Totally Under Control

Totally Under Control is a new documentary and not fake news that follows the Trump administration’s response to the Covid – 19 pandemic in the United States. I don’t usually get too involved in politics, especially those south of the Canadian border, but in considering current world events I’m posting my review of this film.

Having recently finished the book, ‘The Fifth Risk“, about the undoing of democracy in the U.S., I wasn’t too surprised by the Trump administration’s political mishandling of a pandemic, that had they had been warned about and planned for in advance.

We are all aware of Trump’s bold-faced lies and how he bullies his way through every conversation, on or off-camera. Like the book (written separately from the documentary and by a different author), Totally Under Control points out Trump’s basic flaw – that he doesn’t believe in science.

Case in point is global warming, but I won’t go there. When he took over for the Obama administration, he pretended he was back on his television show, and fired all kinds of scientists and experts who were in charge unimportant things like their nuclear arsenal and disease control. Then, for reasons only known to him, he replaced them with family members and rich buddies.

This documentary was secretly made while the pandemic was spreading around the world, and it includes interviews with disease experts and even some of Trump’s own staff. I think it was very well presented, and probably strategically released just before the election. Judge it for yourself.

I watched it on Prime and there are clips on YouTube.

The Fifth Risk – Michael Lewis

The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy
by Michael Lewis
Edmond Gagnon‘s review Oct 07, 2020 


This is not the type of book I normally read but the author’s name caught my attention. Michael Lewis wrote Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Blind Side, and The Big Short, all stories that I’ve seen as movies. And being that the Fifth Risk is about Donald Trump, I figured it was worth a read.
The book caught my interest early, tempting me with how the Donald botched his transition into the White House. The author compares past presidents Obama and Bush and how they came to office prepared, and with experts who could fill the important top positions in various departments of government.
It was no surprise to me how the businessman turned president was totally unprepared for the massive undertaking and came in with only his family and a few friends to take over one of the most powerful countries in the world.
The story is about how the president took up to six months to fill some of those jobs for departments like energy where they control unimportant things like nuclear weapons. It goes on to tell how the Donald filled positions previously held by experienced scientists with wealthy buddies who had no idea what they were getting into and no interest it what the job was all about. Scary stuff.
Lewis talks about how the president has surrounded himself with yes men and how no one is allowed to tell him anything negative. They are fired if they do.
Much of this book was dry and boring…parts where the author went into all sorts of detail and backstory about the people who were replaced by the incoming president.
If you want a scary look inside the Trump administration, The Fifth Risk is worth a read.