Former President Barack Obama has criticized how his successor Donald Trump handled the coronavirus crisis.
In an online address to graduate students, he said the pandemic had shown that many officials “didn’t even pretend to be in charge”.
This is the second time in recent days that Obama has spoken out against the Trump administration’s coronavirus response.
He said it had been “an utter chaotic disaster” during a conference call leak last week.
The former president also spoke to high school students, moderated by NBA star LeBron James, and was part of a special program that included many celebrities, including the Jonas Brothers, Megan Rapinoe, Pharrell Williams and the activist. of education Malala Yousafzai.
In his speech to graduates of dozens of historically black colleges and universities, Obama said that the Covid-19 epidemic had revealed failings in the leadership of the country.
“More than anything else, this pandemic has completely torn the curtain on the idea that so many officials know what they are doing,” he said.
“Many of them do not even pretend to be in charge,” he added.
More than 1,200 people have died from coronavirus in the United States in the past 24 hours, according to the latest figures from Johns Hopkins University.
The total death toll is now close to 89,000, the highest in the world.
Obama also spoke at length about the impact of the pandemic on black communities in the United States.
“A disease like this only highlights the underlying inequalities and the additional burdens that black communities have traditionally faced in this country,” he said.
African-Americans account for a disproportionate number of coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations in the United States.
The former president also touched on the murder of Ahmaud Arbery – an unarmed black jogger who was shot dead by two white men in February – during his speech.
He said that racial inequality in the United States was apparent “when a black man is jogging and some people feel they can stop and interrogate and shoot him if he does not submit not their question. “
“If the world improves, it will be up to you,” he told the graduates.
Obama has kept a relatively low profile since he left office in January 2017 and has rarely spoken out against the actions of his successor.
But the pair have been involved in several round trips in recent days, which has led Trump to accuse Mr. Obama and his associates of making a criminal effort to undermine his presidency.
“The greatest political crime in American history, by far! The president wrote on Twitter last week.