Pence, Harris clash over coronavirus and taxes at vice-presidential debate

Mike Pence and Kamala Harris clashed over the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and President Donald Trump’s tax cuts on Wednesday, as they faced off in the sole vice-presidential debate of the 2020 campaign.

Vice President Pence acknowledged that the U.S. has “gone through a very challenging time this year” while also saying that Trump has put Americans’ health first.

With the U.S. COVID-19 death toll topping 210,000, Sen. Harris charged that Americans have witnessed what she called “the greatest failure of any presidential administration in the history of our country.”

Harris said she’d take a coronavirus vaccine if the government’s top doctors say it’s safe. “If Donald Trump tells us that we should take it, I’m not taking it,” she said. Pence asked her to “stop playing politics with people’s lives.”

Despite occasional barbs, the Pence-Harris face-off was civil compared with the first debate between Trump and Biden, at which the presidential contenders frequently talked over each other and the moderator.

The two also sparred over the Republican tax overhaul of 2017, with Pence charging that a Biden-Harris administration would raise Americans’ taxes. Harris countered by saying Biden wouldn’t raise taxes on anyone making less than $400,000 a year.

U.S. stock futures

 rose modestly during the debate.

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