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Biden, Harris focus White House campaign on COVID-19 crisis

WILMINGTON, United States: Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and his running mate Kamala Harris will put the coronavirus pandemic front and centre in their campaign on Thursday (Aug 13), targeting Donald Trump's response to the health and economic crises ahead of November's election.

Fresh off Wednesday's campaign rollout that featured the pair together for the first time showcasing their vision for the nation, they will meet with public health experts in Delaware.

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Biden and Harris are to deliver remarks afterwards, according to the campaign – a signal to voters that curbing the spread of the virus is a top priority and major election issue.

They will likely unleash a second straight day of vigorous criticism of Trump, whom Democrats widely accuse of mishandling the US response to a pandemic that has claimed more than 166,000 lives, the world's highest death toll.

Harris warned Wednesday that Trump's "mismanagement" of the pandemic has plunged the nation into the deepest health crisis in a century and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

"There's a reason (the coronavirus) has hit America worse than any other advanced nation. It's because of Trump's failure to take it seriously from the start," she said.

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Harris lamented "his refusal to get testing up and running. His flip-flopping on social distancing and wearing masks. His delusional belief that he knows better than the experts."

Trump meanwhile said the economy was experiencing a "v-shaped recovery," despite millions of American families suffering and analysts warning that the country remains in an unemployment crisis.

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