In an interview with the Guardian, the radical intellectual argued the US president was stabbing average Americans in the back while pretending to be the country’s saviour during the worst health crisis in at least a century.
He said Trump, who will seek re-election later this year, had cut government funding for healthcare and research into infectious disease for the benefit of wealthy corporations.
Chomsky said: “That’s something that Trump has been doing every year of his term, cutting it back more. So [his plan is] let’s continue to cut it back, let’s continue to make sure that the population is as vulnerable as we can make it, that it can suffer as much as possible, but will of course increase profits for his primary constituents in wealth and corporate power.”
Chomsky also said the president had abandoned his duties by forcing individual state governors to take responsibility for combating the virus: “It’s a great strategy for killing a lot of people and improving his electoral politics.”
Asked to clarify if he viewed Trump as culpable in the deaths of Americans, he said: “Yes but it’s much worse than that, because the same is true internationally. To try and cover up his criminal attacks against the American people, which have been going on all of this time, he’s flailing about to try and find scapegoats.”
The professor said Trump’s decision to freeze payments to the World Health Organization, would lead to deaths in Yemen and across the African continent.
Chomsky was speaking in an interview to mark the launch of the Progressive International, a global initiative to unite, organise and mobilise progressive forces around the world.
First convened by Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator, and Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister, it aims to mount a fightback against the increasing rise of rightwing populist movements around the globe.