Politics Coronavirus: Biden tackles Trump by placing the wearing of a mask at the heart of his campaign

05:00  29 may  2020
05:00  29 may  2020 Source:   20minutes.fr

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The facial appendage, whose wearing or not becoming a political gesture in the United States, symbolizes the contrast between the candidates "agree on nothing, not even public health measures ”

Joe Biden après sa visite d'un monument aux anciens combattants américains, dans le Delaware, le 25 mai 2020. © Patrick Semansky / AP / SIPA Joe Biden after his visit to a monument to American veterans, in Delaware, May 25, 2020. UNITED STATES - The facial appendix, whose wearing or not becoming a political gesture in the United States, symbolizes the contrast between the candidates "agreeing on nothing, not even public health measures"

"He's an absolute fool. " Joe Biden responded on Tuesday to the mockery of Donald Trump on his appearance behind a mask with this sentence, which can be translated as desired by" what an idiot "," he is a sinister fool ", or "a perfect moron". While the wearing or not of the mask becomes a political gesture in the United States , the Democratic candidate has resolutely focused his campaign for the White House on the response of the American president to the crisis of coronavirus , which divides America.

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By choosing to wear a black mask on Monday for his first public appearance in more than two months , then by changing his profile picture on Facebook and Twitter on Tuesday to show himself thus masked, the Democratic candidate is clearly opposed to the Republican billionaire, who has always avoided wearing this protection in public.

And he did not mince words when asked about the mockery relayed by Donald Trump. "All of the world's great doctors say you should wear a mask when you're in a crowd," said former Barack Obama vice president on CNN. "The truth is that I think we are supposed to lead by example," he added, calling the president's words "macho stuff." "It has killed people, it is killing people," said Joe Biden, citing the dizzying toll of nearly 100,000 dead in the United States, the most mourning country in the world.

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The Biden with mask, the Trumps without

For his return to the cameras, the 77-year-old Democrat had chosen a day marked by solemnity in the United States, since he celebrates the memory of the fallen Americans. Accompanied by his wife Jill Biden, who also wore a black mask, he laid a wreath on a war memorial near his home in Delaware on Monday. About a hundred kilometers away, the 73-year-old Republican President and his wife Melania Trump participated in their second tribute to the soldiers of the day, without wearing a mask.

His famous aviator glasses over his mask, which folded his ears forward: the image of Joe Biden was quickly tweeted by an editorialist from the popular conservative channel Fox News, with a mocking comment: "It helps perhaps to explain why Trump does not like to wear a mask in public. " A message retweeted by Donald Trump himself on Monday evening, and thousands of Internet users.

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When asked about the tweet, the American president said on Tuesday that he had not "criticized" Joe Biden. "Biden can wear a mask. But he was outside with his wife, perfect conditions, perfect climate. When they’re inside they don’t wear masks, so I found it very unusual for him to have one, "he said from the White House.

"Difficult to control his emotions"

The former right-hand man of Barack Obama had not left his house in Wilmington for a public appearance since mid-March, when the crisis of Covid-19 had suddenly paralyzed the campaign for the American presidential election of November 3. If he took a few walks away from the cameras, Joe Biden had only campaigned by videoconference, saying he firmly respected the containment order still in force in his state.

A choice there also mocked by the Republicans and Donald Trump, who nicknamed him "Joe asleep" and described him as a man fearing action on the ground, even senile. Asked about these comments, Joe Biden said on CNN that the Republican president seemed to have "trouble controlling his emotions." "He seems to be getting more incoherent" as he feels he is falling behind in the polls, tackled the Democratic candidate, who on Tuesday received official support from the largest American federation of unions, the 'AFL-CIO.

The mask perceived "as a sign of weakness"

Hidden or not: the contrast between the candidates corresponds "to our divisions: the two parties do not agree on anything, not even public health measures", analyzes Larry Sabato , political scientist at the University of Virginia. Perhaps accentuating differences in the perception of danger, the pandemic has so far hit regions that vote Democrats more fiercely, with higher mortality, according to studies by the New York Times and The Economist.

The contrast can also be explained by the type of supporters of the two candidates, according to Larry Sabato. "Women are strongly in favor of social distancing measures and the wearing of masks" according to surveys. However, this time they largely support Joe Biden, he explains. "Trump, on the other hand, is widely supported by white men, particularly white workers. They see the mask as a sign of weakness. ”

Unrest demonstrates Biden's challenge in breaking through .
Biden is facing some stiff competition in getting his campaign message out. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this March 10, 2020, file photo Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to members of the press at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. Biden said Friday, May 29, that the "open wound” of systemic racism was behind the police killing of a handcuffed black man in Minnesota, and swiped at President Donald Trump for inciting violence, without mentioning him by name. "We are a country with an open wound.

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