Skip to Content
US & World

Obama criticizes leadership on virus response in virtual commencement address

WASHINGTON, DC — Former President Barack Obama told college graduates that the “folks in charge” don’t always know what they’re doing in a rare public criticism of the Trump administration.

Obama on Saturday criticized the handling of the coronavirus pandemic without mentioning President Donald Trump by name, just a week after privately critiquing the administration’s response to the Covid-19 crisis.

“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. A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge,” the 44th President said during a virtual commencement address for historically black colleges and universities.

“If the world is going to get better, it’s going to be up to you,” he added.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Saturday touted Trump’s work, saying that “President Trump’s unprecedented coronavirus response has saved lives.”

Obama had privately criticized the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus crisis as “an absolute chaotic disaster” during a phone call earlier this month with former staffers and administration alums.

During his message to the HBCU graduates, Obama also spoke of how the pandemic has disproportionately affected black communities.

“A disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this country. We see it in the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on our communities,” he said during the “Show Me Your Walk” virtual commencement program.

“Just as we see it when a black man goes for a jog and some folks feel like they can stop and question and shoot him if he doesn’t submit to their questioning. Injustice like this isn’t new,” Obama said, referring to the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a young black man in Georgia.

Obama, who was a former civil rights lawyer and community organizer before he ran for political office, also gave three pieces of advice for the graduating class to “create change.”

“No generation has been better positioned to be warriors for justice and remake the world,” Obama said.

He encouraged the HBCU graduates to organize at the grassroots level (and not just resort to online activism), to grow allies in the fight for a common cause, and remember “you’re all role models now, whether you like it or not.”

“Your participation in this democracy, your courage to stand up for what’s right, your willingness to forge coalitions, these actions will speak volumes,” he said. “And if you’re inactive, that will also speak volumes.”

Education / News / Politics / Top Stories




    1. You are stating truth. obama the affirmative action puke. But it isn’t funny there is no record of his grades in college? Columbia doesn’t have them. So was his passing grade a D- or an A+ in basket weaving you think?

        1. He was the best President we’ve had since John F. Kennedy. Two Presidents who actually cared about our country and who worked for the people.

          1. Delusional much? Obama was the race baiter in chief. He set back race relations in this country by 50 years. He continues to be a racist. One thing I’ll give him credit for is he was the best gun salesman in U.S. history. Gun sales went off the charts and NICS background checks tilted the FBI computer systems. He is the main reason why President Trump was elected back in 2016. After 8 years of his failed presidency people had enough. He created ISIS and the mess in Syria. It took President Trump to eventually beat ISIS. His foreign policy was terrible and made the U.S. look very weak in the eyes of the world. His in everyone’s face Obamacare is a total disaster and failure. The list goes on. Too nauseating to mention.

          2. What made him the best. Just bexause he spoke well didn’t make him a good president. He caused a racial divide and he did nothing great for the American people.

          3. Now that’s funny. What do you know about JFK? I bet you weren’t born back then or when he got assassinated. Obama best President? No way obviously the worst. He founded BLM. Hands up don’t shoot. If he had a son he would look like Trayvon Martin. Obama was a total loser and at least half the country hated him. Trump’s ratings have been higher.

          4. Please tell us what Kennedy did for us? That is besides whoring around with Marilyn Monroe and so many other women. He inherited the economy of Eisenhower and you say he gave dignity to the White House? Really?
            The other president you idolize is who? Bill Clinton? Really?

      1. Isn’t ironic that the liberals drink the kool-aid then try to blame the republicans for it? alberto has been drinking the piss at Denny’s too long. No wonder he got fired again. That’s why IT is here at this time of the day.

  1. I’ll be calling the FBI on them. Let’s track these little hillbillies living here threatening El Paso. Interestingly they work for law enforcement. Let’s identify them.

    1. What made him the best. Just becuae se he spoke well didn’t make him a good president. He caused a racial divide and he did nothing great for the American people.

    2. I would hate to think these supporters of the orange buffoon work in law enforcement here in El Paso. All the law enforcement people I know are decent, moral people doing an impossibly difficult job. All the police officers and sheriff’s deputies I know are Democrats. No one supporting the orange buffoon can be described as decent or moral.

      1. You now get 9 Pinocchios for lying again. All the LEO’s I know especially from the federal agencies are very conservative and vote Republican. I should know since I trained them when I was federal civil service. All Trump supporters are decent morally unlike libtards.

    3. The little hillbillies are the ones you wash the dishes for at Denny’s. But you must be mad cause they don’t give you tips. Oh I stand corrected. They do give you tips. They tell you to go hang yourself. Good tip.

    1. No but your TDS will probably go off the charts this November 2020 when he gets reelected. I still watch those crazy videos where you see all those Democrats/Liberals crying in disbelief when crooked Hillary lost back in 2016. You can’t buy entertainment like that.

      1. I have no respect for a pathological liar, a rapist, a thief, a misogynist, a homophobe, a racist, and a person who is so stupid he still denies man made climate change. The orange buffoon is unfit for office and everybody including all the Republicans in Congress know it. I wouldn’t be surprised if this idiot still denies evolution and the big bang! The man is a moron.

    1. Did you see obam’s latest virtual disgrace? The man was lost without the teleprompter. That is the uniter? Don’t think so. Just like you said a
      race-baiter and a socialist scumbag.

Leave a Reply