Former president Barack Obama on Saturday came down heavily on the US leadership’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak as the country tops the list with most confirmed cases and deaths.
Obama told college graduates in an online commencement address that the pandemic shows many officials "aren’t even pretending to be in charge”, reports AP.
“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,” Obama said in unexpectedly political remarks. “A lot them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.”
Globally, the number of coronavirus cases has crossed 4.7 million on Sunday and there have been more than 313,000 deaths. The US has recorded the highest number of cases at more than 1.5 million and over 90,000 deaths, according to data from Worldometer.
Obama spoke on “Show Me Your Walk, HBCU Edition,” a two-hour event for students graduating from historically black colleges and universities broadcast on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Later, during a second televised commencement address for high school seniors, Obama panned “so-called grown-ups, including some with fancy titles and important jobs” who do “what feels good, what's convenient, what's easy”.
“Which is why things are so screwed up,” he said.
Obama’s message to high school students came at the end of an hourlong television special featuring celebrities and was less sharp-edged than his speech to the college graduates.
He urged the young graduates to be unafraid despite the current challenges facing the nation and to strive to be part of a diverse community.
“Leave behind all the old ways of thinking that divide us — sexism, racial prejudice, status, greed — and set the world on a different path," Obama said.