Publication Date: June 8, 2021
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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, whose best-selling thriller The End of the October all but predicted our current pandemic, comes another momentous account, this time of COVID-19: its origins, its myriad repercussions, and the ongoing fight to contain it
Beginning with the absolutely critical first moments of the outbreak in China, and ending with an epilogue on the vaccine rollout and the unprecedented events between the election of Joseph Biden and his inauguration, Lawrence Wright’s The Plague Year surges forward with essential information—and fascinating historical parallels—examining the medical, economic, political, and social ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wright takes us inside the CDC, where the first round of faulty test kits cost America precious time; inside the halls of the White House, where Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger’s early alarm about the virus was met with great skepticism; into a COVID ward in a Charlottesville hospital, with an idealistic young woman doctor from Little Africa, South Carolina; into the precincts of prediction specialists at Goldman Sachs; and even inside the human body, diving deep into the science of just how the virus and vaccines function, with an eye-opening detour into the history of vaccination and of the modern anti-vaxxer movement.
In turns steely eyed, sympathetic, infuriated, comical, and always precise, Wright is a formidable guide, slicing through the dense fog of misinformation to give us a 360-degree portrait of the catastrophe we thought we knew. His full accounting does honor to the medical professionals around the country who’ve risked their lives to fight the virus, revealing America in all its vulnerability, courage, and potential.
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