Fly creates buzz at US VP debate â and online
A fly rests on the head of US Vice President Mike Pence as he takes notes during the vice presidential debate against US Democratic vice presidential nominee and Senator from California Kamala Harris in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah on October 7, 2020, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
AFP/Eric Baradat
Fly creates buzz at US VP debate — and online
(Agence France-Presse) - October 8, 2020 - 1:26pm

SALT LAKE CITY, United States — Oh to be a fly on the wall — or in the hair — at Thursday's (Manila time) US vice presidential debate.

Mike Pence received an unwelcome visitor during his showdown with Democrat Kamala Harris when a large fly perched on the vice president's white hair for two minutes, triggering an avalanche of online commentary.

Pence was discussing the somber issue of racial injustice and police reform when the winged interloper outmaneuvered the plexiglass barriers installed to prevent the spread of coronavirus and landed on the man who is just a heartbeat away from the US presidency.

And there it stayed. For. Two. Agonizing. Minutes.

A split television screen showed Harris looking at Pence while the fly basked in the spotlight, but it was not immediately clear if she saw it.

Everyone else apparently did.

Social media, perhaps in a collective lull given that the evening was far more civil than the chaotic opening clash between President Donald Trump and challenger Joe Biden last week, immediately pronounced the fly the winner of the debate.

"Ok, this is seriously important debate, but no one is gonna remember anything but that fly," tweeted a user named Sykersomatic.

"That fly was in Pence's hair a long time. It should quarantine," former Missouri secretary of state Jason Kander added, seemingly alluding to the rampant spread of the coronavirus through the White House's ranks.

Others suggested the critter check into Walter Reed, the military medical center just outside Washington where Trump spend three nights receiving treatment for COVID-19.

As the online banter snowballed, a new Twitter account, @MikePenceFly___, quickly racked up some 60,000 followers.

Even Biden himself got in on the action, fundraising off the insect drama.

"Pitch in $5 to help this campaign fly," the Democratic nominee tweeted. 

And on cue, the Joe Biden campaign store kicked into gear to offer a "Truth Over Flies Fly Swatter," for $10.

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 10, 2020 - 10:22am

Monitor updates on the 2020 presidential race in the United States.

November 10, 2020 - 10:22am

President Donald Trump, who is refusing to concede election defeat, injected new volatility Monday by firing his defense secretary, while President-elect Joe Biden made good on a promise to focus on leading the country out of the COVID-19 crisis.

With construction already starting in central Washington for the January 20 inauguration ceremony, an awkward and potentially chaotic transition period is underway.

Trump, in a move unprecedented for a US president, insists that the November 3 election was stolen from him. — AFP

November 9, 2020 - 5:39pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin is waiting for official results from the US presidential election before congratulating a winner, the Kremlin said on Monday.

"We consider it correct to wait for the official results to be finalised. I want to remind you that President Putin repeatedly said he will respect the choice of the American people," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Many world leaders congratulated President-elect Joe Biden after he took an insurmountable lead over Donald Trump in the vote count. — AFP

November 8, 2020 - 1:38pm

Israel Prime Minister and close Donald Trump ally Benjamin Netanyahu congratulates Joe Biden on his election victory early Sunday, calling the United States president-elect "a great friend of Israel".

"I look forward to working with both of you to further strengthen the special alliance between the US and Israel," Netanyahu writes on Twitter, referring to Biden and running mate Kamala Harris. — AFP

November 8, 2020 - 10:37am

US President-elect Joe Biden vows to name a group top scientists to his coronavirus task force as early as Monday.

"On Monday I will name a group of leading scientists and experts as transition advisors to help take the Biden-Harris plan and convert it into an actual blueprint that will start on January 20, 2021," he tells supporters.

The pledge came in Biden's first speech since being projected as the winner of the presidential election, signaling that he plans to prioritize the pandemic from the outset. — AFP

November 8, 2020 - 10:06am

US President-elect Joe Biden says that voters had given him a "convincing" victory after he was projected to have defeated Donald Trump.

"Folks, the people of this nation have spoken. They've delivered us a clear victory, a convincing victory," an ebullient Biden tells a victory rally in his home state of Delaware. — AFP

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