The COVID-19 pandemic shocked the world. It shouldn't have. Since this century's turn, epidemiologists have warned of new infectious diseases. Indeed, H1N1, H7N9, SARS, MERS, Ebola Makona, Zika, and a variety of lesser viruses have emerged almost annually. But what of the epidemiologists themselves? Some bravely descended into the caves where bat species hosted coronaviruses, including the strains that evolved into the COVID-19 virus. Yet, despite their own warnings, many of the researchers appear unable to understand the true nature of the disease – as if they are dead to what they've seen.
Dead Epidemiologists is an eclectic collection of commentaries, articles, and interviews revealing the hidden-in-plain-sight truth behind the pandemic: Global capital drove the deforestation and development that exposed us to new pathogens. Rob Wallace and his colleagues – ecologists, geographers, activists, and, yes, epidemiologists – unpack the material and conceptual origins of COVID-19. From deepest Yunnan to the boardrooms of New York City, Dead Epidemiologists offers a compelling diagnosis of the roots of COVID-19, and a stark prognosis of what – without further intervention – may come.
Rob Wallace is an evolutionary epidemiologist with the Agroecology and Rural Economics Research Corps. He is the author of Big Farms Make Big Flu and coauthor of Clear-Cutting Disease Control: Capital-Led Deforestation, Public Health Austerity, and Vector-Borne Infection. He has consulted with the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.