Obama criticizes the response to viruses in an online closing speech

WASHINGTON (AP) – Former President Barack Obama criticized US leaders overseeing the nation’s response to the corona virus on Saturday, announcing in an online speech to college graduates that the pandemic shows that many officials “don’t even like that.” act like they are responsible “.

Obama spoke about “Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition,” a two-hour event for students studying at historically black colleges and universities that air on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. His comments were unexpectedly political, given the venue, and touched on current events beyond the virus and its social and economic ramifications.

“More than anything, this pandemic has finally pulled the curtain back on the idea that so many of those responsible know what they are doing,” said Obama. “Many don’t even pretend to be responsible.”

Obama has not mentioned President Donald Trump or any other federal or state official in his comments. But last Friday, he sharply criticized Trump’s handling of the pandemic as an “absolute mess” in a call to 3,000 members of his administration received from Yahoo News.

The opening remarks were the latest sign that Obama wants to play an increasingly active role in the upcoming elections. He has generally held back in the years since he left office, even though Trump has belittled him. Obama said to supporters on call that he would “spend as much time as necessary and promote Joe Biden as hard as possible”, who served as his vice president.

When he congratulated graduates on Saturday and complained about the enormous challenges they face in the face of the devastation and economic turmoil of the virus, the former president noted the death of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery in February, who was jogging down a residential street in February Georgia was killed.

“Let’s face it, a disease like this only highlights the underlying inequalities and additional pressures that black communities in this country have historically struggled with,” Obama said. “We see this in the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our communities. The way we see it when a black man goes jogging and some people feel they can stop and question and shoot him if he doesn’t submit to their questioning . “

“Injustice like this is not new,” Obama continued. “What’s new is that so much of your generation has woken up that the status quo needs to be fixed that the old methods don’t.” Work. “Given a gap in leadership, he said, it was up to the graduates to shape the future.

“If the world gets better, it’s up to you,” he said.

It is a dangerous time for the country’s historically black colleges and universities, which have long struggled with less funding and foundations than their mostly white counterparts and are now addressing the financial challenges of the corona virus. Even with the better-equipped HBCUs, the officials are preparing for some tough years.

Obama will hold a prime time prime time prime time television show on Saturday during a one hour event with LeBron James, Malala Yousafzai and Ben Platt among others.

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