Reuters report what sounds like a testy reply from Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in his daily conference call with reporters this morning.
Ask to comment on the US election, Peskov said that Russia, like many other nations in the world, is closely following the campaign, adding: “But we do not want to make any statements as this could be viewed as an attempt to intervene. Russia has never, is not and is not going to intervene in US domestic affairs.”
This denial is, of course, at odds with the CIA finding that Russia did attempt to interfere in the 2016 election, and recent warnings from William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, that Russia, China and Iran are all seeking to influence November’s vote.
Perhaps one of Joe Biden’s most effective moments in the debate last night was when he was asking the nation how many of you have an empty chair now at the breakfast table because you’ve lost someone through Covid. It demonstrated a personal empathy with the emotional impact of the pandemic across America that the president has often been criticised for not showing.
However, Time magazine’s Alice Park was unhappy with both candidates overnight in the way they approached the subject of the pandemic during the debate. She writes:
During the 15-minute segment dedicated to Covid-19 — which is still killing hundreds of Americans each day, and stands to worsen once again — neither Trump nor Biden provided any substantive plans for what health experts say will be a critical next few months, and possibly years, in the fight against the coronavirus. Instead of thoughtful plans for addressing the deadliest and most disruptive public health crisis the world has faced in a century, viewers got a mud-slinging brawl between two candidates who were mostly more interested in landing jabs than in providing any reassurance to an already edgy public reeling from lost loved ones, lost jobs and disrupted lives.
The personal attacks and repeated interruptions from the candidates overshadowed any opportunity for voters to form a firm picture of how either Trump or Biden plan to navigate the remainder of this pandemic—not to mention the upcoming flu season.
In particular she pointed out that instead of explaining how a vaccine could be distributed, “Trump and Biden tussled over the Trump Administration’s constant conflict with scientists and public health experts and their differing views on how to safely reopen society.”
Yesterday there were 43,355 new coronavirus cases and 918 new Covid deaths reported in the US.
Nevada is another closely watched state during presidential elections. Hillary Clinton won it last time out, as Barack Obama had done in the previous two elections. But Nevada voted Republican for Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush and George W. Bush.
The state’s attorney general, Aaron D. Ford, expressed concern on social media last night after the president appeared to be encouraging voter intimidation during the debate.
The battle to win Florida in November is a keenly fought one, with 29 Electoral College votes at stake. Last time Trump carried the state by 49-47 against Hillary Clinton.
The Miami Herald this morning is leading with two direct quotes from the candidates. Trump telling Biden “There’s nothing smart about you. 47 years, you’ve done nothing”, and Biden telling Trump “You are the worse president America has ever had.”
Biden will be visiting Miami for the first time during his 2020 campaign on Monday, when he will be doing a town hall style debate for NBC.
Associated Press have rounded up a little international reaction to last night. They note that Hu Xijin, editor of China’s nationalistic Communist party tabloid Global Times, said that the “chaos, interruptions, personal attacks and insults” on display were a reflection of America’s “overarching division, anxiety and the…