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US Election 2020: At VP debate, Pence, Harris discuss pandemic, racism, China

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Washington, Oct 08: Vice President Mike Pence and his Democratic challenger Senator Kamala Harris took part in the only vice presidential debate, amid concerns over President Donald Trump's health after he was tested positive for COVID-19, a deadly virus that has claimed over 200,000 American lives and battered the country's economy.

During the debate, Pence said that President Trump suspended all travel from China.

US Election 2020: Pence raises China at vice presidential debate with Harris

Biden opposed the decision and called it xenophobic, Pence also said.

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Kamala Harris attacked President Trump and said that he measured the economy's strength based on how rich people are. She also called the handling of the pandemic as the greatest failure in the history of the US government.

Pence however retorted and said that her continuous undermining of the confidence in a vaccine is unacceptable.

Harris also said that Trump betrayed friends of the US and embraced dictators. She said that Russia interfered in the US elections of 2016 and added that Trump's unilateral approach towards foreign policy coupled with isolationism led to the US pulling out of the Iran Nuclear deal and made the country less safer.

Pence said that the Democrats have been trying for the past three and a half years to overturn the results of the last elections.

Harris then said that incompetent people are giving lifetime appointment to courts during the Trump regime. Of the 50 people appointed, not one is black, she said. She said that strangers marched shoulder to shoulder after the George Floyd incident. Pence then said that there is no excuse for rioting. To say that the law enforcement is biased against minorities is an insult he said.

Harris, the 55-year-old Senator who aspires to be the first woman vice-president in history, and 61-year-old Pence are separated by plexiglass barriers. They are sitting 12.25 feet apart on the debate stage.

Harris, whose mother was from India and father from Jamaica, scripted history in August when she was picked up by the Democratic Party as its vice presidential nominee. She is the first Black woman and the first Asian-American woman to be selected as the vice presidential nominee of a major political party in the US.

It is for the first time in American history that an Indian-origin person has taken up the podium for a vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City, Utah on Wednesday night.

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    The debate, moderated by journalist Susan Page, will be divided into nine segments of approximately 10 minutes each, said the Commission on Presidential Debate.

    Political analysts believe that an aggressive Harris will easily prevail over Pence during the only vice-presidential debate and help Biden, 77, to widen his lead over Trump, 74.

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    Biden, in the last few days, has widened his lead over Trump by double digit. The debate comes nearly a week after the first of the three presidential debates in Cleveland on September 29 which was marked by angry interruptions and bitter accusations.

    The debate gains added significance given the COVID-19infecting Trump, triggering speculation that Pence may be taking over the reins of the country temporarily.

    While the debate will likely cover a range of topics, the COVID-19 pandemic will be at the forefront.

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