Tuesday, September 22
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Coronavirus live updates: Obama slams politicians for COVID-19 response as U.S. death toll nears 90,000

Former President Barack Obama slammed U.S. politicians for their handling of the coronavirus at a virtual commencement address to graduating high school seniors across the country on Saturday night.

“Doing what feels good, what’s convenient, what’s easy, that’s how little kids think. Unfortunately a lot of so-called grownups, including some with fancy titles, important jobs, still think that way, which is why things are so screwed up,” he said without naming President Donald Trump or his administration.

He was speaking at the televised “Graduate Together: America Honors the High School Class of 2020” event hosted by NBA star LeBron James that included appearances from the Jonas Brothers, Megan Rapinoe, Pharrell Williams, Maren Morris and Malala Yousafzai.

At another virtual commencement ceremony for graduates of historically black colleges and universities, Obama offered his most public and direct criticism yet of the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

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

His comments came as the U.S. death toll neared 90,000, with almost 1.5 million cases recorded according to an NBC News tally. Globally, 311,827 have died and there have been more than 4.6 million infections, according to John Hopkins University data.

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