“This startling, vital book deserves our attention.” —San Francisco Chronicle
For readers of War Dogs and Bad Blood, an explosive look inside the rush to profit from the COVID-19 pandemic, from the award-winning ProPublica reporter who saw it firsthand.
The United States federal government has spent over $10 billion on medical protective wear and emergency supplies, yet as COVID-19 swept the nation, life-saving equipment such as masks, gloves, and ventilators was nearly impossible to find.
In this brilliant nonfiction thriller, award-winning investigative reporter J. David McSwane takes us behind the scenes to reveal how traders, contractors, and healthcare companies used one of the darkest moments in American history to fill their pockets. Determined to uncover how this was possible, he spent over a year on private jets and in secret warehouses, traveling from California to Chicago to Washington DC, to interview both the most treacherous of profiteers and the victims of their crimes.
Pandemic, Inc. is the story of the fraudster who signed a multi-million-dollar contract with the government to provide lifesaving PPE, and yet never came up with a single mask. The Navy admiral at the helm of the national hunt for additional medical resources. The Department of Health whistleblower who championed masks early on and was silenced by the government and conservative media. And the politician who callously slashed federal emergency funding and gutted the federal PPE stockpile.
Winner of the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, McSwane connects the dots between backdoor deals and the spoils systems to provide the definitive account of how this pandemic was so catastrophically mishandled. Shocking and revelatory, Pandemic, Inc. exposes a system that is both deeply rigged, and singularly American.
J. David McSwane is a reporter in ProPublica’s DC office. Previously, he was an investigative reporter for The Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Statesman. McSwane’s reporting has spurred new laws, state and federal criminal investigations, and forced belt-tightening lawmakers to invest in social programs. He has won numerous awards, including Harvard’s Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting, the Worth Bingham Prize, a Scripps Howard Award, two Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards, and the Peabody.