Salt Lake Metropolis:
US Senator Kamala Harris on Wednesday assailed Donald Trump’s response to Covid-19 as a failure in a high-stakes debate with Vice President Mike Pence in opposition to the backdrop of the president’s personal an infection.
With Pence first in line for the presidency ought to Trump be unable to carry out his duties, and Harris primarily auditioning to be the Democratic Occasion’s future chief beneath a President Joe Biden, their pandemic showdown took on recent urgency 27 days earlier than the election.
“The American folks have witnessed what’s the biggest failure of any presidential administration within the historical past of our nation,” Harris, a US senator from California and former prosecutor, mentioned within the first moments of the talk through which the candidates had been separated by plexiglass.
Saying Trump handled front-line well being personnel as “sacrificial staff,” Harris — pointing to Trump’s personal statements to journalist Bob Woodward — accused the White Home of not taking motion regardless of figuring out the dangers of Covid-19.
“The president mentioned it was a hoax. They minimized the seriousness of it,” Harris mentioned.
After a raucous debate eight days in the past between Trump and Biden, Pence and Harris initially took a extra civil tone, with no name-calling, however sharply disagreed on the response to the pandemic.
“I need the American folks to know, from the very first day, President Donald Trump has put the well being of America first,” Pence mentioned, pointing to his ban on journey from China on January 31, a month after instances first emerged in Wuhan.
Referencing an argument that tanked Biden’s first presidential marketing campaign in 1988, Pence mentioned the Democrats’ Covid plan sounds “a little bit bit like plagiarism, which is one thing Joe Biden is aware of a little bit bit about.”
Trump feels “good”
Two extra presidential debates are scheduled, however they’re now up within the air with Trump’s prognosis, that means the talk between the operating mates might doubtlessly turn into the ultimate candidate conflict earlier than November 3.
Biden, 77, has mentioned he wouldn’t wish to debate if the 74-year-old Trump — confined to the White Home after a three-night hospitalization — continues to be sick with the virus.
However Trump, ever the hyperbolic showman, mentioned in a Wednesday video that he felt “good.”
“I feel this was a blessing from God that I caught it,” he mentioned, explaining that his prognosis offered alternatives to focus on therapies that he was administered and would really like extra People to obtain.
In a nod to medical considerations, Harris and Pence had been sitting 12 ft (3.6 meters) aside for the 90-minute debate on the College of Utah, with the plexiglass arrange regardless of pushback from the Trump marketing campaign.
Requested by reporters Wednesday if he had recommendation for his operating mate on one of many largest political phases of her profession, Biden mentioned, “I feel she’ll do effectively.”
Harris, if elected, would make historical past by turning into the highest-ranking girl in US historical past and each the primary African-American and Asian-American vice chairman.
Name to unity vs “wacko”
The controversy happens at a time when greater than 210,00 People have died from the coronavirus and the nation lurches from one disaster to a different.
Not solely has Trump examined optimistic; coronavirus has unfold via his inside circle, infecting dozens of high advisors, administration workers, senior navy officers and Republican lawmakers.
Racial and political tensions are simmering, prompting Biden to difficulty a clarion name for nationwide unity and warn that “the forces of darkness” and division are “pulling us aside.”
Trump continued his all-out verbal offensive, branding Biden “a wacko” in a stream of indignant tweets Wednesday.
The president is confronted by dire polling numbers and an economic system staggering from Covid shutdowns which have left numerous households and companies struggling.
Trump additionally retains warning that he could not settle for the election outcome, arguing that mail-in ballots result in fraud, whereas Senate Republicans are speeding to verify his Supreme Court docket nominee at the same time as some of their caucus are in quarantine.
The distinctive political storm led Republican Senator John Barrasso to explain the Pence-Harris showdown as “essentially the most consequential vice-presidential debate since they began doing this,” in 1976.
“Individuals watching each of those candidates shall be watching to see who is able to be commander-in-chief,” Barrasso informed CNN.
(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)