Preventable The inside story of how leadership failures, politics, and selfishness doomed the U.S. Coronavirus response

Andy Slavitt

Book - 2021

The former head of Obamacare presents an inside account of the US's failed response to the Coronavirus pandemic, chronicling what he saw and how much could have been prevented, and investigating the cultural, political and economic drivers that led to unnecessary loss of life.

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Subjects
Published
New York : St. Martins Press 2021.
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xvii, 315 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 261-301) and index.
ISBN
9781250770165
1250770165
Main Author
Andy Slavitt (author)
  • Is this really happening?
  • Unexploded bombs
  • Waking up late
  • The virus and the White House, Part I
  • The virus and the White House, Part II
  • Trump eats the marshmallow
  • No one left in charge but the virus
  • The room service pandemic
  • The folly of the free market pandemic
  • Anti-expert, pro-magic
  • Deniers, Fauxers, and herders (oh my)
  • The work to do
  • Afterword: what happened next.
Review by PW Annex Reviews

In this informative and often enraging account of "missed opportunit" in the U.S. government's handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, Slavitt, who oversaw Medicare and Medicaid for the Obama administration, interweaves testimony from public health officials and scientific researchers with his own efforts to educate the public and mobilize supplies. Slavitt delves into the suspension of the NBA season in March 2020 and the slow-moving response that put New York state at 100,000 cases by early April, and tracks missteps by White House coronavirus task force members including Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar and Dr. Deborah Birx, who "inhaled the groupthink of the White House" in the early months of the pandemic. Some heroes emerge, including epidemiologist Blythe Adamson, who created an accurate model of the virus's spread, while other infectious disease experts prove remarkably prescient—on March 15, Dr. Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota forecast an "18-month war" against the virus complicated by public resistance to government mandates ("People will listen to you for about two weeks, but if they don't see what you're telling them, they will begin to rebel"). Slavitt's frequent attacks on Trump give the book a partisan flavor, but he offers critical insights for mitigating the next public health crisis. Readers will learn much from this pointed assessment of where things went wrong. (June) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

The former head of Obamacare presents an inside account of the US’s failed response to the Coronavirus pandemic, chronicling what he saw and how much could have been prevented, and investigating the cultural, political and economic drivers that led to unnecessary loss of life.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The former head of Obamacare presents an inside account of the US's failed response to the Coronavirus pandemic, chronicling what he saw and how much could have been prevented, and investigating the cultural, political, and economic drivers that led to unnecessary loss of life.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

* NATIONAL BESTSELLER *“Painfully good. The book could have been called, ‘Outrageous.’ The story Andy Slavitt tells is not just about Trump’s monumental failures but also about the deeper ones that started long before, with our health system, our politics, and more.” --Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal The definitive, behind-the-scenes look at the U.S. Coronavirus crisis from one of themost recognizable and influential voices in healthcareFrom former Biden Senior Advisor Andy Slavitt, Preventable is the definitive inside account of the United States' failed response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Slavitt chronicles what he saw and how much could have been prevented -- an unflinching investigation of the cultural, political, and economic drivers that led to unnecessary loss of life.With unparalleled access to the key players throughout the government on both sides of the aisle, the principal public figures, as well as the people working on the frontline involved in fighting the virus, Slavitt brings you into the room as fateful decisions are made and focuses on the people at the center of the political system, health care system, patients, and caregivers. The story that emerges is one of a country in which -- despite the heroics of many -- bad leadership, political and cultural fractures, and an unwillingness to sustain sacrifice light a fuse that is difficult to extinguish. Written in the tradition of The Big Short, Preventable continues Andy Slavitt’s important work of addressing the uncomfortable realities that brought America to this place. And, he puts forth the solutions that will prevent us from being here again, ensuring a better, stronger country for everyone.