Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Trump is now trying to blame Obama for his coronavirus response

Amid criticism over the government's ability to test for cases of the new coronavirus, President Trump on Wednesday attempted to shift the blame to, who else, his predecessor former President Barack Obama.

Speaking to reporters alongside Vice President Mike Pence, who's in charge of handling the U.S. response to COVID-19, Trump said the Obama administration made a decision that wound up hindering the country's ability to tackle the spreading virus, but said he reversed that situation recently.

People were confused about what exactly the president was referring to, so Pence attempted to clarify, telling reporters the Obama administration had given the Food and Drug Administration jurisdiction over disease testing development. Trump, he said, is now allowing states to conduct their own tests and research, which expands testing capabilities.

Trump critics were quick to jump on his attempt to blame Obama, pointing out that it was his administration that disbanded the team directly responsible for global health security and potential pandemics in 2018.

Obama, meanwhile, weighed in on COVID-19 on Wednesday, though there was no mention of how he feels about the Trump administration's response. Tim O'Donnell