Economist and political commentator Robert Reich told Boston Public Radio on Monday, the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare just how broad the wealth — and by extension, power — inequality is, in America.

The wealthy are able to isolate in their mansions, get "concierge" medical attention and are the first to get tests for the virus, said Reich, while the vast majority of Americans are struggling.

"The pandemic, any national crisis, or war like a world war, reveals things that people only had a hunch about," he said, "but reveals them in such a way that’s very personal, they can’t ignore it any longer."

Reich pointed to the progressive era in 1901 and the beginning of the New Deal in the 1930s that brought "a more just form of capitalism" to Americans by expanding social safety nets through programs like the GI bill, social security, and medicare.

"You get to a point, like we got to as a nation in 1932, and 1901, where the excesses of capitalism and the elites -- the plutocrats, and the oligarchs -- the excesses became so obvious to a lot of people that we have to as a nation respond. We have responded before, I think we will do so again."

Robert Reich is Chancellor's Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center. He served as Secretary of Labor under the Clinton administration. His latest book is "THE SYSTEM: Who Rigged It, How To Fix It."