Candidates on COVID

Jay Rickard, Senior Reporter

The two major party candidates running for office in the 2020 presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden and current President Donald Trump, held their first live debate at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio Tuesday night. The main topics of discussion including the appointing of a new justice and the politics involved with how soon one should be named, COVID, the economy, racial injustice, the security of mail-in ballots versus absentee ballots, and why people should vote for them.

COVID was the second subject of debate for the night, coming in after the naming a justice topic. Leading into this discussion, Biden claimed that Trump wanted to completely wipe out the Affordable Care Act, which would leave the 7 million people in America who have contracted COVID without healthcare when they need it most. Biden and Trump were asked to answer the following, “Based on what you have said and done so far, and what you said you would do starting 2021, why should the American people trust you more than your opponent to deal with this public health crisis going forward?” Biden went first, bringing up the first topic of the amount of people who have COVID and have died from it. He stated “We, in fact, have 5% or 4% of the world’s population, and 20% of the deaths. 40,000 people a day are contracting COVID. In addition to that, between 750 and 1000 people [there are] dying.” Biden continues on by claiming that when Trump was presented with these numbers, he simply said “It is what it is, because you are who you are”. Biden reiterated that Trump knew in February how serious the crisis was, but said nothing because he did not want to panic the American people. Biden says that he had already laid out what the plan should be both in March and in July, following with “We should be providing all the protective gear, plus we should be providing all the money to the house has passed in order to be able to go out and get people the help they need to keep their businesses open.” Biden says Trump should have left the safety of his golf course to go to the Oval Office and bring together the democrats and republicans to fund what was needed in order to save lives. 

Trump says if American’s had listened to Biden, America would have been left wide open, more people would have died, and China is the one to blame. He continued with this refute, stating “…and by the way, when you talk about numbers, you don’t know how many people died in China, you don’t know how many people died in Russia, you don’t know how many people died in India, they don’t exactly give you a straight count.” He follows up by claiming Biden called him racist and xenophobic because he doesn’t think they should have closed the country. Trump claimed that Biden wouldn’t have closed everything down until two months into the start of the COVID outbreaks, and that by Trump doing it earlier, he saved more lives than Biden would. He states that this claim is backed by Doctor Anthony Fauci and other democratic governors, saying that they claimed “President Trump saved thousands of lives”, and “President Trump did a phenomenal job”. Trump claimed that with the protective measures they did take, such as making masks with ventilators — claiming there that Biden wouldn’t have done that — and that they are now weeks away from a vaccine. “We’re doing therapeutics already, fewer people are dying when they get sick. We’ve done a great job.” Trump claims. While there hasn’t been much coverage on that, he states that it’s because of fake news, and that no matter what he’s always going to get bad press.