In the final spurt of the election campaign, Barack Obama speaks out with biting criticism of Donald Trump. He accuses his successor of “incompetence” in the Corona crisis and complains: Many Americans did not have to die.
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Former US President Barack Obama has drastically accused his successor Donald Trump of failing to contain the coronavirus pandemic. Trump ignored the pandemic and then made things worse with “incompetence”, “misinformation” and a lack of planning, the Democrat said on Wednesday (local time) at an election rally. Many people in the US would not have had to die if the government had taken even “basic” action, Obama said. The comparison with other countries such as South Korea or Canada shows that the number of corona deaths could have been significantly lower.
Trump had “shown no interest” in helping the people of America. The office of the US president is “not a reality show. That is the reality,” said Obama. The Republican is not able to “take the job seriously,” said the ex-president. “And the rest of us have to live with the consequences.” Obama’s conclusion: “If he had been doing his job all the time, it would never have gotten that bad.”
The two appearances in the city of Philadelphia in the embattled state of Pennsylvania were Obama’s first major campaign events for former Vice President Joe Biden, who will face Trump on November 3rd.
Obama: “Tweeting on TV doesn’t solve any problems”
“The pandemic would have been difficult for any president,” Obama admitted. The “extent of incompetence and misinformation” on the part of the government made the situation even worse. “The idea that this White House did something other than screw it up completely is just not true,” Obama said. South Korea and the US had the first confirmed infection on the same day, but the US government did not act. “Tweeting or inventing things on TV does not solve any problems,” Obama said. He was confident that Biden would get the situation under control. “That doesn’t mean everything will be resolved tomorrow. We’ll still struggle, but I know we can do better,” he said.
After leaving office, Obama – as usual with former US presidents – held back with public criticism of his successor. It wasn’t until May, when the African American George Floyd was killed in a police operation and people across the country protested against racism and police violence, that Obama has spoken more and more. His biting criticism of Trump in Philadelphia – just in time for the final spurt of the election campaign – represents a clear tightening of his tone.
Dramatic corona numbers in the USA continue
According to data from the University of Johns Hopkins, there are so far 8.3 million confirmed coronavirus infections in the United States, a country with 330 million inhabitants. The number of new infections recently rose again to a good 50,000 per day. More than 221,000 people have died so far – more than in any other country in the world.
According to these data, 68 people per 100,000 population in the USA have died after being infected with the coronavirus. This is roughly the same as in Great Britain (66) and Spain (73). In other countries, however, there was a significantly lower mortality rate. In Canada, 27 people died per 100,000 inhabitants, in Germany 12 and in South Korea only one.
Trump claims that his management of the pandemic, including the entry bans for people from China and Europe, may have prevented millions more deaths. Biden, on the other hand, accuses him of failure in the Corona crisis and accuses Trump of being responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of US citizens.
“We are in a deep hole”
Trump infected himself with the corona virus at the beginning of the month and was treated in hospital for Covid-19 disease. After his return to the White House, the President called on Americans to “not be afraid” of the virus and again promised an early end to the pandemic. Obama said: “Donald Trump is not suddenly going to protect us all. He cannot even take the basic steps to protect himself.”
Obama strongly campaigned for Trump to be voted out. If he wins the election again, the country would be set back so far in the next four years that it would be “really difficult” to “break out of this hole,” said Obama. “We are in a deep hole.”