Obama Calls Trump’s Pol­icy ‘Chaotic Dis­as­ter’

Fiji Sun - - WORLD NEWS -

For­mer United States pres­i­dent, Barack Obama, has launched a scathing at­tack on Don­ald Trump’s han­dling of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, call­ing it an “ab­so­lute chaotic dis­as­ter”. In a leaked web call on Fri­day night with for­mer mem­bers of his ad­min­is­tra­tion, Mr Obama also said the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s de­ci­sion to drop charges against Michael Flynn, the for­mer Trump na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser, who pleaded guilty to ly­ing to the FBI in the Rus­sia probe, en­dan­gers the rule of law in the US.

In the au­dio, first ob­tained by Ya­hoo News, Mr Obama urges for­mer staffers to join him in ral­ly­ing be­hind Joe Bi­den as he pre­pares to take on Mr Trump in the Novem­ber pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

The United States by far leads the world in the num­ber of coro­n­avirus in­fec­tions, at nearly 1.3 mil­lion, and deaths, with more than 77,000.

Mr Trump has been crit­i­cised as es­sen­tially ab­di­cat­ing any lead­er­ship role in guid­ing the coun­try through one of its worst crises in a cen­tury, leav­ing states on their own to grap­ple with the pan­demic and even bid against each other to ob­tain crit­i­cal med­i­cal equip­ment on the open mar­ket or abroad.

Crit­ics say Mr Trump, af­ter first down­play­ing the threat posed by the virus, squan­dered pre­cious time in Fe­bru­ary as the pathogen spread in Amer­ica and his ad­min­is­tra­tion did lit­tle to stock up on test­ing kits and other med­i­cal gear or to de­velop a co­he­sive na­tional strat­egy.

With an eye to re-elec­tion, the pres­i­dent has also been blasted as putting his own po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests be­fore hu­man life by ag­gres­sively push­ing states to re­open their dev­as­tated economies with­out a clear blue­print for how to do it safely.

“What we’re fight­ing against is these long-term trends in which be­ing selfish, be­ing tribal, be­ing di­vided, and see­ing others as an en­emy - that has be­come a stronger im­pulse in Amer­i­can life,” Mr Obama told his for­mer staffers.

“It’s part of the rea­son why the re­sponse to this global cri­sis has been so anaemic and spotty,” Mr Obama said.

“It would have been bad even with the best of gov­ern­ments. It has been an ab­so­lute chaotic dis­as­ter when that mind-set - of ‘what’s in it for me’ and ‘to heck with ev­ery­body else’ - when that mind-set is op­er­a­tionalised in our gov­ern­ment,” he said.

Mr Obama said that the drop­ping of charges against Mr Flynn was omi­nous.

“That’s the kind of stuff where you be­gin to get wor­ried that ba­sic - not just in­sti­tu­tional norms - but our ba­sic un­der­stand­ing of rule of law is at risk,” he said.

For­mer US pres­i­dent Barack Obama and cur­rent US pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

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