With Donald Trump telling Americans not to worry about a pesky little virus that’s killed over 200,000 of our friends and family so far, and Melania getting caught on tape cursing about bad press thanks to kids in cages, it’s difficult not to get nostalgic for the times when we had competent and even compassionate first families in the White House.
Michelle Obama is really driving that nostalgia home today after she released a 24-minute-long video urging voters to support Joe Biden in the upcoming presidential election.
The former First Lady wasted no time in lambasting Trump’s “failure to take this pandemic seriously, from his constant downplaying of the importance of masks and social distancing to his relentless pressure on schools to open without offering a clear plan or meaningful support to keep students and teachers safe.”
Her concern over Trump’s disinterest in containing the spread of COVID-19 also extended to include frustrations over the lack of support the current administration is providing for people struggling financially due to the state of things.
“It’s painful to think that, months into this crisis, this is still where we are, with no clear plan, no peace of mind,” Obama added. “And the worst part is it didn’t have to be like this.
“Look around the world. So many other countries aren’t experiencing this level of extended suffering and uncertainty. These countries were hit by the same virus as we were. They had the same kind of resources to contain it as we did. But what they didn’t have to contend with was this president.”
She reiterated so many of the ways Trump has failed the United States, for those who have forgotten: holding massive rallies, lying to us about the severity of COVID-19, pushed back against masks, and more, painting a damning picture of the president who let over 200,000 Americans die, and is doing absolutely nothing to prevent further deaths.
Obama’s video covered far more ground than just COVID-19 concerns, although that should be a sticking point for any reasonable person who is horrified by what has happened in the U.S. She criticized Trump’s persistent need to divide the country by stoking unwarranted fears and encouraging racism and xenophobia.
“Search your hearts, and your conscience, and then vote for Joe Biden like your lives depend on it,” she said.
The video was reportedly filmed a couple of weeks back, before we even knew that Trump himself had contracted COVID-19 as it spread rapidly throughout his administration and campaign team. With that in mind, the former First Lady’s condemnation of Trump’s insistence of downplaying the virus — something he is still doing even now, while infected — is even more relevant.
“My heart goes out to everyone touched by this virus, from those at the White House, especially the Secret Service and residence staff whose service ought never be taken for granted, to all those names and stories most of us will unfortunately never know,” Obama tweeted alongside the video.
“The truth is, the events of the past few days are a bracing reminder of the tragedy that has been this administration’s response to this crisis,” she continued. “The drama of the past few days has only emphasized what’s at stake in this election, from the coronavirus to a constant drumbeat of fear, division, and chaos that’s threatening to spiral out of control.”
“And more than anything,” she concluded, “I hope you’ll vote for Joe with power, with passion, and with a love of this country that cannot possibly be denied.”