When crisis engulfs the nation, how should the federal government — especially the president — respond? Of course, when crisis strikes, the best response is for everyone — government and citizens alike — to have prepared in advance. But when “unknown knowns” suddenly appear and shake our sense of normalcy, we look to the president and his administration to respond. 

Our guest, Tevi Troy, knows this well. He has served at the highest levels of government in the White House and the US Department of Health and Human Services, and has studied the White House from a historian’s perspective — most recently in “Fight House,” his account of White House rivalries. Perhaps most relevantly, though, is “Shall We Wake the President?” (2016), his account of presidential crisis management through American history. Seeing as he predicted the coronavirus pandemic in that 2016 book, he seemed to be the right oracle to discuss disaster management within and across the various arms of government.

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