Obama highlights Biden’s tweet from a year ago warning Trump wasn’t ready for pandemic
Former President Obama on Sunday called on voters to support Democratic nominee Joe Biden, sharing a tweet the former vice president posted on the same day in 2019 warning that President Trump was not prepared for a pandemic.
In the 2019 tweet, which came far before the coronavirus pandemic was on Americans’ radar, Biden wrote, “We are not prepared for a pandemic. Trump has rolled back progress President Obama and I made to strengthen global health security. We need leadership that builds public trust, focuses on real threats, and mobilizes the world to stop outbreaks before they reach our shores.”
Obama retweeted Biden, saying the former vice president has “a plan to get it under control.”
Eight months into the pandemic, as new cases are breaking records, we need an administration that’s not going to wave the white flag. A year ago today, @JoeBiden was talking about the leadership we need to get prepared for a pandemic, and he’s got a plan to get it under control. https://t.co/A49pTJEQc9
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 25, 2020
Biden’s initial tweet linked to a report by The Washington Post that warned 195 countries were unprepared for a possible pandemic, including the U.S.
The Post cited former national security adviser John Bolton’s decision under Trump to disband a unit on global health security and biodefense as one reason the U.S. score on pandemic preparedness was not ideal. The global health team was created under Obama and Biden in response to the Ebola pandemic.
It was reported in March that the Obama administration had walked incoming Trump administration officials through a hypothetical scenario in which a pandemic worse than the 1918 flu shut down major cities. The briefing on the hypothetical pandemic warned of scenarios that have since taken place during the coronavirus pandemic, including ventilator shortages.
Obama, who for the duration of Trump’s presidency has kept his criticism of the administration quiet, has recently hit the campaign trail with Biden. In his latest public statements, Obama has been more outspoken about Trump’s handling of the pandemic and other policy issues.