- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Former First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday delivered a blistering critique of President Trump in a “closing argument” to voters that cast the Republican as a poster boy for negligence.

Mrs. Obama said Mr. Trump’s bungled response to the coronavirus is the biggest in a string of failures that have damaged the nation and left Americans hurting.

“Our commander-in-chief, sadly, has been missing in action,” Mrs. Obama said in a video posted on social media.

“Seven months later he still doesn’t have a plan for this virus,” she said. “Seven months later he still won’t wear a mask consistently and encourage others to do the same even when those simple actions could save countless lives. Instead, he continues to gaslight the American people by acting like this pandemic is not a real threat.”

Mrs. Obama is one of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s most popular surrogates.

She said Mr. Biden can “meet this moment” and “put an end to this chaos.”

“After seeing the presidency up close for 8 years, maybe the most important thing I’ve learned about the job is this: How the president focuses their time and energy in the office is a direct reflection of the life they lived before they entered The White House.”

Mrs. Obama said Mr. Trump is devoted to making his family and friends wealthier, making the rich richer, and giving his allies get out of jail free cards.

“By contrast, Joe Biden has lived his life guided by values and principles that mirror ones that most Americans can recognize,” she said. “I know Joe. He is a good man who understands the struggles of everyday folks.”

Mrs. Obama said Mr. Trump can’t be trusted to “tell us the truth about anything” and said other nations have done a better job of shielding people from the virus.

“What they didn’t have to contend with was this president,” she said, accusing Mr. Trump of lying to the public about the deadly nature of the virus, which has led to over 200,000 deaths.

She said Mr. Trump failed despite having every resource, the “finest medical experts, our best intelligence” at his disposal.”

Mrs. Obama said that Mr. Trump “in the greatest crisis in our lifetimes doubled down on division and resentment, railed against measures that could have mitigated the damage and continues to hold massive events without requiring masks or social distancing, knowingly exposing his own supporters to a dangerous virus.”

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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