Biden says US is in ‘dangerous place’ in Gettysburg speech

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In a speech that recalled Abraham Lincoln’s famous speech, Biden underscored racial division, economic inequality, and President Donald Trump’s doubt over the effectiveness of masks and social distancing in tackling the pandemic of coronavirus.

Reciting the first words of Lincoln’s speech at Gettysburg, Biden said, “He taught us this: a house divided cannot stand. It is a great timeless truth. Today, once again, we are in a divided house. But this, my We are facing too many crises, we have too much work to do, we have too bright a future to wreck it on the banks of anger, hatred and division. ”

“The country is in a dangerous situation. Our mutual trust is diminishing. Hope seems elusive, ”he said in remarks that rarely mentioned Trump but often hinted at his presidency.

“Too many Americans are not looking to overcome our divisions, but to deepen them,” Biden said. “We must seek not to build walls, but bridges. We must seek not to have clenched fists but open arms. We must try not to tear ourselves apart. We must seek to come together. “

The speech underscored Biden’s willingness to deliver a unifying message in the final weeks of a presidential race he is leading. Polls have shown he leads among older, independent voters, groups that favored Trump in 2016, and that commuters and white women have leaned heavily in his direction compared to four years ago. At Gettysburg, his message was that he could end the chaos of Trump’s presidency.It was a stark contrast to Trump, who earlier Tuesday afternoon tweeted that he was ending negotiations for a stimulus package to stimulate a pandemic-battered economy, saying he didn’t want to spend money. money to “bail out mismanaged, high crime, democratic states.” ”

Biden’s speech came the day a Monmouth University poll showed him he edged Trump by 11 percentage points in Pennsylvania, a critical state that could tip the winner by more than 270 electoral votes on the 3rd. November.

Pennsylvania has long been a focal point of the Scranton-born Biden campaign. He kicked off his campaign in April 2019 with a speech in Philadelphia and made several stops around the state on a stop-off train tour last week. His campaign also spent more than $ 48 million on TV advertising compared to Trump’s $ 21 million, according to ad tracking company CMAG.

Biden also included Pennsylvania union leaders in his development of stimulus proposals that would inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the clean energy economy.

Biden, who wore a mask on the catwalk and then took it off to deliver his speech outdoors in front of a small, socially distant crowd, criticized the way Trump – who revealed last week that he had tested positive for coronavirus , was hospitalized for three days and has since returned to the White House – handling the pandemic, saying on Tuesday “we can do so much better.”

“Wearing a mask is not a political statement, it is a scientific recommendation. Social distancing is not a political statement, it is a scientific recommendation, ”Biden said.

“We can be so much better. We can be better from today, ”Biden said. “We can have a national strategy that puts politics aside and saves lives. We can have a national strategy that allows schools and businesses to open safely. … This pandemic is not a red or blue state problem. ”

” It’s a virus. It’s not a political weapon, ”Biden said.

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