“We had to prepare New Yorkers… ” Dr. Oxiris Barbot reveals all in 54 Days: America and the Pandemic

In this gripping BBC documentary, expert scientists explain why it took the US government so long to react to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watch this, as well as many other politics and history documentaries on BBC Select today. Restrictions apply*.

Watch 54 Days: America and the Pandemic on BBC Select

21 January 2020. Coronavirus comes to America as the first case of COVID-19 is confirmed on US soil.

Despite warnings about the dire consequences of ignoring this potential threat to the country’s collective health, from scientists and public health officials including Dr Oxiris Barbot, it will be a further 54 days until President Trump declares a national emergency.

During those critical weeks – where the president downplays ‘the China virus’ as a hoax – the deadly disease takes hold. As a result, by the middle of the year, 150,000 Americans will become victims of the global pandemic.

This documentary on BBC Select is the inside story of why it took Donald Trump so long to act – and why when he did finally take action, it wasn’t enough.

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