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Harris blasts Trump ahead of his convention speech: 'He has failed'

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisThe U.S. and Mexico must revamp institutions supporting their joint efforts Harris signals a potential breakthrough in US-Mexico cooperation Watch live: Harris delivers remarks on vaccination efforts MORE (D-Calif.) on Thursday launched a blistering attack at President TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE ahead of his speech at the Republican National Convention, saying the president has failed to protect the U.S. in a time of multiple crises.

"Unlike the Democratic convention, which was very clear-eyed about the challenges we face and how we will tackle them, the Republican convention is designed for one purpose: to soothe Donald Trump's ego, to make him feel good," Harris said, speaking from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

"But here's the thing. He's the president of the United States and it's not supposed to be about him," she continued. "It's supposed to be about the health and the safety and the well-being of the American people, and on that measure, Donald Trump has failed."

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"You see, at its most basic level, Donald Trump doesn't understand the presidency. He thinks it's all about him. Well, it's not. It's about you," she said.

Harris went on to hit Trump on his response to the coronavirus pandemic, drawing a contrast between how he has handled the public health crisis and how a Biden-Harris administration would tackle the issue. 

"Trump dismissed the threat, but Joe Biden sounded the alarm," Harris said. "Trump still doesn't have a plan. He still doesn't have a plan. Joe Biden released his first plan in March." 

"Here's what you have to understand about the nature of a pandemic: It's relentless," she added. "You can't stop it with a tweet. You can't create a distraction and hope it will go away. It doesn't go away. By its nature, a pandemic is unforgiving. If you get it wrong at the beginning, the consequences are catastrophic." 

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Harris also addressed the shooting of Jacob Blake, an unarmed Black man who was shot by police in Wisconsin earlier this week, and the subsequent fallout of the shooting. 

“As Vice President BidenJoe Biden 64 percent of Iowans say 'time for someone else' to hold Grassley's Senate seat: poll Philadelphia shooting leaves 2 dead, injures toddler Ron Johnson booed at Juneteenth celebration in Wisconsin MORE put it, the shots fired at Mr. Blake pierced the soul of our nation," Harris said. “Thankfully he is alive today, but he is fighting for his life and he shouldn’t have to be." 

Harris noted that she and Biden spoke with the Blake family on Wednesday. She also expressed her support for peaceful protests against racial injustice and police brutality, adding that peaceful protesters should not be confused with looters and rioters.

“People are rightfully angry and exhausted, and after the murders of Breonna [Taylor] and George [Floyd], and so many others, it’s no wonder that people have taken to the streets, and I support them," Harris said. 

Harris's remarks come hours before Trump is slated to accept the nomination for a second term at the Republican National Convention with a speech from the White House. 

The president is expected to go on offense in his remarks, echoing the attacks against Biden and Harris made by other convention speakers over the past week. 

Vice President Pence referred to Biden as a "trojan horse for a radical agenda" in his remarks to the GOP from Baltimore on Thursday. 

“You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America," he said.