Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by nine points nationally in the latest polling from Reuters/Ipsos, as the president’s “law and order” response to civil unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s killing fails to win support from prospective voters.
The ex-veep has meanwhile laughed off Trump’s accusation on Fox and Friends that he is using performance-enhancing drugs to boost his appearances on the campaign trail as “foolish”, saying he is keen to debate his antagonist.
While the president called on the Biden-Harris ticket to stop their reckless anti-vaccine theories that would put lives at risk, Mr Biden accused the Trump administration of speeding up the coronavirus vaccine for political purposes.
He said he trusts vaccines and scientists, but he doesn’t trust the president and neither should the American people.
The candidate made the legal case for a national mask mandate, saying his legal team was looking at an executive order for the country. But if it wasn’t legal, he would bring all Republican and Democratic governors to the White House and persuade them with the science to institute the mandate.
He earlier reminded voters that he is “not currently president” after Mr Trump blamed Democrats for not introducing a national mandate on mask-wearing amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Please allow a moment for our liveblog to load
Biden speaks out on US-UK trade deal, saying Good Friday Agreement can’t ‘become a casualty of Brexit’
Joe Biden has ruled out any future trade accord between the US and the UK if Westminster does not respect the Good Friday Agreement in the latest ramping up of concerns from US Democrats over Boris Johnson’s proposal to override the Withdrawal Agreement he brokered with the EU.
In a tweet the former vice president and current presidential candidate said: “We can’t allow the Good Friday Agreement that brought peace to Northern Ireland to become a casualty of Brexit.
“Any trade deal between the US and UK must be contingent upon respect for the Agreement and preventing the return of a hard border. Period.”
Mr Biden’s concerns echo those of house Democrats, who have been vocal in their opposition to a trade accord between the two countries if the UK acts in a way that it believes will undermine the peace in Northern Ireland.
Any trade agreement between Washington and Westminster would require the Democrat-controlled house’s approval before being passed.
Vincent Wood has more.
Justin Vallejo16 September 2020 23:03
Romney says Biden probe ‘not legitimate role of government’
Republican Sen. Mitt Romney is sharply criticizing an investigation by his own party into Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son, saying it’s “not the legitimate role of government” to try and damage political opponents.
GOP Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, has said the committee will issue a report before the Nov. 3 election on Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine. Johnson, a close ally of President Donald Trump, is leading the investigation into Burisma, a gas company in Ukraine that paid Hunter Biden to serve as a board member while Joe Biden was vice president to President Barack Obama.
Most Republican senators have been on board with Johnson’s inquiry. But Romney, a frequent Trump critic, has repeatedly made clear he has concerns about politicizing the committee’s work.
The Utah lawmaker, who was the 2012 Republican presidential candidate, had his strongest words yet for what he called the “Biden-Burisma” investigation at a committee meeting Wednesday, saying that the inquiry from the “outset had the earmarks of a political exercise.”
Romney added: “Obviously, it is the province of campaigns and political parties’ opposition research, the media, to carry out political endeavors, to learn about or dust up one’s opponent. But it’s not the legitimate role of government or Congress, or for taxpayer expense to be used in an effort to damage political opponents.”
Justin Vallejo16 September 2020 22:57
CDC director says masks better guarantee against coronavirus than vaccine
The director of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday that face masks are more guaranteed to protect from coronavirus than taking a vaccine.
It comes a day after Donald Trump questioned the effectiveness of masks during ABC News’ town hall in Pennsylvania on Tuesday night.
Speaking at a Senate hearing on the federal coronavirus response, CDC director Robert Redfield said if all Americans embraced masks for six to 12 weeks, they would bring the pandemic under control.
“I’m not going to comment directly about the president but I am going to comment as the CDC director that face masks, these face masks, are the most important powerful public health tool we have,” Mr Redfield said.
“These actually, we have clear scientific evidence they work, and they are our best defence. I might even go far as to say this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me against Covid, than when I take a Covid vaccine because the Immunogenicity may be 70 per cent and if I don’t get an immune response the vaccine’s not going to protect me.”
Justin Vallejo16 September 2020 21:42
October vaccine ‘closer than most people understand’, Trump said
“We’re on track to deliver and distribute the vaccine in a very safe and effective manner, we think we can start sometime in October… that’ll be from mid-October on, maybe a little bit later than that,” he said.
“We’ll be able to distribute 100 million doses by the end of 2020.”
Justin Vallejo16 September 2020 22:25
Trump calls on Biden to stop promoting his anti-vaccine theories ‘recklessly endangering lives’
“I’m calling on Biden to stop his anti-vaccine theories because all they’re doing is hurting the importance of what we’re doing and I know if they were in this position they’d be saying how wonderful it is,” Trump said during a White House press conference.
“They’re recklessly endangering lives, you can’t do that, and again this is really a case that they’re only just started talking a little bit negatively and that’s because they know we have it, or we will soon have it.”
Justin Vallejo16 September 2020 22:25
‘We have to have this national mandate. We must do it’ – Biden makes legal case for national mask mandate
Biden today said his legal team believes they would have the legal authority to issue an executive order for a national mask mandate, though it couldn’t be guaranteed.
“Our legal team thinks I can do that based upon the degree to which there’s a crisis in those states and how bad things are for the country and if we don’t do it what happens,” he said.
The ex-VP said he would call all the governors to the White House to make the case why it’s necessary.
“I’d have the scientists arrayed to lay out in detail why, and I would go to every governor, Republican and Democratic governors and I’d say, we have to have this national mandate. We must do it,” he said.
Justin Vallejo16 September 2020 21:40
BREAKING: Biden suggests White House is trying to rush coronavirus treatment
Joe Biden has accused Donald Trump and the White House of speeding up the coronavirus vaccine for political purposes, adding the American people should not trust the administration.
This accusation, which has been made multiple times but the Democratic president candidate amid the coronavirus pandemic, was said again during a town hall on Wednesday.
“I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump. And at this moment, the American people can’t either,” Mr Biden said.
“Scientific breakthroughs don’t care about calendars any more than the virus does,” he added. “They certainly don’t adhere to election cycles. And their timing, their approval, and their distribution should never, ever be distorted by political considerations.”
Follow the story as it unfolds.
Justin Vallejo16 September 2020 21:30
Joe Biden attacks Donald Trump over latest health care comments
The former vice president released a new video attacking Mr Trump over his comments made at a town hall last night. Watch:
Chris Riotta16 September 2020 20:07
New exclusive interview with Ilhan Omar
Richard Hall spoke with Congresswoman Ilhan Omar in this exclusive interview for The Independent. Take a look:
Chris Riotta16 September 2020 18:30
Mitt Romney calls Republicans’ Hunter Biden investigation ‘a political exercise’
The Utah senator once again finds himself a lone voice among the GOP as he calls out his colleague’s spurious probe into Joe Biden’s son’s tenure with Ukrainian energy company Burisma, dirt-digging on which was at the heart of Trump’s impeachment, you will no doubt recall.
Joe Sommerlad16 September 2020 16:25