Trump looks west, eyeing new paths to White House

Donald Trump

Normally, family members of those who lost their lives gather at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City to read out the names of the victims.

Joe Biden's national press secretary claimed Thursday that the former vice president was in favor of President Donald Trump's decision to restrict travel from China, but all of Biden's public comments, including from the day the decision was announced, indicate otherwise. "It's a solemn day, and that's how we're going to keep it, okay?", Biden said.

Friday will mark Trump's second time observing the 9/11 anniversary at the Flight 93 memorial, where he made remarks in 2018. The names of almost 3,000 victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks will be read by family members. Memorial leaders said the change for the 19th anniversary of the attacks was a coronavirus-safety precaution.

The Republican president meanwhile travelled to Shanksville, Pennsylvania some 480 kilometres to the west of NY, where an airliner crashed after the passengers tried to wrest control from the Al-Qaeda hijackers.

"It's no surprise that Trump isn't talking about the fact that America is literally in flames on his watch - but why isn't Biden?" said Rebecca Katz, a political strategist who has worked with Democratic congressional candidates supporting the measure.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden (L) and Vice President Mike Pence (R) attend a 9/11 memorial service at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City on Sept. 11, 2020.

The poll found that 46 percent of respondents back Biden and 42 percent support Trump, with another 7 percent undecided and 4 percent voting for another candidate.

Donald Trump
Pence and Biden Greet Each Other at Sept. 11 Memorial

Trump is speaking at the morning ceremony, the White House said.

During the visit to the old World Trade Center site, Biden stood alongside New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the state's two US senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, nearby.

Though the state has significantly expanded access to mail-in voting this year amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the poll found that the largest share of respondents actually plan to vote early in-person before Election Day, which has always been the most popular method of voting among Nevadans. "New York is unstoppable".

As in past years on the plaza, many readers at the alternative ceremony added poignant tributes to their loved ones' character and heroism, urged the nation not to forget the attacks and recounted missed family milestones: "How I wish you could walk me down the aisle in just three weeks", Kaitlyn Strada said of her father, Thomas, a bond broker.

Biden this week said Trump is to blame for thousands of deaths given what the president new about the severity of the pandemic in February, yet played it down publicly, according to audio recordings taken by reporter Bob Woodward for a new book.

"I remember all my friends that I lost", Biden said when asked what the day means for him.

Trump visited Shanksville for the 9/11 anniversary in 2018, and has attended memorial ceremonies at the Pentagon. "We stand together, understanding we are all in this together".


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