Former United States President Barack Obama has said that Donald Trump is jealous of the media coverage given to COVID-19 while campaigning on behalf of Joe Biden in the lead up to next week’s presidential elections.
On Tuesday, Obama appeared at a rally in Florida for the second time in a matter of days, where he blasted Trump’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Levelling criticism at Trump for his response to the global COVID-19 pandemic has become the centrepiece of the Biden campaign’s messaging, with the general elections less than a week away. Obama’s comments have also broken with a long-standing tradition of former presidents refusing to criticise incumbents.
“What’s his closing argument? That people are too focused on COVID,” Obama said, as reported by The Hill. “He said this at one of his rallies. ‘COVID, COVID, COVID,’ he’s complaining. He’s jealous of COVID’s media coverage.”
And Obama’s claims are not unfounded. Trump has, in fact, complained that the media has placed too much attention on the pandemic that has killed more than 220,000 Americans.
Obama also criticised Trump for bringing COVID-19 into the White House in light of Trump’s own COVID-19 diagnosis at the beginning of October.
“Let me say this: I lived in the White House for a while,” Obama said. “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.”
The United States leads the world in COVID-19 infections, with 8,778,680 cumulative cases recorded and 226,723 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.