At the first of three presidential debates between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the candidates were asked about a wide range of topics, including the coronavirus pandemic, the economy and ongoing protests against police brutality and racism. Moderator Chris Wallace often had trouble controlling the affair, as he had to rebuke the president for interrupting multiple times. Watch the full debate.
Presidential debate live: Donald Trump tries to steamroll Joe Biden in chaotic clash
- Trump refuses to condemn white supremacists
- Moderator Chris Wallace criticized as Trump derails debate
- Biden: ‘It’s hard to get any word in with this clown’
- Full story: Trump plunges debate into chaos
- Analysis: Trump ensures debate is national humiliation
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Perhaps one of Joe Biden’s most effective moments in the debate last night was when he was asking the nation how many of you have an empty chair now at the breakfast table because you’ve lost someone through Covid. It demonstrated a personal empathy with the emotional impact of the pandemic across America that the president has often been criticised for not showing.
However, Time magazine’s Alice Park was unhappy with both candidates overnight in the way they approached the subject of the pandemic during the debate. She writes:
During the 15-minute segment dedicated to Covid-19 — which is still killing hundreds of Americans each day, and stands to worsen once again — neither Trump nor Biden provided any substantive plans for what health experts say will be a critical next few months, and possibly years, in the fight against the coronavirus. Instead of thoughtful plans for addressing the deadliest and most disruptive public health crisis the world has faced in a century, viewers got a mud-slinging brawl between two candidates who were mostly more interested in landing jabs than in providing any reassurance to an already edgy public reeling from lost loved ones, lost jobs and disrupted lives.
The personal attacks and repeated interruptions from the candidates overshadowed any opportunity for voters to form a firm picture of how either Trump or Biden plan to navigate the remainder of this pandemic—not to mention the upcoming flu season.
In particular she pointed out that instead of explaining how a vaccine could be distributed, “Trump and Biden tussled over the Trump Administration’s constant conflict with scientists and public health experts and their differing views on how to safely reopen society.”
Yesterday there were 43,355 new coronavirus cases and 918 new Covid deaths reported in the US.