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Obama issues warning on US coronavirus response: 'Virus doesn't care about spin or ideology'

Obama issues warning on US coronavirus response: 'Virus doesn't care about spin or ideology'
© Hill.TV

Former President Obama on Wednesday warned against politicizing the coronavirus pandemic, saying the U.S. has fallen behind the rest of the world in its handling of the virus.

“The latest data offers a tragic reminder that the virus doesn’t care about spin or ideology––and that the best thing we can do for our economy is to deal with our public health crisis,” Obama tweeted, linking to a New York Times opinion piece titled “The Pandemic Could Get Much, Much Worse. We Must Act Now.”

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In the column, historian John M. Barry wrote of the need for an improved testing regimen and wider contact tracing, as well as social distancing and masks, adding that President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden prepares to confront Putin Biden aims to bolster troubled Turkey ties in first Erdoğan meeting Senate investigation of insurrection falls short MORE being photographed in one last weekend may help depoliticize the issue.

“But at this point all these things together, even with widespread compliance, can only blunt dangerous trends where they are occurring,” Barry wrote.  “The virus is already too widely disseminated for these actions to quickly bend the curve downward.”

In areas experiencing exponential growth of cases, he wrote, “only decisive actions will work,” adding “at the very least, limits even on private gatherings and selective shutdowns that must include not just such obvious places as bars but churches, also a well-documented source of large-scale spread.”

In a follow-up tweet, the former president added: “Here’s a quick look at how our response stacks up with countries around the world.” A New York Times graphic he linked to showed the U.S. second to only Brazil in new coronavirus cases per 1 million residents.

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