- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 18, 2020

President Trump on Tuesday criticized former first lady Michelle Obama for undercounting COVID-19 deaths and being too “divisive” in her prerecorded speech late Monday to the virtual Democratic National Convention.

“She was over her head and frankly she should have made the speech live, which she didn’t do,” Mr. Trump said of Mrs. Obama’s endorsement of Joseph R. Biden. “It was not only taped, it was taped a long time ago because she had the wrong deaths. She didn’t even mention the vice presidential candidate in the speech.”

Mr. Trump was referring to the more than 170,000 people who have died in the U.S. from the pandemic, which caused economic woe and upended the president’s reelection-year plans, as he combats criticism over this handling of the crisis.

In her taped address, Mrs. Obama used different numbers as she argued that the Obama-Biden administration handed Mr. Trump an economy that was on strong footing and a revamped health care system that extended coverage to millions of Americans.

“Four years later, the state of this nation is very different,” she said. “More than 150,000 people have died and our economy is in shambles because of a virus that this president downplayed for too long.”

Mr. Trump said the speech was divisive and discounted his efforts to slash drug prices.

“She gets these fawning reviews,” he said. “If you gave a real review, it wouldn’t be so fawning.”

Earlier Tuesday, Mr. Trump said the Obamas only had themselves to blame for his presidency.

“Somebody please explain to Michelle Obama that Donald J. Trump would not be here, in the beautiful White House, if it weren’t for the job done by your husband, Barack Obama,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “Biden was merely an afterthought, a good reason for that very late & unenthusiastic endorsement.”

He also defended his record on building the economy and vowed to help rebuild it after it was shuttered by health concerns during the pandemic.

“My Administration and I built the greatest economy in history, of any country, turned it off, saved millions of lives, and now am building an even greater economy than it was before,” he wrote. “Jobs are flowing, NASDAQ is already at a record high, the rest to follow. Sit back & watch!”

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