Kamala Harris – the child of immigrants from India and Jamaica – pledged that she and Joe Biden would revive a country fractured by the coronavirus pandemic and racial tension.
“There is no vaccine for racism,” she said.
“We’ve got to do the work.”
She continued: “Donald Trump’s failure has cost lives and livelihoods.”
“Right now, we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons,” Kamala Harris added.
President Trump swiftly hit back, tweeting about Kamala Harris’ previous attack on Joe Biden over his record on race issues, while they were both rivals for the Democratic White House nomination.
He tweeted: “BUT DIDN’T SHE CALL HIM A RACIST??? DIDN’T SHE SAY HE WAS INCOMPETENT???”
The moment came during a live TV debate last year, though Kamala Harris prefaced those remarks by telling Joe Biden: “I do not believe you are a racist.”
Also on August 19, former President Barack Obama launched his most withering direct attack yet on Donald Trump, accusing his Republican successor of treating the White House like “one more reality show”.
Joe Biden has been officially crowned as the Democratic presidential candidate at the party’s convention.
He was endorsed by two Democratic former presidents, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a Republican.
Bill Clinton said President Donald Trump had brought “chaos” to the Oval Office.
President Trump trails Joe Biden in opinion polls ahead of November’s election.
Joe Biden, the former vice-president under President Barack Obama, became the Democratic Party’s nominee on Tuesday night in a pre-recorded roll call vote from delegates in all 50 states.
This is Joe Biden’s third White House bid, having formerly run in 1988 and 2008. The 77-year-old’s campaign appeared to be in danger of collapse back in February this year.
On the second night of the party convention on August 18, with the theme “leadership matters,” Bill Clinton delivered the key address.
“Donald Trump says we’re leading the world,” Bill Clinton said in his five-minute message pre-recorded from his home in Chappaqua, New York.
“Well, we are the only major industrial economy to have its unemployment rate triple.
“At a time like this, the Oval Office should be a command centre. Instead, it’s a storm centre. There’s only chaos.”
Following addresses from former First Lady Michelle Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders on August 17, the next day’s speeches aimed to persuade voters the Democratic party is the best suited to repair problems at home and abroad.
Colin Powell said Joe Biden shared “the values I learned growing up in the south Bronx and serving in uniform”.
The decorated four-star general said he supported him for president because “we need to restore those values to the White House”.
In June, Colin Powell – who served under President George W Bush and has appeared at multiple Republican conventions in previous years – called President Trump a liar and endorsed Joe Biden.
Colin Powell joins several Republicans who have endorsed Joe Biden, including former Ohio Governor John Kasich during the first night of the convention.
Cindy McCain, the widow of Republican Senator John McCain, also spoke about the friendship between her late husband and Joe Biden, though she stopped short of a formal endorsement.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry addressed the convention virtually to assail President Trump’s leadership.
He said: “When this president goes overseas, it isn’t a goodwill mission, it’s a blooper reel.
“He breaks up with our allies and writes love letters to dictators. America deserves a president who is looked up to, not laughed at.”
The freshly minted Democratic nominee’s wife, Jill Biden, potentially the next first lady, delivered the night’s headline address, standing in an empty classroom at the Delaware high school where she taught English in the 1990s.
Urging everyone to vote for her husband, who joined her, Jill Biden said: “The burdens we carry are heavy, and we need someone with strong shoulders.
“I know that if we entrust this nation to Joe, he will do for your family what he did for ours: bring us together and make us whole.”
The DNC is largely virtual, amid the coronavirus pandemic, and it is unclear whether a format of pre-recorded speeches and no live audience will generate the same levels of enthusiasm as the traditional party gatherings. Next week’s Republican convention will also be mostly online.
The opening night drew 28% fewer viewers than in 2016, according to ratings from Nielsen, a global measurement and data analytics company. Democrats said an additional 10 million watched online, which if confirmed would put its audience at slightly above levels that year.