WASHINGTON ― On top of being a bad president and possibly a Kenyan, Barack Obama was also a terrible psychic.
Or so claims President Donald Trump, who in his struggles to explain why he downplayed a deadly new virus for two months as his administration failed to come up with a robust testing plan has resorted to blaming predecessor Obama ― for failing to develop a test for a disease that would not come into existence until three years after he left office.
“Maybe (Obama) knew it was coming, but he and the ‘Deep State’ kept the cupboards bare,” joked Joe Walsh, a former Republican House member from Illinois who unsuccessfully ran against Trump for the 2020 GOP nomination.
White House officials did not respond to HuffPost queries on the matter.
One GOP pollster who spoke on condition of anonymity said blaming Obama is clearly designed for consumption by Trump’s hard-core supporters. Trump and his political team “are all about the care and feeding of his base,” he said. “That’s who he is.”
Douglas Brinkley, a historian at Rice University, said presidents have long blamed predecessors to explain away their own troubles. “But Trump’s taking it to where anything he does wrong is Barack Obama’s fault is beyond childish,” Brinkley said. “It’s just kind of Trump’s insanity unspooling right in front of us.”
Trump has lied repeatedly about the pandemic and his handling of it, and has already stated that he does not “take responsibility at all” for the federal response and the more than 43,000 Americans the disease has killed so far. But his blaming of Obama for not devising a suitable test defies both common sense and the laws of temporal physics.
Tests for viruses are unique to each particular strain. And this new coronavirus, believed to have originated in bats, did not infect its first human until October or November 2019. Chinese scientists did not publish its gene sequence until Jan. 10 of this year – just days shy of...