For most of President Donald Trump's first term, former President Barack Obama largely withheld from openly critiquing his successor, opting to allude to his behavior without mentioning him by name.
But in a recently leaked phone call with members of the Obama Alumni Association, Obama acknowledged the Trump administration's bungled response to the virus that's killed over 80,650 people in the United States.
Obama referred to the Trump admin COVID-19 response as a 'chaotic disaster' on this leaked call audio https://t.co/wgEI3Znmkg— NowThis (@NowThis) 1589205780.0
President Obama said:
"It has been an absolute chaotic disaster when that mindset of 'what's in it for me' and 'to heck with everybody else' — when that mindset is operationalized in our government."
The White House's pandemic response team dissolved soon after Trump's inauguration. A detailed playbook on pandemic response from the Obama administration went largely ignored.
Nevertheless, Trump waged a Twitter war on the President he's spent the better part of his term blaming for all of his own missteps.
Trump cited the 2009 swine flu outbreak in the United States as a shortcoming of the Obama administration.
That outbreak led to a little over 12,000 American deaths in seven months. The current virus has killed over 80,000 Americans in four months.
Trump claimed his so-called ban on China significantly weakened the virus's spread, but the ban wasn't a ban at all. Over 400,000 people traveled from China to the United States after Trump implemented the restrictions.
The vast majority of cases coming into New York, the virus's epicenter, came from European travelers. Trump didn't implement restrictions on European travel until March.
Nevertheless, Trump continued to spread erratic conspiracy theories about the Obama White House on his Twitter account.
Trump tweeted or retweeted a near-record 126 times before the day was through.
People soon began fact checking Trump's claims.
Swine flu hit 3 months into Obama's presidency, during a catastrophic financial crisis. Deaths were kept to 12k ove… https://t.co/QD2rpDXdal— Robert Maguire (@Robert Maguire) 1589119944.0
TRAGIC FACTS: H1N1: 12,469 deaths in ONE YEAR COVID-19: 79,403 deaths in TWO MONTHS https://t.co/2fitvaXk6J— Tea Pain (@Tea Pain) 1589120603.0
12,500 died in the US from the H1N1 over a one year period in 2009-2010. 12,500 died in the US from the Coronaviru… https://t.co/SzrQqrVO4z— Jamie Dupree (@Jamie Dupree) 1589112035.0
Trump's numbers on his COVID habdling are currently 43.5% approve and 51.1% disapprove. Have been getting a little… https://t.co/wR1HZOCOw4— Nate Silver (@Nate Silver) 1589114471.0
People mocked Trump's latest lies.
Titanic Captain praises himself for stopping shortly after he hit iceberg. https://t.co/Dpfqf9DJ5L— Warren Leight (@Warren Leight) 1589127435.0
Honestly what world does this man live in? Obviously not the real world! https://t.co/DMlEE1etlz— Claire Roberts (@Claire Roberts) 1589143141.0
🤣😂 Can you believe this 💩? https://t.co/R6o3AKC9ko— Howard Luks MD (@Howard Luks MD) 1589111782.0
"Chaotic disaster," indeed.