President Trump blames Obama and CDC for coronavirus outbreak

The 45th president turns to his familiar political trope of blaming his predecessor.

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After receiving criticism for his administration’s response to the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, President Donald Trump is now turning to a familiar political trope: blame former President Barack Obama.

In a tweet Friday morning, Trump turned his ire toward Obama and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), blaming the 44th president and U.S. federal agency for “inadequate” testing for the potentially deadly virus.

For decades the @CDCgov looked at, and studied, its testing system, but did nothing about it. It would always be inadequate and slow for a large scale pandemic, but a pandemic would never happen, they hoped,” Trump wrote. “President Obama made changes that only complicated things further.

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He continued, “Their response to H1N1 Swine Flu was a full scale disaster, with thousands dying, and nothing meaningful done to fix the testing problem, until now. The changes have been made and testing will soon happen on a very large scale basis. All Red Tape has been cut, ready to go!”

Trump made similar claims against the Obama administration on Wednesday in an attempt to deflect criticism leveled against his own administration’s response, the New York Times reported.

“The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we’re doing, and we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion,” Trump said. “That was a decision we disagreed with. I don’t think we would have made it, but for some reason it was made. But we’ve undone that decision.”

Trump, however, like in his tweets on Friday morning, did not specifically name any policy change by the Obama administration that would have slowed testing during the current coronavirus crisis. What’s more, Trump has not explained why the policy he claims to disagree with was not changed during his first three years in office.

Trump’s criticism of the Obama administration comes after he received public backlash for his response to the coronavirus outbreak, particularly by health agencies that have complained about having a lack of coronavirus tests to identify patients.

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According to the Times, Trump may have been referring to a practice that limited the ability for laboratories run by states, universities and private companies to conduct medical screenings not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Obama has not responded to Trump’s recent criticisms, however, he did take to Twitter on Thursday to advise Americans on what they can do to remain safe.

“If you’re wondering whether it’s an overreaction to cancel large gatherings and public events (and I love basketball), here’s a useful primer as to why these measures can slow the spread of the virus and save lives. We have to look out for each other,” Obama tweeted along with an article about how self-quarantining can save lives.

“Protect yourself and your community from coronavirus with common sense precautions: wash your hands, stay home when sick and listen to the @CDCgov and local health authorities,” he wrote on March 4. “Save the masks for health care workers. Let’s stay calm, listen to the experts, and follow the science.”

Meanwhile, the Trump administration has said that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence would not be tested for coronavirus after interacting with a Brazilian official who later tested positive for the virus, the Times reported yesterday.

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham claimed that the president and vice president had “almost no interactions” with the official, Fabio Wajngarten, despite the fact that both Trump and Pence were photographed with him at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where they participated in meetings together.