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Donald Trump attacks George W. Bush after the latter does a coronavirus video

David Jackson
USA TODAY
The News Herald

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WASHINGTON – Former President George W. Bush released a video this weekend encouraging Americans to stand up to the coronavirus pandemic, and did not mention President Donald Trump.

It doesn't sound as if that sat too well with Trump.

"He was nowhere to be found in speaking up against the greatest Hoax in American history!" Trump said in a series of tweets Sunday in which he otherwise echoed praise of his performance on the virus and other issues.

Trump's criticism of Bush dealt with the latter's silence during the impeachment investigation and trial. But he quoted a Fox News commentator who was talking about the coronavirus video Bush made.

Pete Hegseth of Fox said he appreciated Bush's video but wondered why the former president didn't urge people to put partisanship aside during the impeachment drama.

In his video, Bush praised health care workers and other Americans who are meeting a historic "shared threat."

"In the final analysis, we are not partisan combatants," Bush said. "We are human beings, equally vulnerable and equally wonderful in the sight of God. We rise or fall together, and we are determined to rise."

Bush's message of unity won widespread praise and drew comparisons to Trump.

"In the face of a crisis that requires leadership, empathy, and trust in science, Trump has come up short," tweeted former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti. "Bush’s video should remind Republicans that they can do better."

Other critics noted that Trump wrote "bye the way," when he meant to say "by the way."

Trump and Bush have made no secret of their disdain for each other.

Bush said he did not appreciate Trump's attacks on him, his brother, and his father during the 2016 Republican primaries, as the New York businessman defeated a field of opponents that included former Florida Gov. Jeb. Bush.

After Trump was sworn in as president, the Bush team let it be known that he found the new president's inaugural address – including a reference to an "American carnage" – to be "some weird s---."

Trump, meanwhile, claims his predecessors, plural, left him messes that created problems.

Asked recently if he planned to speak with living presidents about how to deal with the pandemic, Trump said no.

"So I don't want to disturb them, bother them," Trump said. "I don't think I'm going to learn much. I guess you could say that there's probably a natural inclination not to call."