Former Obama Adviser Susan Rice Says Trump Is Responsible For ‘Tens Of Thousands’ Of Americans’ Deaths
How many people will become infected with coronavirus — and how many will die due to contracting the disease — is yet unknown. But a high-ranking former official of the Obama administration places some of the blame for a number of American deaths at the door of current President Donald Trump.
Susan Rice, who served as former President Barack Obama’s first United Nations ambassador as well as eventually becoming his National Security Adviser, spoke to the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart about Trump’s response to the pandemic — and to see how she put it, she wasn’t the least bit impressed.
Rice prefaced some of her comments with disclaimers — for example, stating that she felt it was “inconceivable” for her to believe a president of the United States could WANT to see a number of Americans die. “But I do think he’s playing politics” with the entire matter, she added.
She also went into details about the transition period, and described how she had met with Trump officials during that time to hand over briefing papers, discussing “most salient and most important” issues, including the possibility for a pandemic.
“Anybody who knows national security, anybody who knows global health, knows development issues, understood that we were not only inevitably going to face another global pandemic, but in fact, that the world was overdue,” Rice said in the interview.
Rice even said the Obama administration left behind a 69-page “Pandemic for Dummies” playbook, whose protocols she claims were not adhered to.
240,000 coronavirus deaths: ‘In what circle of hell is that a good outcome?,’ asks Susan Rice. https://t.co/nqzstsqA5T
— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) April 3, 2020
The former National Security Advisor didn’t hold back on her thoughts on Trump — including her opinion that his slow response to coronavirus in the United States will likely lead to higher death counts than are necessary:
“He has demonstrated utter lack of leadership, utter incompetence. And he’s been profoundly dishonest about the nature of the threat to the American people by downplaying it, by dismissing it, by comparing it to the flu…He has misled the American people to such an extent that lives have been lost in the process…”
“He has cost tens of thousands of American lives,” she added.
The White House last week projected that between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans might die due to the spread of COVID-19 across the nation. But it’s unclear how that estimate was derived — according to some experts, the numbers may have been pulled out of thin air.
A survey of biostatisticians, compiled by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, found that 55 percent of such experts believe the final death toll will be between 100,000 and 500,000, with 262,500 being the aggregate estimate. Another 30.6 percent of those surveyed said the death count will be higher.
As of early Monday morning, nearly 340,000 Americans were positively identified with coronavirus, and just under 10,000 had died from the disease so far, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.