Former President Barack Obama expertly flayed the current U.S. head of state on Thursday, and he did so without even having to say Donald Trump’s name.
Speaking to a group of U.S. mayors as part of a virtual conference set up by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Obama addressed what he called the “biggest mistake” any leader can make in a time of crisis such as the one cause by the COVID-19 pandemic:
“The biggest mistake any [of] us can make in these situations is to misinform, particularly when we’re requiring people to make sacrifices and take actions that might not be their natural inclination.”
As HuffPost notes, Trump has repeatedly tried to candy coat the full extent of the coronavirus threat:
“Trump has repeatedly misinformed the public about the nature of the coronavirus threat and the outbreaks across the United States.
“In February, Trump said that the number of cases would go ‘down to close to zero‘ within a couple of days. He also repeatedly promised ‘millions’ of tests for the infection when very few were available.”
That sort of rhetoric, Obama made clear, is not the way to handle a major crisis. Instead, he called for truth at all times:
“Speak the truth. Speak it clearly. Speak it with compassion. Speak it with empathy for what folks are going through.”
President Obama also urged the mayors to rely on and trust experts:
“The more smart people you have around you, and the less embarrassed you are to ask questions, the better your response is going to be.”
The remarks from the former president were just the latest he’s made regarding the ongoing pandemic which has killed nearly 17,000 Americans so far.
On Wednesday, he noted that until the United States has widespread coronavirus testing in place, the country should remain on lockdown:
Social distancing bends the curve and relieves some pressure on our heroic medical professionals. But in order to shift off current policies, the key will be a robust system of testing and monitoring – something we have yet to put in place nationwide. https://t.co/evkTSrzReB
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 8, 2020
And just last week, Obama called for an end to climate change denial:
We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic. 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. https://t.co/K8Ucu7iVDK
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 31, 2020
Featured Image Via ABC News