An Unmitigated Disaster chronicles and explains the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Emergency management expert Robert O. Schneider considers the quality of U.S. pandemic planning and preparedness; the quality and effectiveness of national, state, and local response efforts; and the performance of national leaders during this historic public health crisis. The book culminates in an assessment of how a predictable public health threat became an unprecedented health, economic, and security disaster. Schneider convincingly shows that conscious decisions were made by governmental authorities, beginning with the president, to ignore expert information and security intelligence in pursuit of other objectives. In other words, Schneider argues, if the U.S. was ill-prepared for or slow to respond to the crisis, it was because its leaders consciously chose to be ill-prepared or slow to respond. Readers will be fascinated by this behind-the-scenes exposé of a pandemic year.
- Provides a political analysis and historical documentation of COVID-19 in real time
- Includes insights from the author's expertise in disaster preparedness, mitigation, and response
- Demonstrates why the United States stood alone as the only affluent nation to have suffered severe and sustained outbreaks for the entire year in 2020
- Explains the nature and the degree of U.S. failure to respond to the pandemic
- Offers the definitive answer to the question "Was the United States prepared for the pandemic?"