One month before the election, former First Lady Michelle Obama ripped into President Trump's handling of COVID-19 in an emotional campaign video supporting Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. As Trump took to Twitter in an attempt to convince Americans not to "be afraid of COVID," after he left Walter Reed Hospital for his own COVID-19 diagnosis, Obama has hit back. As a woman, as an American, and as a mom.
In a lengthy video for the Biden/Harris presidential campaign released on Tuesday, Obama discussed the importance of the upcoming presidential election in an effort to "remind you what's at stake." The Becoming author said that the country is "in chaos, because of a president who isn't up to the job." Particularly when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic that has left more than 210,000 Americans dead and 7.5 million infected in less than a year.
As mom to two adult daughters, 22-year-old Malia and 19-year-old Sasha, Obama said that "if you're a parent like me, you're feeling the consequences of this president'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," she went on to say.
Obama pointed out that her own daughters were lucky enough to be able to take their college classes from home this semester, but in the few weeks since schools have resumed "many of their friends who have returned to campus have either tested positive or are living with someone who has."
Trump has been putting pressure on colleges across the country to reopen despite a consistent uptick in positive coronavirus cases, according to NBC News. During a White House press briefing in August Trump said, "We have learned one thing, there’s nothing like campus, there’s nothing like being with a teacher as opposed to being on a computer board. The iPads are wonderful but you’re not going to learn the same way as being there.”
During a pandemic, however, Obama disagrees. As she said in her video message, "As a mom, it is frightening thinking about all of these young people, who were just our babies yesterday, quarantined alone in dorms or apartments with little or no support as the disease continues to spread, unable to come home if their symptoms get worse."
Ultimately, Obama said that there is much we still don't know about the coronavirus, "and we simply cannot trust this president to tell us the truth about anything."
Obama painted a bleak picture of the country under President Trump's leadership and concluded in her video message that she believed that Biden is a "chance for a fresh start."
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.