Donald Trump claims 'end of pandemic in sight' at Al Smith Dinner before US election 2020

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Oct 02, 2020, 06.43 AM(IST)

'King Hamad has challenged old assumptions' Photograph:( WION Web Team )

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This year's dinner shifted online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the air was a little grim due to the ongoing feud between the two candidates

This year the famous and traditional Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner, an annual Catholic event that is known for giving the opponents a chance to keep politics aside for a night. 

The dinner, which is arranged by the Catholic Church in New York, usually includes a guest list of the big names from the country and aims to raise money for the charity while having a hearty laugh.

However, this year's dinner shifted online due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the air was a little grim due to the ongoing feud between the two candidates.

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The US President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden addressed the dinner virtually and mainly stuck to talking about politics, rather than sharing anecdotes like in the past.

Talking about how "these are difficult times", Biden mainly talked about the grim situation in the country caused by the novel coronavirus and blamed Trump for the loss of more than 200,000 Americans.

"I know there is disappointment that the dinner tonight couldn't continue as normal, for us to sit together and put politics aside for the night," Biden said.

However, Trump, who is infamous for downplaying coronavirus and claiming — then denying — that the pandemic will end soon, did just the same yet again and said that end of the pandemic "is in sight". 

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He also reminded the attendees that he once offered monetary help to the Catholic schools. "It was my great honor to help the Catholic church with its schools. They needed hundreds of millions of dollars nationwide and I got it for 'em, nobody else, I got it for 'em. I hope you remember that on November 3rd," he said.

To lighten up the mood of the otherwise grim dinner, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan joked about a smooth transition of the microphone from Biden to Trump. "See Mr. President, that wasn't so hard was it?," he laughed.

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