Former U.S. president Barack Obama tore into the failed pandemic response by Donald Trump’s administration in a college commencement address on Saturday.
Obama spoke to the class of 2020 of the 74 historically black colleges and universities across the United States as part of a two-hour video event. He also addressed communities of colour that are disproportionally affected by the deadly novel coronavirus disease.
“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 continually fallen short in its response to the pandemic, in which nearly 90,000 Americans have died.
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.
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