WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump covered a lot of ground in his lengthy speech accepting the GOP nomination Thursday, but Joe Biden's campaign said the one thing it lacked was a plan to fight the coronavirus pandemic.
"Since the beginning of the Republican convention, at least 3,525 Americans have lost their lives to the coronavirus," Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said in a statement.
"Instead of a strategy to overcome the pandemic, or any concern for the unbearable suffering in our country right now as a result of his ongoing failures, what we heard was a delusional vision completely divorced from the crushing reality that ordinary Americans face," she added.
Trump spoke to over 1,000 guests on the South Lawn of the White House, where chairs were arranged close together and few wore masks. Biden's press secretary, TJ Ducklo, quipped on Twitter that it was, the "lowest energy superspreader event I've ever seen."
Biden himself released a statement earlier, asking, "Is Donald Trump even aware he's president?" The statement referred to a major theme of the GOP convention that warned Biden's election would lead to looting and rioting. But Biden noted that's happening now.
"These are not images from some imagined 'Joe Biden's America' in the future. These are images from Donald Trump's America today," Biden said. "The violence we're witnessing is happening under Donald Trump. Not me. It’s getting worse, and we know why."
Biden got some outside help as the Republican convention wrapped up.
The father of the first person to die in combat under Trump, Navy SEAL Ryan Owens, slammed the president for ordering the botched raid in a new video released by the Democratic veteran's group VoteVets.
"Trump ordered Ryan’s SEAL team into Yemen — not from the Situation Room, with all the intelligence assembled, but sitting across a dinner table with Steve Bannon," Bill Owens, a veteran himself, says. "There was no vital interest at play. Just Donald Trump playing ‘big man going to war.'"
"And when it went horribly wrong," Owens continued. "Donald Trump demeaned my son’s sacrifice."
Trump blamed his generals at the time. "They lost Ryan," Trump told Fox News at the time.
And two more large groups of former Republican officials broke party ranks to support Biden.
Over 100 former aides to Sen. John McCain of Arizona announced the formation of the group McCain Alumni for Biden. The group includes several of McCain's former chiefs of staff and some of his longest-serving and most senior congressional staffers.
"Though we could not always live to his example, John trusted us to know when it was time to put our country before our party; Joe Biden is the right choice for our country," said Joe Donoghue, McCain's former legislative director and longest-serving aide.
A similar group of former administration officials and campaign aides to former President George W. Bush released its own list of Biden endorsers nearly 300 names long.