Obama blasts Trump decisionmaking on coronavirus

Former President Obama said in a podcast released Friday that President Trump made “terrible decisions” that have worsened the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Speaking of the selection of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) as the vice presidential nominee, Obama said: “She is somebody who I think will be able to share the stage with Mike Pence, 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.”

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.”

Tags Barack Obama Coronavirus COVID-19 Donald Trump Mike Pence
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