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Michelle Obama said Monday night that from coronavirus deaths to the economy to foreign alliances and racial justice, President Trump has sewn "chaos, division and a total and utter lack of empathy."

The big picture: The former first lady is one of the most popular and motivating figures across the ideological range of the Democratic Party, and is one of the most powerful voices for turning out women and voters of color. Her speech was recorded. While she reprised her 2016 mantra — "When they go low, we go high" — Obama was direct in her criticism of Trump.

"So let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can. Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country. He has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head. He cannot meet this moment. He simply cannot be who we need him to be for us. It is what it is."

What she's saying: "Going high is the only thing that works, because when we go low, when we use those same tactics of degrading and dehumanizing others, we just become part of the ugly noise that's drowning out everything else. We degrade ourselves, we degrade the very causes for which we fight," Obama said.

  • "A president's words have the power to move markets. They can start wars or broker peace. They can summon the better angels or awaken our worst instincts. You simply cannot fake your way through this job."
  • "Whatever the reason, in the end, those choices sent someone to the Oval Office who lost the national popular vote by nearly 3 million votes."

Go deeper

Obama addresses Trump transition in first interview since election

Screenshot: CBS News

Former President Obama told CBS' "Sunday Morning" that he often does not take President Trump "personally or seriously."

What's new: In his first television interview since the 2020 presidential election, Obama responded to Trump's claim that he has "done more for the African American community than any president since Abraham Lincoln."

Updated 40 mins ago - World

Biden cleans up comments about Russia invading Ukraine

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden sought to clarify his suggestion that a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine may not draw the same response as a large invasion, telling reporters Thursday that "Russia will pay a heavy price" if any troops cross the border.

Why it matters: Some officials in Kyiv saw Biden's comments as inviting Russian aggression.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
53 mins ago - Health

Study finds bias against Black patients written into medical charts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Black patients were more than two-and-a-half times as likely as white patients to have negative descriptors about them in their electronic health record, according to a study published Wednesday in Health Affairs.

Why it matters: The study is further evidence of bias in the U.S. health care system, which can ultimately result in worse care and disparately poor outcomes.