Former US President Barack Obama delivered scathing criticism of how the coronavirus pandemic has been handled by American leaders during a second commencement address on Saturday.
Obama did not name his successor, President Donald Trump. But his target was clear as he characterized the US response to the crisis as woefully haphazard.
“All those adults that you used to think were in charge and knew what they were doing? It turns out that they don’t have all the answers,” Obama said. “A lot of them aren’t even asking the right questions. So, if the world’s going to get better, it going to be up to you.”
Obama was speaking in a primetime event called “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020,” which was broadcast on many networks, including CNN.
In remarks made earlier to graduates of Historically Black Colleges and Universities Saturday, Obama again did not name Trump. But his rebuke of how the current President has handled the worst public health crisis in a general was plain.
“More than anything this pandemic has fully finally tore back the curtain on the idea that so many of folks in charge know what they are doing. And some of them are not even pretending to be in charge,” he said.
While delivering a piece of advice in the second set of remarks, he attacked “so-called grown-ups” for “why things are so screwed up.”
“Do what you think is right. Doing what feels good, what’s convenient, what’s easy. That’s how little kids think. Unfortunately, a lot of so-called grown-ups, including with some fancy titles and important jobs, still think that way. Which is why things are so screwed up,” he told the high school graduates.
Obama said he hopes the graduates decide to ground themselves with "values that last. Like honestly, hard work, responsibility, fairness, generosity, and respect for others.”