Trump says ‘we can’t all lock ourselves in the basement like Joe does’ after Biden criticized the President’s COVID response and hinted at bringing back lockdown measures
- The second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden kicked off in Nashville Thursday with the topic of the coronavirus pandemic
- Biden argued the situation with COVID was going to get worse,’ saying, ‘We are about to go into a dark winter’
- Biden added, ‘Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain president of the United States of America’
- Trump turned to a personal attack, saying ‘We can’t lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does’ and urged for reopening schools and businesses
- President Trump cited his own experience with the virus and said the country was turning a corner. ‘It will go away and as I say, we are rounding the turn’
- Both Trump and Biden took coronavirus tests Thursday and tested negative before meeting onstage
President Donald Trump clashed with Democratic nominee Joe Biden clashed over the coronavirus response in the final presidential debate and insisted the country must be opened up, saying: ‘We can’t all lock ourselves in the basement like Joe does’.
The rivals started off their final presidential debate on Thursday without interrupting each other, in a head-to-head match with a dramatically different tone from their first debate.
The microphones of each candidate were muted for the first two minutes of their response and that moment of discipline, put in place by the Commission on Presidential Debates after Trump repeatedly interrupted Biden in their first meeting, carried through the first segment of the debate.
But the two men disagreed with one another on the coronavirus – the topic of the first segment – with Biden repeatedly criticizing Trump’s handling of the pandemic that has killed more than 200,000 Americans.
‘Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain president of the United States of America,’ Biden said.
He also said refused to rule out more lockdowns in areas where the virus is spreading, saying: ‘We need standards.
‘If you have a reproduction rate in a community that’s above a certain level, everyone says “slow up”. More social distancing, do not open bars, do not open gymnasiums, until you get it under control’.
The two men were careful to make their points in a presidential way, letting each other talk and requesting time to respond from moderator Kristen Welker.
But they did get a few personal hits in, with the president saying ‘We can’t lock up in a basement like Joe does.’
‘But he has this thing about living in a basement,’ Trump claimed, pointing to Biden’s decision to drastically cut back appearances and travel, although both men have campaigned around the country in recent weeks.
Biden, meanwhile, criticized the president’s frequent golfing trips, and brought up a relief bill the House passed in March that hasn’t been enacted.
He said: ‘Instead of in a sand trap in his golf course he should have been negotiating.’
The slightly more respectful back-and-forth between the candidates was markedly different from their first meeting in Cleveland, which resembled a boxing match as both talked over each other.
In the final debate, Biden argued the situation with COVID was going to get worse.
‘We are about to go into a dark winter. A dark winter. And he has no clear plan and there is no prospect that there’s going to be a vaccine available for a majority the American people before the middle of next year,’ he said.
The president, who has pushed for the country to reopen and return to normal, said the country has learned more about the disease and is ready to move forward.
‘We will not have a dark winter at all,’ the president said. ‘We are opening up the country, we’ve learned and our understanding the disease, which we didn’t at the beginning.’
The two men clashed on their visions for reopening the country.
‘He did virtually nothing,’ Biden said of Trump’s response to the pandemic.
Biden took on Trump’s repeated statements not to ‘worry.’
‘There’s not another scientist in the world who thinks it’s going to be over soon,’ Biden said.
‘It’s his ineptitude that caused the country to have to shut down in large part,’ he added.
‘All he does is talk about shutdowns,’ Trump said, as the most substantive contrast got going.
‘Democrats, they shut down so tight and they’re dying. And he supports all these people,’ Trump said.
‘All he talks about are shutdowns. We’re not going to shut down and we have to open our schools,’ Trump said.
Trump pointed to his former hometown of New York. ‘It’s a ghost town,’ he said, with the two men separated by plexiglass, a precaution that began following his coronavirus infection.
‘You talk about plexiglass? These are restaurant that are dying,’ Trump said. ‘It’s not the answer. You’re going to sit there in a cubicle wrapped around in plastic.’
TRUMP AND BIDEN’S MOST MEMORABLE LINES FROM THE FINAL PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
Trump boasts that he is ‘immune’ to COVID-19.
‘I can tell you from personal experience that I was in the hospital. I had it. And I got better. And I will tell you that I had something that they gave me, a therapeutic, I guess they would call it, some people could say it was a cure.
‘But I was in for a short period of time and I got better very fast or I wouldn’t be here tonight.
‘And now they say I’m immune. Whether it’s four months or a lifetime, nobody has been able to say that, but I’m immune.’
Trump emphatically claims he is the ‘least racist person in the room’ despite calling Black Lives Matter a ‘symbol of hate’.
‘I have criminal justice reform done, and prison reform, and opportunities, I took care of Black colleges and universities. I don’t know what to say. They could say anything.
It makes me sad. I am the least racist person. I can’t even see the audience, because it is so dark, but I don’t care who’s in the audience, I’m the least race in person in this room.
Trump tells Biden he only ran for president because he and Obama failed.
‘Joe, I ran because of you. I ran because of Barack Obama. Because you did a poor job. If I thought you did a good job, I would have never run. ‘
Trump accuses Biden of taking money from China and Ukraine.
‘I don’t make money from China, you do. I don’t make money from Ukraine, you do.’
Trump says Americans can’t lock themselves ‘in a basement like Joe’ while speaking out against another lockdown.
‘We cannot lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does. He has the ability to lock himself up. I don’t know, he’s obviously made a lot of money someplace, but he has this thing about living in a basement. People can’t do that.’
Biden sarcastically calls Trump ‘Abraham Lincoln’ after the president claimed he was the ‘least racist person in the room’.
‘Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history. He pours fuel on every single racist fire. This guy has a dog whistle as big as a foghorn’.
Biden calls Trump ‘very confused’ over his plans to ax Obamacare.
‘He’s a very confused guy. He thinks he’s running against someone else. He’s running against Joe Biden. I beat all those other people because I disagreed with them.’
Biden slams Trump’s cozy relationship with ‘thug’ Kim Jong Un.
‘He’s legitimized North Korea. he’s talked about his good buddy – who’s a thug, a thug – and he talks about how we’re better off, and they have much more capable missiles able to reach US territory, much more easily than ever before.’
Biden dismisses Trump’s claim that the coronavirus ‘is going away’.
‘He says we’re learning to live with it. People are learning to die with it.’
‘If you hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this … anyone that’s responsible for that many deaths should not remain president of the United States of America.’
Biden announces he will ‘transition from the oil industry’ in favor of renewable energy.
‘I would transition from the oil industry, yes … because the oil industry pollutes significantly. It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time. ‘
Both Trump and Biden took coronavirus tests Thursday and tested negative before meeting onstage.
On Air Force One he tested negative for the coronavirus, according to Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. ‘We tested him on the way here and he tested negative,’ Meadows told reporters.
Earlier, the Biden campaign said he, too, tested negative for COVID-19.
Tonight’s debate is the final debate of the election – the previous one got scratched after Trump refused to take part in a ‘virtual’ format after getting the coronavirus – and represents an opportunity with dwindling time for the president to try to reset the race.
How the United States really ranks globally with COVID-19: Charts tracking infections and deaths per capita shows US isn’t the worst – despite having the largest totals
The United States has the highest number confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world amid the ongoing global pandemic.
More than 222,000 Americans have now died from coronavirus and there have been 8.3 million confirmed infections.
But given the large population of the United States, how does the country’s coronavirus outbreak track when compared to other countries?
Charts tracking key metrics, including daily cases and deaths per capita, have shed light on where the US sits in the global outbreak.
The data shows that a greater proportion of the populations in smaller European, Asian and South American countries are now being infected and dying on a daily basis when compared to the US.