Donald Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis and treatment of protesters has contributed to her ‘low-grade depression,’ former First Lady Michelle Obama said in a candid podcast interview.
Michelle Obama, like other Americans, is having difficulty adjusting to life during the COVID-19 pandemic. The former first lady confessed on the second episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast that she believes she’s suffering from a “low-grade depression” as the country enters its sixth month of lockdown, partly brought on by the actions of President Donald Trump. Or, rather, his inactions.
“Spiritually, these are not fulfilling times,” Obama told former NPR anchor Michele Norris during a discussion about mental health. “I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression. Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration — watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting.” She added that she doesn’t think she’s “unusual” for feeling that way.
“I have to say, that waking up to the news, waking up to how this administration has or has not responded, waking up to yet another, story of a Black man or a Black person somehow being dehumanized, or hurt or killed, or falsely accused of something, it is exhausting,” the former FLOTUS continued. “And, it has led to a weight that I haven’t felt in my life in a while.” Since May, activists across the nation have been protesting for racial equality and against police brutality. In turn, the president has called them “thugs” and sent federal agents to cities like Portland, where they are grabbing peaceful protesters off the streets and throwing them in unmarked vans.
Trump even threatened to enact the Insurrection Act after protesters rallied outside the White House, which would allow him to deploy US troops to Washington, DC, to fight their own citizens. Trump’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has been just as dismal. As of the date the episode aired, August 5, over 161,000 Americans have died from coronavirus. Over four million Americans have tested positive for the disease.
And yet, Trump is pushing for schools and businesses to reopen, despite the dangers. During an August 3 interview with Axios‘ Jonathan Swan, Trump claimed that coronavirus was completely under control, and insists that there have been “more deaths” because doctors are testing for the virus more. The United States is averaging roughly 65,000 new cases and 1,000 deaths per day.