US Election 2020: Trump, Biden exchange barbs as poll rally gather steam despite COVID-19 pandemic

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Published: June 26, 2020 11:36 AM

Trump is seeking his re-election in the November presidential election for his second four-year term. Former vice president Biden is representing the opposition Democratic Party.

The US is the hardest-hit country by the coronavirus pandemicThe US is the hardest-hit country by the coronavirus pandemic. (Image: Reuters)

The presidential election campaign in the US appears to have gathered steam despite the raging coronavirus pandemic in the country, with President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden exchanging barbs.

The US is the hardest-hit country by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 2.47 million official cases and over 126,000 deaths.

Trump on Thursday described Biden as a candidate who will destroy America.

“He (Biden) is a candidate that will destroy this country. And he may not do it himself. He will be run by a radical fringe group of lunatics that will destroy our country, and people have to know that,” Trump said in response to a question during a Fox news town hall in Wisconsin.

“Here’s a guy (Biden) who doesn’t talk. Nobody hears him. Whenever he does talk, he can’t put two sentences together. I don’t want to be nice or un-nice. Okay? But, I mean, the man can’t speak. And he’s going to be your President because some people don’t love me maybe. And, you know, all I’m doing is doing my job,” Trump said.

Biden, 77, is challenging the 74-year-old Republican incumbent president in the November 3 presidential elections.

Responding to a question, Trump said that while Biden is not a radical left, they will take him over.

“I don’t think Biden is a radical left, but it doesn’t matter because they’re going to just do whatever they want to do. They’ll take him over. He can’t perform. He’s not going to be able to perform…Whether you like it or not, he’s shot. The radical left is going to take him over,” Trump said.

Trump is seeking his re-election in the November presidential election for his second four-year term. Former vice president Biden is representing the opposition Democratic Party. As per latest opinion polls, he is leading by more than eight percentage points.

Responding to questions, Trump said that he is willing to have any number of presidential debates with Biden. As per tradition the two rivals are scheduled to have three presidential debates. “I will do any amount of debates,” he said.

In Pennsylvania, Biden launched his so far sharpest attack on Trump.

“He’s like a child who just can’t believe this has happened to him. It’s all whining and self-pity. This pandemic didn’t happen to him. It happened to all of us,” he said.

“His job isn’t to whine about it. His job is to do something about it,” Biden said as he spoke on the Trump administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Perhaps most cruelly of all, if Donald Trump has his way, complications from COVID-19 could become a new pre-existing condition,” he said.

“Some survivors will experience lasting health impacts – like lung scarring and heart damage. And if Donald Trump prevails in court, insurers would be allowed to strip away coverage or jack up premiums – simply because of their battle with the coronavirus,” Biden said.

During the Fox News town hall, Trump slammed Biden for his commercial on China. “He (Biden) has a commercial on today. It’s a great commercial for him, but it’s a lie. He said, “He got beat in the China deal.” No, no, we beat China badly. China had the worst year they’ve had in 67 years prior to the plague coming in. They had the worst year they’d had in 67 years because of the tariffs and all the things that I’ve done,” Trump asserted.

“But he’ll say, “He got beat in the China deal.” They didn’t do a China deal. China ate our lunch before me, and they would have destroyed our country. China, in my opinion, would have destroyed our country economically, if I didn’t get elected,” Trump said.

Former US vice president Biden would formally accept his Democratic presidential nomination at the party’s scaled back convention in Wisconsin’s Milwaukee city on August 20.

In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) on Wednesday announced its convention plan to broadcast from Milwaukee and across the nation to reach out to all Americans.

On June 20, President Trump chose Tulsa city, Oklahoma, to hold his first campaign rally in three months.

Health experts warned that the indoor venue and potentially large crowd could help spread the coronavirus, putting attendees and others at risk, the Washington Post reported.

“I’m concerned about our ability to protect anyone who attends a large, indoor event,” Bruce Dart, director of the Tulsa city and county health department, told the Tulsa World.

“And I’m also concerned about our ability to ensure the president stays safe as well.”

Officials nationwide are sounding the alarm about a resurgence of coronavirus cases amid reopenings, large protests and reports of people not adhering to social distancing norms.

Several southern and western US states are facing new surges in coronavirus cases. This week, several states broke their own daily records, with Arizona, California, Texas and Florida among the hardest-hit.

The number of hospitalisations is also on the rise in some states, with health experts worried that hospitals could be overwhelmed.

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