Donald Trump jealous of COVID-19 media coverage, says Barack Obama



President Donald Trump has turned jealous of COVID-19 media coverage, said former US president Barack Obama in his matter-of-factly speaking style Tuesday, accusing his successor of converting the White House into a "hot zone".

"He's jealous of COVID's media coverage!" remarked Obama at a drive-in election rally in Orlando city of Florida, one of the key battleground states.

Over the past few days, Obama, the most popular Democratic leader has been holding multiple election meetings in Florida.

"If he had been focused on COVID from the beginning, cases would not be reaching new record highs " he continued.

Trump "turned the White House into a hot zone", he said.

"And over the weekend his chief of staff -- and I'm quoting here, I'm not making this up -- his chief of staff on a news program said, 'We're not going to control the pandemic.' Yes, he did and yes, we noticed," said Obama.

The former president hit Trump for saying "not much" when asked if he would change his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Not much? Not much? Really? Not much? You can't think of anything you might be doing differently," Obama said, pointing out how Trump had said "inject bleach" into infected people during a White House press conference.

"Think about how hard the tourism industry has been hit here in Orlando, here in Florida," Obama said, pointing out that the state has already "lost one spring training season".

Seeking vote for his vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Obama said he will not "screw up testing".

"He's not going to screw up testing, he's not going to call scientists idiots, he's not going to host super spreader events at the White House and then take it on a tour all over the country," he alleged.

In his remarks, Obama made a joke of Trump's often boast that he's the second-best president for Black America after Abraham Lincoln with an audience member yelling a big "BOO" at his remark.

The ex-president pointed to comments made by Jared Kushner Monday on Fox & Friends.

"His son-in-law says Black folks have to want to be successful," Obama said.

"That's the problem. Who are these folks? What history books do they read? Who do they talk to?"

Obama pointed to Amy Coney Barrett making it to the Supreme Court and brought back a previous rally cry: "Don't boo - vote."

"Our current president -- he whines that '60 Minutes' -- is too tough. You think he's gonna stand up to dictators? He thinks Lesley Stahl is a bully," he said.

Obama said Trump has suggested that the leaders of China, North Korea and Russia want him in office.

"We know. We know because you've been giving them whatever you want. Of course, they want you to win. That's not a good thing. You shouldn't brag that some of our greatest adversaries want you in office," he said.

"Why are you bragging about that? It doesn't make any sense."

Mocking Trump for pushing conspiracy theories, he said, "It's not OK."

The former president said he misses not being able to interact with babies during the COVID era campaign.

"Look at that little bundle right there," he told an audience member, saying the little one probably had a "new baby smell".

"Congratulations," Obama said.

Several Trump supporters held a peaceful protest outside Obama's event venue. (PTI)