A thriller by Jonathan Javitt
Jonathan C. Javitt, M.D., M.P.H.
is a physician, epidemiologist, and health economist who has served as a senior health advisor and Presidential appointee in the last three Presidential administrations. Most recently, he was appointed by President Bush to Chair the Health Subcommittee of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee and to serve as a Presidential Delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. Dr. Javitt is a Senior Fellow of the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies and an Adjunct Professor of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He has served as an expert consultant to the World Bank, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the health ministries of numerous foreign countries. He is a graduate of Harvard, Cornell, and Princeton Universities. While he has authored more than 200 scientific publications, Capitol Reflections is his first novel.
Capt. Gwen Maulder, a hardworking FDA medical officer is traumatically thrust onto the trail of a small, but mysterious epidemic of fatal seizures, all among young professionals. The culprit seemingly kills without a trace, no matter how deeply she probes. As Gwen attempts to probe the mystery, the opposition to her investigation rises, far out of proportion to its scope. At the heart of story is a chilling scheme to manipulate the lives of millions through genetic modification, conceived and executed by those in the highest possible positions of public trust. As Gwen and her allies attempt to overcome dangerous adversity the reader is left to wonder whether anything today can be truly safe to eat or drink or breathe. Gwen’s story is as real as tomorrow’s headlines.
By Diana Furchtgott-Roth, The New York Post
If you can read only one book this year, it should be Capitol Reflections, the new thriller by Dr. Jonathan Javitt. Not only is this gripping novel almost impossible to put down, but it illustrates potentially vital problems with the safety of America’s food supply.
In 1826 Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.” Almost 200 years later, it’s becoming impossible to tell what we eat because of invisible genetic modifications in our food, which are completely unregulated by our many government agencies.
Javitt, a physician who has long worked in the public health arena and who has published over 200 scientific works, has incomparable experience in the area of food safety. He chaired President Bush’s Health Subcommittee of the President’s Information Technology Advisory Committee and served as a member of the White House Health Reform Task Force.
The book’s plot centers on Dr. Gwen Maulder, a captain in the U.S. Public Health Service, who follows the trail of a mysterious outbreak of deaths across the country in the face of escalating bureaucratic attempts to stop her. Dr. Maulder, a 21st century heroine, is ready to take on evil on her own terms, especially when it kills her best friend, New York lawyer Marci Newman.
When the secret is finally revealed, the reader is horrified by the ease with which the public could be placed at enormous risk with little chance of detection. What is most troubling is that the food supply manipulation that causes the deaths in Capitol Reflections turns out to be legal – unlike the murder and mayhem committed by its villains in attempting to cover their misdeeds.
Capitol Reflections shows how easily the nation’s food supply could be manipulated to the economic ends of a nefarious few and how difficult such manipulation would be to uncover.
The issues exposed in Capitol Reflections suggest an increased government focus on the role of genetic manipulation in our nation’s food supply and for finding a reasonable balance between continual drive for improvement and the safety of the public. These issues could not possibly be more timely.
In recent months we have learned that the American rice supply might be contaminated with genetically-modified rice that is not approved for human consumption, that animal food and possibly other products entering the human food chain are contaminated with melamine, and that toothpaste from Chinese sources has antifreeze as an additive.
We spend billions of dollars on making sure pharmaceuticals are safe for sick Americans, we’re proposing to spend billions on dangers from global warming, but we spend little on making sure that the genetic modifications in food we eat every day don’t make healthy Americans sick.
Any company can sell genetically-modified foods, and there are nearly no safeguards in place to recognize them on supermarket shelves or make sure they don’t cause allergic reactions.
We should be profoundly grateful to Javitt for waking us up to the risks we face from dangers in food safety—and for writing a brilliant thriller rather than an academic journal article.
Read what others are saying about the book:
Javitt has melded his professional and political expertise to craft a
Javitt has written a grab you by the throat thriller that could easily be tomorrow's lead news story. Under the guise of a compelling read lurks a keep-you-guessing plot that should cause any intelligent reader to worry about the safety of us all. An intrepid female physician, a town full of bad guys, and the safety of the American people at stake. Seems like a surefire recipe for success.
Janet Rehnquist, former Inspector General, US Department of Health and Human Services.
Few people know both medicine and Washington like Jonathan Javitt . As a White House insider, consummate physician, and active participant in public health policy he knows what he is writing about and it shows in Capitol Reflections. On a topic which may someday involve the lives of millions this is a novel that is both compelling and informative.”
Newt Gingrich. Best selling author of Pearl Harbor and Gettysburgh