Experts have been predicting a global flu pandemic for years. So why was the U.S. so unprepared for coronavirus?

Michael Hobbes in the Huffington Post:

By the last week of January, Rob DeLeo knew it was going to get bad.

“I was having breakfast with my partner and I said, ‘We should get some extra food because we’re going to be inside for awhile,’” said DeLeo, a Bentley University professor who has been studying America’s political response to pandemics for more than 15 years.

Over the next two weeks, as he began preparing for a lengthy period of self-isolation, he was struck how calm political leaders seemed to be. The coronavirus was never mentioned at the Democratic presidential debate on Feb. 7. Even as cases appeared in major cities and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that person-to-person transmission was underway, no one seemed interested in warning Americans to get ready for a lockdown.

DeLeo later searched the congressional record and found just six mentions of the word “coronavirus” before Feb. 8.

“I’m a political scientist, not an epidemiologist,” said DeLeo. “If I was freaking out, why wasn’t anyone else?”

More here.