John Legend has blasted US President Donald Trump for his handling of the coronavirus crisis, criticising his “incompetence, his selfishness, his short-sightedness and his inability to co-ordinate a real national response”.
The singer, who backed Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic primaries, said he blamed the president for the fact that the US has such a high death rate.
Legend also criticised Mr Trump for suggesting that injecting bleach and disinfectants could be an effective way of tackling the disease.
He told GQ Hype: “It’s so ridiculous. It’s almost like you can’t believe it’s real that we elected this idiot to be the president of the United States.
“The things that he says are just so ridiculously dumb and so ridiculously selfish and narcissistic at the same time.
“He says a bunch of ridiculous happy-talk home remedies that people should not be doing and he thinks he’s brilliant because he has a relative who is a doctor.
“And then you combine that with the fact that he doesn’t listen to scientists and makes every decision on how it will benefit him personally.
“He’s also a very short-term thinker, so he doesn’t think much about how to handle big, complex problems that require planning and long-term vision.
“He’s the exact opposite of what we need right now. It couldn’t be a worse person to be in charge right now than him, and that’s what America is stuck with and that’s why we have the highest death rate in the world from this disease, and I don’t believe we’re going to be out of the woods for a while, because of his incompetence, his selfishness, his short-sightedness and his inability to co-ordinate a real national response.”
Legend said the Covid-19 crisis has also exposed weaknesses in the system in the US, and is disproportionately affecting black people.
He said: “That’s a fact here in America and I believe it’s an effect of systemic issues that we’ve known were the case for a long time.
“First of all, black people are more likely to be poor in America. There’s a wealth gap and an income gap. They’re more likely to live in segregated neighbourhoods that have fewer services and are more crowded.
“They’re also more likely to be treated differently when they go to the doctor. Black people’s symptoms, our symptoms, are not taken as seriously in a lot of medical offices and hospitals.
“Combine that with environmental racism, which is when poor neighbourhoods with less political power take the brunt of air and water pollution when it comes to allowing industry to contaminate the areas where they live. So, a lot more black kids, for instance, have asthma.
“When you combine all of these pre-existing factors with the lack of access to health insurance that a lot of folks have, you see how a disease that is affecting everybody is affecting us worse. And that’s what’s happening.
“The crisis is exposing weaknesses in our system, and one of them is that we’ve treated black people unfairly for the entirety of our nation’s history.”
– The full interview is online at GQ Hype.