A ProPublica journalist reveals how a network of traders, contractors and healthcare companies used one of the darkest moments in American history, the Covid-19 pandemic, to line their pockets with government funding—while leaving millions of Americans without the equipment and care they so desperately needed.
... revelatory ... will make whatever guilt you may harbor for hoarding toilet paper pale next to the deeds of a network of dodgy scammers and profiteers who, as McSwane puts it, 'did insane things to get rich while our nation suffered an incalculable loss of life and global standing' ... McSwane claims it was the boredom of quarantine that drove him to dig so deep; he had a lot of time on his hands, but he happens also to be a great reporter ... McSwane is funny. Laugh-out-loud funny. If the whole story weren’t so tragically and disgustingly real, Pandemic Inc. could be mistaken as the script for a Saturday Night Live skit. But embedded in the mirth is a wholesale indictment of this toxic brew of unfettered capitalism and greed that frustrated the pandemic response at every turn ... If you can read this book without growing too nauseated, you must. Because this is our country, folks, and the behavior McSwane describes is the behavior our country has spawned. Shame on us.
This startling, vital book deserves our attention, no matter how deep our COVID fatigue ... Corruption and incompetence aren’t going away, but reporting like McSwane’s makes it a little easier to combat them.
Unlike many business exposés in which not every reader will have a vested interest, McSwane’s unravelling of corporate, government, and private shenanigans during the COVID-19 crisis packs a tremendous wallop because the pandemic has impacted everyone to various degrees. At a time when COVID-19 exhaustion is settling in, McSwane, an award-winning investigative journalist for the independent, nonprofit media outlet ProPublica, introduces the sketchy world of opportunists and their slippery network of connections, sparking fresh outrage over the time wasted and lives lost while greed and profit trumped public health and safety.