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Source video: NBC news
“Let’s be honest, a disease like this just spotlights the underlying inequalities and extra burdens that black communities have historically had to deal with in this country,” said Obama, during an online commencement address to graduates of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). “We see it in the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on our communities.”
As he continued, Obama criticized federal response efforts to the coronavirus crisis: “More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain 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,” he said.
The former president’s comments come amid dual crises – one a pandemic disproportionately sickening people of color in the US, and another born by the economic impacts of attempts to contain the virus through lockdowns.
So far, there have been 1.4 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the US, and 88,000 people have died from the virus.
Although Obama has largely avoided criticizing Trump’s performance in office, in a call leaked last week the former president described the US government’s coronavirus response as, “an absolute chaotic disaster,” and questioned whether the justice department’s decision to drop charges against former national security advisor Michael Flynn could endanger the “rule of law” in the United States.
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The guardian, NBC news