Kamala Harris Offers Rebuttal to Trump’s Speech, Criticizes COVID-19 Response

August 27, 2020 Updated: August 27, 2020

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), the vice-presidential nominee, offered the Democratic party’s response to President Donald Trump’s Republican National Convention (RNC) speech.

“And here’s what you have to understand about the nature of a pandemic: It’s relentless. You can’t stop it with a tweet. You can’t create a distraction and hope it’ll go away. It doesn’t go away,” she said, adding: “Donald Trump froze. He was scared. And he was petty and vindictive.”

Harris alleged that Trump, in his response to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, was mainly “fixated on the stock market.”

Harris, a U.S. senator who previously served as California’s attorney general, said she supported peaceful protesters. “We should not confuse them with those looting and committing acts of violence, including the shooter who was arrested for murder. And make no mistake, we will not let these vigilantes and extremists derail the path to justice,” Harris said in a speech from a university auditorium in Washington streamed online.

She was referring to days of arsons, riots, and looting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after the officer-involved shooting of a black man, Jacob Blake, who was being arrested by police officers. Blake, who had a lengthy criminal record, had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for a sexual assault.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice on Thursday said Blake also had a knife in his hands, and the knife was found on the floorboard of the vehicle when he was shot. Officials also said they tried to use a Taser on Blake but were not successful.

The incident sparked Black Lives Matter protests that morphed into civil unrest. Some Republicans questioned why Blake was resisting arrest in the first place, while local officials declared a state of emergency in the city.

Trump said on Wednesday he was sending federal law enforcement and the National Guard to Kenosha. He planned to attack Biden’s lack of action in condemning the riots on Thursday’s final night of the convention.

But Biden said that Trump is the one who is to blame for the riots and unrest across the United States.

“These guys are rooting for violence. That’s what it’s all about,” Biden said on CNN. “To prove the issue ‘be scared of Joe Biden,’ they’re pointing to what’s happening in Donald Trump’s America.”

Trump, for the past several months, has condemned the riots, looting, and arson across major cities, while attacking the Black Lives Matter organization as part of the “radical left.” The president also has said he wants to send in federal law enforcement to places such as Chicago and Portland to quell the riots and the spike in crime, although the proposal was met with pushback from various Democratic politicians who accused him of unconstitutional actions.

Most of the Republican National Convention speakers have said the Biden-Harris ticket is radical and out of touch with Americans.

Reuters contributed to this report.