Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Compares Donald Trump's Coronavirus Response to Nazi TV Characters

With rising concerns due to COVID-19, President Donald Trump has received criticism for his handling of the outbreak. Stephen King, Rosie O'Donnell, and 50 Cent have all made comments about his initial response to the situation. Now, former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has compared the president to the Nazis in Amazon's new show, Hunters.

The longtime Los Angeles Lakers star recently wrote an article for the Hollywood Reporter about the coronavirus outbreak and Trump's response to the situation. In this piece, Jabbar wrote that testing the poor and uninsured was not a priority and that these individuals are more at risk than those in the middle and upper classes. Additionally, Jabbar said that the president had "deliberately sabotaged" public health efforts through his "lies and actions." For these reasons, among others, he believes that Trump has a lot in common with the villains in Hunters.

In Amazon's enthralling thriller series Hunters, leftover German Nazis from World War II are living the high life in America while planning a Fourth Reich built around a biological attack aimed at killing the poor, particularly people of color. Race- and class-cleansing made easy.

Far-fetched liberal posturing? Not if you've followed the Trump administration's blame-the-black-guy rhetoric and foot-dragging behavior in response to the coronavirus pandemic, The scenes from White House pressers remind of the gleefully unrepentant Nazis in Hunters. Because for almost two months, Trump, like a sneering Bond supervillain, allowed the virus to spread knowing that poor communities and people of color would pay the greatest cost, economically and health-wise. It wasn't until it started affecting the Mar-a-Lago crowd and their businesses (and, therefore, his re-election chances) that the president started to take it seriously.

With rising concerns over the coronavirus, Trump has declared a state of national emergency in an attempt to make $50 billion in federal resources available to combat mounting concerns. He and his White House Coronavirus Task Force have also released a list of guidelines to help protect citizens during the outbreak.

The Task Force has a 15-day plan to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. This includes such rules as avoiding crowds or social gatherings with more than 10 people; washing your hands frequently; avoiding non-essential travel or social visits; work from home if you can; disinfect surfaces in your home; and, most importantly, self-isolate if you feel sick.

There are plans being put in place to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Whether they are effective remains to be seen, but Jabbar believes that the government's early response to the outbreak is deserving of criticism. He didn't believe that it was a "Nazi conspiracy, but it was 'Nazi-adjacent.'" Jabbar believes that this was evident with the attitude toward individuals based on their race and class, as well as the president comparing the coronavirus to the common flu.

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As Jabbar wrote in his piece for the Hollywood Reporter, he believes that this early response and "failure as a leader" will forever be "Trump's legacy of shame." He will also continue to draw comparisons between the president and the Nazis hiding in the United States.

(Photo Credit: Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)