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Memoir of a Pandemic

Fighting COVID from the Front Lines to the White House

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From the Trump Administration's “Testing Czar”

An inside view of the White House’s COVID-19 response . . . 

In January 2020, Admiral Brett P. Giroir, MD, was among the first leaders tapped to repatriate US citizens from Wuhan, China, in the earliest days of the COVID-19 pandemic. From the first days, he grappled not only with unprecedented scientific and medical complexities, but also growing challenges to individual liberties experienced by the only Americans thought exposed to the infection at the time.  Ultimately, Giroir would be called to serve on the White House Coronavirus Task Force under President Trump and become one of the most recognized and trusted public figures for the American people.

Giroir’s memoir provides unique insights into the key “life-or-death” inflection points that ultimately defined the US response to the pandemic. He reflects upon his time on the front lines supporting devastated nursing homes and emerging regional outbreaks, to the Situation Room and Oval Office of the White House interacting daily with the president and vice president. He explains the complex backdrop of personalities, conflicts, messaging, policies, and politics that influenced critical decisions as the pandemic evolved. He also brings attention to many behind-the-scenes American heroes who overcame overwhelming odds to ultimately save thousands of lives.  

Giroir concludes that overcoming this and future pandemics is not as easy as merely replacing a president or “following the science.” The inescapable fact is that human beings will remain vulnerable to pandemics, even more so in the future because of factors both natural and human influenced. Our ability to respond to future pandemics will depend on the adequacy of our preparation, the capabilities and relationships of individual leaders, and the inevitable politics of the day. For now, and the future, this inspirational retrospective of what we did right and wrong is essential reading.


Both intentional and unplanned career opportunities uniquely prepared Brett P. Giroir, M.D. for his role in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has cared for deathly-ill children in intensive care units, was chief medical officer of an expansive children’s health system, conducted pioneering research both in the laboratory and in clinical settings, defined the future of science and biosecurity through programs at DARPA, led a bio-pharmaceutical company, and championed global humanitarian initiatives involving public health.

He served as the 16th Assistant Secretary for Health in the US Department of Health and Human Services, acting FDA Commissioner, and Admiral in the US Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He also served as the US Representative to the Executive Board of the World Health Organization and was a key member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.


Admiral Brett P. Giroir was an indispensable part of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and his tireless work on testing in the early days of the pandemic saved countless lives. Every American should read this insightful and gripping account to understand all our Nation accomplished in the midst of the worst pandemic in 100 years and the difference one dedicated leader at United States Public Health Service made for millions of Americans. Our Nation owes a debt of gratitude to Brett P. Giroir and I will always be grateful for his devotion to the American people, integrity and faith.

Former Vice President Mike Pence


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