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Documentary reveals US coronavirus response 'incompetent'

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-10-24 15:51

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams and National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director Francis Collins bump elbows after testifying before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss about vaccines and protecting public health during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Washington, US, Sept 9, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

A new documentary, entitled Totally Under Control, lays bare the US response to the COVID-19 pandemic as "a story of staggering incompetence," its director Alex Gibney has told The New York Times.

The documentary, shot this year by Gibney and two co-directors, contrasts the coronavirus response in South Korea with that in the United States, where in January, US President Donald Trump declared the outbreak "totally under control," the phrase from which the film takes its title, according to an article carried by the newspaper recently.

"A friend of mine had died from Covid, another friend was two weeks on a ventilator. I had two other fiends who were desperately trying to get into hospitals, being turned away, couldn't get tests," Gibney told Sheryl Gay Stolberg, the author of the article, about his idea to do this film.

"And it occurred to me that there were something deeply wrong with the federal response to Covid," the prolific US documentarian said.

He said that his documentary focuses on the early days of the outbreak, when a lot of pain and suffering could have been prevented.

The documentary features an interview with Rick Bright, the federal whistle-blower who had pleaded with higher-ups in the US federal government to take the pandemic more seriously, according to Stolberg.

A review by CNN about the documentary noted that Totally Under Control is, in some ways, a greatest hits collection of the US federal government's failures and missteps pertaining to COVID-19.

Those interviews shown in the documentary tap into a sobering array of voices weighing in on how political considerations lead to an ineffective response, CNN said.

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