NEWS
17/05/2020 11:20 BST

Obama Rips The Trump Administration's Failed Pandemic Response

"A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge," said the former president in an address to college graduates.

Former president Barack Obama tore into the Trump administration’s chaotic coronavirus response during a college commencement address on Saturday, stating “a lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.” 

Obama spoke to the class of 2020 at 74 historically black colleges and universities across the United States as part of a two-hour video event, addressing communities of colour that are disproportionally affected by the deadly virus.

“You’re being asked to find your way in the world in the middle of a devastating pandemic and terrible recession,” Obama said. “The timing is not ideal. And let’s be honest — a disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this country.”

Obama then took a shot at the Trump White House, without naming the president directly.  

“More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing. A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”

The Trump administration has continuallyfallen short in its response to the pandemic, which has killed almost 90,000 Americans. 

Following Obama’s speech, Trump tweeted a single response to the former president: “OBAMAGATE!” — a reference to Trump’s vague accusation of crimes by the former president, which Trump has declined to explain.

Read Obama’s full commencement speech here.