The two nominees discuss COVID-19, foreign policy and immigration in the last debate before the election.
On Thursday night, the final debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden took place at Belmont University in Nashville. NBC News’ Kristen Welker served as the moderator and microphones were muted during the first two minutes of each opening segment.
When asked how he will lead America through the next phase of the pandemic, Trump shared that a vaccine will be weeks away and mass distribution will be aided by the military. Regarding his own battle with the virus, the president claimed that a therapeutic drug cured him, and he is now immune.
Biden wants Trump to take responsibility for the “200,020” American lives lost due to coronavirus. The former Vice President does not believe the current administration has control and suggests that the death toll may double by the end of the year. He believes wearing masks, giving national standards for reopenings of businesses and schools, and investing in rapid testing will be needed to decrease the impact of the virus.
Trump believes that Democratic governors have shut down their states too long and it is negatively affecting American lives. When asked how he would address online learning, the President stated he was against further shutdowns of schools.He also noted that in regards to the lockdowns, “the cure can not be worse than the problem itself.”
Biden responded by asserting that he was for businesses and schools reopening as long as they had resources like plexiglass dividers to safely function. Trump believes those guidelines are unnecessary and citizens can not financially afford to be locked down any longer.
Before this segment Welker informed the candidates that Russia and Iran are working together to influence the election by obtaining United States Voter Registrations. Biden opened the segment by expressing that, “any country, no matter who it is, that tries to interfere American elections will pay a price.”
The former Vice President was also concerned with Trump not calling out the Russian President Vladmir Putin and believes Russia is attempting to help re-elect the President. Trump responded by accusing Biden of receiving three and a half million dollars from the mayor of Moscow for unknown reasons.
The President emphasized that he is tough on Russia, noting that he has increased NATO spending to combat against them.
Biden rebuked Trump’s claims saying those accusations were false and questioned the President’s financial relationships with China. Trump responded, claiming that there is no conflict of interest and that he closed his business accounts before he even ran for office.
When asked about China, Biden said if elected he would make an effort to keep China in line with international law through sanctions and tariffs.
Welker then closed the segment by asking the candidates if they had concerns with North Korea’s military activity. Trump said he was not concerned with North Korea as he believes they are not posing any immediate threat. Biden made clear that he thought Kim Jong Un was a “thug” and he would only meet with the dictator if he agreed to downsize his nuclear arsenal.
Trump wants to create a new health care plan that terminates the individual mandate and protects citizens with pre-existing conditions. He believes Biden will replace private health care with a socialized system.
Biden wants to build upon ObamaCare with a “public option” that gives citizens who qualify for Medicaid the ability to automatically enroll which he believes will lower insurance premiums.
He went on to say that he is a supporter of private insurance and that no American is under threat to lose it during his administration.
Biden does not see his “public option” as one step closer to socialism and is convinced that it will make heath-care affordable. The President firmly believes that Biden’s plan will crash the stock market.
When asked why the second stimulus package was being delayed, both candidates accused each other of being the reason for the hold up.
On the topic of minimum wage, Biden says now is the time to raise the federal minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. Trump wants that decision to be up the state’s discretion because conservatives affirm a small federal gov’t and a large state gov’t. Biden wants to increase it nationally because he believes that it will help small businesses.
When asked about his immigration policy, Biden said he will create a pathaway to citizenship for eleven million undocumented immigrants and protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
Trump questioned Biden’s plan and claimed that the former Vice President had eight years under the Obama administration to get that done and accused him for being responsible for the building of cages on the border.
For the final question, both candidates were asked what they would say to Americans that vote for them.
Trump closed by stating, “If Biden gets in, you will have a depression the likes of which you’ve never seen. Your 401k’s will go to hell and it will be a very sad day for this county.”
Biden submitted his closing statement by stating “Where is decency, honor, respect, treating others with dignity, making sure everyone has an even chance? I’m gonna make sure you get that. You have not been getting that the past four years.”