Coronavirus Criminals and Pandemic Profiteers - John Nichols
A furious denunciation of America’s coronavirus criminals
Hundreds of thousands of deaths were caused not by the vicissitudes of nature but by the callous and opportunistic decisions of powerful people, as revealed here by John Nichols.
On March 10, 2020, President Donald Trump told a nation worried about a novel coronavirus, “We’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” It has since been estimated that had Trump simply taken the same steps as other G7 countries, 40 percent fewer Americans would have died.
And it was not just the president. His inner circle, including Mike Pence and Jared Kushner, downplayed the crisis and mishandled the response. Cabinet members such as Betsy DeVos and Mike Pompeo undermined public safety at home and abroad to advance their agendas. Senators Ron Johnson and Mitch McConnell, governors Kristi Noem and Andrew Cuomo, judges such as Wisconsin Supreme Court justice Rebecca Bradley all promulgated public policies that led to suffering and death. Meanwhile, profiteer Pfizer (and anti-government propagandists such as Grover Norquist) fed at the public trough, while the billionaire Jeff Bezos added pandemic profits to a grotesquely bloated fortune.
John Nichols closes with a call for a version of the Pecora Commission, which took aim at what Franklin Delano Roosevelt called the “speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, and profiteering” that stoked the Depression. There must be accountability.
My Review: Before I start, I must mention that I don't have any political orientation. I can't say I'm apolitical, because I have an interest in general politics, but whoever picks this book up must do it with an open mind. I see how it has the potential to create controversy and that's not always a bad thing. This is a book that will make us discuss, share opinions, and think twice about what we think we know.
John Nichols doesn't shy away from honesty when it comes to his political affiliation and that can be seen all over the book. However, I appreciated he focused on the people, not on the politicians right from the start. Stories of real people, with real lives are sprinkled throughout the book, serving as examples of what can happen when a country is governed wrong or by corrupt authorities. In my opinion the author doesn't come to unmask Donald Trump, Pence, Mark Meadows, or dear Mr. Kushner, but he compiles a history of terrible policies adopted during the pandemic, policies that have cost hundreds of thousands of people their lives. Current events are skillfully mirrored by historical facts.
While reading I almost got upset by the lack of footnotes and I was wondering how a veteran journalist such as Mr. Nichols forgot to add his sources, the number one rule of true journalism. Well, the end of the book didn't just offer sources, but whole explanations. I'm very thankful for that.
USA is the nr1 most affected country in the world when it comes to the Coronavirus Pandemic. This book shows us why.
Publisher: Verso (January 25, 2022)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Review copy provided by Verso Books @ Edelweiss+