The only close analysis of our pandemic year revealing how the confluence of key government missteps, behind-the-scenes deal brokering, staggering dismissal of decades of scientific progress, conspiracy theories, and further malfeasance were behind hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths.
"Excellent." —Rolling Stone “A fast-paced narrative that captures the spirit of our dystopian times.”—Craig Unger, author of American Kompromat A few months before the virus slammed the world, global public health experts declared the United States the most prepared for a possible pandemic. Instead, we watched as the disease killed half a million Americans. A stunned nation has been too busy grieving and doing damage control to ask why, or to comprehend just how much of the blundering and chaos of the pandemic response was either deliberate or entirely predictable. In Virus: Vaccinations, the CDC, and the Hijacking of America's Response to the Pandemic, New York Times bestselling author Nina Burleigh weaves together the key narrative strands to create an uncompromising and highly informed expose about our shared global pandemic experience and what it means for our future. Here readers will learn: • How the Trump administration packed public health agencies with right wing Christians and their political allies who cared more about gender norms and policing morality than a possible pandemic. • How another branch of the Trump administration, the anti-government ideologues, were so enamored of extreme free market principles that they treated the pandemic as a business opportunity. • How America’s anti-expertise culture, long nurtured by right wing media and conservative politicians, and now at its apogee, has left countless millions of Americans doubting the efficacy and safety of vaccines. • How the phenomenal success of childhood vaccines on extending average lifespan since the early 20th century has left many Americans so ignorant about how much vaccines have already improved their lives that they’re willing to reject them. • How our metastasizing national security state and the “bad science” of the Cold War from the A-bomb to bioweapons and beyond explains the credulity of vast numbers of Americans who subscribe to wild conspiracy theories about Covid. • How a growing number of mainstream scientists now actually accept the “lab leak hypothesis” about the origins of the virus.