Obama says Trump is ‘jealous of Covid’s media coverage’ as he ridicules pandemic response

‘Tweeting at the TV doesn’t fix things,' says former president

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Tuesday 27 October 2020 18:43
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Obama says Trump 'is jealous of Covid's media coverage' as he ridicules his pandemic response
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Speaking at a Biden-Harris campaign rally in Florida, Barack Obama ridiculed Donald Trump for being jealous of the media coverage that the coronavirus pandemic receives.

“What’s his closing argument? That people are too focused on Covid. He said this at one of his rallies. ‘Covid. Covid Covid,' he’s complaining. He’s jealous of Covid’s media coverage," the former president said. 

He took the administration and Mr Trump personally to task over the response to the pandemic that has now cost the lives of 225,000 Americans.

“You can’t think of anything you might be doing differently?” Mr Obama asked. “Like, maybe you shouldn’t have gone on TV and suggested we might inject bleach to cure Covid?”

He also called out Mr Trump’s apparent inability to handle the coronavirus at the scale of the executive mansion: “I lived in the White House ... You know, it's a controlled environment. You can take some preventive measures in the White House to avoid getting sick. Except this guy can't seem to do it. He's turned the White House into a hot zone."

With just one week to go before election day, Mr Obama is acting as a surrogate for the campaign in a state that the Democratic Party feels is within its grasp in 2020.

“We can’t be complacent. We were complacent last time… Look what happened … Not this time, not in this election,” he said.

At the drive-in rally in Orlando for former vice president Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris, Mr Obama urged Florida voters to make a plan to cast their ballots early. 

“Don’t put it off, drop it in the drop box today, just get it done.” 

The former president did not hold back in his criticism of Mr Trump or his administration: "Even Florida Man wouldn’t do some of this stuff. Why would we accept it from the President of the United States?” 

Touching on foreign policy and referencing Mr Trump’s disastrous 60 Minutes interview, Mr Obama said his successor could not stand up to dictators when he thinks that Lesley Stahl is a bully.

“Just yesterday, he said that Putin of Russia, Xi of China, and Kim Jong-un of North Korea, want him to win … we know!” said Mr Obama. “Because you’ve been giving them everything that they want for the past four years, of course they want you to win! That’s not a good thing!”

He continued: ’You shouldn’t brag that some of our greatest adversaries think that they’d be better off with you in office! Of course they do! What does that say about you?!’

Mr Obama’s speech was covered live by all of the major news networks.

A reference to Mr Trump’s “secret Chinese bank account” and the fact he had paid more in taxes in China than the $750 he reportedly paid in the US, elicited a response from the president himself.

“Now Fox News is playing Obama’s no crowd, fake speech for Biden, a man he could barely endorse because he couldn’t believe he won. Also, I PREPAID many Millions of Dollars in Taxes," Mr Trump tweeted.

Earlier, regarding the coronavirus response, Mr Obama had mocked the president with the line: “Tweeting at the TV doesn’t fix things.”

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