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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, October 18, 2020

While much of the United States was doing what it could to avoid COVID-19, Alex Gibney was busy making a documentary about the government's failure to halt the spread of the coronavirus. The resulting film, "Totally Under Control," is now available via video-on-demand platforms and will be streaming on Hulu starting Oct. 20. HuffPost has an exclusive clip that lays out what South Korea did immediately to curb the virus. In a little over a minute, [it] shows what could have been possible had the United States implemented similar protocols.

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Ahead of the clip's premiere, we sent Gibney a handful of questions about the documentary. Here's what he had to say via email.

For a long time, information about COVID-19, particularly as it related to the United States, seemed to change by the day. What was your approach in capturing all of the necessary developments as they were unfolding in real time?

G: Our approach was to focus on the early days, particularly the first 100 days. That was the period when things could have been different. If we had behaved differently, the whole outcome of this pandemic in the United States could have changed dramatically. Our focus was not to follow every event, but to focus on the early days.

This clip shows what South Korea did to combat the spread of coronavirus. Based on your research, what was the single biggest misstep the United States made in failing to stop the dissemination?

G: Not moving quickly to put in a place a robust testing and tracing program.

It should have been obvious to anyone that a once in a century global pandemic would be the determinant factor in the 2020 election. All one had to do was look at history to see the reasons why. It was obvious to Joe Biden, but to our great loss and chagrin, it wasn't obvious to President Donald Trump.

For those who keep asking "What could Trump have done that he didn't do(?)," this film will show you exactly what he could have and should have done to stop the coronavirus from spreading across and through the United States with no current end in sight. So from Tuesday forward please stop asking that question because the answer has already been documented for you in all its realistic detail.

220,000 Americans and counting need not have died. We could be in a much better place but for the complete incompetence and fecklessness of our federal leadership starting with and continuing from the White House itself more obsessed with Trump's reelection than American lives, trading one for the other and more than likely squandering both for nothing but one evil person's ego.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-10-18 09:37 AM | Reply

Oh let's do this. Let's compare. Where would we be if:
Instead of 8,140,000 infected we'd have 160,153
Instead of 220,000 dead we'd have 2,822.

#2 | Posted by YAV at 2020-10-18 09:59 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Get that? We'd have fewer infected than we have had killed by this inept response!

#3 | Posted by YAV at 2020-10-18 10:00 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

For those who don't subscribe to Hulu or don't want to wait until Tuesday, here is the link to Totally Under Control where you can watch the movie immediately for a $12 fee.

#4 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-10-18 04:48 PM | Reply

I'm sure folks will flock to the theatres to see this one...

Masks optional.

Wink.

#5 | Posted by LostAngeles at 2020-10-18 06:29 PM | Reply

He should have shut us down?
Great idea...*IF..it can be enforced.
Arson can't even be enforced.

#6 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2020-10-19 05:43 AM | Reply | Funny: 1

Trump has never been one to take on the hard job of being a president. He relies instead on BS-ing his way through criticisms of incompetence.

When that doesn't work his modus operandi is to sit behind a big desk and blame somebody else ~~ like he's doing right now.

#7 | Posted by Twinpac at 2020-10-19 07:48 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

" sit behind a big desk"

S##t always flows downhill.
~Business 101

#8 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2020-10-19 08:24 AM | Reply

I don't want to make Joe Biden's job any harder than it's going to be.

Everything Trump has done has been criticized with regards to handling this pandemic.

And it's possible that some of that criticism was a little quick to judge and folks were piling on. It's possible and I'm not in a position to say exactly what that might be.

And there's a record of all of it.

It's possible Joe might take the same action or inaction from time to time that Trump was skewered for.

I'm all for self-evaluation and admitting mistakes so they aren't repeated.....but let's be honest....some of it's been more political than science.

All I'm saying is that we don't want to make Joe's job any harder than it's going to be.

Of course, once Biden is president, the New York Times will ease up on it's harsh criticism of decisions made by the white house and Fox News will heat up on it's harsh criticism of the same things it gave a total pass to Trump previously. We can expect that level of hypocrisy but it could be worse.

#9 | Posted by eberly at 2020-10-19 09:18 AM | Reply

Joe Biden long ago has stated and restated what his plans are for the coronavirus pandemic - and those plans have always been the mobile combination of the same things proven effective in South Korea and other industrialized countries which haven't seen the personal nor economic devastation that the U.S. has encountered, along with financial support for workers, industries, cities and states impacted by the virus.

Again, this really isn't rocket science, it's simple epidemiologic mitigation: Comprehensive testing and retesting (including the ramping up of widespread 'instant' testing technology and its implementation), isolating the infected, contact tracing, and quarantining, and lastly limited regional/area shutdowns where the virus is spreading rapidly through the population so that hospitals are not overwhelmed and compromised in their ability to serve non-Covid patients due to being inundated with Covid patients.

It also includes ramping up domestic production of all the PPE (through the DPA) which frontline workers depend upon to keep themselves safe as they deal with infected Americans.

If you don't know, here it is. Anyone with a access to the internet can find this information if they truly want to.

#10 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-10-19 09:38 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"..and those plans have always been the mobile combination of the same things proven effective in South Korea and other industrialized countries..."

I understand that but Joe's not running for president of South Korea or any of those other countries.

Americans are incredible pains in the ass.

#11 | Posted by eberly at 2020-10-19 09:45 AM | Reply

Americans are incredible pains in the ass.

Only because Trump never had a plan that made any sense, even though he shut the country down. The shutdown was to by time to accurately chart the virus and separate the infected from the non-infected. We didn't do this, in fact we even minimized testing by the end. If the government had promised to support displaced workers until the virus was stopped and then began a coordinated, phased reopening based upon public health being the first and foremost objective, most of the opposition would never have even formed.

The pandemic controls the economy, not the other way around no matter how ignorant Trump manages to be about this. His lack of understanding history (the 1918 pandemic lasted almost 2 years; why should anyone think that this one was going to be different unless attacked differently - which we didn't do?) is the reason we are where we are.

Logic, rationality, and common sense used to be American attributes. Under Trump they've become quaint notions of days gone by.

#12 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-10-19 11:31 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"All I'm saying is that we don't want to make Joe's job any harder than it's going to be."

"We"?? Who is we?

The GOP will be planning to make Joe's administration as hard as possible.

Just like ya'll did for him when he was Obama's VP. It's really just too bad ya'll never found Obama's "Waterloo". That would have been fun times for ya'll huh?

Instead Obamacare has become the Waterloo of the GOP.

Thumbs down on that post bro.

#13 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-10-19 11:55 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"If the government had promised to support displaced workers until the virus was stopped and then began a coordinated, phased reopening based upon public health being the first and foremost objective, most of the opposition would never have even formed."

Trump's behavior makes that an impossibility.

What he actually did or didn't do is lost on most Americans. Think about how they form opinions in the first place. IOW, the opposition would have existed no matter what.

But that comes with the job of being POTUS. You know very well that there will be opposition to EVERY thing Biden does. He's a big boy, unlike Trump, and will roll with it, like Obama did.

#14 | Posted by eberly at 2020-10-19 11:55 AM | Reply

-"We"?? Who is we?

You, me, and everyone else who bothered to criticize actions or inactions taken by the Trump administration.

I just don't want Joe to suffer from not meeting unrealistic expectations created by the criticism of everything Trump's done.

It's possible that Biden will have to make some very tough choices that's going to make him look bad......because the argument will be made Trump did the same thing.

Don't overpromise what Biden's going to accomplish. "He's going to do this and that, etc.." because of what he has on his website or his campaign speeches.

He's campaigning, Donner. Not governing.

Biden's my guy, I'm 100% behind him. But 2021 could be ------- rough.

#15 | Posted by eberly at 2020-10-19 12:03 PM | Reply

Biden's my guy, I'm 100% behind him. But 2021 could be ------- rough.

It will be, you're 100% right. And just like the Tea Party started on February 19, 2009 - not even one month after Obama's inauguration - there will be immediate organized opposition blaming Biden for every problem that he inherited from Trump.

But this time the Dems need to be smarter and far more determined. What the GOP wants is irrelevant if that want isn't in line with the rebuilding of our domestic economy for the realities of 21st Century life. Hopefully they will be if given the chance.

#16 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-10-19 12:13 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I wonder if the Cons are planning to impeach bitem before he even wins?, like we saw 4 yrs ago.

#17 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2020-10-19 01:24 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

I wonder if the Cons are planning to impeach bitem before he even wins?, like we saw 4 yrs ago.

Ya mean like this Fester....

newrepublic.com

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, a conservative group long at the forefront of legal harassment of both Bill and Hillary Clinton, wants to go further. According to Seitz-Wald and Sarlin, Fitton is critical of "Republican lawmakers for failing to pre-emptively impeach Clinton."

Preemptive impeachment would be an innovation in American presidential politics, but it certainly shows foresight. If your goal is to make Clinton's presidency a nightmare of gridlock and partisan strife, why not start early?

#18 | Posted by Nixon at 2020-10-19 01:50 PM | Reply

He should have shut us down?
Great idea...*IF..it can be enforced.
Arson can't even be enforced.

#6 | POSTED BY PHESTEROBOYLE

Minneapolis shut down.
Dallas shut down.
New York shut down.

If these places can shut down, so can the rest of the country. But they didn't.

#19 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-10-19 02:42 PM | Reply

Many refused and still refuse to comply with approved covid prevention measures.
So what do we do with the hardheads? Arrest? Fine?
Force them to comply so the rest of us stays safe?

#20 | Posted by phesterOBoyle at 2020-10-19 04:18 PM | Reply

Force them to comply so the rest of us stays safe?
#20 | POSTED BY PHESTEROBOYLE

Public shaming used to be effective. At least until everyone has sought out and found their digital silos.

Now it takes shaming at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Only way to break through to those 'hardheads.'

#21 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2020-10-19 04:21 PM | Reply

"So what do we do with the hardheads? Arrest? Fine?
Force them to comply so the rest of us stays safe?"

We will do nothing.

Some things are more important than (you) living.

Let the Deplorables live their lives in peace, free of masks, and spreading disease.

That's what the GOP calls freedom.

#22 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-10-19 04:46 PM | Reply

#17: PhesteringOoze: Won't Republicans have to control the House of Representatives to impeach him? Or at least the Senate in order to convict him? I wouldn't be holding my breath if I were you.

#23 | Posted by moder8 at 2020-10-19 06:55 PM | Reply

Won't Republicans have to control the House of Representatives to impeach him?

Details, details...

#24 | Posted by REDIAL at 2020-10-19 07:03 PM | Reply

Wellllll... it all started 4 years agooooo...

#25 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2020-10-19 11:46 PM | Reply

Many refused and still refuse to comply with approved covid prevention measures.
So what do we do with the hardheads? Arrest? Fine?
Force them to comply so the rest of us stays safe?

#20 | POSTED BY PHESTEROBOYLE

Oh my god. You're so close to realizing what a idiot you are.

Many refuse to comply? Why? Trump and Right Wing Media told them the virus isn't dangerous and not to comply.

TRUMP IS THE DAMN PROBLEM

That was REASON #1 how this was Mishandled.

Honestly, if Dallas, New York and Minneapolis can enforce compliance, anywhere can if they choose to. And they all did...until Dallas decided not to anymore due to our Governor and President.

Now if we could only have had a country without Trumpers in office, everywhere could have enforced compliance and the virus wouldn't be an issue.

#26 | Posted by Sycophant at 2020-10-20 11:06 AM | Reply

Don't overpromise what Biden's going to accomplish. "He's going to do this and that, etc.." because of what he has on his website or his campaign speeches.

He's campaigning, Donner. Not governing.

Biden's my guy, I'm 100% behind him. But 2021 could be ------- rough.
#15 | POSTED BY EBERLY

2021 WILL be rough.

Just like 2009 was.

Thanks Republicans. You did it again. Left Democrats a mess to clean up.

And I can't see why've you are worried about a candidate breaking promises now. Not AT (After Trumpy). Trumpy promised you everything and gave you nothing but death and suffering. In spades. Anything at all will be better than Trumplandia.

Anything.

#27 | Posted by donnerboy at 2020-10-20 11:52 AM | Reply

As it regards the topic of this thread, the documentary Totally Under Control, it's a sad indictment of just how completely and totally the Trump Administration screwed up this nation's response to the Covid outbreak and chronologically follows each misstep and miscalculation along the way.

The most dramatic part of this documentary is the number of learned, professional people inside the U.S. who recognized what was happening and tried to place the nation in a much better position of being able to deal with the onslaught each knew was coming. As with every issue facing America, all the Trumpers were obsessed with was the politics of the situation instead of the health repercussions for millions of Americans.

And here we are today, facing the third spike of our unending first wave of coronavirus less than 2 weeks from Election Day.

#28 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-10-20 12:16 PM | Reply

Dems hate rich people getting richer but absolutely LOVE it when it supports their narrative. This is a money grab. I can go to ANY country and find faults with how they do anything. But making a movie about it and getting money does nothing. It's totally self-serving. Even if all proceeds go to charity or help with covid, the filmmaker makes money. It's a shame the Dems are supporting a rich guy getting richer just because you agree with the topic.

#29 | Posted by humtake at 2020-10-20 12:23 PM | Reply

#29 | Posted by humtake

If you keep straining after points like this you'll give yourself a hernia.

#30 | Posted by Zed at 2020-10-20 12:28 PM | Reply

Dems hate rich people getting richer but absolutely LOVE it when it supports their narrative.

Yeah, that's why the movie spends considerable time documenting how the Obama Administration made mistakes in both their H1N1 and Ebola outbreak responses - showing and interviewing reporters and their criticisms.

Whoops, that supports the Trump narrative, but you'd never know because you have no plans on actually educating yourself. Ignorance is your bag, baby.

#31 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-10-20 12:40 PM | Reply

HUMTAKE

WRONG! Dems are opposed to Trump dipping his sticky fingers into the U.S. Treasury and getting richer at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.

But that's not the only reason. His handling of a pandemic tops that. People are opposed to dyeing for lack of competent leadership in a crisis. That's where the buck really stops.

People are opposed to Trump's attack on their Obama Care, specifically pre-existing conditions, without which they'd be thrown into bankruptcy, homelessness, destitution and, again, an early death.

People are opposed to Trump's plan to cut the payroll tax which would defund Social Security and Medicare and literally destroy the social network of multiple millions of workers, the backbone of America's economy.

People are opposed to Trump's attacks on infectious disease experts to cover his own ignorance.

People are opposed to Trump's alliances with the world's worst dictators at the expense of America's long standing guaranteed protection of NATO allies.

People are opposed to Trump's overate support of America's home grown terrorists, better known as part of his "base."

The list goes on and on but I'm sure you've stuck your head in the sand by now.

#32 | Posted by Twinpac at 2020-10-21 06:50 AM | Reply

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