Final 2020 Presidential Debate

By: Kenyan Carter| News Editor

Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Former Vice President Joe Biden faced off in their final presidential debate on Thursday for the general election on Nov. 3.

The 90-minute debate took place at Belmont University in Nashville, TN, and covered a wide range of topics, including COVID-19, race, immigration and climate change.

According to White House Chief of staff Mark Meadows, Trump, who tested positive for COVID-19 after the previous debate, tested negative before this most recent debate.

The rules of this debate were altered slightly since the last one to prevent too many interruptions. The candidates had two minutes to give an opening response to questions while the other’s mic was muted. After both candidates had their two-minute opening statements, the mics went hot, and they could debate back and forth.

The first topic focused on COVID-19. Biden criticized Trump and his administration’s response to it.

“Anyone who’s responsible for not taking control — in fact saying, ‘I take no responsibility’ — anyone who has that response to that many deaths should not remain president of the United States of America,”  Biden said.

Trump responded, saying that things were well managed and that a vaccine is imminent.

“As you know, 2.2 million people modeled out were expected to die,” Trump said. “We closed up the greatest economy in the world.”

 “We’re rounding the corner,” Trump claimed. “It’s going away.”

Trump paints a rosy picture of the current state of COVID-19. Cases are climbing in most states, and the U.S. has more cases than any country, with more than 8.3 million, and more deaths than any country, recently surpassing 220,000.

Discussions about people getting sick naturally lead to a debate on healthcare.

“Biden’s health care plan involves improving Obamacare and creating a public option for those who want to get government health insurance while allowing those with private insurance to stay on their plans,” according to NBC News.  

The president has continued to say he will soon pass a new health care plan and told his supporters not to worry about overturning Obamacare because his plan will protect pre-existing conditions. However, the White House and Republicans have yet to disclose said plan, and it’s unclear whether it exists.

In the final question, each candidate was asked what he would say in his inaugural address to those who didn’t vote for him.

Biden said he would be an “American president” and represent everyone, including those who don’t vote for him. He promised to grow the economy, create millions of jobs through clean energy, and fight systemic racism.

Trump answered by vowing to cut taxes and bring the economy back to pre-COVID-19 numbers. 

“Success is what brings everybody together,” Trump said.

You can watch the full debate here.