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A year in the pandemic: a special episode of Second Opinion

In this episode of Second Opinion, we speak with public officials leading Southern California’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Joining us are Dr. Barbara Ferrer, public health director for Los Angeles County, and Robert Garcia, mayor of Long Beach.

Also joining us are members of the public whose lives have been altered in different ways during the last year: a hospital chaplain who tends to victims in a COVID-19 ward in East L.A; a director of a foundation working with at-risk youth; and a “long-haul” patient who continues to suffer symptoms 12 months after contracting the virus.

Second Opinion is produced by L.A. Times Studios in conjunction with the L.A. Times newsroom. Its host is Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the executive chairman of the Los Angeles Times. The episode is moderated by Times White House reporter Eli Stokols.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is a surgeon and scientist who has spent his career studying the human immune system to fight cancer and infectious disease. Last year, Soon-Shiong’s company, ImmunityBio, received permission from the Food and Drug Administration to begin Phase 1 trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. He has also received approval to begin trials in South Africa, where he will explore the potential of his T cell vaccine to prevent infection from mutated virus strains of the coronavirus.