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Presenting himself as a unifier in a battered America, Joe Biden met on Thursday in private the family of Jacob Blake, a black man seriously injured by the police in late August, upon his arrival in the key state of Wisconsin, which marks an acceleration of his campaign.
While Donald Trump spoke of “domestic terrorism” to Kenosha, Joe Biden privately met Jacob Blake’s family Thursday September 3rd, the black man whose controversial arrest launched nights of riots in this Wisconsin city. Presenting himself as a unifier in an America that appears more and more divided, the Democratic presidential candidate went there upon his arrival in this key state.
The wife of Democratic White House candidate Jill Biden also attended the hour-long meeting with the family of this 29-year-old African American, touched by seven bullets fired at close range, in front of his children, August 23 in Kenosha, in the Great Lakes region.
Joe Biden would have spoken on the phone with Jacob Blake, reports our correspondent in Washington, Sonia Dridi
His rival Donald Trump had visited the city on the shores of Lake Michigan, a hundred kilometers north of Chicago, as of Tuesday 1er September, but without meeting the family or mentioning the name of Jacob Blake.
A meeting in private and without media
As soon as they got off the plane in Milwaukee, Wisconsin’s largest city, the Biden met the Blake family, accompanied by lawyers. Reporters were unable to attend the meeting and Joe Biden did not respond to questions thrown at him on the tarmac. No report should be released to the press.
According to his campaign team, the former vice president of Barack Obama spoke in person with the father, two sisters and a brother of Jacob Blake, who is hospitalized and paralyzed from the feet to the waist. Her mother was attending the meeting by phone.
The purpose of his visit? “Bringing people together (…), being a positive influence,” Joe Biden said at a rare press conference on Wednesday, September 2. “We must heal the wounds,” said the Democrat, who denounces “institutional racism” while rejecting violence in the demonstrations.
The former Democratic vice-president and his wife were then due to meet with residents of Kenosha. They will then make another stop in Wisconsin.
Protests in US “eclipse any other discussion” for presidential election
“Law and order”
Two months before the presidential election of November 3, Joe Biden opens with this trip a new, more active phase of his campaign.
While the Democratic candidate remained confined to his home in Wilmington, Delaware for weeks, then limited his campaign travel to the region, his rival Donald Trump crisscrossed the United States, hammering a speech centered on the return of ” Law and order”.
The Republican president will not be outdone Thursday evening, with a speech planned in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, another strategic state in the race for the White House.
Marked by the pandemic, which has claimed more than 185,000 lives in the United States, a deep economic crisis and a historic wave of anger against racism, the electoral campaign combines unprecedented factors.
And if Joe Biden is ahead of the Republican billionaire in the polls, the suspense remains in favor of tighter scores in the key states, which make and undo the presidential victories in the United States by switching from one party to another .
Protests in Kenosha ? “Domestic terrorism” for Trump
As early as Monday, Joe Biden, whose supposed “lack of energy” Donald Trump mocks, had given the signal that he was adopting a more sustained campaign pace, with a speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
During his visit to Kenosha, the Republican President had inspected the ruins of burnt shops, thanked the police and assimilated violent demonstrations to “internal terrorism”.
The tension in this city of some 100,000 inhabitants peaked on August 25, when a young man of 17 fired with a semi-automatic rifle on three demonstrators, killing two. His arrest the next day brought back a precarious calm.
Donald Trump refused to condemn the actions of the young man, Kyle Rittenhouse. This supporter of the president has been charged with premeditated murder.