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The first Biden vs Trump debate was only a week ago, but given the developments of the past seven days, it feels more distant than that. On Friday, President Trump announced he was diagnosed with COVID-19. The next day he was admitted to Walter Reed Hospital. After a three-night stay, including a motorcade outing, he left the hospital. All of this has happened before the next major campaign event – tomorrow’s vice-presidential debate. As Mike Pence and Kamala Harris face off expectations are for a drastically different debate both in terms of tone and style and in terms of COVID safety measures. Join the Centre for a VP debate debrief on Friday as our experts analyse what worked and what didn’t, as well as what it will mean for the rest of the campaign. You can also tune in on Tuesday 13 October for a USSC webinar with Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor at the Australian and Zoe Daniel, former ABC Washington Bureau Chief to discuss the implications of Trump's COVID diagnosis.
While much of the news still centres on the US election, the impact of the pandemic continues to make waves around the world. The delayed Australian Budget is one of the strongest measures of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Australia and how the government is responding. In June, the Centre's Bolstering Resilience report recommended acceleration and augmentation of military collaboration (especially maritime) in the Indo-Pacific. The budget that was handed down yesterday includes funding for new maritime defence projects in the southwest Pacific. In August, Senior Fellow Jared Mondschein released a report on the role of US innovation in securing Australia's economic future calling for the maintenance and stabilisation of the R&D Tax Incentives (RDTI). This recommendation was echoed in Budget 2020-21 with a $2 billion boost to RDTI. Further analysis of both pandemic impacts and the US election will feature in upcoming Centre reports.