Pence, Harris go toe to toe in sole VP debate

US Vice President Mike Pence and Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Kamala Harris went toe to toe in their sole debate as part of the 2020 race in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday night, as both dodged questions key to the election.

The opponents, both of whom tested negative earlier in the day, were seated with a distance and two Plexiglas barriers between them, debating vigorously on a broad range of issues, including COVID-19, vaccines, economy, health care, climate change, trade and foreign policies, Supreme Court, and racial justice, while defending their running mates.

Harris hammered US President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 7.5 million individuals, including himself, and killed some 211,000 in the United States. 

“The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country,” the US senator from California said. “They’ve had to sacrifice far too much because of the incompetence of this administration.”

As head of the White House coronavirus task force, Pence went on defense by alleging that the public have been given the information needed to deal with the public health crisis.

“The American people have demonstrated over the last eight months — they’ve been given the facts, they’re willing to put the health of their families and their neighbours and people they don’t even know first,” the vice president said. “President Trump and I have great confidence in the American people and their ability to take that information and put it into practice.”

The 61-year-old former governor of Indiana and US congressman told Harris to “stop playing politics with people’s lives” when the Democrat called into question the administration’s push for the approval of COVID-19 vaccines by the November 3 election.

“If Dr Fauci, if the doctors tell us that we should take it, I’ll be the first in line to take it. Absolutely,” Harris said earlier, referring to Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation’s top infectious expert. “But if Donald Trump tells us to take it, I’m not taking it.” -Xinhua

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