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From “Dead Epidemiologists” to epidemiology for the people


Dead Epidemiologists: On the Origins of Covid-19
260 pp, $17 paper, ISBN 978-1-58367-902-9
By Rob Wallace

Reviewed by Penny Cole

In a recent review of Rob Wallace’ latest work, Dead Epidemiologists, we are reminded that “If the virus has a source it is not Yunnan but the boardrooms of giant corporations.” The review takes the time to name the culprits:

  • “the retail corporations whose main aim is to drive profits up by getting cheap food on the shelf, paying less and less to producers;
  • the “cafos” (concentrated animal feeding operations) who now dominate livestock rearing in the USA and South America, and which have virtually wiped out the mixed farming family farm in the American mid-west;
  • the investment houses and sovereign wealth funds who poured money into a global land grab…the result of (which) has been to drive millions of peasant farmers off their land and turn it over to large scale monoculture farming of crops for export;
  • the states and governments who have colluded in the creation of a system of production that is responsible for the destruction of eco-systems.”

Cole closes with some important questions posed to all of us by the collaborative project Pandemic Research for the People, of which Wallace is a part:

  1. What is the best way to form and safely operate neighborhood brigades checking up on people house-to-house while we all quarantine?
  2. How might we mass-produce and supply people with enough antivirals, medical equipment, and personal protective equipment to survive the outbreak?
  3. How do pathogens such as COVID-19, Ebola, and Zika emerge out of neoliberal land grabs in the first place?
  4. Could we plan agricultural landscapes that self-regulate in such a way that the deadliest pathogens are far less likely to emerge in the first place?
  5. What strategies might we best pursue to break agribusiness and pharmaceutical control of governments and our political economy?

Read the full review at the Real Democracy Movement

Dead Epidemiologists: On the Origins of COVID-19 by Rob Wallace

Monthly Review Press
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