The United States has recorded nearly 200,000 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands more Americans are dying week after week.
Months of an uncontained coronavirus pandemic have left the US in far worse shape than other wealthy developed countries.
The US practically invented the playbook of how to confront pandemics.
Presidents â€” both Republican and Democratic â€” worked to ensure that if a pandemic came, there would be an effective plan to respond. Yet while other countries used that playbook and succeeded in doing what was necessary to get the coronavirus under control, the Trump administration threw out the plan.
To help Americans understand precisely what went wrong, Insider hired the comics creators Anthony Del Col and Josh Adams to depict the Trump administration’s course of action that put America into this position.
Below the comic, you’ll find a comprehensive list of sources underpinning the factual events depicted in the story.
Insider is proud to present “Totally Under Control.”
This story draws on real, factual reporting from sources that include the following articles, books, and original documents.
- Reporter: White House Knew Of Coronavirus’ ‘Major Threat,’ But Response Fell Short-Terry Gross interview with Dan Diamond, NPR
- The Red Dawn emails-The New York Times
- The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life-Ed Pilkington and Tom McCarthy, The Guardian
- Before Trump’s inauguration, a warning: ‘The worst influenza pandemic since 1918’-Nahal Toosi, Daniel Lippman, and Dan Diamond, Politico
- What If Trump Hadn’t Ignored Months Of Pandemic Warnings?-Eric Lutz, Vanity Fair
- ‘Nothing to worry about’ and ‘it’s being contained’: How Trump officials downplayed the coronavirus-Andrew Kaczynski, Em Steck, and Nathan McDermott, CNN
- He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure on the Virus-Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger, Maggie Haberman, Michael D. Shear, Mark Mazzetti, and Julian E. Barnes, The New York Times
- Trump administration ended pandemic early-warning program to detect coronaviruses-Emily Baumgaertner and James Rainey, The Los Angeles Times
- On Coronavirus, National Security Threats, O’Brien Picks His Spots-Michael C. Bender and Gordon Lubold, The Wall Street Journal
- America Needed Coronavirus Tests. The Government Failed.-Christopher Weaver, Betsy McKay, and Brianna Abbott, The Wall Street Journal
- A Complete List of Trump’s Attempts to Play Down Coronavirusn-David Leonhardt, The New York Times
- Before Virus Outbreak, A Cascade Of Warnings Went Unheeded-David E. Sanger, Eric Lipton, Eileen Sullivan, and Michael Crowley, The New York Times
- Why Dr. Anthony Fauci Runs-Ben Cohen and Louise Radnofsky, The Wall Street Journal
- Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November: Sources-Josh Margolin and James Gordon Meek, ABC News
- ‘I still like playing it down’: Trump told a veteran journalist he ‘always’ downplayed the threat of COVID-19 to avoid causing ‘panic’-John Haltiwanger and Jake Lahut, Business Insider
- 25 times Trump downplayed COVID-19 publicly after telling Bob Woodward on tape it was ‘more deadly than strenuous flus’-John Haltiwanger, Business Insider