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The Premonition: A Pandemic Story

by Michael Lewis

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3982150,144 (4.43)10
  1. 00
    The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry (M_Clark)
    M_Clark: This book by John Barry is mentioned several times in the Michael Lewis book and is given credit for inspiring George W Bush to create a pandemic preparation plan as well as causing Bush's task force to look at the critical issues of timing and social distancing.… (more)
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A few people thought it did not have to unfold as it did. Unfortunately, nobody listened to them. ( )
  Octavia78 | Nov 28, 2021 |
Ho. Lee. Crap. I was worried I'd have a hard time reading this book because it was "too soon," but I don't think it was ever too soon for this book. It focuses on the early pandemic response, or lack thereof. I never thought COVID could have been contained because that was never the narrative coming from on high, so to hear that it could have been?

How. Fucking. Devastating.

775,000 in the US are dead, and to think their deaths could have been prevented? Not to mention the fallout from remote teaching and learning, the health care professionals who have been devastated through their jobs... and the hostility from the anti-mask anti-vaccine crowd? All of this could have been avoided? 🤦🏻‍♀️ ( )
  lemontwist | Nov 25, 2021 |
I read this eleven chapter book as a eBook. Very interesting account of what is involved in maintaining public health. ( )
  MrDickie | Nov 3, 2021 |
Michael Lewis's latest book tells the story of the random group of experts--public health officers, doctors, researchers--who not only put together plans for responding to pandemics but moved heaven and earth to try to deliver Americans from the Covid-19 disaster we have been experiencing for almost two years as of this writing. The pace is thrilling and there are many lessons learned here, such as why it is a mistake to politicize positions in the government that were once reserved for career public servants; why we didn't get freely available and free Covid testing as early as we should have; how politics distorts the best efforts of dedicated people; and why the CDC did such a bad job of handling this pandemic. It's amazing what Lewis packs into the 300 or so pages of this book, and important that we read it and understand how commerce and profit have made effective preventive medicine almost impossible to achieve in the U.S. ( )
  nmele | Nov 1, 2021 |
I am always looking for information from books, lectures or thought leaders on things I did not know. This is such a book – – no wonder our pandemic response was so poor! We have health officials talking like politicians, politicians talking like doctors and government officials just trying to cover their ass. So many things went wrong from an ineffective government response, confusion by the CDC and so many incompetent people involved in life and death situations.

Fortunately there were some very competent and smart people trying to save lives. Unfortunately these people had to overcome poor management and bureaucratic hurdles. Dr. Charity Dean, in particular, had to deal with stereotyping based on her age, looks and race to try to be taken seriously. Lewis also recounts the efforts of Bob Glass, Carter Mecher and others to collect needed data in order to make good decisions on how to control the spread of infection.

One of the surprises in the book was that George W. Bush was the president who took the threats of pandemics seriously and initiated studies to address them. Unsurprisingly, Donald Trump and his administration botched efforts to minimize the spread of pandemics. The Trump administration eliminated the scientific group inherited from the Obama administration who were in the midst of planning for pandemics. John Bolton was more concerned about military threats, not pandemic threats.

One of my personal takeaways from this book is how I could never trust any announcement or findings from the CDC. They are largely villains in this book. ( )
  writemoves | Oct 26, 2021 |
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