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Michael Lewis: Experts Saw This Pandemic Coming

60 Minutes: Dr. Charity Dean's projection of 20 million cases by May meant half of California's population would be infected within four months, unless officials intervened to slow the virus's path.

Here's Michael Lewis, talking about his new book "The Premonition", all about a group of doctors and researchers who saw the pandemic and tried to get the CDC and state governments to take action.

Like Dr. Charity Dean, I saw the stories about the Chinese government welding shut apartment doors. I knew that wasn't good.

I also knew there were doctors trying to get the word out early in the pandemic. A friend's relative (an epidemiologist) was trying to sound the alarm, going on TV shows and talking about what was coming. Most people didn't take him seriously. I did; that's why I stocked up on masks, supplements, hand sanitizer and other items when most people believed (or hoped) it would all be over quickly.

Michael Lewis has written 14 books, most of them about people who saw things coming – crashes on Wall Street, the next great idea in Major League Baseball, the value of a left tackle in football. His new book, called "The Premonition," follows a group of doctors and scientists who saw the pandemic coming, and raced to sound the alarm. But this is not just a book about the past. The book itself is a premonition.

When Michael Lewis began work on his book about America's failed response to the pandemic, he had a beginning but no middle or end.

[...] John Dickerson: What you describe in the book is a need for people who have the risk-taking muscle, who are gonna take risks when the information is bad because they know, if you wait for the information to be good, you'll be going to a lot of funerals. Is that where The Premonition – the title of the book comes from?

Michael Lewis: That's exactly where the title of the book comes from. In this case, I came to appreciate the power of intuition. And it isn't just random intuition, it's trained intuition. You have to be able to look around the corner. You have to be able to see a little further that it's, than is really visible.

Although the self-christened Wolverines couldn't persuade most of the people who were supposed to be managing the virus to do their jobs, there's a silver lining.

"It's like a superhero story where the superheroes seem to lose in the end," Lewis said.

"They're there to fight this pandemic and to save American lives. They don't appear to do it. But the little wrinkle on the end of it is, you know they learned things that are gonna help us the next time around."

You can pre-order Michael Lewis' book here:

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