Barack Obama Says Trump Turned White House Into 'Hot Zone' and 'Winter Is Coming'

Former President Barack Obama warned that "winter is coming" to America and the Trump administration is "waving the white flag" at the coronavirus pandemic.

Obama told rally-goers in Orlando, Florida, Tuesday that the country can't afford to have a second term by Trump in which he ignores every major issue ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic to Russia placing bounties on the heads of U.S. soldiers. The former Democratic president's pitch for former Vice President Joe Biden's 2020 campaign blended comedy and blistering criticism that Trump is "lazy," aloof and continuing to ignore rising coronavirus cases across the country. Health models predict COVID-19 will spread along with other winter illnesses in November, December and January as businesses try to pack customers in and air quality decreases indoors.

Obama used a Game of Thrones reference to warn Florida voters Tuesday that Trump wasn't even able to keep COVID-19 out of one of the most secure places on earth: the White House.

"Winter is coming and they're waving the white flag, Florida. We can't afford four more years of this, that's why we've got to send Joe Biden to the White House," Obama told the Biden rally crowd in Orlando.

Obama said the loss of 100,00 small businesses nationwide and a spike in Black unemployment above 17 percent in the state of Florida came as a result of Trump's botched pandemic response. "It doesn't have to be that way, Florida," Obama reiterated. "Tweeting at the TV doesn't get things done."

Obama echoed several lines he used at a Miami rally for his former vice president over the weekend, mocking Trump as a reality TV host more focused on his ratings than on the American people. He quipped, "Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff," a reference to a popular internet meme making light of bizarre crime stories in the Sunshine State. The former president noted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows saying "we're not going to control the pandemic" during a weekend TV news appearance.

"And what's Trump's closing argument? That people are too focused on COVID, he said this, 'COVID, COVID COVID,' he's jealous of COVID's media coverage!" Obama joked, before going on to say Trump turned the White House into a "hot zone" for the novel coronavirus. At least three dozen staffers have been infected or tested positive for COVID in recent weeks, including the president himself.

"If he had been focused on COVID from the beginning, cases wouldn't be reaching new record highs across the country this week. If we were focused on COVID now, the White House wouldn't be having its second outbreak in a month," Obama continued. "The White House, let me say this, I lived in the White House for a while, it's a controlled environment. You can take some preventive measures to keep from getting sick. Except this guy can't seem to do it. He's turned the White House into a hot zone. Some of the places he holds rallies have seen spikes right after he leaves town."

Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told CNBC Tuesday that the U.S. may be entering the "most dangerous time" for the coronavirus spreading.

"We're seeing much higher growth in cases all over the northern part of the U.S., and the northern part of the U.S. is just a teaser for what happens when it gets cold throughout the rest of the country, as it is going to shortly," Slavitt said.

Obama touted the line he used during his successful 2012 re-election campaign and stump speeches for Hillary Clinton in 2016: "Don't boo, vote."

He noted Florida has the highest enrollment in the Affordable Care Act of any state in the country—something that may be in peril as several Supreme Court cases are set to challenge the law in November. Trump placed his third nominee onto the country's highest court Monday night with the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

"Florida, this is serious. Joe and Kamala will protect your health care, they will expand Medicare, they will make insurance more affordable for everybody. Because Joe knows that a president's first job is to keep us safe from all threats, foreign, domestic and microscopic."

Newsweek reached out to both the Biden and Trump campaigns for reaction to Obama' remarks Tuesday afternoon.

barack obama florida speech coronavirus
Former President Barack Obama warned "winter is coming" to America soon and the Trump administration is "waving the white flag" at the coronavirus pandemic. Screenshot: MSNBC | YouTube