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Teachers union launches nationwide get-out-the-vote bus tour

Teachers union launches nationwide get-out-the-vote bus tour
© Facebook: American Federation of Teachers

The American Federation of Teachers (AFT), the nation's second-largest teachers' union, announced Wednesday the launch of a nationwide get-out-the-vote (GOTV) tour targeting more than a dozen states in support of former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFacebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Senate GOP to drop documentary series days before election hitting China, Democrats over coronavirus MORE (D).

In a video message announcing the campaign, AFT president Randi Weingarten said the Biden campaign would confront the COVID-19 outbreak rather than "deny it," as she argued the Trump administration has done.

"Joe Biden and [Sen.] Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisSanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' Watch live: Biden participates in HBCU homecoming Jennifer Aniston: 'It's not funny to vote for Kanye' MORE [D-Calif.] are the leaders we need to confront the crises we face and to reimagine a fairer and more just America," she said in the video.

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“The AFT will stop at nothing to end this nightmare, fight for people’s dignity and fulfill this country’s founding promise,” she added in an accompanying press release. “And the solution to all of this is activism and voting: by mail or in person, early or on Election Day. Everything we do—this bus tour, the fight for a COVID-19 stimulus, confronting these crises, the Supreme Court fight, our GOTV work—is about preserving our democracy and making people’s lives better.”

Among the 15 states targeted for get-out-the-vote activities including phone and text banking are a number of states set to be battlegrounds in the 2020 presidential race, including Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. AFT officials stressed that "[a]ll events will be conducted under strict COVID-19 protocols," with participants wearing masks and following social distancing guidelines.

The AFT's bus tour headed for Las Vegas on Thursday after joining protesters outside Chevron's California headquarters Wednesday in support of a state ballot measure, California Proposition 15, which would establish property tax rates based on the current market value of the property rather than its original purchase value. Chevron opposes the measure.

The Biden campaign did not immediately return a request for comment. Polls show the former vice president with a wide lead over his opponent, President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE, following their first in-person debate on Tuesday.