President Donald Trump tore into former first lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday after she delivered a poignant speech on the opening night of the Democratic National Convention and said Trump’s failure to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in thousands of American deaths.
Four years after her husband, President Barack Obama, left office, “the state of this nation is very different,” Michelle Obama said in the prerecorded speech on Monday evening. “More than 150,000 people have died, and our economy is in shambles because of a virus that this president downplayed for too long.”
Trump on Tuesday pointed out that the number of coronavirus deaths in her speech was wrong because it was prerecorded. Indeed, as of Tuesday morning, 170,568 people in the US had died from COVID-19, more than 20,000 more deaths than the statistic Obama cited in her DNC speech.
“She was over her head, and, frankly, she should’ve made the speech live, which she didn’t do,” Trump told reporters. “She taped it. And it was not only taped, it was taped a long time ago, because she had the wrong deaths.”
Trump’s remarks were a reminder that his administration has largely failed to control the spread of COVID-19, which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March.
More than 5.4 million people in the US have been infected by the virus. In recent weeks, states in the South and the West that had lifted lockdown measures have seen spikes in new cases.