• Uncontrolled Spread

  • Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic
  • By: Scott Gottlieb
  • Narrated by: Fred Sanders
  • Length: 15 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (218 ratings)

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Uncontrolled Spread

By: Scott Gottlieb
Narrated by: Fred Sanders
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best seller

Uncontrolled Spread is everything you’d hope: a smart and insightful account of what happened and, currently, the best guide to what needs to be done to avoid a future pandemic." (Wall Street Journal)

“Informative and well paced.” (The Guardian)

“An intense ride through the pandemic with chilling details of what really happened. It is also sprinkled with notes of true wisdom that may help all of us better prepare for the future.” (Sanjay Gupta, MD, chief medical correspondent, CNNP)

Physician and former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb asks: Has America’s COVID-19 catastrophe taught us anything?

In Uncontrolled Spread, he shows how the coronavirus and its variants were able to trounce America’s pandemic preparations, and he outlines the steps that must be taken to protect against the next outbreak. As the pandemic unfolded, Gottlieb was in regular contact with all the key players in Congress, the Trump administration, and the drug and diagnostic industries. He provides an inside account of how level after level of American government crumbled as the COVID-19 crisis advanced.

A system-wide failure across government institutions left the nation blind to the threat, and unable to mount an effective response. We’d prepared for the wrong virus. We failed to identify the contagion early enough and became overly reliant on costly and sometimes divisive tactics that couldn’t fully slow the spread. We never considered asymptomatic transmission and we assumed people would follow public health guidance. Key bureaucracies like the CDC were hidebound and outmatched. Weak political leadership aggravated these woes. We didn’t view a public health disaster as a threat to our national security.

Many of the woes sprung from the CDC, which has very little real-time reporting capability to inform us of COVID’s twists and turns or assess our defenses. The agency lacked an operational capacity and mindset to mobilize the kind of national response that was needed. To guard against future pandemic risks, we must remake the CDC and properly equip it to better confront crises. We must also get our intelligence services more engaged in the global public health mission, to gather information and uncover emerging risks before they hit our shores so we can head them off. For this role, our clandestine agencies have tools and capabilities that the CDC lacks.

Uncontrolled Spread argues we must fix our systems and prepare for a deadlier coronavirus variant, a flu pandemic, or whatever else nature - or those wishing us harm - may threaten us with. Gottlieb outlines policies and investments that are essential to prepare the United States and the world for future threats.

©2021 Scott Gottlieb (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Uncontrolled Spread

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Save yourself the time and $

Right off the bat, the book says COVID is spread by respiratory droplets primarily and aerosols secondary. For a book that’s supposed to offer insight, this ironic lack of acknowledgement of the major hubristic error in this pandemic is cringeworthy. COVID is primarily spread through aerosols. It is airborne. This has been clear since early on and further confirmed with peer reviewed studies every day.

Every other claim in the book is something anyone who’s been paying attention the past 18 months is already aware of—this book makes no strong claims and “plays it safe” the entire time.

It also immediately frames the COVID-19 pandemic in the past tense—as if the author finished writing it before Delta took off in the United States and made a poor judgement call.

This feels like an opportunistic cash grab by the author, and I’m disappointed.

33 people found this helpful

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A look behind the curtain

This book pulls back the curtain on how poorly the CDC operates. While much of the information presented is publicly available, assembling it would require a significant effort. Anyone who has an opinion about masks, vaccine, or the pandemic needs to read this book.

An excellent examination of Covid-19 and how it evolved in the United States and the world.

8 people found this helpful

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An absolute must read.

If you want incredible insight from a brilliant mind, this is an absolute must read.

5 people found this helpful

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Must read...listen

Gives you a better appreciation of the scientists that keep us safe! thanks Dr.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent book from a calm, centrist expert

A good look into the major government and science issues of the pandemic. It is an accessible overview from an expert who, it seems to me, has consistently tried to convey a calm, reasoned public health message outside of the hyper political froth of what passes for public discourse these days.

2 people found this helpful

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Must read for those sincerely interested

This is one of those books that everyone should (or needs) to read. It is equal parts fascinating and infuriating. It is clear from the book that the failures during the COVID-19 pandemic, which were legion, cannot be pinned solely to any particular officials or organizations. This book should be a wake-up that we need to take a serious look at operational aspects of our public health apparatus, and how we communicate public health information and data with both domestic audiences and international partners. If you are of the opinion that the problems during the pandemic can be pinned on specific people or organizations you are probably correct. The target of your ire likely deserves their share of blame. However, you’d be equally incorrect in shifting too much blame toward that same target. At nearly every inflection point during the pandemic there were missteps or outright failures, at all levels. Some of them occurred before anyone in the U.S. was even aware of COVID-19. Some occurred in the earliest days of U.S. awareness while others persisted for weeks and months.

For those sincerely interested in understanding what went wrong, this is the book you should read. Understanding the entire, complex picture is vital to fixing the problems that exacerbated the pandemic. Focusing only on specific individuals, groups or policies, and ignoring the multitude of other factors is a sure fire way to assure the next pandemic hits us just as hard, and is just as crippling.

1 person found this helpful

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Whitewash

Dr Gottlieb well documents the CDC’s and our pandemic preparedness failures and offers some solutions like continuous dynamic medical supply manufacturing redundancy. But the book mostly functions as a whitewash of our former president’s disastrous mishandling of the pandemic and as an ode to Dr Gottlieb’s prescience. Find another history of the pandemic for a more balanced approach.

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Excellent

This was an excellent look back on the causes effects and management of Covid 19.
The responses of Trump administration. The lack of Global compassion is a sad testimony to our times.

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Very informative

Hope someone in a position to effect change will read this and actually create a plan for responding to the next chrisis.

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THE Book About COVID-19

This truly is THE book about COVID-19. Where did things go wrong? What do we have to look out for in the future? Why did this happen and how can we prevent it from happening again? Dr. Scott Gotlieb shares his information in a way we can all understand. Truly a very important book!

1 person found this helpful