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Biden, Trump Make Pittsburgh-Area Campaign Stops

Carolyn Kaster
Biden held his first campaign rally in Pittsburgh more than two years ago, and returned earlier this week as the Democratic presidential nominee.


On today's program: Trump and Biden make Pittsburgh-area campaign stops as both vie for Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes; a remote school year could leave kids feeling isolated and impact their mental health; and during the pandemic, some stores forgo reusable bags for single-use plastic bags.

In Hazelwood, Biden asks “Do you feel safe in Donald Trump’s America?”
(00:00 — 4:07)

Former Vice President Joe Biden made a stop in Pittsburgh earlier this week in his first major campaign event and speech as the Democratic presidential nominee. He spoke about the coronavirus pandemic, protests against police brutality, asking listeners “Do you feel safe in Donald Trump’s America?”

90.5 WESA government and accountability reporterLucy Perkins says Bidentried to do two different things in his speech

“He condemned the violence that has happened towards Black Americans for years,” she says. “But he also was trying to go against this messaging from Republicans and the Trump campaign saying that Democrats including Biden, who they have painted as a far-left candidate, endorse looting and rioting that is separate from a lot of the protests that have happened this summer.”

Pennsylvania is likely to seemore attention from the presidential candidates in the coming months. President Donald Trump will visit Latrobe this evening.

Keeping social connections during isolation benefits kids’ mental health, says Duquesne professor
(4:12 — 11:11)

When students attend school in person, social workers and counselors can help children monitor and manage their mental health, ultimately benefiting their learning experience. During the pandemic, students are at home, learning virtually, or waiting on a device to start school, and caregivers need to keep an eye on their kids’ mental state.


Dr. Tammy Hughes, a professor at Duquesne University’s School of Education and a certified school psychologist, says the most important thing parents can do is keep kids connected to their teachers and classmates.

“Parents need to take the time and explain the need for continued isolation. Different kids at different age groups need different conversations,” she says. “You need to be really concrete with them and not only explain what you know but then engage them.”

Kids are resilient, but they also take cues from their parents, Hughes says. And parents shouldn’t use this time to try and make up for learning loss. 

“Just because they can bounce back and will bounce back doesn’t mean to use that to go overboard in the other way.” 

Is it safe to bring your reusable bags back to the grocery store?
(11:14 — 17:49) 

This year looked to be a turning point for getting rid of single-use plastics. Eight states and hundreds of local governments had approved bans. But when the pandemic hit, many places went back to disposable plastics, like grocery store bags.

The Allegheny Front’sJulie Grant looks at the scientific debate to find outwhether it's safe to return to reusables.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators take an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.


Kevin Gavin is the host of WESA's news interview program "The Confluence." He is a native Pittsburgher and served as news director for 90.5 WDUQ for 34 years. Since the sale of the radio station by Duquesne University to Pittsburgh EPM, Inc. (now Pittsburgh Community Broadcasting Corp.), he served as Executive Producer of Special News Projects prior to being named as host of "The Confluence" five years ago. kgavin@wesa.fm
Marylee is the editor/producer of The Confluence, the daily public affairs show on WESA. She got her start in journalism at The Daily Reveille and KLSU while attending Louisiana State University. She took her passion for audio journalism to UC Berkeley's graduate program and worked in public radio at WPR in Madison, WI, and WOSU in Columbus, Ohio.
Julia Zenkevich is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at jzenkevich@wesa.fm.
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