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Harris to focus on attacking president over chaotic response to virus

 

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Over to you: Joe Biden, his wife Dr Jill Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris on the campaign trail in Wilmington, Delaware. PHOTO: DREW ANGERER/GETTY

Over to you: Joe Biden, his wife Dr Jill Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris on the campaign trail in Wilmington, Delaware. PHOTO: DREW ANGERER/GETTY

Over to you: Joe Biden, his wife Dr Jill Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris on the campaign trail in Wilmington, Delaware. PHOTO: DREW ANGERER/GETTY

Kamala Harris will focus on hammering President Donald Trump's response to the coronavirus pandemic when she joins Joe Biden on the campaign trail.

Mr Biden and Ms Harris will receive a briefing on Covid-19 from public health experts and then deliver speeches in Mr Biden's home town of Wilmington, Delaware.

The remarks illustrate the campaign's role for Ms Harris, the first black woman and Asian-American on a major-party ticket for the US presidential race.

Rather than being tied to any specific target demographic groups, Ms Harris will have three roles to play as a campaign spokeswoman: energising people to vote and volunteer, outlining Mr Biden's policy vision, and prosecuting the case against Mr Trump, according to a person familiar with the strategy.

Mr Trump long played down the risks of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 165,000 Americans - the highest death toll in the world - and thrown tens of millions out of work.

The former prosecutor is expected to focus on Mr Trump's response to the crisis, which has been an effective political argument for Mr Biden so far.

After introducing Ms Harris's personal story on Wednesday in their first joint appearance since picking his running mate, Mr Biden quickly moved to talking about the urgency of the moment.

Mr Trump, for his part, turned to Twitter to accuse the news media of giving Ms Harris "a free pass despite her radical-left failures and very poor run in the Democrat primary".

Ms Harris, in her debut as Mr Biden's running mate in Delaware, delivered a rebuke of Mr Trump's leadership and highlighted the historic significance of her new role, while helping the campaign collect $26m (€22m) in its best day of fundraising yet.

In the coming weeks, Ms Harris will do events in person and virtually, including several jointly with Mr Biden, much like some of the socially distanced campaign stops and speeches Mr Biden has given in recent weeks in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

The campaign is still unsure whether they will be able to campaign as normal, saying they intend to follow local public-health guidance which discourages large gatherings as the number of people contracting the virus continues to increase.

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