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2020 Vice Presidential Debate: Harris Accuses Pence of COVID Cover-up


Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate Kamala Harris accused Vice President Mike Pence of a COVID cover-up in the opening minutes of the Vice-Presidential debate Wednesday night in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"Here's the thing, on Jan. 28, the Vice President and President were briefed on the nature of this pandemic," Harris said. & # 39; They knew and they covered it up. The president said it was a joke. & # 39;

Pence hit back, saying the plans that Joe Biden and Harris' Democratic ticket touted for dealing with the coronavirus looked very similar to what the White House coronavirus task force was already doing.

"It looks a bit like plagiarism that Joe Biden knows a little," said Pence.

He also shamed Harris for fueling the anti-vax feeling, calling it "incomprehensible".

She had told the small, socially distant audience: “If Dr. Fauci, when doctors tell us to take it, I will absolutely be the first to take it. But when Donald Trump tells us to take it, I won't take it. & # 39;

Pence accused her of continuing to "undermine public confidence in a vaccine".

"Senator, I'm just begging you to stop politicizing people's lives," Pence said.

Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris opened the Vice Presidential Debate in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the issue of COVID-19 on Wednesday night

Harris accused Pence of a COVID cover-up in the opening minutes of the Vice Presidential Debate Wednesday night in Salt Lake City, Utah

Harris accused Pence of a COVID cover-up in the opening minutes of the Vice Presidential Debate Wednesday night in Salt Lake City, Utah

Harris accused Pence of a COVID cover-up in the opening minutes of the Vice Presidential Debate Wednesday night in Salt Lake City, Utah

In the debate, moderated by USA Today's Susan Page, the candidates sat on a plexiglass-protected stage after President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19

In the debate, moderated by USA Today's Susan Page, the candidates sat on a plexiglass-protected stage after President Donald Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19

In the debate, the candidates sat on a stage protected with Plexiglas after President Donald Trump's diagnosis of COVID-19. Harris is the first woman of color to ever appear on a major party presidential ticket

In the debate, the candidates sat on a stage protected with Plexiglas after President Donald Trump's diagnosis of COVID-19. Harris is the first woman of color to ever appear on a major party presidential ticket

Harris opened the fifth closed business and the 30 million unemployed, citing the 210,000 dead Americans who infected 7 million. She accused the White House of treating frontline workers like victim workers

Harris opened the fifth closed business and the 30 million unemployed, citing the 210,000 dead Americans who infected 7 million. She accused the White House of treating frontline workers like victim workers

Pence hit back, saying the plans that Joe Biden and Harris' Democratic ticket touted for dealing with the coronavirus looked very similar to what the White House coronavirus task force was already doing. "It looks a bit like plagiarism that Joe Biden knows a little," said Pence

Pence hit back, saying the plans that Joe Biden and Harris' Democratic ticket touted for dealing with the coronavirus looked very similar to what the White House coronavirus task force was already doing. "It looks a bit like plagiarism that Joe Biden knows a little," said Pence

THE BEST LINES FROM VP HEAD-TO-HEAD

Kamala Harris on the coronavirus

They knew and covered it up. The president said it was a joke. As a result, this administration forfeited its right to re-election

Mike Pence on the Democrats' COVID plan

It looks a bit like plagiarism what Joe Biden knows a bit

Harris on the COVID response

I want to ask you: how calm were you looking for toilet paper? How calm were you when your children couldn't see your parents because you feared they might kill them?

Pence on why nobody at Rose Garden wore super-spreader masks

The difference is that President Trump and I trust the American people to make decisions in the best interests of their health

Harris on Trump's taxes

We now know from all the great investigative journalism that Donald Trump paid $ 750 in taxes. When I first heard about it, I literally said, you mean $ 750,000? And it was like no, $ 750

Pence on economic plans

America, you just heard Senator Harris tell you that Joe Biden will raise your taxes on day one

Harris on Trump is fighting Obamacare

If you have a pre-existing illness, heart disease, diabetes, or breast cancer, they are here for you. If you love someone who is already in a state, they are coming for you. If you are under 26 years of age in your parents' coverage, they come for you

Harris deals with interruptions

Mr. Vice President, I am speaking

Harris on what motivates Trump

There's an odd obsession President Trump had with getting rid of the accomplishments of President Obama and Vice President Biden.

Susan Page on stopping pence over time

Mr. Vice-President, I didn't make the rules for tonight. Their campaigns approved of them. I am here to enforce it

Harris opened the fifth closed business and the 30 million unemployed, citing the 210,000 dead Americans who infected 7 million. She accused the White House of treating frontline workers like victim workers.

"This government has forfeited its right to re-election on this basis," said the California senator.

She remembered how journalist Bob Woodward's coverage found that the president wanted to downplay – what he said to keep Americans calm.

“I want to ask the American people, how was it when you were panicking about where to get your next roll of toilet paper? How calm were you when your kids were sent home from school and you didn't know when they would be back? & # 39; She asked.

Debate moderator Susan Page asked Pence how the administration could be an authority on COVID-19 after hosting a so-called "superspreader" event to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett. President Donald Trump remains infected with COVID-19.

"The work of the President of the United States continues," Pence replied. “If we can say the rose garden event. There has been much speculation about it. & # 39;

Pence pointed out that it was an outdoor event that experts said was safer – but the White House event lacked adequate social distancing and most attendees refused to wear masks.

"The difference was that President Trump is driving the American people to make decisions that are in the best interests of their health," Pence said.

The Vice President also said, "The American people have the right to know about the health and well-being of their President, and we will continue to do so."

He took a minute to thank Americans for their wishes and prayers for Trump during his hospital stay with Walter Reed. "I'm just very grateful and more than a little moved by the broad and bipartisan support," he said.

"And Senator, I want to thank you and Joe Biden for your genuine concern," Pence said. "And I want to congratulate you too, as I did on that phone call about the historic nation of your nomination."

Harris is the first woman of color to ever appear on a major party presidential ticket.

She looked to the last democratic government when Pence – like Trump on Wednesday before – continued to blame China for the coronavirus.

"It's a strange obsession President Trump has had with getting rid of the accomplishments of President Obama and Vice President Biden," she said.

For example, they have set up an office in the White House that is essentially responsible for monitoring pandemics. You got rid of it, ”Harris said.

Pence, who was sitting away from her through two plexiglass shields, said softly: "Not true".

In the debate, the candidates sat on a stage protected with Plexiglas after President Donald Trump's diagnosis of COVID-19.

The move was in direct response to Trump's contagion with the coronavirus and the wider White House outbreak The plexiglass will serve as a constant reminder of the coronavirus pandemic that Democrats Trump and Pence pounded on.

Pence tried to get Harris, and thus Biden, to follow some of the Democratic Party's most liberal policies when the two candidates debated climate policy. He was tired of labeling the Democratic duo as a threat to workers' jobs, a major election bloc that helped put President Trump into office in 2016.

Pointing out that Harris co-sponsored the Green New Deal in the Senate, the vice president accused the Democrats of banning fracking, the injection of high pressure liquid into the ground to open up existing cracks and add oil or gas promote.

Harris opened the fifth closed business and the 30 million unemployed, citing the 210,000 dead Americans who infected 7 million. She accused the White House of treating frontline workers like victim workers

Harris opened the fifth closed business and the 30 million unemployed, citing the 210,000 dead Americans who infected 7 million. She accused the White House of treating frontline workers like victim workers

Harris opened the fifth closed business and the 30 million unemployed, citing the 210,000 dead Americans who infected 7 million. She accused the White House of treating frontline workers like victim workers

Debate moderator Susan Page asked Pence how the administration could be an authority on COVID-19 after hosting a so-called "superspreader" event to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett. President Donald Trump remains infected with COVID-19

Debate moderator Susan Page asked Pence how the administration could be an authority on COVID-19 after hosting a so-called "superspreader" event to nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett. President Donald Trump remains infected with COVID-19

“I want to ask the American people, how was it when you were panicking about where to get your next roll of toilet paper? How calm were you when your kids were sent home from school and you didn't know when they would be back? & # 39; Asked Harris

“I want to ask the American people, how was it when you were panicking about where to get your next roll of toilet paper? How calm were you when your kids were sent home from school and you didn't know when they would be back? & # 39; Asked Harris

Pointing out that Harris co-sponsored the Green New Deal in the Senate, the vice president accused the Democrats of banning fracking, the injection of high pressure liquid into the ground to open up existing cracks and add oil or gas promote

Pointing out that Harris co-sponsored the Green New Deal in the Senate, the vice president accused the Democrats of banning fracking, the injection of high pressure liquid into the ground to open up existing cracks and add oil or gas promote

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The plexiglass was a direct response to Trump's contagion with the coronavirus and the wider White House outbreak

Moderator Susan Page, director of USA Today's Washington Bureau, tried to keep candidates for each response within the allotted time

Moderator Susan Page, director of USA Today's Washington Bureau, tried to keep candidates for each response within the allotted time

Pence attacked the Democratic ticket several times on these issues – the two were linked as the candidates turned to face them depending on whether they attacked or defended the respective positions of their ticket.

Senator Harris, you are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts. You yourself said several times when you ran for president that you would ban fracking, ”he said, referring to your democratic presidential campaign.

Biden has said on numerous occasions that he would not ban fracking used in the critical battlefield state of Pennsylvania, despite talking about changes to the process and calling it "new fracking."

The Green New Deal is the brainchild of Congressman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the liberal New York lawmaker who is one of the young stars of the Democratic Party. The environment is a hot topic for younger voters, a group that courted Biden.

Host Susan Page asked Harris about her sponsorship of legislation calling on the federal government to wean the United States off fossil fuels and curb greenhouse gas emissions from warming the planet across the economy. It also wants to create new high-paying jobs in the clean energy industry.

Harris didn't answer the question directly, instead addressing Pence's fracking charge.

“I'll repeat it, and the American people know Joe Biden will not ban fracking. It is a fact. That's a fact, "said the California senator, indicating the position of the ticket without commenting on her position when she ran for the Democratic nomination.

Pence also defended the Trump administration's climate record. Trump, in his first six months in office, removed the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement, in which Biden vowed to return the country if he won in November.

Pence and Harris met on a plexiglass-protected stage following President Donald Trump's diagnosis of COVID-19

Pence and Harris met on a plexiglass-protected stage following President Donald Trump's diagnosis of COVID-19

The plexiglass on the stage is undergoing a final inspection and polishing during preparations for the Vice Presidential Debate between Republican candidates

The plexiglass on the stage is undergoing a final inspection and polishing during preparations for the Vice Presidential Debate between Republican candidates

At the Wednesday night debate there was a small, socially distant audience and masks were required for all viewers

At the Wednesday night debate there was a small, socially distant audience and masks were required for all viewers

The Trump administration has also come under fire for rolling back many EPA regulations that critics say will help businesses but harm the environment.

Pence defended their actions.

& # 39; I am very proud of our environmental and conservation record. By best estimates, our air and our land are cleaner than ever, ”he said.

President Trump made it clear that we will continue to listen to science. Now Joe Biden and Kamala Harris would put us back in the Paris Agreement. They would impose the Green New Deal that would destroy American energy, ”he noted.

Harris blew the government up, however, saying they don't believe in science.

"We saw a pattern with this government that is, they don't believe in science," she said.

As the climate talk turned to a discussion of manufacturing jobs – which makes up many of the developed Midwestern nations that will aid in the voting process – Harris fell into pence and referred to his record as a member of the house of representatives.

"Joe Biden is responsible for saving the American auto industry and you voted against it," she said.

Pence voted against the 2008 bailout when he was in the House of Representatives, a fact the Biden campaign reminded voters as the vice president fights in Michigan, another critical background state. The bailout was largely put together by the George W. Bush administration but carried out by President Obama.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez can be seen in the audience waiting to hear the debate by Democratic Vice-Presidential Candidate Senator Kamala Harris and US Vice President Mike Pence

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez can be seen in the audience waiting to hear the debate by Democratic Vice-Presidential Candidate Senator Kamala Harris and US Vice President Mike Pence

The Debate Room at the University of Utah has taken precautions, including a limited, socially distant Audie Co seen wearing masks while waiting to hear the Wednesday night debate

The Debate Room at the University of Utah has taken precautions, including a limited, socially distant Audie Co seen wearing masks while waiting to hear the Wednesday night debate

Initially, Pence's team rejected Harris' request for plexiglass barriers, arguing that it was medically unnecessary. But the Presidential Debate Commission had already approved the obstacles, and Pence staff said their presence would not prevent him from attending the event

Initially, Pence's team rejected Harris' request for plexiglass barriers, arguing that it was medically unnecessary. But the Presidential Debate Commission had already approved the obstacles, and Pence staff said their presence would not prevent him from attending the event

A supporter of President Donald Trump holds a banner prior to the Vice Presidential Debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris

A supporter of President Donald Trump holds a banner prior to the Vice Presidential Debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris

"I think she'll do fine," Democratic nominee Joe Biden told reporters as he stepped into Wilmington's Queen Theater on Wednesday before his runner-up, Senator Kamala Harris, entered the debate stage

Pence brought the parents of the murdered ISIS hostage Kayla Mueller into the debate – on the same day, two of her alleged torturers were charged in the US and asked whether the charges were timed to aid the Vice President.

Axios first reported that Carl and Marsha Mueller would be Pence's guests as he debated Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris Wednesday night from Salt Lake City.

The report came out shortly after halfway through the so-called ISIS fighters of the Beatles – Alexanda Kotey and El Shafee Elsheikh – who were charged with numerous crimes related to the deaths of Kayla Mueller and journalist James Foley.

Harris planned to bring two emerging Democratic leaders from Utah as guests.

With the Müllers by his side, Pence was able to beat Harris over the term of office of Democratic candidate Joe Biden – they accused him and President Barack Obama of not saving Kayla Mueller's life.

Pence also sat in the front row at a Gold Star family event on Sunday September 27 that saw at least one person test positive for COVID-19. However, the vice president wasn't sitting close enough to the person to fall under the CDC's quarantine guidelines

Pence also sat in the front row at a Gold Star family event on Sunday September 27 that saw at least one person test positive for COVID-19. However, the vice president wasn't sitting close enough to the person to fall under the CDC's quarantine guidelines

The White House released two health updates on Pence Tuesday, one from his doctor and one from CDC Director Robert Redfield, stating that none of the people the vice president interacted with were "close contacts", despite being on Sept. 26 was in the rose garden

The White House released two health updates on Pence Tuesday, one from his doctor and one from CDC Director Robert Redfield, stating that none of the people the vice president interacted with were "close contacts", despite being on Sept. 26 was in the rose garden

Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah is adorned with banners ahead of the Vice Presidential Debate Wednesday evening, which will take place inside the building

Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah is adorned with banners ahead of the Vice Presidential Debate Wednesday evening, which will take place inside the building

On Wednesday morning, the Democrats played the game of anticipation in case Harris stumbled upon the debate, as 2016 vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine did four years ago.

“Tonight we expect Mike Pence to have a good debate. He has a long history of being a successful debater, ”said Symone Sanders of the Biden campaign when he called reporters. & # 39; He was a talk show host. Look, we won't underestimate him. & # 39;

Sen. Cory Booker – a Senate colleague of Harris and a former 2020 competitor – also hinted that the Salt Lake City debate could be a tie.

"We know Vice President Mike Pence is a great debater, and we know tonight is a challenge for those who love and know Kamala," said Booker.

The New Jersey Democrat also pointed out the historical nature of the event, with Harris being the first black woman to appear on a major party's presidential ticket.

"Celebrating your ancestors," he said when he called Sanders. "There are many children because I sent her pictures from friends of mine who sent me pictures of black and Indian girls who are delighted with television and see Kamala."

"This will be one of those nights that will reverberate in many ways," he added.

Carl (left) and Marsha Mueller (right) were the guests of Vice President Mike Pence at the Vice President Debate. Here they hold up a photo of their murdered daughter, Kayla Mueller, as they speak at the Republican National Convention in August

Carl (left) and Marsha Mueller (right) were the guests of Vice President Mike Pence at the Vice President Debate. Here they hold up a photo of their murdered daughter, Kayla Mueller, as they speak at the Republican National Convention in August

The report that the Mullers Pences would be guests followed ISIS fighters Alexanda Amon Kotey (left) and El Shafee Elsheikh (right), who flew to the US for crimes related to the deaths of Mayla Mueller and journalist James Foley were indicted

The report that the Mullers Pences would be guests followed ISIS fighters Alexanda Amon Kotey (left) and El Shafee Elsheikh (right), who flew to the US for crimes related to the deaths of Mayla Mueller and journalist James Foley were indicted

Pence had traveled to Salt Lake City on Monday before his doctor released a statement explaining why the vice president was released after appearances at events where officers have since tested positive – including the Rose Garden ceremony on Jan. September, at which Trump announced his choice of judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court.

He also performed at an event on Sunday for Gold Star families that saw at least one person test positive.

"Vice President Mike Pence is not in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, including President Donald J. Trump and senior members of the White House administration under the Centers for Disease Control guidelines."

"Vice President Mike Pence is encouraged to carry out his normal activities and does not require quarantine," said Pence's doctor, Dr. Jesse Schonau.

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