Former prosecutor Harris to target Trump's virus response in U.S. campaign push

WILMINGTON, Del. (Reuters) – Kamala Harris joins presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on the campaign trail for the second time in two days on Thursday in an appearance that will focus on hammering President Donald Trump’s his response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Biden and Harris will receive a briefing on COVID-19 from public health experts and then deliver speeches in Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Delaware.

The remarks will illustrate the campaign’s role for Harris, the first Black woman and Asian-American on a major-party U.S. presidential ticket.

Rather than being tied to any specific target demographic groups, Harris will have three roles to play as a campaign spokeswoman: energizing people to vote and volunteer, outlining Biden’s policy vision and prosecuting the case against Trump, according to a person familiar with the strategy.

Trump long played down the risks of the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 165,000 Americans – the highest death toll in the world – and thrown tens of millions out of work.

The former prosecutor is expected to focus on Trump’s response to the crisis, which has been an effective political argument against Trump for Biden so far.

Biden, after introducing Harris’ personal story on Wednesday in their first joint appearance since picking his running mate, quickly moved to talking about the urgency of the moment.

Trump, for his part, on Twitter Thursday accused the news media of giving Harris “a free pass despite her Radical Left failures and very poor run in the Democrat Primary.”

Harris made her debut as Biden’s running mate on Wednesday in Delaware, delivering a rebuke of Trump’s leadership and highlighting the historic significance of her new role, while helping the campaign collect $26 million in its best day of fundraising yet.

In the coming weeks, Harris will do events in person and virtually, including several jointly with Biden, much like some of the socially distanced campaign stops and speeches Biden has given in recent weeks in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

The campaign is still unsure of whether they will be able to campaign as normal, saying they intend to follow local public health guidance that continues to discourage large gatherings as the virus has killed more than 160,000 Americans and negotiations stalled over a government package to manage the economic fallout.

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