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In this image from video, former Georgia House Democratic leader Stacey Abrams, center, and others, speak during the second night of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. (Democratic National Convention via AP)

NASHVILLE — Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams was one of 17 "rising stars" who jointly delivered a video keynote speech during Tuesday's National Democratic Convention with Abrams and others praising Democratic nominee Joe Biden while issuing a scathing rebuke of Republican President Donald Trump.

"This year's choice could not be more clear," said Abrams, a former Georgia legislator who narrowly lost a 2018 bid for governor to Republican Brian Kemp. "America faces a triple threat: a public health catastrophe, an economic collapse and a reckoning with racial justice and inequality.

"So our choice is clear," Abrams said. "A steady, experienced public servant who can lead us out of this crisis just like he's done before, or a man who only knows how to deny and distract; a leader who cares about our families or a president who only cares about himself."

Earlier, other Democrats given brief speaking roles included Tennessee Sen. Raumesh Akbari, a Memphis Democrat and Senate Democrat Caucus chair who four years earlier — before the COVID-19 pandemic — delivered a lengthier, live keynote address before a packed convention audience.

This year, most delegates are participating online due to the pandemic.

In a segment, one of several where Democrats jointly focused on various themes, Akbari spoke of Memphis nurses "who came out of retirement to treat patients during this pandemic — you built this country."

Later, Akbari returned in the video, saying, "Joe Biden has been fighting for women his entire life. As senator he sponsored the Violence Against Women Act. And as president, he'll restore funding for Planned Parenthood. He will codify Roe vs. Wade and make reducing infant mortality, especially for women of color, a top priority."

Democrats' convention ends Thursday night with Biden's expected acceptance speech. His vice presidential pick is U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris of California, who will become the first Black woman vice presidential nominee.

The Republican National Convention, where Trump is expected to be renominated, is Aug. 24-27. It too will be a largely remote affair with most delegates staying at home and participating online.

Contact Andy Sher at asher@timesfreepress.com or 615-255-0550. Follow on Twitter at @AndySher1.

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