Speaking to talk show host Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” on Tuesday night, Obama said, “The shambolic nature of the government response obviously, obviously has been frustrating.”
“This would have been hard for anyone,” Obama said. “I mean, even people like Angela Merkel, who is herself, a scientist, exemplary, but you still see some spikes in Germany.”
Obama pointed out Canada’s lower death rate. “That’s a measure of [what might have happened] if we had done the work. That was not rocket science, right?
“We’re not talking about inventing vaccines. So I’m glad to see the vaccines now coming on board, but preliminarily communicating effectively, respecting the science. Not undermining the leading epidemiologist in the country and saying he’s an idiot. Being consistent in terms of masks and social distancing, not suggesting that this is some act of oppression, but rather just a common sense thing to prevent people from getting sick,” Obama said.
The former leader said that, had such steps been taken, lives could have been saved and “ironically, the economy would be better because we would not be swinging back and forth in the ways that we have, and people would feel more confident about making day-to-day decisions.”
“That is a measure of how detached from reality and how embedded, ideological and conspiratorial thinking has become where you’re doing it even when it’s to your disadvantage,” Obama said.
Elsewhere, Obama was extremely hopeful about the incoming presidency. “Joe is going to be great and Kamala is going to be great,” Obama said. “They’re gonna have big challenges ahead, but we’ve got the potential of returning to a presidency that is actually paying attention.”
Obama’s memoir “A Promised Land” was released recently and is on the bestseller charts.