Former mayor Pete Buttigieg on Friday criticized President Donald Trump’s handling of the spread of the coronavirus in the United States.
“This virus does not care what country it’s in, it’s not going to be stopped by a big wall,” he said, during a campaign event in Charleston, South Carolina.
Buttigieg made his claim while warning the next president would likely deal with multiple threats like the coronavirus.
“This is not the kind of national security that we’re used to dealing with in the past,” he said.
If elected president, he said, he would make sure he was never the “smartest one in the room” while handling a crisis.
“Don’t you want people around the president who will tell the president if things aren’t going quite right and suggest an adjustment?” he asked.
The former South Bend mayor’s comments echo many of the 2020 presidential candidates who have criticized Trump’s handling of the virus.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Thursday unveiled legislation to defund the border wall and use the money instead to fight coronavirus.
On CNN Thursday, Buttigieg also questioned Vice President Mike Pence’s ability to lead the country out of the coronavirus crisis, after President Donald Trump appointed him to head the coronavirus task force.
“It sounds now like there is a career person in charge,” he said. “The bottom line is this can’t be about politics. We’ve got to have leadership that puts the input of public health experts first.”
He also questioned Trump’s belief the threat of the virus would dissipate after the weather got warmer.
“I don’t know where the president got the idea that this is something that could just take care of itself when it got warmer,” he said. “This is going to take sustained coordination both within and across the federal government and the interagency between the federal government and the private sector.”