- President Donald Trump on Tuesday pointed out that former first lady Michelle Obama cited an outdated coronavirus death toll in her prerecorded speech at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night.
- “She was over her head, and, frankly, she should have made the speech live, which she didn’t do,” Trump told reporters. “She taped it. And it was not only taped, it was taped a long time ago, because she had the wrong deaths.”
- Trump’s remarks were a reminder that his administration has largely failed to control the spread of COVID-19 in the US.
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President Donald Trump tore into former first lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday after she delivered a poignant speech on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention and said Trump’s failure to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in thousands of American deaths.
Four years after her husband, President Barack Obama, left office, “the state of this nation is very different,” Michelle Obama said in the prerecorded speech on Monday evening. “More than 150,000 people have died, and our economy is in shambles because of a virus that this president downplayed for too long.”
Trump on Tuesday pointed out that the number of coronavirus deaths in her speech was wrong because it was prerecorded. Indeed, as of Tuesday morning, 170,568 people in the US had died from COVID-19, more than 20,000 more deaths than the statistic Obama cited in her DNC speech.
“She was over her head, and, frankly, she should have made the speech live, which she didn’t do,” Trump told reporters. “She taped it. And it was not only taped, it was taped a long time ago, because she had the wrong deaths.”
Trump’s remarks were a reminder that his administration has largely failed to control the spread of COVID-19, which the World Health Organisation declared a pandemic in March.
More than 5.4 million people in the US have been infected by the virus. In recent weeks, states in the South and the West that had lifted lockdown measures have seen spikes in new cases.
The pandemic “has left millions of people jobless,” Obama said in her DNC speech on Monday. “Too many have lost their healthcare. Too many are struggling to take care of basic necessities like food and rent. Too many communities have been left in the lurch to grapple with whether and how to open our schools safely.”
Earlier in the night, Kristin Urquiza, a California woman who lost her father to the coronavirus, also gave a sober speech in which she blamed the president for her father’s death.
“He had faith in Donald Trump,” Urquiza said of her father. “He voted for him, listened to him, believed him and his mouthpieces when they said that coronavirus was under control and going to disappear. That it was OK to end social-distancing rules before it was safe. And that if you had no underlying health conditions, you’d probably be fine.”
Urquiza said that in late May, after Arizona lifted its stay-at-home order, her father went to a karaoke bar with his friends.
“A few weeks later, he was put on a ventilator. And after five agonizing days, he died alone, in the ICU, with a nurse holding his hand,” she said. “My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that he paid with his life.”
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