U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Monday addressed the ongoing wildfires along the west coast of the country, saying as a nation they face one of the “most difficult moments in our history” in his view, with four historic crises at the same time.
Biden listed the crises facing Americans, with the COVID-19 pandemic being the first. He said the nation was also facing the “worst economic crisis since the Great Depression,” and a “reckoning” on race he said is long overdue. He then went on to say the fourth and final crisis was the “punishing reality” of climate change, which is resulting in numerous wildfires, hurricanes, and droughts in different parts of the country.
Biden said people are having to either evacuate during the COVID-19 pandemic or stay put “as ashes and smoke pollute the air they breathe.”
“People are not just worried about raging fires, they’re worried about the air they breathe and damage to their lungs,” the former vice-president said in Delaware. “Parents are already worried about COVID-19 for their children when they’re indoors and now they’re worried about asthma attacks when their kids are outside.”
At least 35 people have already died due to the fires, with searches ongoing for other people missing.
The Democratic nominee also spoke about Hurricane Laura’s recent impact, and Hurricane Sally heading to the Gulf Coast, saying it’s “a troubling marker” not just due to the increasing hurricane frequency but “more powerful and destructive storms.”
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