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Reviews |  Covid has proven the CDC is broken.  Michael Lewis has some ideas to fix it.


Dr Anthony Fauci has been the face of America’s response to Covid and has been praised and reviled for his expertise. But who are all the other people who have been working behind the scenes at agencies like the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to guide America through the pandemic? It’s a question Michael Lewis addresses in his book ‘The Premonition’, which was published in May 2021. He recounts how getting to know these public health experts gave him a completely different understanding of the country’s public health system. – and systemic challenges. institutions like the CDC face when pandemics and other crises strike.

[You can listen to this episode of “Sway” on Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

In this conversation, Kara tells Lewis about “The Premonition”, which he says was a “joyful writing experience”. They discuss the role that social media and the spread of misinformation online have played in hampering effective responses to the pandemic, as well as some of the characters he encountered in his research for the book. He also shares his experience of grieving after the death of his daughter Dixie in a car accident last spring. And he talks to Kara about what he thinks his next book will be about.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available at noon on the Times website.)

Thoughts? Email us at sway@nytimes.com.

“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Daphne Chen, Caitlin O’Keefe and Wyatt Orme and edited by Nayeema Raza; fact-checking by Haylee Milliken; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Carole Sabouraud and Sonia Herrero; audience strategy by Shannon Busta. Special thanks to Kristin Lin and Kristina Samulewski.

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