Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Kamala Harris joins Gavin Newsom for tour of wildfire-ravaged California town and accuses Trump of 'climate denial' - a day after president blamed the Democrat governor's land management for the blazes

Kamala Harris accused Donald Trump of climate denial the day before she toured a wildfire-ravaged California town with Gavin Newsom, reigniting the growing feud between the President and Governor of California.
On Monday, Trump rejected the scientific consensus that climate change is exacerbating California's wildfires, saying the climate would 'start getting cooler, you just watch it'.
Speaking after visiting the site of fires in Sacramento, the President instead blamed Newsom's forest management for causing the devastation.
He said: 'There has to be good strong forest management. So hopefully they'll start doing that.' 
Yesterday, Harris said America's leadership must 'take seriously these new changes in our climate' as she toured the wildfire damage in her home state yesterday.
Joe Biden's running mate said 'ideology should not kick in' when responding to wildfires and the climate crisis, in a veiled criticism of President Donald Trump.
The California Senator spoke in front of a charred elementary school playground in the small foothill community of Auberry.
Harris was joined by Governor Gavin Newsom in her first trip to California as the Democratic vice presidential nominee, while Joe Biden attended a campaign event in Florida.
Kamala Harris said America's leadership must 'take seriously these new changes in our climate' as she toured the wildfire damage in her home state of California yesterday with Governor Gavin Newsom
Kamala Harris said America's leadership must 'take seriously these new changes in our climate' as she toured the wildfire damage in her home state of California yesterday with Governor Gavin Newsom
Harris said 'ideology should not kick in' when responding to wildfires and the climate crisis' as she and Newsom assessed the damage of the Creek Fire in Auberry
Harris said 'ideology should not kick in' when responding to wildfires and the climate crisis' as she and Newsom assessed the damage of the Creek Fire in Auberry
The California senator and Governor look into a charred car as they assess the damage of the fires. Harris said 'ideology should not kick in' when responding to wildfires and the climate crisis, in a veiled criticism of President Donald Trump
The California senator and Governor look into a charred car as they assess the damage of the fires. Harris said 'ideology should not kick in' when responding to wildfires and the climate crisis, in a veiled criticism of President Donald Trump

At a grassroots fundraiser on Monday, Harris said: 'We have a president in Donald Trump who has pretty much denied the science and even today, could not with the full voice, speak to the fact that we have to address this and we have to address it around projection of what's predictable, in terms of not only drought, but electrical fires based on lightning, which is part of what we saw in California.
'The fact is that we are in the midst of an incredible crisis, because our climate is changing in drastic form, which is leading to California burning in many places, which is leading to storms hitting our Gulf Coast repeatedly year after year and getting worse,' reported ABC
Trump has repeatedly sparred with Newsom over the state's response to the fires, but he has never made good on his threats to withhold federal disaster funding.
Speaking in front of a burned and melted playground at Pine Ridge Elementary yesterday, Harris told reporters: 'The people who are victimized by these, they could care less and their children could care less who they voted for in the last election. 
'This is not a partisan issue. It is incumbent on us, in terms of the leadership of our nation, to take seriously these new changes in our climate, and to do what we can to mitigate against the damage.' 
California Governor Gavin Newsom and Democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris talk as they asses the damage during the Creek Fire at Pine Ridge Elementary yesterday
California Governor Gavin Newsom and Democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris talk as they asses the damage during the Creek Fire at Pine Ridge Elementary yesterday
Mark Johnson (left) unit chief for Cal Fire in Fresno, watches as Harris and Newsom are briefed on the damage during the Creek Fire at Pine Ridge Elementary
Mark Johnson (left) unit chief for Cal Fire in Fresno, watches as Harris and Newsom are briefed on the damage during the Creek Fire at Pine Ridge Elementary
Newsom repeated his frequent remark that anyone who denies climate change should come to California while he toured the town with Harris
Newsom repeated his frequent remark that anyone who denies climate change should come to California while he toured the town with Harris
Joe Biden attacks Trump for having 'failed' Latino voters
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California has already set a record with more than 3 million acres (12,140 square kilometers) burned so far this year. 
The small community where Harris spoke is within the Sierra National Forest, where a fast-moving wildfire was sparked over Labor Day weekend. 
State fire and forest officials described the status of the fire to Harris and Newsom before they addressed reporters. 
Dean Gould, the forest supervisor, told Newsom and Harris that he had never seen such an aggressive fire in the area.
The two then briefly walked around a burned-out property where a charred truck, a washer and dryer, and a brick chimney remained standing. 
Harris said such chimneys remind her of tombstones.
Newsom repeated his frequent remark that anyone who denies climate change should come to California. 
He took a sharper tone than he did with Trump on Monday, when he said the two could 'agree to disagree' on climate change while asking the president to respect the difference of opinion.
The small community where Harris spoke is within the Sierra National Forest, where a fast-moving wildfire was sparked over Labor Day weekend
The small community where Harris spoke is within the Sierra National Forest, where a fast-moving wildfire was sparked over Labor Day weekend 
Speaking in front of a burned and melted playground at Pine Ridge Elementary yesterday, Harris told reporters: 'The people who are victimized by these, they could care less and their children could care less who they voted for in the last election'
Speaking in front of a burned and melted playground at Pine Ridge Elementary yesterday, Harris told reporters: 'The people who are victimized by these, they could care less and their children could care less who they voted for in the last election' 
Harris bumps elbows with first responders as she was briefed on the Creek Fire at Pine Ridge Elementary in the wildfire-ravaged town
Harris bumps elbows with first responders as she was briefed on the Creek Fire at Pine Ridge Elementary in the wildfire-ravaged town
Trump says climate will 'start getting cooler, you just watch'
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Harris's return to California marked her first time staying overnight at her Los Angeles home since March, when the pandemic limited travel. 
She has mostly been staying at her residence in Washington, D.C., though she has ramped up campaign travel in recent weeks. 
Later Tuesday, she visited Las Vegas and met with five Hispanic community members who discussed the impact of COVID-19 on their families.
Harris said the climate crisis can't be detached from the other crises of public health, the economy and systemic racism. 
She often speaks about all four as the major issues facing America. But she didn't directly answer a question about how she and Joe Biden would prioritize the four if they win the White House.
'Were it not COVID, we'd still be probably wearing masks right now,' she said, herself wearing a black mask. 
'This air is potentially toxic. When we are talking about the climate crisis, we are talking about a public health crisis.'
Harris's return to California marked her first time staying overnight at her Los Angeles home since March, when the pandemic limited travel
Harris's return to California marked her first time staying overnight at her Los Angeles home since March, when the pandemic limited travel 
Newsom took a sharper tone than he did with Trump on Monday, when he said the two could 'agree to disagree' on climate change while asking the president to respect the difference of opinion
Newsom took a sharper tone than he did with Trump on Monday, when he said the two could 'agree to disagree' on climate change while asking the president to respect the difference of opinion 
In Las Vegas, City Councilwoman Olivia Diaz spoke emotionally about answering telephone calls from 'people at the end of their rope.'
'Not everybody was included in the (coronavirus recovery) package ... even though they worked hard every single day up until the shutdown,' Diaz said. 
She also cited difficulty conveying to people who speak Spanish the assistance programs available to them.
'We sometimes don´t get the information at the same rate that we need it,' she said.
Harris cited recent revelations that Trump knew in January how bad the coronavirus outbreak would become and said he 'played politics' instead of responding. 
Trump is trying to create fear and distrust, 'particularly in immigrant communities,' she said.
'He knows that when people vote things change,' she said.

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