The Guardian’s US Washington DC bureau chief, David Smith, discusses Donald Trump’s law and order gamble on the election, and how it is impacting on Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s campaign
The Guardian’s US Washington DC bureau chief, David Smith, talks to Anushka Asthana about Donald Trump’s election campaign, which is pushing a theme of law and order, while Democratic nominee Joe Biden has sought to bring Covid-19 to the fore. The US now has more than 6m coronavirus infections and 185,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. More than 16 million are out of work. Yet last month’s Republican convention hailed Trump’s response to the virus and implied that the pandemic was a thing of the past.
Polls suggest the success of the Republican convention, and scenes of civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and Portland, Oregon, have enabled Trump to narrow the gap on Biden. Kenosha became the latest flashpoint in a long summer of unrest in America after Jacob Blake, an African American, was shot seven times in the back by police as he tried to enter his vehicle. Three nights of protests set off more than 30 fires and culminated in a 17-year-old militia supporter allegedly shooting and killing two demonstrators – an act Trump has pointedly failed to condemn.
Since then, marches organised both by police sympathisers and Blake’s family have been peaceful, with no vandalism. But, critics say, Trump has seized on vivid TV pictures for political gain with no intention of healing or unifying the nation.
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