Obama, who has remained mum on many of the biggest issues to arise during President Donald Trump’s time in office, is now routinely posting messages to Twitter — and cross-posting some to his Facebook following — promoting safety measures, explaining the reasoning behind strong new restrictions to combat the virus, and sharing stories he finds inspiring of individuals and organizations that have taken action during the crisis.
As Trump used Twitter to post messages late Sunday into Monday suggesting his administration may reverse course on elements of its call to action in response to the outbreak in an effort to jumpstart the economy, Obama posted a link to a New York Times story detailing “harsh steps” that may still need to be taken or expanded upon to stop the transmission of COVID-19.
“Here’s a useful summary of the current best thinking among public health experts on how we need to approach the fight against COVID-19 in the coming weeks,” Obama said a post retweeted roughly 20,000 times.
Obama’s posts have generated plenty of engagement and have reached tens of millions. Last week, there were more than 120,000 retweets on his tweet linking to a Washington Post interactive that showed how the curve of infections can be flattened under various simulations. That story, as one Post reporter tweeted, became the publications’ most read article, topping even news of Trump’s “Access Hollywood” tape in 2016.
“Watch this,” Obama said. “It shows why we should all do the right thing and stay home to the fullest extent possible. All of us can help slow the spread of the virus, protecting the elderly, the vulnerable, and each other.”
Over the past two weeks, the former president has posted to Twitter on the outbreak more than a dozen times, with posts ranging from thanking NBA players and executives for “setting a good example during a challenging time” to highlighting an explanation for why large gatherings and other events needed to be canceled.