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.