Obama offers blistering criticism of Trump over coronavirus: ‘He’s jealous of Covid’s media coverage’

Former President Barack Obama on Tuesday offered blistering criticism of President Donald Trump‘s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the economy.

“More than 225,000 people in this country are dead. More than 100,000 small businesses have closed. Half a million jobs are gone in Florida alone. Think about that,” Obama said, speaking from Orlando as he campaigned for Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

He continued, “And what’s his closing argument? That people are too focused on Covid. He said this at one of his rallies. Covid, Covid, Covid, he’s complaining. He’s jealous of Covid’s media coverage. If he had been focused on Covid from the beginning, cases wouldn’t be reaching new record highs across the country this week.”

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Obama, an important surrogate for Biden, campaigned for his former vice president for the second time in four days in Florida. The key battleground state could play a decisive role in the outcome of the election, and recent polls show a tight race between Trump and Biden.

He accused Trump of failing to take preventative measures to contain the virus across the nation and in the White House. He also pointed to the second recent outbreak among White House staff, which infected several aides including Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short.

Democrats hope Obama can help encourage Black men, Latinos and younger voters in battleground states to turn out and vote.

Obama praised his former vice president, describing Biden as a man of “principle and character.”

“He made me a better president, and he’s got the character and the experience to make us a better country,” Obama said.

This story is breaking and will be updated.