Hillary Clinton: Trump should not focus on ‘name calling and blame placing’ during coronavirus outbreak

Fmr. Pres. Candidate Hillary Clinton tells Fareed how the Trump and Obama administration’s have differed in managing the spread of disease outbreaks.

Hillary Clinton accused President Donald Trump of focusing on “name calling and blame placing” instead of combating the coronavirus, joining a chorus of Democrats unhappy with the administration’s handling of the outbreak.

When asked by CNN’s Fareed Zakaria about Trump belittling former President Barack Obama for how his administration had handled a swine flu epidemic, the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate said she didn’t “think the facts support that assessment” in a clip that aired Friday.

She then advocated for the role she thought a president should play during such a crisis, saying she didn’t “think it’s a time to point fingers, whether it’s from the past or from the present.”

“What people should expect is that everybody from their president on down is focused on one thing, not on name calling and blame placing,” Clinton continued, “but how are we going to make sure that we prevent the spread of this virus inasmuch as that is possible and be sure that we support state and local health officials, particularly on the front lines — doctors, nurses and others — so that they are fully equipped and ready to take care of those people who get seriously ill.”

Clinton’s comments come following Trump’s claims during a town hall on Thursday that he had reversed an Obama-era decision that had somehow hindered coronavirus testing. But there was no such regulation from Obama — the previous administration did put forward a draft proposal related to lab testing, but it was never implemented.

“They made some decisions which were not good decisions. We inherited decisions that they made, and that’s fine,” Trump said, adding that “we undid some of the regulations that were made that made it very difficult, but I’m not blaming anybody.”

Clinton on Friday pointed to health experts’ recent comments that it would be critical to prepare for the likelihood of extremely ill patients.

“The experts have all told us that there are probably many, many people walking around with the virus by now, that it has been transmitted in many places of the country already,” she said.

“Many of them will not get sick or will get only mildly sick,” Clinton added. “Others, it will be a more acute experience, and so we’ve got to be sure that we’re prepared to take care of those who get really sick.”