Obama blasts Trump decisionmaking on coronavirus

Former President Obama said in a podcast released Friday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally MORE made “terrible decisions” that have worsened the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Speaking of the selection of Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisHarris honors Ginsburg, visits Supreme Court The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump and Biden vie for Minnesota | Early voting begins in four states | Blue state GOP governors back Susan Collins Kamala Harris: Black Americans have been 'disproportionately harmed' by Trump MORE (D-Calif.) as the vice presidential nominee, Obama said: “She is somebody who I think will be able to share the stage with Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceMomentum growing among Republicans for Supreme Court vote before Election Day Sunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election McConnell urges GOP senators to 'keep your powder dry' on Supreme Court vacancy MORE, or whoever else, and dissect some of the terrible decisions that have been made over the last four years that have helped create worse problems than were necessary in the midst of this pandemic.”

Obama did not go into detail about Trump’s decisionmaking, but he referred to the “current administration that seems to purposely try to ignore or contradict experts.”

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Trump’s response to the pandemic has been criticized by public health experts who say he resisted encouraging mask-wearing for months, pushed many responsibilities for the response to governors, downplayed the severity of the virus and encouraged states to reopen businesses before the virus was suppressed. 

Obama noted the comparison to other industrialized countries, which have been widely noted to have now suppressed the virus more than the U.S. For example, the U.S. had about five times more new cases on Thursday than the European Union, according to Our World in Data, despite the EU having about 100 million more people. 

“We've got a pandemic that's raging out of control,” Obama said, on "Campaign HQ" hosted by his former campaign manager David Plouffe. “And that would have been difficult under any circumstances, for any president, but we actually have a comparison between what's happening in the United States and what's happening in every other wealthy, industrialized country in the world, and we are dead last in how we have effectively responded. If you don't have more proof ... of the need for change, it's hard to come up with what the arguments would be.”