By THE NEW YORK TIMES’ NEW YORK POSTA decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the country faces a pandemic that has left a toll on millions of Americans, and the health of more than half a million people.
In addition to the health problems caused by the pandemic, the United States has also suffered the loss of billions of dollars in annual sales and business activity.
The new book, “The Health Delusion: The Biggest Health Scam in American History,” offers an antidote to the “biggest health scam in American history.”
In a country that prides itself on its health, the book says, it has fallen short of its lofty goals.
In “The Biggest Problem,” authors Matthew C. Kuehn, a professor of public health at the University of Pennsylvania and author of “Why Americans Should Stop Using Medicines,” and Andrew T. Kowalski, professor of epidemiology at Duke University, examine the problem and offer advice on how to solve it.
“It’s not just a matter of trying to figure out what we need to do to protect ourselves from this new disease, but also to make sure that we’re doing things right, including what are the best practices, how to protect our own health and that of the country,” Mr. Koehn said.
“It’s like trying to get rid of a cancer, only to discover that the cancer has spread to your liver, and you can’t take your vitamins, or your anti-malarial drug, or even your antibiotic, because the cancer is growing and multiplying.”
The authors note that while there is a need for comprehensive public health programs to address the pandemics, they have not yet figured out the best ways to pay for them.
For example, the health system in the United Kingdom, which spent nearly a billion dollars on prevention efforts, has yet to pay out billions of pounds in compensation.
Mr. Tkowalsk said that many of the recommendations in the book were not “the first time” that the U.S. had “gone after the biggest problems,” including prescription drug prices, and “some of the big issues that have been addressed in the past.”
He said the authors are “very much focused on the bottom line, so we’re going to try to find ways to reduce costs.”
But they also are not trying to do anything “in excess of what’s been tried before,” he said.
The authors write that “a failure to respond properly to the pandemergency could well lead to more costly mistakes, including the unnecessary death of millions of people.”
They also point out that many people have never heard of coronavirus.
The disease is caused by coronaviruses, or the viruses that cause them, but the names of the viruses, as well as the types of coronas that cause the disease, have not been known for years.
The authors suggest that people who have been exposed to the viruses might be reluctant to seek medical care, and that the public health system should do more to prevent the spread of the virus.
They also recommend that public health officials focus on educating people about the illness.
They are the first to acknowledge that the disease is “a public health emergency,” and they also say that the federal government has a responsibility to make it a priority.
The book, which was published on Oct. 30 by Oxford University Press, is available for free online at the university’s website.