Trump has shown reckless disregard for wellbeing of citizens: Kamala Harris

Kamala Harris (Photo: Bloomberg)

Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic Party's vice-presidential candidate, has blasted President Donald Trump for failing to protect the American people from the deadly coronavirus pandemic by being "fixated on the stock market" and caving in to China.

In a blistering speech hours before Trump delivered his acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention from the South Lawn at the White House, Harris alleged that the president's policies have been "a reckless disregard" for the danger a pandemic would pose to American lives.

"Donald Trump has failed at the most basic and important job of a President of the United States. He failed to protect the American people. Plain and simple. Trump showed what we, in the legal profession, would call a reckless disregard for the well-being of the American people," Harris said.

With the Republican leaders attending the four-day convention largely downplaying the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed over 180,000 people and infected over five million others in the US, Harris pointed out that Trump's failure to address the health emergency more aggressively is emblematic of a tweet-driven presidency.

"Here's what you have to understand about the nature of a pandemic: It's relentless. You can't stop it with the tweet," the 55-year-old Senator from California told Trump.

Instead of rising to meet the most difficult moment of his presidency, Trump froze and was scared. And he was petty and vindictive, she said.

She said Trump "doesn't understand the presidency" and believes it is "all about him."

The Republican convention is designed for one purpose: To soothe the president's Trump's ego, to make him feel good, Harris said.

"But here's the thing: He's the President of the United States, and it's not supposed to be about him. It's supposed to be about the health and the safety and the well-being of the American people."

"And on that measure," she added, "Donald Trump has failed."

"He never appreciated that a President swears an oath before God and country to protect America against threats seen and unseen. It's his duty. It's his obligation to protect us. And yet, he has failed. Miserably, she said.

Harris alleged that Trump "caved" in when the US needed him to be tough on the Chinese government.

"On January 24th, he praised the transparency of the Chinese government. He said, quote, China has been working hard to contain the coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well.

"But they weren't being transparent. They blocked public health inspectors from the CDC, from getting the access and information they needed to protect American lives, she said, referring to China not allowing American health experts to visit Wuhan, the central Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic emerged last year before it spread across the world.

"Donald Trump stood idly by. And folks, it was a deadly decision. Instead of rising to meet the most difficult moment of his presidency, Donald Trump froze. He was scared. He was petty and vindictive, Harris said.

She said Trump was "fixated on the stock market" as he thought that shutting down the economic activities to contain the spread of the coronavirus in the country would harm his interests.

Former vice president Joe Biden and his running mate Harris from the Democratic Party are challenging President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence from the Republican Party in the November 3 presidential election.

"Here's the thing, Donald Trump's incompetence is nothing new. That has always been on full display. But in January of this year, it became deadly. That's when the threat of a virus that would endanger the world first emerged. Trump dismissed the threat. Joe Biden sounded the alarm, she said.

It would be the beginning of a pattern that persists to this day. Trump telling us not to worry, that the virus will, quote, disappear, that a quote, miracle is coming. Joe Biden, saying we need a plan, a national strategy, a President who is willing to lead, willing to be a role model for our nation. For our children, Harris said.

This was the first major policy attack by Harris against Trump after she was nominated by the Democratic Party as its vice-presidential candidate last week, becoming the first Indian-American and first Black woman to be picked by a major American political party for the top post.

As President, Joe Biden will put a plan into effect on day one, she asserted. Develop and deploy rapid tests with immediate results. Make sure testing, treatments, and ultimately, a vaccine reach all Americans, including communities of color, who have historically been left behind. Manufacture the medical supplies and protective equipment we need, she said.

And make them right here-in America, so we're never again at the mercy of China and other foreign countries to protect our own people, she added. A Biden Administration will put in place a nationwide mask Mandate-it's not a burden to protect each other.

Harris alleged that before the virus hit, Trump made the country vulnerable. After it was struck, he failed to do what was necessary. As it continues, he's making it worse every day, she said.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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