- Former first lady Michelle Obama delivered a harsh rebuke of President Donald Trump in a video on Tuesday, imploring Americans to vote in the highly consequential November election.
- “What the president is doing is once again patently false, it’s morally wrong, and, yes, it is racist, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work,” she said.
- The former first lady was highly critical of Trump’s response to COVID-19, stating that “he still doesn’t have a plan for this virus.”
- Trump has had a testy relationship with former President Barack Obama, who Trump has repeatedly invoked to whip up his political base.
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Former first lady Michelle Obama delivered a scathing rebuke of President Donald Trump on Tuesday, highlighting the shortcomings of his administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and passionately imploring Americans to vote in November.
Obama made a pitch for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in the new video, titled “Closing Argument,” highlighting that voters need to be engaged in order to afford the US “any kind of stability” again. She also bluntly said that Trump and the Republican Party are attempting to weaponize racial divisions and white grievance.
“Right now, the president and his allies are trying to tap into that frustration and distract from his breathtaking failures by giving folks someone to blame other than them,” Obama said. “They’re stoking fears about Black and brown Americans, lying about how minorities will destroy the suburbs, whipping up violence and intimidation and they’re pinning it all on what’s been an overwhelmingly peaceful movement for racial solidarity.”
She added: “What the president is doing is once again patently false, it’s morally wrong, and, yes, it is racist, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work.”
As one of the nation’s most prominent Black women and most popular Democrats, Obama made a deeply personal appeal, asking voters to recognize that the state of the country can look even more ominous to racial minorities.
"I want everyone who is still undecided to think about all those folks like me and my ancestors," she said, "the millions of folks who look like me and fought and died and toiled as slaves and soldiers and laborers to help build this country."
Obama also sharply condemned Trump's "willful mismanagement of the COVID crisis" and accused the president of being "missing in action."
"The worst part is, it didn't have to be like this," she said. "Look around the world. So many other countries aren't experiencing this level of extended suffering and uncertainty. These countries were hit by the same virus as we were, they had the same resources to contain it as we did, but what they didn't have to contend with was this president."
"Seven months later," Obama continued, "he still doesn't have a plan for this virus. Seven months later, he still won't wear a mask consistently and encourage others to do the same — even when those simple actions could save countless lives. Instead, he continues to gaslight the American people by acting like this pandemic is not a real threat."
Trump was released from the Walter Reed Military Medical Center on Monday after being diagnosed with the coronavirus last Thursday. First lady Melania Trump is also infected with the highly contagious disease but has remained quarantined in the White House since last week.
After returning to the White House, Trump removed his mask for a photo-op and resumed minimizing the risks posed by the illness.
For years, Trump has had a tense relationship with his predecessor in office, former President Barack Obama, from his "birther" campaign aimed at the first Black president in US history to his repeated accusations that Obama spied on his 2016 presidential campaign.