Crisis and Chaos: Lessons from the Front Lines of the War Against COVID-19


Hard truths and surprising insights about our COVID-19 response from America’s former top doctor.

When COVID-19 began spreading rapidly, the world was taken by surprise. As the ensuing pandemic raged, we faced one constant—a lack of consistent, scientifically sound, and trusted information about dangers, risks, and mitigation strategies that the average person could understand and put into practice to keep themselves and their families safe.

Politicians, opportunists, and agenda-driven media personalities spread misinformation for an array of purposes, leaving most of the public scratching their heads, wondering what was true and what wasn’t. Now, the former Surgeon General of the United States—freed from the many constraints he worked under in public office—reveals critical lessons learned from both mistakes and successes overlooked during the pandemic. He explains what we need to know to create a safer environment for individuals, families, and communities, how we can respond better to the next threat, why we keep making the same mistakes, and why we must promote health equity for all.

As Dr. Adams explains, the best public health policies are the ones that begin at home and come about as people in local communities work together to find solutions that fit their specific priorities and needs. Only through this bottom-up, community-driven approach will we be able to turn down the volume on the distracting noise, finally make our way out of and recover from a once-in-a-century pandemic, and prepare ourselves for inevitable future health crises.