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Campaigns clash over Trump’s pandemic response

In these final two weeks of the presidential race, the candidates are all over the country. The Democratic vice presidential nominee, California Sen. Kamala Harris, returned to the campaign trail in Florida after a quarantine period, while President Trump made appearances in Nevada and Arizona. Former Vice President Joe Biden spent the day preparing for the final debate. Yamiche Alcindor reports.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    The presidential race is getting into crunch time tonight, and the candidates are all over the map.

    White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor reports on how the Trump and Biden camps began their week.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    It's 15 days until the election, and for both campaigns, every day left is critical.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.:

    What's up, Florida!

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Senator Kamala Harris, the Democratic vice presidential hopeful, went to Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida, to encourage turn out as early voting began. Harris just came out of quarantine after some of her campaign staffers tested positive for COVID-19.

  • Sen. Kamala Harris:

    Health care justice is on the ballot in 2020. Reproductive justice is on the ballot in 2020. Criminal justice reform is on the ballot in 2020. Climate reform is on the ballot in 2020. Everything is on the ballot in 2020!

    Joe Biden is on the ballot in 2020! When we vote, we win. When we vote, we change things. We make it better. We know our power.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Harris' running mate, former Vice President Joe Biden, stayed off the campaign trail today. He's prepping for his final debate with President Trump on Thursday night.

    Today, the president went from rally to rally in the West. He left Las Vegas and traveled to Arizona, appearing in Prescott and Tucson. At the stop in Prescott, video showed long, largely unmasked lines forming with supporters waiting to see President Trump. Cases in Arizona have surpassed 230,000.

    The president again gave his pitch on the administration's handling of the virus.

  • President Donald Trump:

    The pandemic will soon end. It's rounding the corner. We saved two million lives or more, two million lives. We did a great job.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    We never got credit for it. We helped all of the states and the governors. Some did a good job. Some did a horrible job.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    But in a new ad from the Biden campaign launched Sunday, the former V.P. takes aim at President Trump's handling of the virus. The ad highlights bars and nightlife struggling to stay afloat.

    Meanwhile, President Trump attacked his own infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, after he said this to "60 Minutes":

  • Question:

    Were you surprised that President Trump got sick?

  • Anthony Fauci:

    Absolutely not. I was worried that he was going to get sick when I saw him in a completely precarious situation of crowded, no separation between people, and almost nobody wearing a mask.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Today, in a phone call with campaign staff and some reporters listening in, the president called Fauci and other health experts idiots. He said Americans are ready to move on and are — quote — "tired of COVID."

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden:

    Hello, North Carolina!

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    In the meantime, the Biden team used this weekend for more socially distanced campaign appearances. The vice president made a masked milkshake stop at a restaurant in Durham, North Carolina, where he also hosted a drive-in rally.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden:

    Going to make all the difference here in North Carolina. The choice is clear as it's ever been, and the stakes have never been higher.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    Further signs that a pandemic demanding a national effort is dominating a polarized election.

    Meanwhile, the president's director of national intelligence weighed in over unfounded claims about Vice President Biden's son, Hunter. Last week, a New York Post article alleged that Joe Biden was involved in his son's foreign business dealings while he was serving as vice president. Those allegations stem from e-mails The Post obtained.

    But employees there told The New York Times that the article was published despite staff reservations about its credibility. The Democratic chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, suggested the claims are Russian disinformation.

    But, today, director Ratcliffe told Fox News that is not true.

  • John Ratcliffe:

    The intelligence community doesn't believe that because there is no intelligence that supports that.

    And we have shared no intelligence with Chairman Schiff or any member of Congress that Hunter Biden's laptop is part of some kind of Russian disinformation campaign. It's simply not true.

  • Yamiche Alcindor:

    More tension between campaigns in the run-up to Thursday night's debate.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    And the battle over ballots also continues.

    A federal appeals court ruled today that Texas officials can reject any mail-in ballot if they question the signature without notifying the voter. But, in North Carolina, the opposite: The state elections board ordered local boards to contact voters on fixing some 10,000 absentee ballots with problems.

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