Running for the White House - USA 2020

Trump is back, cluster grows at the White House and uncertainty about next debates

Runing for the White House
Runing for the White House © France 24

On November 3, US citizens will elect their new president. The country is currently dealing with racial and social tensions, plus environmental issues as well as all the challenges brought forth by the coronavirus, which has already killed more than 200,000 Americans. With so much at stake, this election is set to be crucial in 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 standing on the White House balcony, peeling off his mask and saluting Marine One, the presidential helicopter that had just flown him back from the Walter Reed Medical Center.

- Latest controversy: The building Donald Trump returned to has become a major Covid-19 cluster, one that seems to have originated at the ceremony that took place in the Rose Garden for the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court on September 26. The President has refused to isolate in the residence. Instead, he decided to return to the Oval Office on Wednesday despite still being contagious, drawing criticism for potentially endangering more White House staff. 

- Campaign focus: This vice-presidential debate was everything the first presidential debate was not: a polite debate between two polished and well-prepared candidates. Both Mike Pence and Kamala Harris mostly dodged the moderator’s questions to make their point and spin the facts, a throw-back to how political debates used to be.

- What’s next: The second presidential debate scheduled for October 15 was supposed to be the highlight of the coming week. Instead, it seems there might be no debate at all following a fierce debate over its format. The Commission on Presidential Debates initially announced that it was switching the second debate to a virtual format because of the president’s illness. Donald Trump immediately dismissed the idea.

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