Former US President Barack Obama has sharply criticized President Donald Trump's treatment of the coronavirus pandemic as an "absolute chaotic disaster" during a conversation with former members of his government, according to a recording obtained by Yahoo News.
Obama also responded to the Justice Department by filing his criminal case against Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, saying he was concerned that "the basic understanding of the rule of law is at risk".
More than 78,600 people with COVID-19 died in the United States and more than 1.3 million people tested positive, according to the latest estimates from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.
Obama's comments were received during a Friday conference call with 3,000 members of the Obama Alumni Association, people who served in his government. Obama urged his supporters to support his former vice president Joe Biden, who is trying to overthrow Trump in the November 3 elections.
"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. And, by the way, we are seeing this internationally. It is part of the reason why what the response to this global crisis has been so anemic and irregular, "Obama said, according to Yahoo News.
"It would have been bad, even with the best governments. It was an absolute and chaotic disaster when that mentality – of & # 39; what is there for me & # 39; and & # 39; look like everyone else & # 39; – when that mentality is operationalized in our government, "he said.
Trump has always defended and boasted of his response to the virus, saying that travel restrictions from China and Europe, as well as physical distance guidelines, prevented much greater damage. "I think we saved millions of lives," he said earlier this week.
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Trump criticized the Obama administration for his own government's response to the outbreak. However, Trump's claim that his government inherited "a broken system and a broken test" from Obama's is false; the new coronavirus did not exist until the end of last year. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention struggled to develop their own test in January and then discovered problems with their kits in February.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not mention Obama directly in her response to his comments.
"President Trump's response to coronavirus was unprecedented and saved American lives," she said. "While the Democrats were pursuing a witch hunt simulation against President Trump, President Trump was preventing travel from China."
"While the Democrats were encouraging mass meetings, President Trump was deploying personal protective equipment, fans and testing across the country."
Obama generally maintains a low profile in current political events, even when Trump would disparage him or his government on Twitter. But Friday's summons indicate that he will play an active role in the upcoming elections. He told supporters he would be "spending the necessary time and campaigning as much as possible for Joe Biden".