President Donald Trump is blaming former President Barack Obama for the lack of testing for the coronavirus, despite the fact it didn’t exist when he left office.
“The last administration left us nothing. We started off with bad, broken tests, and obsolete tests,” Trump asserted.
When CNN reporter Jim Acosta pressed Trump, asking “You say ‘broken tests’ — it’s a new virus, so how could the tests be broken?” Trump doubled down on his claim.
“We had broken tests. We had tests that were obsolete. We had tests that didn’t take care of people,” Trump continued before pivoting to Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden for their handling of the 2009 H1N1 flu outbreak.
The coronavirus did not exist until late 2019 and didn’t reach the U.S. until early February although the exact date is unknown.
The flu outbreak killed about 12,500 Americans, while coronavius pandemic has already taken more than 60,000 citizens.
Obama did, however, leave a detailed 69-page document showing how to respond to the threat of a pandemic. However, Trump fired the government’s pandemic response team in 2018. Trump also largely ignored the coronavirus when it hit the U.S. in February, saying it would go away on its own.
Obama has been more vocal since the outbreak hit the U.S. in February. In April, Obama compared the coronavirus response by the U.S.to climate change deniers.
Trump also refused to take responsibility for the pandemic during a White House press briefing last month, again blaming the situation on Obama.
“No, I don’t take responsibility at all. Because we were given a — a set of circumstances, and we were given rules, regulations and specifications from a different time. It wasn’t meant for this kind of — an event with the kind of numbers that we’re talking about,” Trump said.
Trump said earlier this week that the U.S. will soon ramp up testing to test 5 million people per day. However, Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary of health for the Trump administration said otherwise.
“There is absolutely no way on Earth, on this planet or any other planet, that we can do 20 million tests a day, or even 5 million tests a day.”