It sounds scary: US President George W. Bush warned of pandemics as early as 2005 – because he had a team of advisors that is still important today. 2020 Covid strikes. And detailed documentation proves that the global spread would have been avoidable.

These sentences seem almost spooky: The then US President George W. Bush has been warned by his advisors and speaks urgently about possible impending pandemics: “No country can afford to ignore this threat.” 15 years later, that is exactly what is happening. And all warnings of a pandemic fizzle.

“The Outbreak – Was the Pandemic Avoidable?” is the name of the ZDF documentary by Michael Wech, which rewinds life with Covid again after almost two and a half years. It’s scary, hard to imagine, also because all warning signals were simply ignored – or worse – suppressed. As Bush’s advisory board prophesied 15 years ago: “Speed ​​beats perfection.” And that too: “The biggest mistake is not to act.”

Scientists from all over the world, many of whom have been working in virus research for decades and have been trained to recognize the peculiarities, warned early and urgently. But, afterwards we hear:

It’s hard to bear to see how carelessly the whole world is running towards disaster. Science is pushing, politics is holding back. The experts are frustrated. One says on January 20, 2020: “I’ve never been so worried since I’ve been dealing with viruses.” Soon after, the first lockdown in Wuhan, 20 million people in quarantine. What you also don’t want to believe: there are many “silent spreaders” – you can infect many people without knowing it.

“That’s the ability of leaders — to act with foresight,” says one of the former Bush advisory team. Time is the decisive factor. You can see pictures from the flu season in 1918. People wear masks and are asked to stay at home. Have you learned from this for 2020? Not at first. It’s not joyful to watch this TV play. Because apparently the pandemic could have been avoided. If you had listened to experts. would have acted faster. would have acted braver. That makes you angry about all of this. But the television documentary is excellent nonetheless. Also because of their quiet brutality: “We saw in their eyes the knowledge of their own end,” reports a doctor from Italy about the many miserably dying people. And then the viewer looks at many graves.

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