White House adviser accused Obama of working as ‘Joe Biden’s press secretary’ after he criticized the government’s COVID-19 response

In this screengrab taken from Twitter.com, former U.S. President Barack Obama endorses Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden during a video released on April 14, 2020.

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White House adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday criticized former President Obama and claimed he was acting in tandem with former Vice President Joe Biden in criticizing the US response to COVID-19. 

During a commencement address to historically Black colleges and universities, Obama told graduates that the pandemic had “finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many folks in charge know what they’re doing.”

He more directly criticized Trump’s response to COVID-19, calling it an “absolute chaotic disaster” on a phone call with former members of his administration, according to leaked audio obtained by Yahoo.

Navarro offered general criticism of the Obama administration’s economic policies before shifting blame for COVID-19’s US impact on China.

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White House adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday responded to former President Barrack Obama’s apparent criticism of the federal government’s response to the novel coronavirus and implied that he was acting on behalf of former Vice President Joe Biden. 

As Business Insider previously reported, former President Obama offered vague — and rare — criticism of the government’s response to COVID-19 during a commencement address given Saturday to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU).

“More than anything, this pandemic has fully, finally torn back the curtain on the idea that so many folks in charge know what they’re doing,” Obama said. “A lot of them aren’t even pretending to be in charge.” 

He added: “If the world is going to get better, it’s going to be up to you.”

“Well, I’m glad Mr. Obama has a new job as Joe Biden’s press secretary,” Navarro told ABC’s News’ George Stephanopolous during an appearance on “This Week” when asked to respond to Obama’s statements. Biden became the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee for president when his rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, dropped out of the race on April 8. 

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The former president offered more straightforward criticism of Trump during a May 7 phone call with about 3,000 members of the Obama Alumni Association where he called Trump’s COVID-19 response an “absolute chaotic disaster,” according to leaked audio obtained by Yahoo News.

Navarro on Sunday criticized the Obama administration, arguing the former president led an administration that “was a kumbaya of incompetence” and saw “millions of manufacturing jobs go off to China.”

Trump also attacked Obama Sunday, as he’s renewed attacks against his predecessor while peddling an “Obamagate” conspiracy theory, despite failing to clarify what “crime” he is accusing the former president of committing. 

“Look, he was an incompetent president, that’s all I can say,” Trump reportedly said at a press briefing Sunday.

Navarro also placed blame for the coronavirus outbreak in the US, which has faced the largest outbreak globally, on the Chinese government — a frequent talking point adopted by both the Trump administration and Republicans at large.

“The virus was spawned in Wuhan province,” he told Stephanopolous when asked whether he believed the virus had been intentionally released by the Chinese government, a theory that has been floated by some Trump administration officials.

“Patient zero was in November,” Navarro said. “The Chinese, behind the shield of the World Health Organization, for two months, hid the virus from the world, and then sent hundreds of thousands of Chinese on aircraft to Milan, New York, and around the world to seed that.”

He added: “They could have kept it in Wuhan. Instead, it became a pandemic. So, that’s why I say the Chinese did that to Americans and they are responsible.” 

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