Kamala Harris hits Trump pandemic record in Biden debut

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Kamala Harris used his first appearance as Joe Biden’s vice-presidential pick to attack Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, foreshadowing how the former prosecutor plans to take on the president ahead of the November election.

Ms Harris compared the new US lockdowns to the experiences of other industrialized countries, which largely controlled their epidemics over the summer. She said Mr. Trump’s mismanagement of the pandemic was to blame.

“There is a reason it has hit America worse than any other advanced nation,” said Ms. Harris, appearing on stage with Mr. Biden in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware. “It’s because of Trump’s failure to take him seriously from the start. His refusal to launch the tests, his about-face on social distance and the wearing of masks. His illusory belief that he knows better than the experts.

Mr Biden said the 24 hours since his selection of Ms Harris has been the campaign’s biggest fundraising day on record, a sign of how the choice of the first black woman in a national ticket energized the base of the Democratic Party. A Biden aide said he has raised $ 26 million since the announcement.

Ms Harris, a California senator, thanked Mr Biden and spoke fondly of his tenure alongside Mr Biden’s late son Beau, while the two were attorneys general. But most of his speech focused on Mr. Trump’s economic and public health record.

“Because of Trump’s leadership failures, our economy has taken on one of the biggest hits of any major industrialized nation, with unemployment tripling from today,” he said. -she adds. “That’s what happens when we elect a guy who just isn’t ready for the job. Our country is in tatters, as is our reputation around the world. ”

The United States leads the world in deaths from Covid-19, the virus having killed more than 156,000 Americans, according to the Covid Tracking Project. Tens of millions of Americans have filed for unemployment insurance since the start of the pandemic, and Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are at a stalemate over whether to extend emergency benefits.

Mr Biden will formally accept the Democratic Party’s nomination at a virtual convention next week.

Like most of the 2020 campaign, the pandemic has altered Mr Biden’s planned introduction of his choice of vice president. Instead of addressing a roaring crowd or shaking hands on a rope, the roommates entered a high school auditorium wearing face masks and stood several feet apart as each spoke. to television cameras and a small group of journalists.

At the end of the event, they were joined by their spouses, Jill Biden and Douglas Emhoff, who also wore face masks, and the couples stood on either side of the catwalk for a socially distanced photoshoot.

Introducing Ms Harris, Mr Biden said he had “no doubt” that he “had chosen the right person”. The former vice president called Ms Harris an “honorary Biden,” recounting how he first met the California attorney general through Beau.

Mr Biden became visibly moved when Ms Harris recalled her friendship with Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015, saying he was “the kind of guy who inspired people to be a better version of them. themselves ”.

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