Trump California visit shows divide on climate change, COVID


Forward of President Trump’s go to to wildfire-ravaged California on Monday, Democrats charged over the weekend that his disregard for primary science had contributed to the worsening annual conflagrations, in addition to to the still-uncontrolled unfold of COVID-19.

Trump, in the meantime, seized on the capturing Saturday evening of two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies to attempt to painting Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden as weak on law-and-order points, whilst Biden and his working mate, California Sen. Kamala Harris, sharply rejected the notion that such violence ought to go unpunished.

A Western tour that first took Trump to Nevada, the place polls give Biden an edge, highlighted the president’s efforts to leverage voter fears about crime and violence amid the yr’s protests in opposition to racial injustice. He mentioned little concerning the pandemic, nonetheless, as he resumed rallies earlier than close-packed, largely unmasked crowds. And he prompt, as he has in previous years, that Western states’ unhealthy forest administration — not local weather change — accounts for the depth of wildfires lately.

A display screen seize from a safety digital camera video launched by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division reveals a gunman strolling as much as two sheriff’s deputies and opening hearth Saturday in Compton.

(Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Division / Related Press)

Trump bolstered his bellicose anti-crime rhetoric with a pair of tweets Sunday concerning the capturing in Compton, which authorities described as an ambush that left the 2 deputies critically injured.

“Animals that have to be hit exhausting!” Trump wrote on Twitter, apparently referring to a lone suspect seen on surveillance video strolling as much as the deputies’ parked automotive and firing a number of instances. In one other tweet, the president mentioned: “In the event that they die, quick trial demise penalty for the killer. Solely technique to cease this!”

Each Biden and Harris, who served as California’s lawyer normal, expressed sympathy and concern for the deputies, a 31-year-old girl and a 24-year-old man who have been recovering from surgical procedure for a number of gunshot wounds and have been anticipated to outlive. The Democratic candidates individually known as for the perpetrator to be delivered to justice.

“Violence of any variety is mistaken; those that commit it ought to be caught and punished,” Biden wrote on Twitter.

Trump instructed supporters Sunday evening in Henderson, Nev., that he had been criticized for calling the gunman who shot the deputies an “animal.” However he doubled down on the assertion.

“They mentioned he’s a human being,” he instructed a crowd of cheering supporters, most not carrying masks, at an indoor rally. “He isn’t a human being. He’s an animal.”

Trump’s surrogates, in the meantime, struggled to defend his dealing with of the COVID-19 outbreak, following a damning new account by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward.

In a combative change on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Trump advisor Peter Navarro sparred with host Jake Tapper over the president’s taped acknowledgement to Woodward in early February that he intentionally performed down the gravity of the menace after being instructed the coronavirus was lethal and transmitted by air.

Bristling at Tapper’s rivalry that Trump misled the general public, Navarro countered, “He was easy.” He parried with criticism of Home Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), the World Well being Group, China and the U.S. authorities’s high infectious illness specialist, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci.

Tapper quickly minimize him off and ended the interview, noting to the published viewers that the US has lower than 5% of the world’s inhabitants however greater than 20% of COVID-19 fatalities. The U.S. demise toll is approaching 200,000.

Hours later in Nevada, Trump prompt that the coronavirus’ unfold is beneath management, a rivalry that has grow to be a staple of his marketing campaign.

“We’re rounding the nook on COVID. We’re rounding it quickly, plus we have now vaccines coming very quickly,” he mentioned at a roundtable with a number of Latinos in Las Vegas.

The evening earlier than, the president held an open-air rally close to Reno that lasted greater than an hour and a half. That gathering, and the one Sunday evening, defied his personal administration’s public well being steerage. Republican Nationwide Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel insisted on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Trump was not modeling unsafe habits by disparaging mask-wearing and infrequently being seen in a single.

“I don’t assume that is politically dividing in any respect,” she mentioned of facial coverings. She mentioned she and her household put on masks, however the option to eschew them is “about particular person freedoms.”

McDaniel additionally falsely prompt, as Trump and senior aides have repeatedly carried out, that the U.S. caseload — greater than 6.5 million infections thus far — is so excessive partly as a result of “we do have extra testing.”

The eruption of dozens of lethal wildfires devastating California, Oregon and Washington state, which have consumed hundreds of thousands of acres and produced apocalyptic orange-tinted skies, has grow to be the most recent nationwide tragedy to divide somewhat than unite the events.

Throughout his marketing campaign swing, the president belittled West Coast states for poor “forest administration,” as he has beforehand, ignoring the truth that federally managed land accounts for a lot of the burned acreage. At a rally final month in Pennsylvania, he referred to the necessity to “clear your flooring … clear your forests.”

Democratic officers say Trump is in denial concerning the root reason behind the ferocious blazes.

“Discuss to a firefighter when you assume that local weather change isn’t actual,” mentioned Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, interviewed on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” He mentioned the Trump administration has “put its head within the sand,” whereas native officers, Democrats and Republicans alike, have stepped as much as fight local weather change.

The wildfires, unprecedented in scope and ferocity, are “not nearly forest administration or raking,” Garcetti mentioned.

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) mentioned on ABC’s “This Week” that the president’s blaming of forest administration by state officers is “an enormous and devastating lie.”

Oregon’s Democratic governor, Kate Brown, interviewed on CBS, acknowledged “a long time of mismanagement of our forests on this nation” but in addition cited the need of tackling local weather change. “We have to do each,” she mentioned.

The wildfires have illuminated the distinction within the two presidential candidates’ reveals of empathy. Trump, who’s to obtain a hearth briefing from federal, state and native officers on Monday, has been silent for weeks on the struggling brought on by wildfires, though on Saturday he thanked firefighters and different responders.

Biden thanked firefighters and emergency employees, too, however has additionally addressed himself to “households who’ve misplaced all the things” and “individuals compelled to evacuate their houses.”

“Please know that we stand with you now,” he tweeted Saturday.

At each alternative over the weekend, Trump sought to painting the previous vp, 77, as faltering mentally and bodily, as “gradual” and “sleepy.”

Biden, interviewed on CNN, guffawed when requested about his fellow septuagenarian’s depiction of him as infirm. Trump is three years youthful.

“Simply have a look at us,” Biden mentioned. “Who appears to be in form; who’s in a position to transfer round?”

Trump has seethed about media protection of current episodes suggesting his personal frailties, together with his halting descent of a ramp after addressing cadets at West Level, utilizing each fingers to lift a glass to his lips, showing to pull one leg as he walks and making a still-unexplained journey to Walter Reed Nationwide Navy Medical Heart in November.

“I shouldn’t snort,” Biden mentioned. He promised to be truthful about his well being, in addition to different issues, if elected president.

“I’ll acknowledge my errors after I make them,” he mentioned. “I’ll degree with the American individuals.”


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