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  • Martel Sharpe

Harris and Pence Discuss Justice for Breonna Taylor and More During The Vice Presidential Debate

Last night Senator Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence took part in the Vice Presidential Debate, moderated by Susan Page, the Washington Bureau Chief for USA Today.

Just to save some time, if you're Black, and you're reading this recap, one of the most important parts of the debate was when the topic of justice for Breonna Taylor was raised, along with systemic racism and police brutality.

The question was, does Pence believe that Breonna Taylor received justice?

A couple of weeks ago, a grand jury indicted one of the officers on the scene during Taylor's murder. However, the officer was only indicted for wanton endangerment because he injured some of Taylor's neighbors and destroyed property.

However, the officer directly responsible for her death received no penalties.

Pence's response was, "I trust our justice system. A grand jury that refused the evidence."

He also said, "This presumption that you hear consistently from Joe Biden and Kamala Harris that America's systemically racist, and as Joe Biden said that he believes that law enforcement has an implicit bias against minorities, is a great insult to the men and women who serve in law enforcement."

Unfortunately, this topic didn't come up until the tail end of the debate. Black Americans had to wait through almost an hour of discussion before they got the answer that they really wanted to hear but already knew.

Let's talk about the rest of the debate.

From the start, this debate promised to be more civil than the Presidential Debate that took place the week prior.

“We want a debate that is lively. But Americans also deserve a discussion that is civil. These are tumultuous times, but we can and will have a respectful exchange. Let's begin with the ongoing pandemic that has cost our country so much,” said Page, as she laid out the rules for the debate.

Harris and Pence traded blows like they were in a title fight, starting with the COVID-19 pandemic, which is currently the biggest topic on the countries mind, besides the elections.

As of today, more than 211,000 Americans have died during the COVID-19 pandemic and the United States has the highest percentage of confirmed cases in the world.

While Pence decided to point out all of the Trump Administration’s “successes” during the pandemic, Harris decided to shed more light on their negligence.

Her shining star was the fact that the White House was advised back in January on the potential lethalness of COVID-19 to the American people.

“Let’s talk about respecting the American people. You respect the American people when you tell them the truth,” Harris said. Pence then interjected, “Which we’ve always done.”

However, a "fact check" from CNN pointed out that Trump himself has said in interviews that he concealed the truth about COVID-19 to keep citizens calm.

Pence decided to stand his ground on the issue, and continue to proclaim that the Trump Administration saved millions of lives and prevent the COVID19 pandemic from getting worse.

In response to Biden and Harris’ plan to deal with COVID-19, Pence said that it looks very similar to Trump’s current plan and called it plagiarism.

“It looks a little like plagiarism, which is something Joe Biden knows a little about,” Pence said.

In addition, Pence compared the Trump Administration's handling of COVID-19 to the Obama Administration's dealings with the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic, which was way less lethal than COVID-19 but lasted approximately 18 months.

Pence also said that medical trials for the COVID-19 vaccine are currently in their third stages and America will have a vaccine by the end of the year.

However, when the topic of Trump’s health and his transparency around his health was brought up, Pence danced around that question better than the best TikTok challenge of the year.

As Trump continues to recover from COVID-19, the American people are still not clear on how serious his condition was and is, in addition to his overall treatment.

And the question around Trump’s health brought up the fact that whoever takes office next year, whether it be Trump or Biden, either choice would make the oldest president in America’s history.

With both of these gentlemen in their 70s, the question is if there’s a disability plan for anything that may occur with having an elderly president. Unfortunately, neither candidate was able to answer that question directly.

Harris and Pence continued to trade blows on taxes and economic policies, fracking, Obamacare and healthcare coverage for preexisting conditions, whether or not Trump will choose a Supreme Court Justice, along with China and international trade.

And while Pence played his role well as a sympathetic and competent vice president, his act wasn't as good as he thought, because when fact-checked it's been revealed that a lot of his statements concerning words and actions by Trump, Biden, and Harris, were false.

For example, he was false, when he said that Trump banned travel to China, which he was trying to use as an example of an action Trump took to mitigate the effect of COVID-19

But the highlight of the debate was when Page was forced to reprimand Pence for constantly speaking overtime and interrupting Harris.

She made it a point to bring up the fact that the Trump campaign took part in making the rules for the Vice Presidential Debate and her job was to enforce or try, rules that Pence agreed to, and was blatantly disregarding.

The next presidential debate is scheduled for October 15 and will be virtual.