Barack Obama Says Donald Trump Made ‘Terrible Decisions’ Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Former President Barack Obama speaks at the opening of the Bits & Pretzels meetup
Hannes Magerstaedt / Getty Images

In an interview that aired on Friday, former President Barack Obama said that his successor, Donald Trump, made “terrible decisions” amid the coronavirus pandemic, The Hill reported.

Speaking with his former campaign manager David Plouffe, Obama accused Trump and his allies of ignoring advice from public health experts.

As the publication noted, Trump has been criticized over his handling of the coronavirus crisis. For months, he refused to wear a face mask and encourage social distancing.

He also appeared to downplay the severity of the crisis, encouraging states across the nation to reopen their economies.

In addition, Trump has been accused of avoiding responsibility and letting governors handle the virus as he focuses on other issues.

Obama said that “current administration that seems to purposely try to ignore or contradict experts,” noting that the rest of the developed world seems to be handling the COVID-19 pandemic much better than the U.S.

Obama pointed to Our World in Data research, which suggests that the U.S. has about five times more COVID-19 cases than the European Union, which has around 100 million more citizens than America.

“We’ve got a pandemic that’s raging out of control,” he said.

“And that would have been difficult under any circumstances, for any president, but we actually have a comparison between what’s happening in the United States and what’s happening in every other wealthy, industrialized country in the world, and we are dead last in how we have effectively responded.”

“If you don’t have more proof… of the need for change, it’s hard to come up with what the arguments would be,” Obama stated.

The former commander-in-chief welcomed Joe Biden’s decision to select California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate in the 2020 presidential election, arguing that Harris will be able to “dissect some of the terrible decisions” made by the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump speaks during a briefing at the White House.
  Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

During the interview, Obama also warned that Trump could benefit electorally from the progress being made in terms of developing an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

He said that there is “no possibility” a vaccine will be developed and widely available before the November election, but noted that some trials could show promising results by then.

Polling suggests that Biden is a strong favorite to win the White House.

According to the latest CBS News survey, the Democrat is ahead in the key battleground states of Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, largely because voters disapprove of the way Trump has handled the coronavirus crisis.

In the poll, 47 percent of respondents in both states said that Biden would handle the issue better than Trump.