Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

It's way too easy to edit Trump's coronavirus responses into a Contagion-style thriller

Illustration for article titled Its way too easy to edit Trumps coronavirus responses into a iContagion/i-style thriller
Photo: Win McNamee (Getty Images)

As the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world, Americans have been able to take heart in the knowledge that this moment of crisis is being handled by a leader uniquely capable of reassuring the public with calm, well-informed, and level-headed guidance. While other countries panic, the United States maintains the course, knowing that COVID-19 “will go away”that it’s “really working out” and that “the consumer has never been in a better position than they are right now.”

Somehow, despite messages like these and the reassurance that comes from a president who understands that you can’t really “get” a virus if you don’t test for it and just build a big, bug-stopping border wall, The Daily Show With Trevor Noah has observed a strange similarity between Trump’s coronavirus remarks and the ominous first act of disaster thrillers like Contagion.

In the trailer for Pandumbic, an imagined movie about the government’s mishandling of the outbreak, scary music and title cards outline an awful scenario where a pandemic strikes while “the dumbest person alive” is president. A greatest hits collection of Trump’s coronavirus remarks plays out, giving us sound bites of him saying how “it’s going to disappear one day, it’s like a miracle, it will disappear” and wondering how much of an impact “a solid flu vaccine” would have on a new virus. We’re shown Trump shaking hands over a news clip advising people not to do so and explaining that he’s probably inherited the scientific know-how of his “great super genius” uncle who “taught at MIT.”


The clip is a good reminder that, rather than pay attention to the White House’s coronavirus response as anything other than an indication of how terribly equipped the current American government is to manage the crisis, it’s a better idea to look for information elsewhere. Consider, perhaps, some advice from a disease control expert eager to debunk coronavirus myths or, hell, even just a video of Conan O’Brien keeping his staff safe by outfitting them with garbage pickers and Halloween masks.

[via Rolling Stone]

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.

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