Obama blasts Trump's handling of coronavirus pandemic as 'an absolute chaotic disaster' and blames the president for America being more 'selfish, tribal, and divided' in leaked call

Poll: Trump is handling coronavirus better than Biden if he were ...

  • Former president hit out at Trump in web talk to ex-administration officials 
  • Obama said administration's response to pandemic is 'spotty and anemic' 
  • Former president also blamed Trump for exacerbating 'tribal' strife in country 
  • Comments were sharpest attack by Obama aimed at President Trump
  • Trump defended performance during pandemic despite nearly 78,000 dead
  • President has claimed his travel ban on China saved millions of lives 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19
The Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been an ‘absolute chaotic disaster,’ former President Barack Obama said on Friday.
President Trump’s predecessor blamed the current occupant of the Oval Office and his allies for exacerbating ‘tribal’ tensions around the country, which he says has hampered the effort to reduce total number of cases nationwide. 

Audio of the web call in which Obama spoke was obtained by Yahoo News.
‘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,’ the president said.
‘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 anemic and spotty.
Save for campaign speeches during the 2018 mid-term elections, the former president has largely been quiet since Trump took office and replaced him after defeating Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Obama’s comments on the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic were a much sharper attack on his successor.
Last month, Obama offered veiled criticism of Trump over the COVID-19 crisis, claiming that there was no ‘coherent national plan’ to address the outbreak.
'While we continue to wait for a coherent national plan to navigate this pandemic, states like Massachusetts are beginning to adopt their own public health plans to combat this virus––before it's too late,' the former president tweeted.
Obama used the tweet to issue an attack on the president, but also praised Massachusetts for its response to the pandemic with a New Yorker article titled: It's Not Too Late to Go on Offense Against the Coronavirus.
As several states continue to lament that they do not have the supplies to administer enough testing, some have taken matters into their own hands.

On April 22, Obama launched a veiled attack on Trump without using the president's name, claiming there is no 'coherent national plan' on coronavirus response

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker launched a plan for full-scale, statewide testing, which will be used to implement effective quarantine and treatment systems.
The state was able to increase the number of tests administered from just 41 on March 9 to more than eight thousand by April 17.

Obama also attacked his successor at the end of March as Trump signed the CARES Act to provide $2.2 trillion in economic stimulus and relief for Americans and small businesses.

'We've seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic,' the two-term Democrat tweeted last month.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
A woman gets a nasal swab to test for coronavirus in Chelsea, Massachusetts

'We can't afford any more consequences of climate denial. All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall,' he continued at the time.
This election year has been upended by the pandemic. With no vaccine in sight and the number of cases climbing, some states have started to gradually reopen their economies while others have maintained a lockdown.
The Trump administration has been scrutinized for its response to the pandemic.
Reports in several media outlets indicated that Trump played down the severity of the coronavirus even while his own experts were urging him to take it seriously.
Top Trump administration officials like Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and trade adviser Peter Navarro reportedly sounded the alarm about a pandemic reaching American shores as early as late January, but the president failed to heed the warnings.
Critics said the valuable time that was lost could have been used to ramp up testing as well as provide medical professionals adequate supplies of personal protective equipment in order to better deal with the pandemic.

Trump has also been criticized for mixed messaging - touting social distancing and preventative measures on the one hand but then urging his supporters to 'liberate' states through mass demonstrations on the other. 
The president has also made comments that have prompted mockery and scorn from the public, including his suggestion that cleaning disinfectants could be ingested into the body in order to treat COVID-19. 
Trump, for his part, has claimed that his decision to shut down travel from China saved lives, though the administration has allowed flights from China carrying American citizens and legal residents to continue landing in the country.

The record unemployment rate reported on Friday captured the pain of a nation where tens of millions of jobs suddenly vanished, devastating the economy and forcing Trump to overcome historic headwinds to win a second term.
Just a few short months ago, Trump planned to campaign for re-election on the back of a robust economy.

That's a distant memory after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April, leading to an unemployment rate of 14.7 per cent, the highest since the Great Depression.
There's no parallel in US history for the suddenness or severity of the economic collapse, which is ravaging some states that are crucial to Trump's victory.
The president is now tasked with convincing voters that the catastrophic jobs losses were the result of the pandemic - not his management of the public health crisis.
He also argues that he deserves another chance to rebuild what the virus destroyed.
‘What I can do: I’ll bring it back,’ Trump told Fox News on Friday.

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