President Donald Trump on Monday claimed he wouldn’t have called for former President Barack Obama’s resignation if his predecessor had been in his shoes during the current coronavirus pandemic and more than 160,000 people in the country had died.
Speaking to reporters at a White House briefing Monday, Trump defended a staggering COVID-19 death toll and his own mismanagement of the virus by saying that he wouldn’t have blamed Obama if the Democratic leader had been leading the country through a pandemic that netted similarly dismal results.
“No, I wouldn’t have done that,” Trump said when a reporter asked if he would have called for Obama’s resignation. “I think it’s been amazing what we’ve been able to do.”
Trump’s comments on Monday reflect a leader scrambling to save face amid his own bungled response to the pandemic.
“If we didn’t close up our country, we would’ve had one-and-a-half or two million people already dead,” Trump said, defending a death toll that outpaces all other countries in the world.
But President Trump repeatedly called for Obama’s resignation in campaigns ahead of the 2016 elections and within a year of announcing his own presidential bid.
Looking back on his social media record, Vox reported back in February that President Trump had posted roughly 100 panicked tweets about the Ebola virus in 2014, often attacking then-President Obama for his handling of the outbreak.
If this doctor, who so recklessly flew into New York from West Africa,has Ebola,then Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 23, 2014
Trump demanded that Obama “apologize to the American people & resign” over a doctor’s flight during the Ebola outbreak, even though the virus did not ultimately spread in the United States. Two out of 11 people who were infected, died in the United States during a 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic, according to the CDC.
Hitting a new milestone on Sunday the United States reported five million coronavirus cases – and exceeded more than 1,000 deaths per day for a five day stretch last week.