Alexander Pope once said the following:
“To err is human, to forgive divine”
The new non-fiction book, Pandemic, Inc.: Chasing the Capitalists and Thieves Who Got Rich While We Got Sick, by J. David McSwane, was published in April. Since Covid-19 entered the United States in March of 2020, the government has spent billions of dollars to keep the nation economically afloat. Nearly 1 million lives have been lost. While I feel that we have to remember that this virus is new to us and therefore a medical hurdle in its own right, we also have to recognize the chaos, corruption, and incompetence that was created by the previous presidential administration.
Using every tool in his investigative journalism toolbox, McSwane explores that while millions of Americans were getting sick, dying, or an inch away from being broke/homeless, others took advantage of the situation. Traveling to different parts of the country, he tells the story of those who only saw dollar signs. First, there was the con artist who was given a multi-million dollar contract to provide PPEs and failed to provide the promised products. Then there was the Paycheck Protection Program, which was supposed to help small businesses stay open and keep employees on the payroll. But before many of these companies could get their hands on the money, the money was gobbled up by larger businesses whose bottom line was less likely to be affected. Finally, there was the whistleblower who understood that masks were necessary to save lives. Before their message could get to the public, they were muzzled by officials and elements within the right-wing press.
As I got further into this book, I became angry. In our greatest hour of need, when we relied on elected officials and business leaders to step up, they saw an opportunity to enrich themselves. Instead of relying on science, medicine, and logic, they pushed ideas that they knew were lies, took advantage, and thought only of filling their pocketbooks.
This is absolutely one of the best books I have read this year. If there was a list of titles that every American should read, this one would most certainly be on it. It is a reminder of the choices we have when times are tough. Do we only see ourselves and our needs or do we put others first?
Do I recommend it? Absolutely.
Pandemic, Inc.: Chasing the Capitalists and Thieves Who Got Rich While We Got Sick wherever books are sold.