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Politics Trump will have to account for failed virus response in debate with Biden

11:21  29 september  2020
11:21  29 september  2020 Source:   cnn.com

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(CNN) President Donald Trump heads into Tuesday's first crucial debate with Joe Biden recommitting to the failed strategy that ensured the Covid-19 Had Trump only taken the virus more seriously -- and won better marks from voters -- he might be in a position to close out Biden 's challenge to his bid

President Donald Trump heads into Tuesday's first crucial debate with Joe Biden recommitting to the failed strategy that ensured the Covid-19 disaster will be the defining legacy feature of his term.

Joe Biden, Donald Trump are posing for a picture © Provided by CNN

He is again ignoring world-renowned US government scientists, claiming a pandemic that is getting worse is almost over, demanding state openings that will make it worse and presiding over contradictory public health messaging.

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Others expressed hope that Trump or Biden will be able to mediate tense relations between the Black community and police forces. "They seem to be wrapped up with choosing a new Supreme Court justice now and the economy seems to have fallen to the back burner."

The first debates featuring Trump and Biden will be held on Tuesday at Case Western University and the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. They will be split into 15-minute segments, intended for a wide range of topics.

"Tremendous progress is being made. And I say, and I'll say it all the time: We're rounding the corner," Trump said at the White House on Monday, ignoring the 9% rise of Covid cases in the US week-on-week, with 21 states, especially in the Midwest, reporting worsening outbreaks of the disease as he cherry picked data to claim the crisis was easing.

Trump's upbeat assessments of his own poor performance and seeming indifference to the tragic toll of more than 204,000 US deaths give the Democratic nominee an opening when they duel in Cleveland on Tuesday night.

The former vice president expressed incredulity earlier this month over revelations in Bob Woodward's book that Trump had understood the severity of the virus in February but admitted downplaying it to the American people in an interview with the veteran reporter.

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Trump and Biden will square off in their first debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday, five weeks before the election. The 90-minute televised debate is likely to focus in part on Trump 's handling of the coronavirus His message, however, has been badly dented by the virus -triggered recession, which

Trump and Biden are set to hold their first presidential debate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday. Since you already shared your personal data with us when you created your personal account , to continue using it, please contains links to viruses and malicious software

"He waved a white flag. He walked away. He didn't do a damn thing," Biden said in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper on September 9. "Think about it. Think about what he did not do -- it's almost criminal."

Biden may also target the chaotic nature of the White House's response to the emergency which was on full display yet again on Monday. Vice President Mike Pence, after showering habitual praise on Trump's leadership, produced a jarring warning contradicting the President's optimism.

"Mr. President, the American people should anticipate that ... that cases will rise in the days ahead," said Pence, who earlier this year rebuked the media for reporting on a second infectious wave as cases spiked in the sunbelt.

Experts say the President's undermining of government advice on mask wearing, refusal to level with Americans about the danger early on and efforts to prioritize politically helpful economic openings over public health in one of the world's worst responses to Covid-19 have made the tragedy worse than it needed to be.

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While Biden 's team reportedly believes the significance of the debate may be exaggerated, the Democratic nominee has been Aides have been reportedly holding mock debate sessions featuring Bob Bauer, a senior Biden adviser and former White House general counsel, playing the role of Trump .

In previous debates , Donald Trump emerged as a showman, with a keen By contrast, Joe Biden , currently ahead in the polls, is a classic orator, with knowledge of history and the 3. Coronavirus deaths near one million worldwide. New virus clusters are constantly emerging around the globe, with

His denial, mismanagement and political bullying have for example left the reputation of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- once the global standard for public health -- in tatters. His push for a quick approval for one of the vaccines currently in development has exacerbated mistrust among Americans for the key remedy that could end the pandemic.

Testing is still far from the levels needed to trace and isolate those with the disease and to allow the safe opening of schools and businesses, notwithstanding a White House event Monday highlighting 150 million rapid point of care tests soon to be sent to states hyped by his administration. The move is likely to help states and local jurisdictions that have been crying out for a national testing plan Trump has refused to put in place. But they still fall far short of the numbers of tests -- in the millions per day -- that experts say are required to properly contain Covid-19.

Discord in the virus fight

In another sign of discord plaguing the government mitigation effort, top government scientists such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, CDC Director Robert Redfield and Dr. Deborah Birx did not appear at Trump's testing event. But his new favored counselor, Dr. Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist who joined the White House Coronavirus Task Force in August and has drawn the ire of public health officials who say he is telling Trump what he wants to hear about the pandemic, got a speaking role.

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DONALD Trump and Joe Biden - who are going head to head in the US presidential election this November - will have a key action in their debate Mr Trump and Mr Biden will also forego the elbow touch – generally encouraged as an alternative to a handshake throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

"In response , Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said in a statement, "It's pretty obvious that Joe Biden 's handlers are afraid to send their candidate out without a script and teleprompter handy," adding that "an earlier and longer debate schedule is necessary" for Americans

The move came hours after the CDC confirmed that Redfield differed with Atlas on three issues -- mask wearing, the extent to which Covid-19 affects children and his reported openness to herd immunity -- an approach that relies on widespread infections in the populace that critics say could cost millions of lives. The statement came after NBC first reported a telephone conversation in which Redfield was overheard saying that everything Atlas says is "false."

Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, who has been marginalized by Trump, was asked by CNN's Brian Stelter at an event on Monday whether there was acrimony behind the scenes.

"Most are working together. I think you know who the outlier is," Fauci said.

At the White House on Monday, Atlas had a reassuring message for Trump.

"I anticipate that as -- this virus -- as we get toward the end of this pandemic -- and the vaccine is being developed as quickly as it has been -- America will be in a different position," Atlas said.

"As I've said many times, the fear is not the issue here. We really have a handle on what's going on. We know what to anticipate, and there's remarkable advances being made as we see today."

But William Haseltine, a former professor at Harvard Medical School told CNN's "New Day" on Monday that Atlas was not a credible member of the President's team.

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"He's a cut out for a more powerful voice that has for the entire year tried to ignore this problem. When he says you don't need masks, it's not his voice you are hearing it's his boss' voice," Haseltine said. "Dr. Atlas is not a serious person to consider his voice in public health matters."

Trump on Monday issued a new call for Democratic governors, whom he accuses of imposing lockdowns and other measures simply to damage his own electoral hopes, to start opening up their economies more quickly. His demand came despite widespread fears of a spike in coronavirus infections that one influential model at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington now warns could take the death toll to 371,000 by the end of the year.

"Lockdowns can be very harmful, and we have too many states that are locked down right now. Nobody knows what the governors are doing, actually," the President said.

Trump prefers the approach of one of his top supporters, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis who on Friday signed an order allowing all bars and restaurants to operate at 100% capacity and suspended any penalties imposed on people who broke local mask wearing ordinances.

Pandemic looms over debate night

If the pandemic takes another turn for the worse in the five weeks remaining before the election, Trump may struggle to shift the campaign to his preferred ground -- including his nomination of conservative favorite Judge Amy Coney Barrett for a Supreme Court seat, his "law and order" campaign and claims Biden is a Trojan horse for a socialist takeover.

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The President's strategy took another blow when The New York Times reported on Sunday that he paid almost no taxes in 10 of the last 15 years in a report that explained his reluctance to be honest with American voters about his financial records.

While the tax question opened up another angle of attack for Biden, Democrats had already been testing a debate argument that links both the pandemic and the Barrett nomination, namely the survival of Obamacare. The law has become even more important amid the worst public health crisis in generations. But it is also again vulnerable, since the Supreme Court, possibly including the newly installed Barrett if she is confirmed by then, will consider the administration's suit to invalidate Obamacare the week after the election.

"This relentless obsession with overturning the Affordable Care Act -- driven entirely by a blind rage toward President Obama -- is happening at a moment when our country is suffering through the ravages of a pandemic that has claimed more than 200,000 lives," Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, said Monday, previewing one potential debate assault.

"Complications from Covid-19, like lung scarring and heart damage, could well become the next preexisting condition," Harris said.

Had Trump only taken the virus more seriously -- and won better marks from voters -- he might be in a position to close out Biden's challenge to his bid for a second term on Tuesday night.

In the event, however, he is running behind the former vice president in most of the key swing states and in national polls after apparently putting his own political goals ahead of a full-bore attack on the virus. He therefore needs to produce a momentum-changing moment on Tuesday night.


Video: These Trump and Biden voters say they wouldn't get a coronavirus vaccine this year (CNN)

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'Will you shut up, man?': Testy exchanges on health care, Supreme Court among debate top moments .
They bickered on who should appoint the next Supreme Court justice, their stances on health care and even brought each other’s families into the fray. Moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News struggled to rein in the candidates and at times admonished Trump as interrupting more frequently than Biden. © Mario Tama, Getty Images A server wears a face shield and face-covering as people sit to watch a broadcast of the first debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

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