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Michael Lewis On The People Who Predicted The Pandemic

Renee Bright / KUER

There was no way to know the COVID-19 pandemic was going to get as bad as it got in the U.S. … or was there? In his latest book The Premonition, Michael Lewis looks at what went wrong, and who saw it coming.

Lewis is best known for his book-turned-feature-film The Big Short, which examined the buildup of the housing bubble that led to the 2008 financial crisis. In it, he focused on the people who created the situation, but also the people who predicted it would happen. Now, for his latest, he was given a tip about another person who saw a crisis on the horizon — this time, a pandemic. He went to meet a public health official in California named Charity Dean. At her home in Sacramento — before the pandemic — Lewis discovered something she’d written: “It has started.” She was anticipating what would become a viral disaster. But she wasn’t believed. Michael Lewis’s new book The Premonition is about people like Charity—people trying to sound the alarm about COVID-19 — and how the United States bungled the response.

Michael Lewis’s book is The Premonition: A Pandemic Story [Amazon|Indiebound|Bookshop]

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
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