Pulitzer Prize-Winning Speaker on Ebola, Zika, Global Health, and Prevention
During the Ebola crisis of 2014, Laurie Garrett offered unrivaled commentary on Twitter, through her blog, and as the go-to expert in the media. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—General Martin E. Dempsey—took to Facebook to praise Garrett and her book The Coming Plague, writing that “its lessons in how disease has shaped human history are uncannily relevant to today’s Ebola crisis ... this book is worth the read to understand infectious outbreaks like Ebola and how we’re shaping our national response.” Today, she’s doing the same for the new Zika epidemic, providing up-to-date intelligence on its scope and severity, and the search for a vaccine.
A Senior Fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, Garrett is the bestselling author of The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance, Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health and I Heard The Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks. She has written for Foreign Affairs, Esquire, and The Washington Post, and appears frequently on television shows, such as Nightline, Charlie Rose and Oprah.
Laurie Garrett actively covered the Ebola crisis of 2014—tweeting, blogging, and writing from both the United States and West Africa. She can speak to government agencies, corporations, and various other groups on the ramifications and long-term social, political, and economic impact of Ebola. As the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, recently wrote: “[Garrett's The Coming Plague] is worth the read to understand infectious outbreaks like Ebola and how we’re shaping our national response.”
I Heard The Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks
This powerful talk combines health issues, investigative journalism, and a personal minute-by-minute account of 9/11 to offer an astonishing view of a dark chapter in American life. A proud New Yorker who heard the first jet slam into the north tower, Garret raises fascinating questions around the World Trade Center attacks, the anthrax scare, and the mental trauma afflicting Americans during, and well after, 9/11. She captures the national mood as it veered from a united political place to a deeply divided anger. By the end of the winter of 2002, she reminds us, the arc had completed, from spectacular unity and confidence in governance to accusations of American arrogance. Through the frustrated anthrax investigations and drumbeats of war, the global community, especially Americans, moved in just a few months’ time from collectivism to fragmentation. Drawing on personal diary entries, and a deep understanding of health and government policy, Garrett's sweeping talk details repercussions of these historic events, transformations of critical government institutions, public health disasters, and, what, in particular, the specter of terrorism meant -- and means -- for the American people.
Betrayal of Trust: Critical Issues in Global Healthcare
Based on her international travels to report on and research healthcare, Garrett delivers a sweeping, multimedia talk that uncovers the reality of healthcare in the United States, Europe, Russia and Africa—providing a new understanding of both the challenges and the opportunities of delivering quality healthcare to the global village.
Climate Change and Global Health: Ending the Debate
To the timely debate over the impact of climate change on human health, Garrett offers this frank, hopeful talk. The health community, she says, is focusing on how climate change affects the movements of diseases, such as malaria. While these threats are serious, we must also look at how other consequences of climate change are already wreaking havoc on human health: catastrophic weather—resulting in flooding, famine and drought—is infecting and killing thousands; we must turn our attention toward preparedness. Garrett shows you where our efforts—activism, money, policy—need to go, and how urgently they need to get there.
Bioterrorism: The Modern Peril
It's a surreal, terrifying thought: terrorists using bio-chemical weapons. Garrett has investigated both the science and the politics behind international bio-terrorism, and, here, provides a responsible, informative assessment of who is capable, what form it might take, and how likely it is to happen.
I Heard the Sirens Scream
For most of my adult life I have borne witness. It's what I won a Pulitzer Prize for, years ago. I go to epidemics, wars, places where people are struggling to cope with disasters, and I carefully log the accounts and events, trying to represent the lives and experiences of others. The position of "outsider" is emotionally safe, even as agonizing events unfold. But I could not distance myself from the extraordinary sequence of events that fell on America, and especially my home town of New York City, in 2001. A decade later I am still trying to understand how the attacks on the World Trade Center and the anthrax mailings affected me, and those I love.
I heard the first jet slam into the north tower of the World Trade Center, and from the rooftop of my apartment building watched the second commercial jet veer towards lower Manhattan, change its trajectory, and slice across the upper floors of the south tower. I was standing on the Manhattan anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge when the first tower crumbled like a deflated accordion, spewing dust and debris in every direction and crushing the life out of thousands of people within. And a month later, as people started falling ill from inhalation of anthrax spores, one of the nation's top bioterrorism experts called me to warn that I was a likely target: Stop opening your mail. The flow of these events, from the hijacking of four commercial jets on September 11th to the November death of an anthrax-infected Connecticut villager, took most of the world population from a remarkably united emotional and political place, to a deeply divided, frustrated, angry position. The arc of the response matters: It ultimately determined the course of historic events worldwide and tore America asunder, the people having lost trust in their government and without it, most forms of social cohesion.
By the end of the winter of 2002 the arc had completed, from spectacular unity and confidence in governance to deep division and accusations of American arrogance. Through the frustrated anthrax investigations and drumbeats of war, the global community, especially Americans, moved in just a few months' time from collectivism to fragmentation. This book is structured in two parts. The first, THE END OF THE AGE OF INNOCENCE, is written in the present tense, describing almost hourly the events that unfolded primarily in Washington DC and New York City over 120 days in the fall and winter of 2001 and 2002. Each day is a chapter that opens with the actual diary entry that I sent on that date to a list of friends all over the world. The entry is followed by a detailed breakdown of the day's events, unfolding like a novel. Part two, NEW WORLD ORDER, details the repercussions of these events, transformations of critical government institutions, public health disasters, and what, in particular, the specter of terrorism meant for the American people.
Revelations abound in this book, including:
- The bizarre chemistry of The Plume that rose from the burning crushed World Trade Center for four months, endangering the health of hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers.
- Evidence that al-Qaeda may have been behind the anthrax mailings.
- Devastating spending and restructuring followed the attacks, leaving the nation less prepared for terrorism ten years later, and broke.
- Each incident following the opening of anthrax-laden letters reveals countless errors and misjudgments.
- There was no "weapons-grade anthrax" in those letters-- a finding with profound health and political implications.
The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance
Unpurified drinking water. Improper use of antibiotics. Local warfare. Massive refugee migration. Changing social and environmental conditions around the world have fostered the spread of new and potentially devastating viruses and diseases: HIV, Lassa, Ebola, and others. Laurie Garrett takes you on a fifty-year journey through the world's battles with microbes and examines the worldwide conditions that have culminated in recurrent outbreaks of newly discovered diseases, epidemics of diseases migrating to new areas, and mutated old diseases that are no longer curable. She argues that it is not too late to take action to prevent the further onslaught of viruses and microbes, and offers possible solutions for a healthier future.
Betrayal of Trust: The Collapse of Global Public Health
In this meticulously researched and ultimately explosive new book by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the New York Times bestseller The Coming Plague, Laurie Garrett takes readers across the globe to reveal how a series of potential and present public health catastrophes form a terrifying portrait of real global disaster in the making.
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