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After months of muted campaigning, the Democratic candidate follows his rival Donald Trump into the arena. Joe Biden travels to Kenosha, Wisconsin on Thursday, where he is to meet the family of Jacob Blake, the African-American paralyzed after being shot by police.

Two days after the Donald Trump visit, Joe Biden will try to distinguish himself from his rival in the presidential election by meeting, Thursday, September 3 in Kenosha, the family of Jacob Blake, injured by the police in a case which has provoked a new wave of indignation against racism, and riots.

It is ostensibly to “heal the wounds” of this city of Wisconsin, a key state for the presidential election of November 3, that the former vice-president of Barack Obama will make this rare trip. But the signal is obvious: After months of extreme caution over the pandemic, the veteran of politics is finally stepping into the arena.

Joe Biden, 77, made his first official plane trip to Pittsburgh on Monday in another key state, Pennsylvania. And on Wednesday, he accepted questions from reporters for the first time in weeks, in his home town of Wilmington, Delaware.

“Give the example”

His rival is increasing the number of trips to two months before the presidential election. It was Wednesday in another Wilmington, North Carolina. And Donald Trump, 74, regularly comments on the lack of “energy” of Joe Biden, 77.

“I would love to go out more but I think a president has a responsibility to lead by example” by respecting precautionary measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, Joe Biden said on Wednesday. It was after consultations with his medical experts that the former vice-president of Barack Obama therefore decided to go Thursday to Kenosha, the scene of riots last week after the serious injuries inflicted by the police on the African-American Jacob Blake.

Joe Biden will meet in Kenosha the relatives of Jacob Blake, hospitalized and paralyzed from the feet to the waist, a member of his team confirmed to AFP. Then his wife Jill Biden will make another stop with him in Wisconsin, which has not yet been specified.

Trump threatens to cut aid to ‘lawless’ cities

Hammering his campaign slogan, restore “law and order”, Donald Trump visited Kenosha on Tuesday. The Republican inspected the ruins of burnt-out shops with traders, thanked the police and likened the violent demonstrations to “internal terrorism”. But he has not met those close to Jacob Blake, and has not mentioned his name.

Donald Trump also signed a memo on Wednesday in which he threatens to stop federal funding for “lawless” cities, including Seattle, Portland, New York and Washington. “My administration will not allow federal public money to finance cities that allow themselves to be degraded into lawless areas,” it says in the document. The memo, released by the White House, orders Federal Minister of Justice (“Attorney General”) William Barr to compile a list of “anarchist jurisdictions” that have “permitted violence and destruction of property … and refused to take reasonable steps “to restore order.

Unlike his rival, Joe Biden relentlessly denounces “institutional racism” in the United States. And, as in response to the billionaire who accuses him of laxity in the face of the riots, he has also criticized for several days with more emphasis “violence, fires, looting”.

The Democratic candidate leads Donald Trump in the national poll average, but the gap is narrower in key states. While leaving with a serious financial delay on the outgoing president, Joe Biden announced Wednesday to have collected 364.5 million dollars in August, of which 205 million in small donations on the Internet. Either “the best month of online fundraising in American political history”.

With AFP and Reuters

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