Barack Obama and Donald Trump clash over Covid-19 leadership

20 May 2020 - 05:56 By Unathi Nkanjeni
Barack Obama said today's leaders 'aren't even pretending to be in charge'.
Barack Obama said today's leaders 'aren't even pretending to be in charge'.

Former US president Barack Obama has taken a dig at his successor Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus crisis.

While congratulating the class of 2020 from historically black universities and colleges, Obama said the pandemic had shown that many officials “aren't even pretending to be in charge”.

Though Obama didn't name Trump in his criticism, he suggested that the graduates could not rely on current leadership to make the changes they hoped to see in the future.

“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,” he said.

“A lot of them aren't even pretending to be in charge. If the world is going to get better, it's going to be up to you.

“A disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this country,” he added.

Responding to the criticism, according to Fox News, Trump said Obama was an “incompetent” president.

“He was an incompetent president. He left us with a broken military and little on the shelves — if we are talking about pandemics.”

Using his favourite platform, Trump wrote on Twitter: “The Obama administration is turning out to be one of the most corrupt and incompetent in US history. Remember, he and Sleepy Joe [Biden] are the reasons I am in the White House.”

The US has more 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases, with the death toll close to 90,000.

Watch Obama's remarks below (skip to 1:47:00):