Obama slams Trump
WASHINGTON: Former president Barack Obama harshly criticised President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic as an “absolute chaotic disaster” during a conversation with exmembers of his administration, according to a recording obtained by Yahoo News.
Mr Obama, pictured, also reacted to the Justice Department dropping its criminal case against Mr Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, saying he worried that the “basic understanding of rule of law is at risk”.
More than 78,400 people with COVID-19 have died in the US and more than 1.3 million people have tested positive, according to the latest estimates from the Centre for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Mr Obama’s comments came during a call on Friday with 3000 members of the Obama Alumni Association, people who served in his administration. Mr Obama urged his supporters to back his former vicepresident, Joe Biden, who is trying to unseat Mr Trump in the November 3 election.
“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. And by the way, we’re seeing that internationally as well. It’s part of the reason why the response to this global crisis has been so anaemic and spotty,” Mr Obama said, according to Yahoo News.
“It would have been bad even with the best of governments. It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset - of ‘What’s in it for me’ and ‘To heck with everybody else’ - when that mindset is operationalised in our government,” he said.
Mr Trump has consistently defended and boasted of his response to the virus, saying that travel restrictions from China and Europe as well as social distancing guidelines have prevented far greater damage. “I think we saved millions of lives,” he said earlier this week.
Mr Obama has generally kept a low profile on current political events, even when Mr Trump would disparage him or his administration on Twitter. But Friday’s call indicates that he’ll be playing an active role in the coming election.