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Kamala Harris delivers rebuke of Trump’s COVID-19 response | USA News



Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris has launched a scathing critique of United States President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and racial unrest roiling American cities.

In a speech on Thursday, hours before Trump was due to address the final day of the virtual Republican National Convention (RNC), Harris argued that the president has shown “a reckless disregard for the wellbeing of the American people” in failing to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Donald Trump froze. He was scared. He was petty and vindictive,” Harris said of his early response to the outbreak in the US.

“Even now, some eight months into this crisis, Donald Trump still won’t take responsibility. He still won’t act,” Harris said.

“And the tragedy in all of this is, it didn’t have to be this bad. Just look around. It’s not like this in the rest of the world. All we needed was a competent president,” Harris said in her first major political attack on Trump since she joined presidential candidate Joe Biden on the Democratic ticket last week.

The US has confirmed more than 5.8 million infections and 180,000 deaths related to COVID-19, more than any other nation, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Harris’s remarks, delivered point-by-point in the style of a prosecutor, came in a 20-minute “prebuttal” speech before Trump was due to deliver a major address from the White House to the virtual RNC. Americans go to the polls on November 3 to decide whether Trump should serve a second four-year term.

Trump is expected to deliver a law-and-order themed address at the Republican National Convention  [Carlos Barria/Reuters]

Support for protesters

Harris praised the protests against the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and condemned the killing of two protesters in what appeared to be clashes between vigilante militias and demonstrators. A 17-year-old has been arrested and charged with murder in connection with the killings.

“And after the murders of Briana and George, and Ahmad, and so many others, it’s no wonder people are taking to the streets, and I support them,” Harris said, drawing a sharp distinction with Trump, who has been hostile to the protests.

“We must always defend peaceful protest and peaceful protesters. We should not confuse them with those looting and committing acts of violence, including the shooter, who was arrested for murder,” Harris said.

“And make no mistake, we will not let these vigilantes and extremists derail the path to justice,” she said.

Meanwhile, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway suggested on the conservative Fox News television talk show Fox & Friends that the Wisconsin unrest could help Trump’s re-election chances. 

“The more chaos and anarchy and vandalism and violence reigns,” Conway said, “the better it is for the very clear choice on who’s best on public safety and law and order.” 

Biden and Harris do not support defunding the police but have advocated for overhauling police practices after years of high-profile killings of Black Americans by officers. Harris sponsored a bill in the US Congress to ban chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and to create a national registry for police misconduct.


Demonstrators have protested nightly following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin [Stephen Maturen/Reuters]

Biden, who has largely limited his personal travel during the pandemic to near his home in Wilmington, Delaware, told MSNBC he would consider traveling to Kenosha himself.

“If I were president I’d be going,” Biden said on Thursday. “But it’s hard to tell now what the circumstance on the ground is.”

Should he make the trip, Biden said, he would attempt to “pull together the Black community as well as the white community and sit down and talk about how we get through this”.

Of Trump, he said: “This is his America now. And, if you want to end where we are now, we’ve got to end his tenure as president.”

Harris focused much of her speech on Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, which has shuttered much of the US economy for months.

She accused Trump of incompetence that has “become deadly” while painting Biden as a president who would address the pandemic seriously. She criticised Republicans for not offering a clearer, more truthful picture of the pandemic’s toll during their convention.

“The Republican convention is designed for one purpose: to soothe Donald Trump’s ego,” she said. “He’s the president of the United States. It’s not supposed to be about him. It’s about to be about the wellbeing and the safety of the American people. And on that, Donald Trump has failed.”

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge



Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.



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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?



The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail



Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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