Barack Obama: Trump More Concerned with ‘Suppressing the Vote than Suppressing a Virus’

Former U.S. President Barack Obama gesture as he attends the "values-based leadership" during a plenary session of the Gathering of Rising Leaders in the Asia Pacific, organized by the Obama Foundation in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Dec. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
AP Photo/Vincent Thian

Former President Barack Obama is continuing to urge Americans to vote by mail, accusing President Donald Trump and his administration of “suppressing the vote” rather than “suppressing a virus” as Congress has yet to deliver the next coronavirus relief measure.

“Everyone depends on the USPS. Seniors for their Social Security, veterans for their prescriptions, small businesses trying to keep their doors open. They can’t be collateral damage for an administration more concerned with suppressing the vote than suppressing a virus,” Obama said on social media on Friday:

“If you’re in a state where you have the option to vote early, do that now,” he continued. “The more votes in early, the less likely you’re going to see a last minute crunch, both at polling places and in states where mail-in ballots are permitted. Then tell everyone you know”:

Obama’s remarks come as Democrats and Republicans continue to battle over the next phase of coronavirus relief. Democrats seek to devote billions to bolster vote-by-mail efforts, in part, the president says, by providing $25 billion for the Post Office.

Trump told Fox Business Network host Maria Bartiromo that the two sides have reached an impasse on relief due to the Democrats’ efforts to advance their vote-by-mail agenda.

“It’s their fault,” Trump said of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democrats.

He said:

They want $3.5 billion for something that’ll turn out to be fraudulent, that’s election money basically. They want $3.5 billion for the mail-in votes, okay, universal mail-in ballots, 3.5 trillion. They want $25 billion, billion, for the Post Office. Now they need that money in order to have the Post Office work so it can take all of these millions and millions of ballots. Now, in the meantime, they aren’t getting there. By the way, those are just two items.”

A New York Times analysis found that over 75 percent of Americans will be permitted to vote by mail for the upcoming general election. However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, suggested that it is safe to vote in-person if necessary precautions are taken in adherence with national health guidelines.

“I think if carefully done according to the guidelines, there’s no reason that I can see why that not be the case,” Fauci told National Geographic in a Thursday interview.

“There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to vote, in person or otherwise,” he added.

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