Obama: Still no ‘coherent national’ coronavirus plan in US

Former President Obama on Wednesday called out the Trump administration’s failure to form a “coherent national plan” as it navigates the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The former president hailed states that are developing their own strategies despite a unified plan, specifically citing Massachusetts’s statewide effort. 

“While we continue to wait for a coherent national plan to navigate this pandemic, states like Massachusetts are beginning to adopt their own public health plans to combat this virus––before it’s too late,” Obama said on Twitter, linking to a New Yorker article that details Gov. Charlie Baker’s (R) aggressive push for widespread testing and a comprehensive contact-tracing program. 

Obama rarely weighs in on policies or plans developed by the current administration. But he has remained vocal on Twitter and other platforms during the coronavirus outbreak. In late March, he urged local governments around the nation to maintain social-distancing requirements as some lawmakers began pushing for reopening portions of the economy. 

Earlier this month, he called on lawmakers to keep vulnerable communities in mind when deciding how to respond to the pandemic

“We can’t deny that racial and socioeconomic factors are playing a role in who is being hit the hardest by the virus,” Obama said. “It’s a reminder for our policymakers to keep our most vulnerable communities at the forefront when making decisions.”

The Trump administration has faced repeated scrutiny over its initial response the outbreak. Governors have continued to express concerns over a shortage of testing, noting that they can’t comfortably reopen without an adequate supply. 

In Massachusetts, Baker is implementing a plan for statewide testing and contact tracing. In partnership with state and local health departments, as well as the state’s health-insurance marketplace, the governor’s office is planning to hire hundreds of people by the end of the month to build the system. 

Tags Barack Obama Charlie Baker Contact tracing Coronavirus testing
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