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Whistle-blower film shows Trump coronavirus response not ‘Totally Under Control’

20 5 30

As of October 22, nearly 228,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, surpassing all other countries.

A new documentary film released just weeks before the upcoming US election shows exactly where the US Federal government under the Trump administration went wrong. Even more importantly, it explains why the government has failed to protect its citizens from the effects of the devastating pandemic. The filmmakers’ answer is clear: politics got in the way of science.

Produced and directed by the award-winning team of Alex Gibney, Suzanne Hillinger and Ophelia Harutyunyan, “Totally Under Control,” is more distillation than exposé. For anyone who has followed the news closely while in quarantine or lockdown this year, little in the film will be a huge revelation. Nonetheless, there are a few draw-dropping moments during the 2-hour running time.

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“Totally Under Control” provides a clear and detailed timeline for the dangerous missteps taken by an administration that favors politics over science. One way it does this is by contrasting the US with South Korea. While both countries detected their first cases of COVID-19 on January 20, South Korea let scientists handle its national response, and it quickly put in place a comprehensive testing, tracking and isolating system that limited illness and kept the country’s economy going. This did not take place in the US.

Filmed remotely and secretly beginning in May, “Totally Under Control” includes interviews with 17 subjects, including public health and infectious disease experts from various parts of the country who have observed the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic with great frustration. Several were on the verge of tears, conveying heartbreak at not being able to properly do their lifesaving jobs.

In an interview this week with The Times of Israel, Hillinger said, “The majority of our interview subjects were willing to talk. They also felt like there was messaging to get out to the American people that was not getting out from within the government. They felt some kind of duty to do it when their colleagues within the administration were not going to be able to do it.” Dr. Vladimir ‘Zev’ Zelenko. (YouTube screenshot)

One of the most demonstrably unperturbed interviewees was Dr. Vladimir Zelenko, the family doctor from........

© The Times of Israel

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