Joe Biden blasts Donald Trump as 'toxin', accuses him of inciting violence across US

Joe Biden has blasted his rival Donald Trump, calling the President a "toxin" and accusing him of intentionally inciting violence across the US.

Speaking at a rally in Pittsburgh on Tuesday Biden urged Americans to vote for him saying it was the only way to "rid ourselves of this toxin".

The alternative, Biden said, was "making it a permanent part of our nation's character".

"The incumbent president is incapable of telling us the truth, incapable of facing the facts, incapable of healing. He doesn't want to shed light - he wants to generate heat and he's stoking violence in our cities.

"Fires are burning and we have a president who fans the flames instead of fighting the flames."

Biden's comments come as the US battles with an out of control outbreak of COVID-19. The US has more than 6 million confirmed cases and more than 183,000 people have died.

But the country's struggles go deeper than that -  protesters across the US are out in force to demand change to a culture of systemic racism which allows black people to be persecuted and killed by police at a much higher rate than white people. 

The killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the shooting of Jacob Blake have enraged the nation, leading to widespread protests which at times have escalated to violence from both sides.

Biden said he stands against all forms of violence but does not condemn the destruction of the protests, calling it "senseless".

"Rioting is not protesting, looting is not protesting, setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting, its lawlessness clear and simple, and all those who do it should be prosecuted."

He added he did not believe the country would grow less violent if Trump was re-elected, saying he can't stop the violence, because "he's fermented it".

"I want a safe from four more years of Donald Trump."