In their first campaign event together in Wilmington, Delaware, on Wednesday, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and newly announced running mate Kamala Harris criticized the Trump administration’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, promising to lead America out of its economic crisis.
“This virus has impacted almost every country, but there’s a reason it has hit America worse than any other advanced nation,” said Harris, Biden’s nominee for vice president.
“It’s because of Trump’s failure to take it seriously from the start. His refusal to get testing up and running. His flip-flopping on social distancing and wearing masks. His delusional belief that he knows better than the experts.”
With the US having exceeded five million COVID-19 cases, Biden and Harris promised to “take responsibility” if elected.
“The Joe Biden and Kamala Harris administration will have a comprehensive plan to meet the challenge of COVID-19 and turn the corner on this pandemic, masking, clear science-based guidance, dramatically scaling up testing, getting states and local governments the resources they need to open the schools and businesses safely. We can do this,” Biden said.
He added that the country needs “a president and a vice president willing to lead and take responsibility.”
Both Biden and Harris were seen wearing masks and practicing social distancing protocols.
Harris spoke on the importance of winning the 2020 presidential elections.
“We need more than a victory on Nov. 3. We need a mandate that proves that the past few years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be.”
Harris, who has served as attorney general of California, added, “Let me tell you, as somebody who has presented my fair share of arguments in court, the case against Donald Trump and [Vice President] Mike Pence is open and shut.”
Harris added that Biden “served alongside the first Black president and has chosen the first Black woman as his running mate.”
Fundraiser pulls in US$26m
A fundraising event was also held by Biden and Harris on Wednesday in a ballroom in Wilmington Hotel. At the event, Biden announced that after he nominated Harris as running mate, their campaign had attracted 150,000 first time contributors and had raised US$26 million.
A Biden adviser told The New York Times that Harris was in a position to connect with both Black and Latino voters and white women, adding that her name on the election ticket is expected to increase voter turnout in Arizona, Florida and Texas, as well as drive people of color nationwide to vote.
“Kamala, as you all know, is smart, she’s tough, she’s experienced, she’s a proven fighter for the backbone of this country,” Biden said.
“The middle class. For all those who are struggling to get into the middle class. Kamala knows how to govern, she knows how to make the hard calls. She’s ready to do this job on day one.”
Have a tip or story? Get in touch with our reporters at [email protected]