US elections: Deserve a President who understands the dignity of who we are, says Harris

Published: 22 October, 2020 11:23 IST | PTI | Washington

In her remarks during a virtual fund raiser, Harris slammed US President Donald Trump for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout because of it

Photo for representational purpose
Photo for representational purpose

The US deserves to have a president who understands the dignity of people and guides the country in a way that Americans can regain their standing and get closer to those ideals they hold, Democratic vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris said on Wednesday.

In her remarks during a virtual fund raiser, Harris slammed US President Donald Trump for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic fallout because of it.

"We deserve to have a President and to have a leadership in our country that understands the dignity of who we are and respects the dignity of who we are as a people, and guides our country, in a way that we can regain our standing and get closer to those ideals we hold," Harris said.

"We recognize that we have over eight million people in our country who have contracted the virus, again, it didn't have to be this way, and yet we still have a President who also was the commander-in-chief who should have, as his first priority, to keep the health and well-being of the Americans intact and he is still denying the realities and the seriousness of this virus and the need to wear a mask," she said.

The Senator, who turned 56 a day ago, said "We are in a public health crisis and an economic crisis that is being compared to the Great Depression".

At another fund raiser, she urged her countrymen to go out and vote.

"Thirteen days to go. And we cannot let up on this gas pedal. We got to push -- well you know, electric vehicle pedal we need to push, push, push through," she said. She called herself a "proud daughter of California", and said "almost everything is at stake."

Harris addressed a campaign rally in Asheville, North Carolina. More than 150 people, many of them women, were sitting spaced out throughout the stadium, waving bright blue pom-poms and shaking noisemakers. She urged people to vote early.

"This moment will pass, and years from now our children, our grandchildren...will ask us ''Where were you in that moment?'' We will tell them about what we did to fight for the soul of this nation," Harris said.

Trump, she alleged, is incapable of being a President who will protect the well-being and health of the American people and "that is why he's got to go".

Urging people to head to the polls in an election that's likely to rely on turnout, she blasted Trump for his "failure" to handle the COVID-19 pandemic, his refusal to condemn white supremacy, and his disbelief in science and climate change.

"We love our country, imperfect though it may be," she said of why people were here tonight.

"And this country that we hold so dear - yes, it has taken a little bit of a beaten because of you know who. But what we know is our democracy and the strength of it will always be a function of our preparedness and willingness to fight for it," she noted.

Some of the loudest approval from the audience came when she criticized Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to make it more challenging for people to vote through a complicated mail-in ballot process and by closing polling locations.

She drew loud laughter from some when - as she did during the vice presidential debate - she described Trump''s "weird obsession" with repealing Obama policies.

"Do you think he is a racist? Yes," Harris said of a question she often gets. "I don't say that lightly, one should never say that lightly. But there is a pattern here. Think back to Charlottesville," she said.

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