The U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been fractious. Many citizens, spurred on by political leaders and even some health providers, have not heeded science-based recommendations from our nation’s infectious-disease experts to wear masks, adhere to physical distancing and shelter in place. Rather than coming together as a nation to slow the spread of SARS-CoV2, far too many Americans in positions of power have chosen to ignore, downplay or politicize these recommendations while supporting dangerous antiscience beliefs and behaviors. They have opted instead to favor individual freedoms over our collective common good. As a result, more people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19 than in any other country, and our nation has one of the highest per capita death rates in the world.