The US Democratic Party convention began on Monday, held for the first time completely online.
The first day of the four-day event was marked by political guest appearances from around the US, pre-recorded speeches from Democratic politicians and messages from average Americans discussing a range of policies and causes that the party supports, such as healthcare reform, the black lives matter movement, among others.
But two main issues drove the conversation: the coronavirus pandemic and President Donald Trump. Democrats delivered a damming indictment of Trumps handling of the pandemic, promising voters that, if elected, their candidate, Joe Biden, would lead the country in a different path.
The lineup of speakers for the opening night included Biden's primary rival Bernie Sanders, former first lady Michelle Obama and former Republican Governor of Ohio John Kasich, among several other prominent democratic leaders.
Former first lady Michelle Obama closed out the night with a scathing attack on President Trump and urged voters to end the chaos of his presidency by electing Joe Biden.
"Let me be as honest and clear as I possibly can: Donald Trump is the wrong president for our country," the former first lady said.
"Whenever we look to this White House for some leadership or consolation or any semblance of steadiness, what we get instead is chaos, division, and a total and utter lack of empathy," Obama said.
The president "has had more than enough time to prove that he can do the job, but he is clearly in over his head,'' she said. "He
cannot meet this moment.''
Obama stressed that Biden's steady and empathetic approach to problems was necessary to lead the US and pleaded with voters to do whatever it takes to ensure their ballots were counted in the November 3 election.
"If you think things cannot possibly get worse, trust me, they can; and they will if we don't make a change in this election. If we have any hope of ending this chaos, we have got to vote for Joe Biden like our lives depend on it," she added.
Bernie Sanders, who is seen as the leader of the party's left wing, urged voters to grasp the significance of the 2020 election, saying that ''authoritarianism has taken root in our country.''
The Vermont senator and twice candidate for president in the primaries said Trump had proved incapable of controlling the coronavirus outbreak, coping with the economic fallout and climate change threatening the globe.
''Nero fiddled while Rome burned,'' Sanders said. ''Trump golfs.''
Sanders thanked supporters who voted for him in 2016 and 2020 for helping to move the country ''in a bold, new direction,'' and called on them to unite behind Joe Biden. '' My friends, the price of failure is just too great to imagine,'' he warned.
The Democratic convention will continue on Tuesday, with appearances by rising star House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, former president Bill Clinton, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Biden's wife Dr. Jill Biden.
On the last two days of the convention, vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris and Joe Biden himself will both get their change to deliver their message to voters.