Pandemic in Paradise: An Insider's View of Covid Corruption in Hawai'i (Hardcover)
In late 2019, the world was rocked by the emergence of a "novel" coronavirus. Within months, this deadly virus had spread across the globe, quickly gaining pandemic status. But when COVID-19 began ravaging Hawai'i, the state failed to respond effectively to protect its residents. As the number of cases began to skyrocket, the few epidemiological specialists tasked with investigation and contact tracing quickly became overwhelmed. Meanwhile, leadership at the Hawai'i Department of Health (HDOH) falsely reported to the media and general public that staffing was adequate. Pandemic in Paradise is the historic account of the COVID-19 response in Hawai'i--a response that will go down alongside the burning of Chinatown in 1900 as one of the worst civic disasters in state history. In its pages, Dr. Jennifer Smith, trained virologist and former epidemiological specialist at the HDOH, recounts the failed response efforts and corruption of state leadership she witnessed as a frontline worker during the pandemic. With unflinching honesty, Jennifer reveals how her determination to blow the whistle on that failure and corruption led to her dismissal without cause. Science. Politics. Lies. And one shining light of truth. This story has it all--and you won't be able to put it down.
Jennifer Smith has always been passionate about emerging infectious diseases like prions, Ebola virus, and 1918 influenza. She earned her doctoral degree in microbiology and molecular cell sciences while working with influenza viruses at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, under the direction of world renowned virologist Dr. Robert Webster. She has spent much of her career studying both animal and human viruses and has dedicated herself to having a positive impact on her community. As an epidemiological specialist at the Hawai'i Department of Health (HDOH), Jennifer had a front-row seatfor the public health response to COVID-19. During the pandemic, she worked on the front line of response efforts, monitoring travelers, investigating cases, and executing contact tracing. That all ended when she came forward to expose corruption by HDOH leadership, was put on administrative leave, and ultimately was discharged from her position without cause. Jennifer lives in Hawai'i with her husband and their two shih tzus, Allie and Fozzie. She loves to read and hang out on the beach, enjoys sewing tote bags and purses, and will continue to pursue truth via honest, good science.