A New Documentary Brings Clarity to the Chaos of Covid-19
This year has been a blur, but many hard truths remain crystal clear. By now, the Trump administration’s glaring and continuing inaction to guard American lives in the face of Covid-19 is not only well-known, but a well-documented and quantifiable fact: More than 220,000 lives have been lost to the deadly virus on Trump’s watch, and just the other day the U.S. hit the 9 million mark in virus cases. While President Trump has continued to shirk responsibility, scapegoat other countries, and callously state that it “is what it is”—even as the White House itself has become a hot zone, seeing two waves of infections in the span of a single month—we know it didn’t have to be this way.
In the new Hulu documentary Totally Under Control, director Alex Gibney, along with co-directors Suzanne Hillinger and Ophelia Harutyunyan, bring sharp-eyed clarity to the chaos with an up-to-the-minute investigation into everything that has gone awry over the past nine months. As a useful point of contrast to frame it all, the film provides details on how South Korea—which reported its first Covid-19 case on Jan. 20, the exact same day as the U.S. did—has handled its cases on an identical timeline, and to vastly different results. The story, of course, as many interviewees explain, to varying levels of detail, is that none of this has been totally under control at all. And while the pain of it may feel too fresh and tender to revisit just yet, there’s hope that the film may prove to be the urgently needed wake-up call for any still-undecided voters during this election cycle.