On November 3, U.S. citizens elect their new president. The country is currently dealing with racial and social tensions as well as environmental issues and the challenges posed by the coronavirus, which has already killed more than 220,000 Americans. With so much at stake, this choice must be crucial to shaping the country’s future trajectory.
In this episode, hosted by FRANCE 24’s special correspondent in Washington, Kethevane Gorjestani:
Picture of the week: Donald Trump and Joe Biden were back on the same stage for the final presidential debate, a tense but relatively substantive showdown. As expected, Biden landed his biggest blows on Trump’s handling of Covid-19, pointing to the more than 220,000 victims to say “anyone responsible for many deaths should not remain as president.”
He also called Trump “one of the most racist presidents in modern American history”, after the president once again intimidated everything he had done for African American society.
Trump took Biden’s commitment into his son Hunter’s alleged corrupt business abroad, but these were more fleeting insinuations rather than the campaign-changing attack Donald Trump and his team promised it would be.
– Latest controversy: “I do not run scared, I run angry.” This is how Donald Trump started his week of campaigning. He expressed anger at his own scientific experts for being (in his opinion) too negative about the pandemic, calling dr. Anthony Fauci a “disaster” and said people were “tired of hearing Fauci and all these idiots”.
The president also swung the media to cover Covid-19 too much, calling CNN journalists “stupid bastards” and accusing them of trying to get people to vote.
Trump also struck at Republicans who have begun to distance themselves from him. The president said there were some stupid people within the party and that they should stay united around him.
– Campaign Focus: More than 45 million Americans have already voted, whether in person or via mail-in polls. That is more than 30 percent of the total votes cast in 2016. If the trend continues, the numbers suggest that this election could see record turnout. Democrats, who outnumber Republicans by a wide margin in states that give biased divisions of early votes, hope that this high turnout continues and leads to a decisive victory for Joe Biden. But Republicans who are more likely to vote on Nov. 3 are counting on a large portion of election day votes to tip the scale in Donald Trump’s favor.
– What’s next: The White House race enters the home in turbulent times. The United States is facing a resurgence of Covid-19 infections with about 60,000 new cases and hundreds of deaths every day. The last days of voting also take place under the renewed threat of foreign election interference. The director of national intelligence announced that Iran was behind a wave of threatening emails sent to Democratic voters in several states that pushed them to vote for Donald Trump. U.S. officials also confirmed that both Iran and Russia had obtained voter information and used the data to undermine confidence in the voting process, but insisted that the integrity of the election remained intact.