Updated : Mar 24, 2020 in Expert Pitch

Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Lessons from 9/11 in U.S. Response to COVID-19

Media contact: Cynthia Medina, [email protected], 848-445-1940

New Brunswick, N.J. (Mar. 24, 2020) – Rutgers scholar Angus Gillespie, an expert in American studies, is available to discuss the parallels of government and media response following the 9/11 attacks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response.

“After the events of 9/11, former President Bush regarded the coordinated attack by Osama bin Laden as a surprise. It should not have been,” he said.  “Middle East policy experts knew that anti-American grievances had been building up for years.  Similarly, when it became clear that COVID-19 had become a pandemic, President Trump said on March 18 that the virus had ‘snuck up on us.’  However, it was not a surprise to the expert epidemiologists who had long warned that the U.S. was vulnerable to a global pandemic. The takeaway is simple.  Government works best when presidents pay attention to policy experts and scientists.”

Gillespie is a professor of American studies and author of Twin Towers: The Life of New York City’s World Trade Center.

He can be reached at [email protected].




Broadcast interviews: Rutgers University–New Brunswick has broadcast-quality TV and radio studios available for remote live or taped interviews with Rutgers experts. For more information, contact Neal Buccino [email protected]



Rutgers University–New Brunswick is where Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, began more than 250 years ago. Ranked among the world’s top 60 universities, Rutgers’s flagship university is a leading public research institution and a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. It is home to internationally acclaimed faculty and has 12 degree-granting schools and a Division I Athletics program. It is the Big Ten Conference’s most diverse university. Through its community of teachers, scholars, artists, scientists, and healers, Rutgers is equipped as never before to transform lives.

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