Michael Lewis’s name on the cover of this book is set in bigger type than the title of the book because he has a following. I, too, have read several of his books: The Big Short, Moneyball, Liar’s Poker. This one is newly published because it is “A Pandemic Story.” It’s not about the people on the inside, in Washington and Atlanta. It’s about a fascinating few people who knew what was coming and then what was here and what needed to be done right away, at the beginning, when something could have been done. Wow. What fabulously interesting men and woman. They had so much to offer but were turned aside by our broken public health system. For instance, while the CDC was fritzing around with testing kits, a testing laboratory was set up in 8 days to do tests for hospitals for free and with rapid results. Why did the hospitals not gratefully take advantage of this amazing opportunity? For one, their billing systems would not allow them to enter a service that didn’t have an associated cost! For another, it would cause problems under their contracts with the big providers of lab services! By the time testing started, it was too late to be used for containment. And this is just one of the many revelations in the book. I’ve walked away with a completely different view of the CDC, which I have hoped I was right in defending.
Anyway, this book is one I whole-heartedly recommend. It’s much different from other pandemic books. As John Williams of the New York Times Book Review says, “I would read an 800-page history of the stapler if he wrote it.”