Former US President Barack Obama on Saturday criticized “the folks in charge” for their response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many of the folks in charge know what they’re doing,” Obama said in a commencement address, according to NBC News. “A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”
“If the world’s going to get better, it’s going to be up to you," he added.
While he did not directly mention President Donald Trump’s name, the remarks mark the second time in a week that he as criticized the President for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a private phone call with thousands of alumni of his administration last week, Obama called the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic an “absolute chaotic disaster."
Obama also said during the call that "seeing others as an enemy" had "become a stronger impulse in American life" and had weakened the response to the global crisis.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany responded to Obama’s criticism on Saturday, saying in a statement, “President Trump’s unprecedented coronavirus response has saved lives. His early travel restrictions and quarantines protected the American public while his Paycheck Protection Program and direct payments to Americans got needed economic relief to our country."
"Moreover, President Trump directed the greatest mobilization of the private sector since World War II to fill the stockpile left depleted by his predecessor," the statement said. "As we look to the future, we have the President who ushered in the hottest economy in modern history ready to do it a second time.”
Obama last month endorsed his former Vice President, Joe Biden, for President, saying he was the right person to "guide us through one of our darkest times."