Trump, Biden go after each other on coronavirus

  • Trump, Biden go after each other on coronavirus

Trump, Biden go after each other on coronavirus

Trailing in opinion polls with the November 3 election just 12 days away, President Donald Trump was under pressure during Thursday's final debate to revive his flagging campaign against Democratic rival Joe Biden.

With Trump trailing and needing to change the campaign's trajectory, the debate could prove pivotal though more than 46 million votes already have been cast and there are fewer undecided voters than at this point in previous election years.

The final debate was their second, and final, after one slated last week was cancelled. The pandemic, which has killed more than 222,000 people in the United States, remains the top issue for voters and Biden has repeatedly accused Trump of mismanaging the crisis.

"I don't think we're going to have a dark winter at all". And he promised that a vaccine would be ready in weeks.

"It will go away", said Trump, staying with his optimistic assessment of the pandemic. "We're rounding the turn".

"We can't keep this country closed.

We've learned and studied and understand the disease, which we didn't at the beginning", Trump said.

Biden, who has stepped off the campaign trail for several days in favor of debate prep, expected Trump to get intensely personal.

Biden and Trump clashed on race relations, as the former vice president called the current president "one of the most racist presidents we've had in modern history".

In order to avoid having to experience Trump and Biden interrupting each other during tonight's debate - as happened at the first debate on 29 September - the US Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Monday that the candidates would have their microphones turned off while their opponent has his two-minute say on each of the debate's major six topics.

In the run up to the presidential election, Attorney General William Barr and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf have been traveling around the country to underscore the administration's accomplishments, particularly as they relate to President Donald Trump's core "law-and-order" message.

Trump told Biden: "You've done nothing but the crime bill which put tens of thousands of Black men in jail".

"People deserve to have affordable healthcare, period", Biden said, noting that the law prevented insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Trump, touting criminal justice reform and opportunity zone bills he signed, said: "I am the least racist person in this room". U.S. officials have reported that Russian hackers have targeted the networks of dozens of state and local governments in the United States in recent days, stealing data from at least two servers.

Officials are also accusing Iran of being behind a flurry of emails sent to Democratic voters in multiple battleground states that appeared to be aimed at intimidating them into voting for President Trump.

He also said he made a decision to run for president because he did not like the performance of the country's first Black president.

The mute button did not much come into play, and even during the remaining free debate segments, the candidates maintained a more civil demeanor than at their last meeting.

Biden and Trump argued over their tax returns. Pointing his finger at Trump, Biden asked: "What are you hiding?"