Obama says biggest mistake leader can make during Covid-19 pandemic is spreading misinformation

Obama says biggest mistake leader can make during Covid-19 pandemic is spreading misinformation


Former US president Barack Obama has warned leaders against spreading misinformation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Obama made an appearance Thursday at a virtual event for the COVID-19 Local Response Initiative, a program from former presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg's philanthropic organization. Obama offered advice on responding to the pandemic to an outsized number of local leaders from cities round the world.
"To be ready to share information and best practices makes all the difference," Obama said. "Speak the reality . Speak it clearly. Speak it pityingly . Speak it sympathetically for what folks are browsing . the most important mistake any us can make in these situations is to misinform, particularly when we're requiring people to form sacrifices and take actions which may not be their natural inclination."
Obama encouraged the town leaders to base their response to the pandemic on the opinions of experts, instead of solely counting on their own instincts.
"The more smart people you've got around you, and therefore the less embarrassed you're to ask questions, the higher your response goes to be," said Obama.
He also asked the leaders to be mindful of vulnerable groups who could also be hit especially hard, while also searching for issues like violence , which has been reported more frequently as an outsized proportion of individuals are ordered to remain home.
"We're seeing disparities in how people are affected in cities and towns and communities across the country. Look out for the vulnerable," Obama said. "When you begin watching problems with domestic abuse and you begin watching racial disparities that are shooting up in your cities, listening thereto is that the quite leadership i do know all of you aspire to."
Former President Barack Obama speaks to guests at the Obama Foundation Summit in Chicago, Illinois on October 29, 2019.
SCOTT OLSON/GETTY
Obama has been relatively quiet since leaving office and has rarely commented during the pandemic, although he has occasionally provided his opinions and advice on social media.
"Social distancing bends the curve and relieves some pressure on our heroic medical professionals. But so as to shift off current policies, the key are going to be a strong system of testing and monitoring – something we've yet to place in situ nationwide," tweeted Obama on Wednesday.
Social distancing bends the curve and relieves some pressure on our heroic medical professionals. But so as to shift off current policies, the key are going to be a strong system of testing and monitoring รข€“ something we've yet to place in situ nationwide. https://t.co/evkTSrzReB
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 8, 2020
Over four years after Obama left office, President Donald Trump claimed that the slow rollout of COVID-19 testing within the U.S. was the previous president's fault, citing a testing "rule" imposed by Obama and telling reporters "I don't take responsibility at all" for the delays on March 13.

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