Preventable: The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics, and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response

Preventable: The Inside Story of How Leadership Failures, Politics, and Selfishness Doomed the U.S. Coronavirus Response

by Andy Slavitt


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“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 the most recognizable and influential voices in healthcare

From 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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250770165
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/15/2021
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 29,665
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

ANDY SLAVITT was President Biden’s White House Senior Advisor for the Covid response at the beginning of his term where he oversaw direct communication with the public on the pandemic. He has led many of the nation’s most important health care initiatives, serving as President Obama’s head of Medicare and Medicaid and overseeing the turnaround, implementation and defense of the Affordable Care Act. Slavitt is the “outsider’s insider”, serving in leading private and non-profit roles in addition to his government services. He is founder and Board Chair Emeritus of United States of Care, a national non-profit health advocacy organization as well as a founding partner of Town Hall Ventures, a healthcare firm that invests in underrepresented communities. He co-chaired a national initiative on the future of health care at the Bipartisan Policy Center. He chronicles what goes on inside the government and across the nation at town halls, in USA Today, and on Twitter. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Business School, he and his wife have two grown sons.

Table of Contents

Timeline ix

Preface xi

Introduction 1

1 Is This Really Happening? 9

2 Unexploded Bombs 38

3 Waking Up Late 52

4 The Virus and the White House, Part I 77

5 The Virus and the White House, Part II 102

6 Trump Eats the Marshmallow 118

7 No One Left in Charge but the Virus 132

8 The Room Service Pandemic 149

9 The Folly of the Free Market Pandemic 172

10 Anti-Expert, Pro-Magic 195

11 Deniers, Fauxers, and Herders (Oh My) 215

12 The Work to Do 236

Afterword: What Happened Next 248

Appendix 255

Acknowledgments 257

Notes 261

Index 303

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