Former President Barack Obama launched a blunt attack on Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, calling it "an absolute chaotic disaster".
In a web call released on Friday night with former members of his government, Obama also said the Justice Department's decision to dismiss charges against Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Russian investigation, endangers the US law rule.
In the audio, obtained for the first time by Yahoo News, Obama asks former employees to join him to join Joe Biden as he prepares to face Trump in the November presidential election.
The United States, by far, leads the world in the number of coronavirus infections, by almost 1.3 million, and deaths, with more than 77,000.
Trump was criticized for essentially abdicating any leadership role in guiding the country during one of its worst crises in a century, leaving states on their own to deal with the pandemic and even applying for critical medical equipment on the open market or abroad .
Critics say that Trump, after belittling the threat posed by the virus, wasted precious time in February, when the pathogen spread across the United States and his government did little to stock up on test kits and other medical equipment or to develop a national strategy cohesive.
With the aim of re-election, the president was also criticized for putting his own political interests before human life by aggressively pressing states to reopen their devastated economies without a clear plan on how to do it safely.
"Be selfish, be tribal"
"We are fighting these long-term trends in which being selfish, tribal, divided and seeing others as enemies – it has become a stronger impetus in American life," Obama told his former employees.
"It is part of the reason why the response to this global crisis was so anemic and irregular," said Obama.
“It would have been bad even with the best governments. It was an absolutely chaotic disaster when that mentality – of & # 39; what's for me & # 39; and & # 39; look like everyone else & # 39; – when this mentality is operationalized in our government, ”he said.
Obama said the withdrawal of charges against Flynn was threatening.
"This is the kind of thing where you start to worry about the basics – not just institutional norms – but our basic understanding of the rule of law is at risk," he said.
Obama endorsed Biden's candidacy last month and said he would be deeply involved in his campaign against Trump.
He told the Obama Alumni Association, "I hope everyone feels the same sense of urgency as I do."