Barack Obama took a not-so-subtle jab at Donald Trump on Tuesday for the current commander-in-chief’s handling of the escalating coronavirus crisis. Taking to Twitter, the former president, who often keeps his opinions private, warned followers about what happens when leaders don’t take their jobs seriously.
“We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic,” Obama tweeted, without directly naming Trump. “We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial. All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall.”
Along with his message of getting out the vote, Obama included a link to an L.A. Times article that discusses rollbacks of environmental standards that were put in place by his administration. Last week it was announced that a number of EPA measures were weakened in light of the pandemic, as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a sweeping suspension of its enforcement of environmental laws. Companies were told that they would not need to meet environmental standards while the pandemic persists.
The criticism doled out by Obama echoes the sentiments of local leaders, scientists and much of the American public. Though Trump has claimed that he knew the coronavirus would be a pandemic before it reached pandemic status, his previous tweets and public comments prove that not to be true. While China was reporting large numbers of deaths, Trump was calling the outbreak a “hoax” made up by Democrats to downplay his leadership skills.
On March 13, Trump declared a national emergency to address the pandemic—but by that time it had already spread to nearly all of the 50 states. Currently the United States leads globally in confirmed coronavirus cases—and that number is well on its way to reaching 200,000 by the end of this week.