US presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden attended a campaign event in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, together with Kamala Harris, his choice of Democratic vice presidential candidate, in what was the duo’s first public appearance as running mates.
Postponed for several hours due to power outage on-site, the event, held in a basketball venue, finally saw the former vice president and the senator from California walk out side by side, both donning masks, Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.
“I picked the right person to join me as the next vice president of the United States of America and that’s senator Kamala Harris,” Biden said, praising the first African as well as South Asian-American woman to be nominated for vice president in a major party as being “smart,” “tough,” “experienced,” and “a proven fighter for the backbone of this country – the middle class.”
Sitting next to the podium and keeping social distance with Biden as he spoke, Harris, however, took off the mask as she listened to Biden, who spoke without wearing the mask either.
Biden in his remarks pledged that a “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris administration will have a comprehensive plan to meet the challenge of Covid-19 and turn the corner on this pandemic,” adding that they will adhere to “masking, clear science-based guidance,” meanwhile “dramatically scaling up testing, getting states and local governments the resources they need to open the schools and businesses safely.”
Harris, the daughter of a Jamaican immigrant father and an Indian immigrant mother, later took to the podium saying she was “incredibly honored by this responsibility” of the vice presidency, and that she was “ready to work.”
She said she was “so mindful of all the heroic and ambitious women before me whose sacrifice, determination and resilience make my presence here today even possible.”
The California Democrat, who on Tuesday emerged from about 10 women finalists to become Biden’s vice-presidential pick, bluntly blamed President Donald Trump for his “mismanagement” of the coronavirus, claiming that as a result of Trump’s failures, “our economy has taken one of the biggest hits out of all the major industrialized nations.”
Recalling how her parents met each other while protesting for civil rights in Oakland, California, in the 1960s, Harris said her mom and dad would bring her to protests as a little girl “strapped tightly in my stroller.”
Being someone who spent most of her political career as a prosecutor, Harris suggested that it was the family tradition that made her devote her life to “making real the words carved into the United State Supreme Court: Equal justice under law.”
While Biden said he and Harris “were in a battle for the soul of the nation,” Harris said the moment right now “is a moment of real consequence for America,” encouraging voters to “vote like never before because we need more than a victory on November 3.”