men. These are slightly behind the gel in development, but nonetheless, are in the pipeline.

Andy Slavitt  06:33

So what did we learn from the trials? Do we know how the effectiveness compares to female birth control? And what do we know about side effects from the hormonal contraceptives?

Dr. Stephanie Page 

So hormonal contraception for men has actually been in development for over 50 years. So we know a lot about the effectiveness, and about the potential side effects. So in a clinical trial setting, so when we’re in the evaluation setting, these methods are about 95% effective. So very, very few pregnancies have occurred in the 2000 couples who’ve been enrolled in hormonal contraceptive trials, in terms of side effects. So as I said, this works been going on for about 50 years, and very similar to the development of the female pill when these trials were first initiated, really high doses of hormones were used. And the side effect profile was quite similar to what we see in women. So some of the things that will be familiar to your listeners, like changes in weights, acne, potential changes in mood and changes in sex drive. But as we’ve gone along in development, and been able to minimize the hormonal doses, and really more mimic what a man is naturally doing, the side effects have actually become very minimal.

Andy Slavitt 

Side effects that I think you make clear that women have been putting up with for decades. It will talk a little bit about how the social reaction to those side effects for men, but Brian, just definitely saying that this is something that’s been talked about or researched for 50 years. Why don’t we have male contraception yet, why do you think it hasn’t happened? It doesn’t sound like it’s a science issue. It sounds like it must be more of a social issue or something to do with the pharma companies see is the market what? What’s driving it?

Dr. Brian Nguyen  08:29

Yeah. And before I answer that, actually, I wanted to kind of go back to your question about differences in efficacy. You know, one of the most unique aspects of hormonal male contraception is that we are trying to suppress men’s sperm counts, right? And so in doing so, we regularly do testing of their sperm counts to let them know that they have zero sperm in their semen. And that’s something that’s very unique, because when women take their birth control method, there is no marker or visible marker that allows us to know that their pill is working. And so when couples rely on the gel, they can be reassured that they are having unprotected intercourse with zero sperm.

Andy Slavitt

So it sounds like we’ve got good science here, yet it doesn’t happened. Tell us a little bit why you think that is?

Dr. Brian Nguyen

You know, one of the reasons is that we’ve always prioritized female contraception because pregnancy happens in the woman, and the benefits have always outweighed the risks in female population. In a healthy male, if they begin taking your medication, they can only incur side effects that clinically harm their health. Whereas for our female patient, if she did not take the method of contraception, then she could get pregnant, which we know is so much more risky in her body.

Andy Slavitt 

So you got to kind of count on men to do not want to be responsible for creating another human being, as enough motivation. And of course, you know, women have to be able to count on men to be that motivated, and be able to take it regularly. I’m wondering in the trials that you’ve run, Brian, what are you hearing from, from men? Who are part of the experiment about why they want to be part of it, and not just the scientific results, but also kind of socially? How are people generally reacting?

Dr. Brian Nguyen  10:31

Yeah, that’s a great question to ask. You know, as part of our recruitment, for individuals for the gel trial, we actually speak to both the male partner and the female partner, and I love hearing what they have to say, remembering what brought them to us in the first place. For a lot of men, I find that they have been in a relationship with their partner for a prolonged period of time, and they’ve seen the different methods of birth control that their partners have used. And they’ve been frustrated, either frustrated with the experience of having to have an IUD placed, and how uncomfortable that can be. It can be discomfort with side effects from hormonal contraception, or it can be just the inconvenience of having to, you know, go to the pharmacy and obtain their method. At some point, you know, some men want to just relieve women of that burden. Even if it means, you know, trying out a new method, I’m always very impressed when men come to me with these reasons.

Andy Slavitt

Okay, let’s take a break. When we come back, we’re going to talk about whether or not male contraception is really going to make a difference in unplanned pregnancies, particularly given kind of the changing cultural norms around relationships, be back in the second. There’s this sort of perception in society, which paints men in and probably the broad strokes, macho, sex driven, non-compliant with health care, even their own health, let alone the health of their partner, ignorant, not necessarily very empathetic, around women’s issues. Are you seeing those perceptions bear out, and obviously you’re dealing with a very self-selected population, people who have volunteered for this study? And so I’m wondering if you have any reflections, either view on whether or not what male acceptance more broadly, might look like?

Dr. Brian Nguyen  12:43

I said to the men that we currently see you’re right, represent a very select group. But the fact that they come in with such conviction about how much they want to share the responsibility, it’s actually very encouraging, you know, I hope to manage some of their recruitment for our trials. And as more and more publicity comes out about male contraception, we probably get inquiries about the trial from all over the world, at sites that we don’t want currently at the site yet. And just the volume of inquiries from, you know, outside our centers just tells me that there’s growing interest.

Dr. Stephanie Page 

Can I add to that also, that certainly our patient experience, our participant experience is very positive. So many men involved in our trials are disappointed when they’re finished. They actually are wanting to continue to use the product, which we of course, can’t do in the context of it not being approved yet. And so I think we have that experience with our study volunteers who, as you point out, are selected. But there is, you know, broad based survey data, there’s market research data, there’s scientific survey data from men across the multitude of countries that suggest these are hypothetical products, of course, that they are very interested in new novel male contraceptives. But again, that speaks, I think, to the idea that men are interested and some men are interested actually in controlling their own fertility and ensuring that they don’t father pregnancy. So I think we’re selling men short when we think of all men as being one type of behavior or having one type of motivation.

Andy Slavitt 

Stephanie, what do we know what portion of unwanted pregnancies occur within monogamous relationships versus in whatever the relationship would be, I don’t know whether that be described as hookup culture, but those dates just accident. Do we have any feel for that?

Dr. Stephanie Page 

So I think that the best data that you have for that we have for that is how many what percentage of abortions occur in married couples because of course, we never know about monogamy and such. I believe that that number is about 25% have abortions occur within the context of marriage, Brian, do you know?

Dr. Brian Nguyen 

Yeah, you know, actually the way I answered the question is that by absolute numbers, you have more unintended pregnancies among individuals who are in relationships and monogamous relationships. And the reason why right, is that, number one, you’re having more intercourse. Number two, you’re probably not using condoms at that point. So for those reasons, it’s oftentimes in couples.

Andy Slavitt 

What are the questions that begs is the whole notion of trust in women’s empowerment, to take matters into your own hands, and I think, a married couple or a monogamous relationship, this idea of sharing the burden and the responsibility and the risks that you’re pointing out, feels right, and it can, and I’m encouraged to hear and people are embracing it. When I think about all of the unwanted pregnancies that did occur, and other types of sexual relationships, feels like that would require quite a big leap of faith for women to trust men to carry the burden of the contraception given that the woman’s is, as you pointed out, Brian can face a lot of the immediate consequences more directly.

Dr. Brian Nguyen  16:14

You know, I respond by saying that one of the fallacies of male contraception and the use of male contraception is that if one partner uses it, that the other partner no longer has to use a method at all, you know, another paradigm is that both partners could use it. And that would respect the agency of both partners and the interests of both partners to protect themselves.

Dr. Stephanie Page 

Yeah, I think that that it’s a very important point, we know that there’s a lot of unplanned pregnancy, despite the fact that there’s a lot of female contraception. So, you know, you alluded to a hookup culture before, that’s a time when to contraceptives are going to be better than one. And in the context of monogamous relationships, sharing the burden of contraception is another way of looking at it. So there is also some, you know, some survey data about trust, which is a huge issue. And many women, again, within the context of a committed monogamous relationship, are willing to trust their partner.

Andy Slavitt 

Hopefully, that’s earned in many cases. So I noticed you talked about your trials being funded by NIH. And what occurs to me is that what you didn’t say is that they’re being funded by a pharmaceutical companies who, if they see commercial applications, if they just to be blunt, if they see money, at the other end of this, if they see a market that people would use, would make be making those investments. does that indicate that the pharmaceutical companies don’t see a market here for some of the reasons that you probably both alluded to? Are they missing something? Are they wrong? How much is that a part of this equation?

Dr. Stephanie Page 

I mean, I think you’re absolutely right, if they saw profits, they would invest. And it’s always a risk benefit calculation. I think one of the things that’s really tough is that this, whatever it gets to the market first will be a first of its kind. And unfortunately, the regulatory agencies such as the FDA, and the European regulatory agencies have not really provided clear guidance as to how many couples for how long, and so forth are going to need to be evaluated. So the cost of that investment is really unclear for the companies. So I think that’s one piece. And I think the second piece is, is really trying to understand what the market is and what the uptake is. And it’s so difficult when in most instances, we’re talking about a hypothetical, so you can do all the surveys you want. But is that going to pan out when men actually have access to the product? And I think there’s just hesitancy when there’s so much money to be made, and other aspects of the pharmaceutical industry.

Andy Slavitt  18:57

Brian, do you see the same? Or do you see any potential for interest? And also, how important is it? How much more would this speed the process up? If there was an interest?

Dr. Brian Nguyen 

You know, absolutely. I think that pharmaceutical support is absolutely essential for expanding our trials, improving our recruitment, giving us more manpower. It has been a huge barrier to develop in the middle contraception. And, you know, the distributing reason, right is this concern that there is just this greater risk benefit ratio, whereby if for some reason there’s an adverse event, a serious adverse event in male user of this drug, that the pharmaceutical company is going to be taking on a lot of risk for it. And there’s also concern again, that if a man uses it, and the pharmaceutical company is the producer of both a male and a female contraceptive because they’re both hormonal than they’ve ever been eating away at the female Carter’s market as well. So there are a lot of disincentives, which and just a piece of the need to kind of dispel some of that and discuss this idea of dual partner cutters that could use, you know, either one other thing to consider as well is, you know, how much you know, we or the pharmaceutical company can shape culture is not necessarily a function of how much how much demand there is now. But when a product comes out, can demand be built, can demand be built around it.

Andy Slavitt  20:24

When we come back, we’re going to finish by talking about the role that sexism is playing in all these conversations, and whether we can expect to see something like this on the market in the near term.

Andy Slavitt 

So, I think we’ve been a little bit beating around the bush on this topic, so let’s just put it on the table. You know, I think women would point out that they’ve been dealing with some of the side effects that men may find objectionable here for years, you got pharmaceutical companies, which have plenty of women and plenty women scientists, but for a long time, and even today, the CEOs, most of the CEOs are men. And you know, you’ve got a physical health risk. I mean, it’s, it’s remote, thankfully, in the US today. But you’ve got a risk, and childbirth still have a very bad outcome, parts of the world and in the US, particularly in women, with women of color. So there’s this health risk women want to protect themselves for, and to what extent is all of this progress blinded by the fact that men just don’t care enough? And that there’s this inherent sexism behind a lot of this?

Dr. Brian Nguyen

Yeah. To answer this question, I would go back to something you told me earlier about this cultural script about what it is to be a man to reject healthcare reject what’s feminine, you know, be macho be sex driven. The more that we paint people, or paint men in this box, the more that we prevent other narratives about men to emerge. And I think that’s what we need to be focusing on now, which is this idea that men can be more than what we thought men can actually care about pregnancy, and actually do care about pregnancy, preventing pregnancy, managing pregnancy, you know, all of it.

Dr. Stephanie Page  22:29

You know, I think the other thing is, is that we need to start reframing this risk benefit equation. And we’ve always thought about women, of course, have all the risk of pregnancy, and then they take on the risk of contraceptive to prevent that. But there are lots of models in medicine now, or emerging models in medicine, where you can think about the couple as taking on the risk together. For example, in this setting of organ transplantation, a living donor gives an organ to another person, they are actually taking on a risk to prevent a health consequence in another person. So, if we reframe the risk benefit calculation for the couple, a man taking on a contraceptive and having some side effects to prevent the risk, and his partner actually has a lot different calculation associated with it.

Andy Slavitt 

No, that’s a good example. You know, and I liked that example. We spent a lot of time on this show, talking about people getting vaccinated or even wearing masks. And the, you know, one of the things that I think as a country and maybe more globally, but certainly as a country, we found disappointing is that people are motivated to protect their own health a lot more than they have been to, you know, wear a mask, because they care about the contagion in the spread, and spreading it to others. And that motivation doesn’t appear strong. Now, we can’t paint everybody with a broad brush effect. We shouldn’t paint anybody with a broad brush. There’s a lot of people in the population that care deeply about the people in the world that they care about. And they’re people who are willing to take to do things for people that they don’t know. So, this notion, this model, you know, we have that, we sort of are face to face with that kind of question all the time. And I love your idea of framing, and I love Brian’s concept that, you know, we have to set the right examples and set the right models if we want to turn these stereotypes over.

Dr. Brian Nguyen  24:30

Yeah, and you know, I’ll bring this in a little bit closer by saying that as a husband, and as a father to a daughter, I’m very invested in the choices that you know, they might make in terms of their choice of contraception, and if there’s an opportunity to, you know, share some of that burden with a male partner, so that they don’t have to suffer, whether that be financially or even from a health standpoint. In the rare case of complications. I would do it.

Dr. Stephanie Page 

And you know, any other comment I would make is that there were a lot of comments to the Op Ed piece that we wrote, regarding the real issue here is that men aren’t responsible, even if there is a birth and that the real key is stronger parental support laws and enforcing that men have to take financial responsibility for an unplanned pregnancy. And that is certainly important in our society and dealing with sexism. But we have made some progress. And we’ve made enormous progress in having broader conversations about sexuality. And so we can build on that I think, it doesn’t take that away, it doesn’t mean that we have conquered the sexism of child rearing in our society, because we haven’t. But the more of these conversations we’re having, the more opportunity there is to educate men about what they can do to be part of the solution.

Andy Slavitt  26:01

I think that’s a really great point, and hopefully, even generationally, we’re seeing differences, we there. You know, there are a lot more couples, a lot more families where the child responsibilities are increasingly shared. And yet, we still sort of to some degree, are counting on the enlightenment of men to embrace a problem that they historically haven’t, or at least in my generation didn’t to a great degree, but my generation did more than the generation before mine, for sure. But I think when we see unfairnesses, like we do, in our at least my description of it of the Dobbs Jackson ruling. You know, I hope that that causes people to rethink and question, what risks we really asking our partners to take as men, and what we can do to share that burden sharing that risk.

Dr. Brian Nguyen 

I need to play off that point, I wanted to make sure that we talk about the need for properly measuring the impact of unintended pregnancy and how men benefit from preventing unintended pregnancy, we often talk about, you know, the health outcomes and the health benefits of women using contraception. But, you know, men certainly benefit when women use contraception. And when women choose to abort and unintended pregnancy, we have studies that show that men education improves their ability to earn also improves their work, productivity also improves. So these are important outcomes that are not necessarily health outcomes, but they are economic outcomes that you know, very much matter. So, certainly incorporating that into our calculus of the benefits of everyone having a contraceptive method that works for them is super important.

Andy Slavitt 

So it’s been a really rich conversation. So tell us how close we are. If things continue to progress with these trials, Stephanie, to seeing FDA approval. And if we see FDA approval, we see something in the market, what will it look like? Will it be over the counter? Will it be below require prescription? What are you envisioning?

Dr. Stephanie Page  28:11

So the product that’s furthest along in clinical development? Is this transdermal gel that I alluded to earlier? Which men would apply every day?

Andy Slavitt 

When you say apply, the applications to the shoulder area? Is that right?

Dr. Stephanie Page 

Yeah, yeah, the, the contraceptive gel we’re evaluating is very much like the consistency of hand sanitizer, and men put a pump in of the gel into their hands, and they rub it onto their shoulders, and they need to do that every day. Okay. Yeah, so that product, we’re currently testing it in about 450 couples across the globe. And we anticipate that that study will be concluded in the next 18 to 24 months. And so far, I can’t comment too much on the results. But things look really promising. And so if that were to proceed to an a final, what we call phase three study, we anticipate that that would start in the next couple of years. And with that, we’ll be dependent on the FDA giving us guidance as to how many couples we will need and so forth, I would expect that will be a study of about 3000 couples. And that’s where of course the funding issue comes in. But if we can identify a funding source and move forward with that, I think those results would be available in the next three to four years. So that’s a long answer that I can consolidate into saying if things went really smoothly, we might see a product on the market in five to seven years.

Andy Slavitt 

How long is that experience tell us that it take to recruit 3000 couples for this trial, because I think that feels like what’s going to dictate, particularly if your phase two results are good. It feels like that’s what’s going to dictate a lot of the timing right?

Dr. Stephanie Page

Yeah, I think it will. I think we you know, the phase three trial the study we’re doing now requires As the participants to really be invested, we are checking on them on a monthly and sometimes every two week basis. And so the phase three trial will be a little less burdensome, because we’ll have more data to support the product, we would expect that that trial will have many more sites than the 15 that are currently participating, and that we would, again have sites across the globe. So it is a steep mountain to climb. But I think, you know, we would have, again, with resources, the ability to recruit much more quickly in some respects, and also provide the participants a lot of reassurance. And so I’m optimistic.

Andy Slavitt  30:40

Well, we’ll put a link in the show notes for people who are interested in these trials and want to participate, you can just go right and click on the link, and that will help you figure out if you want to participate or if you know someone who does, Brian, any closing thoughts?

Dr. Brian Nguyen 

Yeah, well, you know, I think that when you first started the podcast, you were referencing the dogs decision. And you know what that means for women. And I’ll say that one of the problems in our society that is that historically, and culturally, we’ve attributed pregnancy in the care of pregnancy to a woman. And in doing so we highlight the, you know, evidence of patriarchy and ongoing misogyny, that’s within our judicial system. Because what’s at stake here with Dobbs is we’re potentially criminalizing women’s decisions about their own bodies. And if this is truly about protecting the fetus, then decisions about abortion are frequently made in partnerships with a male partner. So why are we not talking about men?

Andy Slavitt 

And even if they’re not, even if the decision was not made by the man, the man participated? And it’s got to have equal culpability?

Dr. Brian Nguyen 

Right, exactly. And that’s not really a conversation we’re talking about, because this has not really been about care of the unborn fetus, but rather, it’s been about, you know, punishing women, I find that to be a very disturbing evidence about the sexism in our current society. And so the way I see it, developing male contraception is a step in the right direction towards right sizing that and bringing men into the conversation about our responsibility, which is the responsibility that is shared by all people, not just one single gender.

Andy Slavitt  32:20

There are so many contradictions in this ruling. My wife pointed out one very clear one, which is why can’t women who are pregnant, get a full tax deduction for the person that they’re supposedly dependent on them? So there’s a lot inherent in here that if this were about caring for children, would be reflected very, very differently. So if you let us give you the last word, how would you like to close out the conversation?

Dr. Stephanie Page 

I think that it’s just really important to remember that the Dobbs decision is having a disproportionate impact on women of color and women without, with limited economic means. And so contraception in the end is also about trying to ensure that those who are most affected by the limitations that our country is putting on women’s reproductive health have access to making sure that all pregnancies are planned. So, you know, we feel like male contraception is something that can be added to the mix. It is not meant to replace female methods. I think that’s just really important to make clear, women need to have agency over their own bodies. But by adding more options for men, we hope that they will step up to the plate and be greater participants. And I think they will.

Andy Slavitt 

Well, thank you both for being here. And for the work and research we do. And hopefully, we brought not only attention to it, but particularly with the back half of our conversation. Challenge everyone’s thinking and how they think about these issues in ways that I think should represent. What is it more fair, and just weigh in at a moment when I hope everybody’s putting everything on the table. This is clearly one of the things that needs to be on the table. So thank you both so much.

Dr. Brian Nguyen  34:14

Thanks so much for having us. It was great to talk to you guys about a topic that we are very, very passionate about.

Dr. Stephanie Page 

Thank you so much for taking the time and for your interest in this work. Andy, we really appreciate it.

Andy Slavitt 

Okay, let me tell you what’s coming up on the show. For those of you who have been watching the January 6th, hearings, I’m really happy. Our Monday guest is Mark Leibovich, what we’re going to talk about with Mark that even so much what’s happened with Trump on January 6th, that is kind of the culmination of a series of events. We’re going to talk about what happened in the years leading up to that in Washington, and not really even focused just on Trump, but all the people in Washington that were ostensibly there to stop really bad things from happening and keep our government functioning, who let that happen. The Lindsey Graham’s, the Ted Cruz’s, the Marco Rubio’s, the Bill Barr’s of the world. If you don’t know, Mark, he’s fantastic. As I think I mentioned, he’s a writer with the Atlantic, the former New York Times reporter. We have some other great shows coming up, important show on COVID, where we’re going to be talking about the latest that’s happening. We have Tony Fauci coming back on the show. That’ll be fun. Jamie Raskin from the January 6, select committee is going to be on to talk about the hearings. We’ve all been witnessing Patton Oswald, the very funny comedian, so lots of good things. Look forward to bringing them to you. Even some surprises that I didn’t mention. Okay. Have a great weekend, everybody. Thank you for listening.


Thanks for listening to IN THE BUBBLE. We’re a production of Lemonada Media. Kathryn Barnes, Jackie Harris and Kyle Shiely produced our show, and they’re great. Our mix is by Noah Smith and James Barber, and they’re great, too. Steve Nelson is the vice president of the weekly content, and he’s okay, too. And of course, the ultimate bosses, Jessica Cordova Kramer and Stephanie Wittels Wachs, they executive produced the show, we love them dearly. Our theme was composed by Dan Molad and Oliver Hill, with additional music by Ivan Kuraev. You can find out more about our show on social media at @LemonadaMedia where you’ll also get the transcript of the show. And you can find me at @ASlavitt on Twitter. If you like what you heard today, why don’t you tell your friends to listen as well, and get them to write a review. Thanks so much, talk to you next time.

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