Former Obama administration official Andy Slavitt is one of America’s most trusted experts on health care policy, and his new “In the Bubble” podcast is a welcome addition to the national discussion of the coronavirus pandemic.

The first episode, which was posted Wednesday, is available on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts and other platforms. Slavitt has said his goal is to produce a show on the pandemic that discusses a frightening topic with care. Any proceeds from listener donations will go to COVID-19 relief efforts.

“It’s a podcast we should all be able to listen to as a nation with our whole families in the times we are in,” he tweeted Wednesday.

Slavitt, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services from 2015 to 2017, has been a frequent guest on cable news shows during the pandemic, but too often those have been short segments with multiple guests.

The 58-minute first episode of “In the Bubble” features Slavitt, his son Zach, billionaire NBA owner Mark Cuban and a special guest whose identity will not be revealed here.

Cuban recounts his shock at the announcement that the NBA season would be canceled — a decision he now calls the “exact right thing to do.” He also offers some advice for small-business owners and critiques 3M Co.’s response to rising demand for face masks. Spoiler alert: Cuban’s not impressed with the Minnesota company.

Yet “In the Bubble” isn’t long-form, attack-mode Twitter — quite the contrary. Slavitt finds ways to talk about our interconnectedness, and hopeful signs, in the face of a national crisis.

If you’re hungry for smart, mostly reassuring information about the challenges Americans and those in other countries will be facing in the coming months, subscribe to “In the Bubble.”

Opinion editor’s note: This editorial is adapted from Wednesday’s edition of the daily Star Tribune Opinion e-mail newsletter. To sign up for the newsletter, which highlights the best of editorial and commentary and notes from editorial page editor Scott Gillespie, go to