Alex Gibney, the director of a new documentary, entitled `Totally Under Control’, lays bare the U.S. response to the COVID-19 pandemic as a story of staggering incompetence.
Gibney told the New York Times that the documentary was shot in 2020 with two co-directors.
He said the documentary compares the coronavirus response in South Korea with that in the United States, wherein January, U.S. President Donald Trump declared the outbreak “totally under control” the phrase from which the film takes its title.
Gibney told Sheryl Gay Stolberg, the author of an article, about his idea to do this film while narrating his experience during the pandemic.
“A friend of mine had died from COVID-19, another friend was two weeks on a ventilator. I had two other friends who were desperately trying to get into hospitals, being turned away, couldn’t get tests.
“And it occurred to me that there was something deeply wrong with the federal response to COVID-19.’’
He said that his documentary focuses on the early days of the outbreak when a lot of pain and suffering could have been prevented.
According to Stolberg the documentary features an interview with Rick Bright, the federal whistle-blower who had pleaded with higher-ups in the U.S. federal government to take the pandemic more seriously.
A review by CNN about the documentary noted that “Totally Under Control” is, in some ways, the greatest hit collection of the U.S. federal government’s failures and missteps pertaining to COVID-19.
CNN said those interviews shown in the documentary tap into a sobering array of voices weighing in on how political considerations led to an ineffective response.