This powerful report on what went wrong—and right—with America’s Covid response, from a team of 34 experts, shows how Americans faced the worst peacetime catastrophe of modern times
Our national leaders have drifted into treating the pandemic as though it were an unavoidable natural catastrophe, repeating a depressing cycle of panic followed by neglect. So a remarkable group of practitioners and scholars from many backgrounds came together determined to discover and learn lessons from this latest world war.
Lessons from the Covid War is plain-spoken and clear sighted. It cuts through the enormous jumble of information to make some sense of it all and answer: What just happened to us, and why? And crucially, how, next time, could we do better? Because there will be a next time.
The Covid war showed Americans that their wondrous scientific knowledge had run far ahead of their organized ability to apply it in practice. Improvising to fight this war, many Americans displayed ingenuity and dedication. But they struggled with systems that made success difficult and failure easy.
This book shows how Americans can come together, learn hard truths, build on what worked, and prepare for global emergencies to come.
A joint effort from:
Danielle Allen • John M. Barry • John Bridgeland • Michael Callahan • Nicholas A. Christakis • Doug Criscitello • Charity Dean • Victor Dzau • Gary Edson • Ezekiel Emanuel • Ruth Faden • Baruch Fischhoff • Margaret “Peggy” Hamburg • Melissa Harvey • Richard Hatchett • David Heymann • Kendall Hoyt • Andrew Kilianski • James Lawler • Alexander J. Lazar • James Le Duc • Marc Lipsitch • Anup Malani • Monique K. Mansoura • Mark McClellan • Carter Mecher • Michael Osterholm • David A. Relman • Robert Rodriguez • Carl Schramm • Emily Silverman • Kristin Urquiza • Rajeev Venkayya • Philip Zelikow
About the Author
The Covid Crisis Group combines 34 deeply experienced practitioners and scholars who have worked on every aspect of the Covid war, in America and around the world. They have treated patients in emergency rooms, examined the virus on the lab bench, run public health systems and large agencies, studied infectious disease and epidemiology, developed products in industry, organized programs in nonprofits and government, and given voice to those who have suffered.
“[Lessons from the Covid War] will likely stand as the most authoritative account of American policy failures and successes during the war against Covid-19.”—Peter Bergen, CNN.com
“This is a sobering, realistic assessment, one of the most important to come out of the pandemic. The nation should pay heed to it.” —Washington Post editorial board
“A hard look at widespread failed governance during a global pandemic…An urgent, meticulously documented argument for better preparedness in future crises.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"[L]ucid, sober, probing, at once analytical and engaging. ... It distills a complex welter of events into a clear account without excessive detail and at digestible length. ... The narrative takes a sophisticated approach to lead the reader through how our government, and our health care system, works and, often, doesn't."—Richard Tofel, STAT News
“With copious documentation and in largely nonpartisan fashion, ‘Lessons From the Covid War’ delivers an in-depth, methodical accounting of the Trump and later Biden administration evaluations and approaches to mitigate and defeat the pernicious, intractable virus… Hopefully, national leadership will be up to the task next time. Certainly, ‘Lessons From the Covid War’ and an impartial national COVID-19 commission can help prepare an effective, timely defense.” —Anthony Sadar for the Washington Times
“Put this on your short list if you want to read a cogent, well-written account of the first years of the pandemic.” —Dr. Jonathan Samet, Colorado School of Public Health Dean’s Notes