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Obama Is Back, And Let’s Loose On The Dangers Of Coronavirus Misinformation

Plenty of people are missing the decency, wisdom, and competence of President Barack Obama.

Like many ex-presidents, he has chosen to remain mostly silent on the Trump Administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, among many other things. However, as the crisis gets worse, President Obama is choosing to speak out just a bit.

Johan Viirok/Flickr

Bloomberg Philanthropies arranged for the former president to have a call with mayors, and of course, the pandemic was a hot topic of conversation. On the subject of the coronavirus crisis, President Obama spoke decisively:

“Speak the truth. Speak it clearly. Speak it with compassion.”

“Speak it with empathy for what folks are going through.”

That is something Trump is clearly incapable of doing, so Obama took up the mantle. Further, without mentioning Trump’s name, Obama warned against the misinformation currently coming from the White House podium, and urged leaders to listen to healthcare and infectious disease experts:

“The biggest mistake any [of] us can make in these situations is to misinform, particularly when we’re requiring people to make sacrifices and take actions that might not be their natural inclination.”

“The more smart people you have around you, and the less embarrassed you are to ask questions, the better your response is going to be,” he said.

“When you start looking at issues of domestic abuse and you start looking at racial disparities that are popping up in your cities, paying attention to that is the kind of leadership I know all of you aspire to.”

“You have to be intentional about it, and dedicate folks to thinking about those issues.”

This is how a real president acts in the midst of a crisis. He does not indulge in narcissistic grandiosity, and he actually does his job instead of acting aggrieved when his mistakes and shortcomings are pointed out.

Goodness, if we ever needed Barack Obama back at the helm, it is now.

Of course, a decent leader like President Obama likely felt it was his duty to speak out, regardless of the unspoken protocol from ex-presidents about not criticizing his successors.



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