Author: lafocus

L.A. County Gets $60 Million for Affordable Housing

Staff

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently announced that L.A. County is set to receive $60 million to purchase eight motels that will be converted into affordable apartments. With a combined 631 rooms, the apartments will come with supportive services and rent subsidies that will be funded through the county’s Measure H – a tax with the intent to end homelessness – as well as state and federal resources. 

The initiative will be done though Homekey, California’s $600 million program to purchase and rehabilitate housing, which include hotels, motels, vacant apartment buildings and other properties with the intention of converting them into permanent, long-term housing for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

“Behind every allocation we make for Homekey is the story of a Californian who will no longer have to sleep in a tent, in a car or on the street,” said Governor Newsom. “The partnerships with local leaders and their innovative approaches to homeless solutions are inspiring. From helping victims of domestic violence, to LGBTQ youth, to seniors, we’ve seen bold proposals that help a cross section of Californians struggling to find permanent housing.”

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, who championed Measure H, believes that this is an important and crucial step to assist residents who are concerned about living sustainably in the city.

“I applaud Governor Newsom for his unwavering leadership and investing much needed resources to combat this crisis within a crisis – homelessness amid a pandemic,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, whose district will have three Homekey sites. “Project Roomkey enabled LA County to bring 4,000 vulnerable people indoors in just months – an unprecedented accomplishment that protected their health and that of the larger community while simultaneously providing a lifeline to struggling businesses.

Of the $600 million designated to Homekey, $550 million will be provided to cities and counties by California’s direct allocation of the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief Funds. 

“We are ready for the next phase, Homekey. We have eight motels lined up to be converted into affordable apartments with services, a key component of our COVID-19 recovery rehousing plan,” said Supervisor Ridley-Thomas.

Newsom also announced a partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit that was created to develop affordable housing. Through this partnership, Newsom will distribute $45 million in funding – $20 million from Blue Shield of California and $25 million from Kaiser Permanente – to assist operating subsidies for Homekey projects. 

Over 100 Clergy Join Operation Unity to Fight Police Brutality

Staff

      Over 100 local clergy and members of the church community will gather at the steps of five city’s City Halls on Oct. 22 to push local politicians for tangible and effective legislation against police brutality in a day of prayer and meetings they’re calling “Operation Unity”.

      “We don’t want them to say it to us privately anymore. We want them to actually enter into an agreement that says, as long as you’re in a place of power, you’re going to work with clergy and community to make sure we move forward in accountability between community and law enforcement,” explained Pastor Michael J. Fisher of Greater Zion Church Family and organizer of Operation Unity.

      The “operation” comes on the heels of a summer of protest, where thousands of racial-justice protests occurred across the United States largely after the killing of George Floyd in May. One report from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED) estimated from May 26 through Aug. 22, about 7,750 protests took place in 2,400 locations across all 50 states and D.C.

      For Fisher, Operation Unity is a way for communities fighting for justice to come together, especially within the black church community.

      “Black Lives Matter does things together. The LGBTQ+ community, they do it all together. The Latino nationality, they kind of move together. When it comes to the black church, we don’t,” he believes. “If we’re going to have a voice in this, we’re going to have to do it together…It’s all about unity. It’s all about us having one sound, one band, one message.”

      As much as the day is about showing a united front, the group is also ready for a solid response from elected officials promising legislation that will hold law enforcement accountable. Outside, participants will gather at the steps of City Hall at the five chosen cities to pray and sing while pastors will meet inside with city leaders to discuss and sign the “Declaration of Interdependence.” Those cities are, Long Beach (at 8 a.m.), Compton (at 9:30a.m), Inglewood (11 a.m.), South/East LA (12:30 p.m.) and Downtown LA (2 p.m.).

      This document is a pledge that promises that city leaders will formulate the legislation the community is asking for.

      “We’re really not coming to sing another song, right?” Fisher added.

      Fisher also recognizes that politicians may be more willing to work with clergy than they might be with Black Lives Matter activists who have been demanding similar action. Operation Unity is recognizing that leverage and platform and utilizing it.

      “Operation Unity is important in reestablishing the narrative that the movement for social justice was always birthed from the church, specifically the black church, the black clergy. And so this moment is reclaiming that narrative because a lot of people think that the church is dead when it comes to social justice, but we’re still yet alive.”

Larry Elder Appointed to Trump Administration

Staff

      President Donald Trump has appointed conservative author, pundit and talk show host Larry Elder to a key position in his Administration.

Elder, who has long maintained that the absence of fathers poses a bigger threat to Black communities than racism, will serve on the president’s Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys.

      “That so many children, particularly black children, are raised without fathers in the home, is our nation’s most pressing domestic problem. Former President Barack Obama said that a child raised without a father in the home is five times more likely to be poor and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school and twenty times more likely to end up in jail.”  

      Elder adds: “We need to ask ourselves if we are incentivizing women to marry the government and if we are incentivizing men to abandon their financial and moral responsibility.”

      Elder was selected for the post while promoting, Uncle Tom, the documentary he executive produced and appears in about Black conservative. Released this summer, it was the No. 1 documentary on iTunes.

      “I’m very honored and flattered that I was contacted some time ago to do this,” Elder told the audience that tunes in weekdays to his syndicated talk show on the Salem Radio Network. “I hope to focus on the fact that 70 percent of kids raised without fathers is by far the number one problem facing the black community, not this business about institutional racism…systemic racism nonsense that the media and these so-called activists have people focused on to the exclusion of what the big problem is. 

      “It’s not just a black problem, it’s an American problem,” Elder continued. “Fifty percent of Hispanic kids are raised without fathers. 25 percent of white kids are raised without fathers. It is the number one problem facing this country and frankly, neither party is talking about it not until this administration set up this commission to do something about it. I mentioned Obama, but also Tupac Shakur. He said in that documentary called “Resurrection”, ‘Had I had a father I would have been more disciplined, I would have had more confidence.”

      “These are two people that the left loved—Tupac and Obama—and they’re both saying that not having fathers in the home is a serious problem.”

      Signed into law in August, the Commission on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys Act — introduced by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson—establishes a 19-member commission that will examine the societal disparities that disproportionately affect Black males in America.

      “I am overjoyed that this historic bill, which I have introduced each year during my tenure in Congress, is now a law. The fact that it was passed by both chambers of Congress and signed into law by the president is a testament to the urgency of the need to examine and address the egregious treatment that Black men and boys in our nation have endured for generations,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “It is the most important piece of civil rights legislation that Congress has passed since the Voting Rights Act. In addition, it is the first bill passed in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and the nationwide protests sparked by that tragedy.”

Petition to Halt Sale of Baldwin Hill Plaza to New York Developers

Stephen Oduntan, Staff

We’ve seen this movie before.

Back in April, when CIM Group announced it had signed a purchase and sale agreement to acquire the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza community residents thwarted the proposed plans to turn the shopping center into a massive luxury mixed-use complex.

Now there’s a sequel of sorts to these events nearly six months after Crenshaw Subway Coalition launched an online petition calling on the community to halt the sale of the retail shopping mall to the Mid-Wilshire-based CIM Group.

Earlier this month, the current owners of the mall selected New York real estate companies LIVWRK and DFH Partners to acquire the 40-acre property. And a response was swift. The Crenshaw Subway Coalition launched another online petition calling on the community to stop the sale of the retail shopping mall to the developers with ties to Donald J. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who specializes in high-end commercial real estate.

“We don’t need a bunch of Trump towers on Crenshaw. It’s more expensive to build developments over six stories with a concrete base which ultimately means the less affordable those properties become,” said Damien Goodman, founder of the Crenshaw Subway Coalition.

Asher Abehsera, the founder of LIVWRK, said he will talk to local residents before deciding on a makeover plan. “A project of this scale affords a mix of uses,” he says.

Nonetheless, opponents say that a large-scale real estate development of this magnitude increasingly result in longtime resident migration and gentrified induced-displacement. But this reflects national trends, says Goodman, and these kinds of aggressive methods have been used to displace poorer tenants in Black and Hispanic Los Angeles communities. He pointed to how developers erected the Cumulus Skyscraper at the corner of La Cienega and Jefferson Boulevard. 

“We challenged that project,” he said.

 “But now the project has gone up and it’s not yet occupied we learned that the rates for that tower is $5,300 a month which is like three mortgages in our community. We know these rent prices are an intentional effort to price those of us who’ve held down South Central, South Los Angeles, Baldwin Hills, and the Crenshaw area for such a long time.”

Displacement of long-time residents has “created a musical chair effect where low-income tenants get displaced at the convenience of the rich folks,” said Jose Lopez, an anti-displacement activist who lives in the surrounding community directly adjacent to the Cumulus Skyscraper. “I don’t want to have to go live all the way in Lancaster.”

Abehsera said he named his company LIVWRK, a shortening of “live-work,” because he believes neighborhoods thrive best when they are home to commercial and residential uses that engage people day and night. His comments have done little to convince president of the Baptist Ministers Conference of Southern California, Pastor K.W. Tulloss who said, “CIM Group put their costumes on early before Halloween and came in as LIVWRK.”

The real estate developer critics say that minority teams that submitted bids for the Baldwin Hills project offered more money to build the mall but were rejected in favor of LIVWRK who offered significantly less.

“We’ve been told to pull ourself up by our bootstraps. Well we’ve got some boots and we’re willing to pull ourselves up. We want to make it abundantly clear and let them know that we have one position, one voice, and one message, and that is: ‘No, don’t sell the mall,” said Baba Akili of Black Lives Matter and one of many activists who’ve teamed up with Goodman’s Crenshaw Subway Coalition.

The sale is expected to close before the end of the year.

Republicans Set Up Unofficial Ballot Drop-Off Locations Around California

Christal Mims, Staff

The California Republican Party (GOP) is being accused of installing unofficial ballot drop-off locations in a move that state officials are calling illegal. Metal boxes with signs claiming to be “official ballot drop-off” locations have popped up in areas near churches, gyms, political party offices, guns stores and other places around Southern California. The California Secretary of State has received reports about the unauthorized ballot drop boxes in Los Angeles, Fresno and Orange counties.

“Operating unofficial ballot drop boxes — especially those misrepresented as official drop boxes — is not just misleading to voters, it’s a violation of state law,” said California Secretary of State Alex Padilla. “My office is coordinating with local officials to address the multiple reports of unauthorized ballot drop boxes. Californians should only use official ballot drop boxes that have been deployed and secured by their county elections office.”

Implementing unofficial ballot boxes could be a felony that would result in a two-to-four-year prison sentence.

The GOP has been taking to social media to encourage voters to drop off their ballots at the unofficial locations, with one regional director for the party taking to Twitter to prompt voters to contact him for information on where they can drop off their ballot.

The party defended their actions on Twitter, defining their drop-off locations as “safe.”

“If a congregation/business or other group provides the option to its parishioners/associates/ or colleagues to drop off their ballot in a safe location, with people they trust, rather than handing it over to a stranger who knocks on their door — what is wrong with that?” the California GOP tweeted in response to someone calling them “untrustworthy.”

The GOP also referred to “ballot harvesting” a controversial, legalized practice passed by Democrats as justification for the unofficial locations. Ballot harvesting allows campaign volunteers to collect ballots door-to-door and return them to be counted on behalf of voters in some states.

“This procedure has been in place since 2016 — not sure why people are all of a sudden surprised,” the California GOP tweeted.

Still, state officials are encouraging voters to only drop off their ballots at official county drop boxes.

“Official county drop boxes are built with specific security protections, and ballots are retrieved only by designated county personnel. If you do have questions about voting, go to official, reliable sources of information—your county elections office or the Secretary of State’s office,” said Orange County Registrar Neal Kelley.

Overweight Individuals at Higher Risk of COVID-19 Contraction, according to CDC

Dianne Lugo, Staff Writer

Newly expanded guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now suggest that three-quarters of Americans are likely at increased risk of contracting a severe case COVID-19. 

In June, the CDC had advised that obese Americans, those with a body-mass index of 30 or above, were more likely to face severe COVID-19 complications. Now, the CDC is warning that overweight people – not just obese people—should also be cautious.

While 40 percent of Americans are obese, another 32 percent are overweight (defined as a BMI between 25 and 29.9) explained the CDC.

One study published in July focusing on 500 COVID-19 patients in the United Kingdom found that after adjusting for other risk factors, patients who were overweight or obese (43 percent and 27 percent, respectively were more likely to need mechanical breathing assistance or were more likely to die.

“This greatly expands the risk to a pretty big chunk of the U.S. population,” Barry M. Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told the New York Times.

Popkin recently reviewed 75 studies which concluded that obese people were twice as likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19, compared to people who were overweight or of normal weight. Obese people were also twice as likely to wind up in intensive care, concluded the review.

The expanded warning is especially concerning for minorities, who continue to be disproportionately affected by obesity. According to the CDC, Black people have the highest age-adjusted prevalence of obesity, followed by Hispanics, both communities who have already been disproportionately impacted by the virus. 

Shaq Teams Up with Disney Executives to Invest in New Technology and Media

Staff

Former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal recently joined forces with past Walt Disney Co. executives and Martin Luther King III to start a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The new company, Forest Road Acquisition Corp., has raised $250 million to do deals in the technology, media and telecommunications industries.

SPAC’s have no business operations and exist primarily to raise money to buy an existing company that then takes over their stock listing. 

Also called “blank-check companies,” these entities raise money through an initial public offering with the intention of merging with a private firm and taking the combined entity public. Investors are usually unsure of what the companies will be targeted.

“We believe that our team’s experience in building and executing strategies that combine capabilities and expertise in consumer preferences and technology/product development will differentiate our ability to source a successful partner,” the company said in its In its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

O’Neal will serve as a strategic advisor, with the filing stating, “Mr. O’Neal has a keen eye for investing in successful ventures.” 

Also included in the list of executives and advisors is former TikTok CEO Kevin Mayer, former Walt Disney CFO Tom Staggs and civil rights activist and son of Martin Luther King Jr., King III, who will serve as a director.

Potential acquisitions may include “audience aggregation platforms,” or streaming services. The company is also interested in the area of “premium intellectual property.”

Forest Road said it believes the group it has assembled “will be able to source superior … investment opportunities through an extensive network including private equity, venture capital, growth equity, asset managers, investment banks, and leading global corporations. Additionally, we believe they have the operational expertise to drive efficiencies at a target company following a business combination, and given their extensive experience with public market investors, are well-positioned to develop a thoughtful investor relations strategy.”

Amid Pandemic Hardship, Two New Laws Expand Mental Health Coverage?

By Quinci LeGardye | California Black Media  

 Gov. Gavin Newsom signed two bills into law that expand mental health coverage in California.  

?The bills I am signing today will help Californians access the behavioral health services they need to recover,? Gov. Newsom said. ?Earlier this year, I pledged to put these critical services within reach of more Californians, through reforming our Mental Health Services Act and laws that allow loved ones and service providers to ask courts to compel those who need treatment into community-based outpatient care. Today, we do just that.? 

SB 855 passed through the state legislature on the last day of the session and was signed into law Sept. 25. The bill requires health insurance companies to provide coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment deemed medically necessary.  

?It?s time for every Californian to have access to comprehensive and preventative mental and physical health care. SB 855 is a big step toward ensuring that in California, mental health is taken as seriously as physical health. It?s time for insurance companies to fully cover this essential treatment,? said State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). 

SB 855 was co-authored by Wiener, State Senator Jim Beall (D-San Jose), chair of the Mental Health Caucus, and Assemblymember Cecilia Aguiar-Curry (D-Winters). 

This new law comes at a time when many Californians have faced mental health challenges due to psychological stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study, released Aug. 14, found that 40 % of respondents reported struggling with an adverse mental health condition in late June. Out of about 5,400 respondents 30 % experienced symptoms of anxiety and depression and 13 % had started or increased substance use to cope with emotions related to the pandemic. 

According to the CDC survey, psychological stressors have a disproportionate effect on Black and Brown people, essential workers, unpaid caregivers and young adults. Also, low-wage earners were experiencing more anxiety and depression than high-wage earners. 

?Unfortunately, there are gaps in the law that have allowed insurance companies to deny what is clearly medically necessary coverage for people experiencing mental health and addiction challenges,? said Senator Wiener earlier this month. 

There has been a long history of health insurance plans providing better coverage for physical illness than for mental health. According to the American Psychological Association, although federal parity law requires that coverage for mental health and substance-use disorders must be comparable to physical health coverage, the law does not require that all plans include mental health and substance abuse coverage. Also, a health insurance plan is allowed to exclude certain diagnoses.  

The same day, the governor signed another bill, AB 1976, into law. That legislation, introduced by Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton), expands the use of court-ordered outpatient treatment at the county level. It also prohibits counties from downsizing those programs. 

?The Assisted Outpatient Treatment demonstration project started by Laura?s Law has shown for many years that we have the tools to provide effective, community-based mental health treatment to those with the greatest need. As a social worker I?ve long fought for the extension of these critical services and expanding this program. Finally making it permanent will ensure greater care for the people of California,? said Eggman. 

Supporters of both bills praised the governor for signing them. Many of them joined Eggman in pointing out that the new policies are long overdue. 

?No one should have to suffer from mental illness or substance use disorder without support, resources and medical care. No one should have to forego mental healthcare until they?ve deteriorated to the point where they?re in crisis and in the ER. And no one should have to go into debt to pay for substance use disorder or mental health treatment,? Wiener said in his statement.  

Rev. Terry Brown to be Installed Pastor at Judson Baptist Church

Staff

      In April, the L.A. faith community mourned the loss of Pastor Dr. Johnny Baylor,

noted preacher, founder and senior pastor of the Carson-based Judson Baptist Church. Under Baylor?s leadership, the church ? which he dubbed as ?the assignment of his life?? transitioned in just 18 months to a thriving congregation of upwards of 500 active members.

      ?Dr. Baylor was a combination of street submitted to the spirit of God. He was raw and real, but he was also one of the finest exegetists this nation has ever known,? said Pastor Terry Brown, who was hand appointed by Baylor as his successor.

      It was last August that Baylor?who?d recently discovered the medical odds of his condition?reached out to Brown.

      ?When we spoke in August, the relationship had already begun to be closer and deeper,? Brown stated. ?It was just in August that he was at a point where he wanted me to know that if anything would happen to him, he wanted me to succeed him as pastor.

      ?I was in a state of disbelief. I was humbled. Still Am. Honored. Still am,? Baylor expressed. ?And really, I felt like if it happened, it would be way down the road, a few years down the road. I had no way of knowing that he would pass within several months of him sharing that with me. So, it was just an overwhelming experience.? Brown took over in April? during the onslaught of the global pandemic and says the transition has gone better than he could have expected.

      ?It has been tremendous. Granted, all ministry is difficult and challenging during this COVID season. I have not yet been able to meet physically with the whole church, but they have been the sweetest, kindest people. The obvious evidence of their love for him and certainly their love for God was that they received me without question. I?m sure some people had questions and some people said this or that, but in terms of what has been communicated to me, there has never been any dissension.?

      Now, on October 25, Brown is set to be officially installed as the pastor.

      ?Obviously, for every pastor and church, the installation represents the new relationship that God has ordained, so I have three pastors who will be sharing with me virtually,? Brown explained. Bishop Timothy Clarke of Columbus, Ohio will be giving the charge to the pastors. Bishop Michael Kelsey will be giving the charge to the church and Bishop James Dixon of Houston will be bringing the message.

      Brown says that no one can fill Pastor Baylor?s shoes, but he is ready to take up the mantle that Baylor entrust- ed him with.

????? ?His [Baylor?s] footprint is large, and my goal is not to try to fit or fill his shoes. My goal is to walk the path that God has predestined me to follow,? Brown explained. ?I?ve learned from Pastor Baylor. He knew me. He knew that I had my own vision. Dr. Baylor laid a strong foundation. my goal is to lead this church into deeper vistas that he had already set into motion pursuing the kingdom of God and playing our role in the kingdom. In every aspect that we live life, we want to be a part of lifting and loving the community. ?????????????????

?Ironically enough, Brown?who still serves as senior pas- tor of the Liberty Baptist Church?will be celebrating his 15th pastoral appreciation on October 18?just one week prior to his installation and his younger brother, Pastor Steven Brown (of Houston) will be serving as the guest preacher.

Joe Biden Expands His Lead in Key Polls as Election Day Nears

Staff

Following his COVID-19 diagnosis and role in what some are calling the worst presidential debate of all time, President Donald Trump is now trailing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in several key polls. 

According to a new CNBC/Change Research poll, Biden garners 50 percent of support compared to Trump?s 45 percent in crucial states like Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The poll surveyed 2,688 likely voters in the six states over the weekend as news rolled in about the president?s condition.

In a recent nationwide CNN poll, it was concluded that Biden now holds the largest lead of the cycle. Among likely voters, 57 percent said they support Biden while 41 percent backed Trump. The poll also revealed that voters prefer Biden when it comes to a number of issues including the coronavirus outbreak (59 percent prefer Biden, 38 percent Trump), health care (59 percent to 39 percent), racial injustice in America (62 percent to 36 percent), nominations to the Supreme Court (57 percent to 41 percent) and crime and safety (55 percent to 43 percent).

Voters also believe Biden is a candidate who would unite the country (61 percent Biden to 33 percent Trump), who is honest and trustworthy (58 percent Biden to 33 percent Trump), who cares about people like you (58 percent Biden to 38 percent Trump), who has a clear plan to solve the nation’s problems (55 percent to 39 percent) and who would keep Americans safe from harm (55 percent to 43 percent).

Biden also has a 14-point lead over Trump in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. The Democratic nominee leads Trump 53 percent to 39 percent among registered voters. This survey was taken after the first presidential debate between the two, but before news of Trump?s positive COVID-19 results – proving that the chaotic debate had a direct impact on Trump?s standing with the American people.

The polls also reflect public opinion on Trump?s handling of his own diagnosis and overall attitude toward the severity of the coronavirus. Trump was released from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday after contracting COVID-19. His doctor, Navy Cdr. Sean Conley, said that Trump isn?t completely ?out of the woods? for another week but that ?he?s back.? The president tweeted about his release, saying that citizens shouldn?t fear the coronavirus. 

?I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don?t be afraid of Covid. Don?t let it dominate your life. … I feel better than I did 20 years ago!? Trump tweeted.

Doctors and epidemiologists expressed the danger of Trump making statements that could lead to people not taking the virus seriously and downplaying its effects.

?It?s an unconscionable message,? said Dr. Sadiya Khan of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. ?I would go so far as to say that it may precipitate or worsen spread.?

A majority of the public also appear to be dissatisfied with the president?s actions. The CNBC poll revealed that 39 percent of those surveyed think Trump took the appropriate precautions to prevent himself from getting exposed to the virus, while 55 percent said he failed to do so. In contrast, 75 percent said they believe Biden has taken the right steps to avoid exposure. 

Since the news broke on Oct. 1 that Trump and his wife Melania Trump tested positive for the virus, several family members and government officials who’ve been in close proximity to him have been tested. Mike Pence and Joe Biden have both tested negative. 

Other cases in and around the White House include top Trump adviser Hope Hicks, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, Trump body man Nick Luna, an unnamed press staffer, former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Republican Sens. Thom Tillis, Mike Lee and Ron Johnson.

Trump appears to be adamant about continuing his campaign as planned but many are questioning how the recent uptick in government cases will impact the election and debates. A source within the Biden campaign confirmed that the Commission on Presidential Debates approved plexiglass barriers at the vice-presidential debate between Pence and Kamala Harris on Wednesday. 

The Trump campaign said that the president plans to still participate in the next presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 15.


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