Dr. Vin Gupta

The Specialists Cohort (Washington)

Dr. Vin Gupta (Washington)

Dr. Gupta spends much of his day with his physician hat on, treating patients at the University of Washington Medical Center. He also wears the hats of faculty member at Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, Medical Analyst for NBC News, and member of various medical, research and policy councils.

That’s a lot of hats.

So making time to do the news, to combat misinformation, and lead data-driven reporting on COVID-19 is nothing short of a miracle.

“As a critical care pulmonologist and public health researcher at IHME, I’ve tried to emphasize the best scientific evidence to keep people and their loved one’s safe while leaning into storytelling as much as possible to make what I’m saying more accessible and understandable,” he said.

“Now more than ever, people need reliable public health information rooted in the best evidence to serve as guideposts during this crisis, and I feel privileged to help serve in this capacity.”

A few more hats, per U.S. News and World Report:

“A pulmonary and critical care medicine physician by training, Dr. Gupta has been caring for critically COVID-19 patients since the early days of the outbreak in Seattle. He helped a cross-sectoral team stand up the Seattle Coronavirus Assessment Network, the nation’s first effort to scale home-testing for COVID-19. His background in public health has focused on epidemic preparedness, with relevant roles at the US CDC’s Emerging Infections Program, the World Bank’s Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, the China CDC, and the Pentagon’s Center for Global Health Engagement. Finally, Dr. Gupta is a deployable critical care physician for the US Air Force Medical Corps Reserves, medical contributor for MSNBC and NBC News, and term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.”

A few words from those who nominated Dr. Gupta:

“He is honest, factual, and easy to understand.”

Click here to visit Dr. Gupta’s website
Click here to follow Dr. Gupta on Twitter

Avi Schiffmann

The Newcomers Cohort (Washington)

Avi Schiffmann (Washington)

Avi Schiffmann is a bonafide “boy genius.”

The first confirmed COVID-19 case in the United States in Washington startled Avi Schiffmann, even though he was one of the first to track the virus world-wide.

Hearing about the virus in China late in 2019, Avi sought out data tables and feeds but came up with none. The primary sources for developments and reporting COVID-19 were scattered across the internet, written in Mandarin, Korean and Japanese – languages Avi doesn’t speak.

So he began collecting as much data as he could, and by January 2020, he had one of the first sites tracking the virus worldwide.

His work earned him a 2020 Webby Award, presented to him Dr. Anthony Fauci for his work tracking COVID-19.

“As we collectively navigate the severe impact of COVID-19, including the difficult, but critical calls for nationwide social distancing, the Internet has become the lifeblood of people looking for accurate information about the novel coronavirus and the necessary steps to combat it. Since launching the site on December 29th, Schiffmann’s tracking tool has been an invaluable resource that sounded the alarm on the virus and its spread, notably calling attention to its severity long before many global officials. At a time when the spread of misinformation can be so detrimental to our efforts, the site has provided over 100 million visitors with accurate real-time data.”

Anthony Fauci, May 2020

Today, Avi runs his site between classes, applying to college, and homework.

He works with UNESCO, the European Union, and is now a youth ambassador to the United Nations.

He’s not interested in working on teleporting, by the way. He just wants to create revolutionary technology to recreate the internet, and work on cybernetics for creating sustainable technologies to combat the impacts of climate change. Or he’ll become a cottage cheese farmer. “Who knows,” he said.

A few comments from those who nominated Avi:

“He was just 17 years old & knew the pandemic was coming in November 2019. Look at what he did & think of how far he can go. He’s amazing.”

Click here to follow Avi on Twitter

Click here to vist Avi’s website