As COVID-19 spread across the globe, why was the U.S. caught so unprepared? An investigation of how America’s leaders failed to prepare and protect us — and who is accountable.
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In this 90-minute FRONTLINE documentary special, award-winning journalists Marcela Gaviria and Martin Smith trace the coronavirus’s path across the globe and identify a chain of fateful missteps — from Chinese authorities’ early silencing of dissent around the virus's emergence in Wuhan, to the World Health Organization’s failure to more quickly sound the alarm, to Italian officials’ slow initial reaction. Then, “The Virus: What Went Wrong?” zeroes in on key moments in the Trump administration’s halting response — including warnings going back to January, the CDC’s inability to manufacture and mass-distribute a working COVID-19 test early on, and a string of missed opportunities to contain the virus before it was too late.
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Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation, the Park Foundation, The John and Helen Glessner Family Trust, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.