Pence, Harris spar over COVID-19 in vice presidential debate

Debate turned into a dissection of the Trump administration's handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Democrat Kamala Harris called it 'the greatest failure of any presidential administration.' Vice President Mike Pence said the nation is going through 'a very challenging time.'

By

National News

October 8, 2020 - 9:48 AM

The vice presidential campaign debate between Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Vice President Mike Pence in Salt Lake City, Utah, is seen on TV in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Trading barbs through plexiglass shields, Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Kamala Harris turned the only vice presidential debate of 2020 into a dissection of the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with Harris labeling it “the greatest failure of any presidential administration.”

Pence, who leads the president’s coronavirus task force, acknowledged that “our nation’s gone through a very challenging time this year,” yet vigorously defended the administration’s overall response to a pandemic that has killed more than 210,000 Americans.

The meeting, which was far more civil  than last week’s chaotic faceoff between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, unfolded against an outbreak of coronavirus now hitting the highest levels of the U.S. government. Trump spent three days at the hospital before returning to the White House on Monday, and more than a dozen White House and Pentagon officials are also infected, forcing even more into quarantine.

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