by Anthony Vassallo
After a very unproductive presidential debate on Sept. 29, the rematch has concluded, and the American people have been given a conversation worth listening to.
COVID 19 and recovery was the first topic of the night. Former Vice President Joe Biden said, “The president thus far still has no comprehensive plan,” claiming that the president did “virtually nothing,” to help the nation. He also assured the public that he indeed has a plan; Americans will be encouraged to wear a mask, rapid testing would be available and he will set national standards to open up schools and businesses.
President Donald Trump on the other hand said, “We’ve learned and studied and understand the disease, which we didn’t at the beginning.” He also offered an encouraging statement regarding the production of a COVID 19 vaccine, “It will be (available) by the end of the year.” He referred to Johnson and Johnson, Maderna and FIZA as companies making steady progress to obtain a vaccine.
An important fact check to note is that Johnson and Johnson out their vaccine trial on hold Oct 12, due to an unexplained illness in a participant.
Although the two candidates were far less disruptive, the disrespect was still present. “We can’t lock ourselves in a basement like Joe does,” said Trump. A few times during the debate, Trump impersonated Biden, trying to make him sound foolish and claiming he was “all talk” because he didn’t get anything done during his 8 years as Obama’s Vice President.
Another topic of the evening was international relationships. This debate came shortly after U.S intelligence officials have suggested that Russia and Iran are actively trying to toy with our election.
Biden didn’t have any reluctance to condemn them, “I made it clear that any country, no matter who it is, that interferes with American elections will pay a price.”
Trump went further, explaining that there has been nobody tougher than him on Russia. “I've gotten the NATO countries to put up an extra 130 billion going to 420 billion dollars a year, to guard against Russia.”
“Joe got 3.5 million dollars from Russia,” said Trump. Biden then responded by saying that he has not received any money from Russia.
Biden went on to accuse Trump of having a secret bank account with China, and raised the question “What’re you hiding?” According to Trump he took the bank account down prior to the 2016 Election, back in 2015, and has pre-paid tens of millions of dollars in taxes, and is currently attempting to release his taxes, but cannot because he is under audit.
“The guy that got in trouble in Ukraine was this guy,” said Biden, furthering his acquisition that President Trump is the one with foreign entanglements.
With the Trump administration trying to strike down Obama care in the Supreme Court the week after the general election, healthcare was a major topic of the night. President Trump declined the claim that healthcare will be taken away from millions of people with pre-existing conditions and that his healthcare plan would be coming soon.
Biden would like to keep the affordable care act, but revise it to form “Biden Care.” His plan would include a public option-that so if an individual qualifies for Medicaid and does not have the wherewithal in their state to get Medicaid, they are automatically enrolled, which will provide competition for insurance companies.
Immigration was another major discussion point. Moderator Kristen Welker asked the question, “The United States can’t locate the parents of more than 500 children so how will these families ever be united?” Trump responded by saying, “We are trying very hard,” (to find the parents). Biden used pathos to counter this unclear resolution, “Parents were ripped from their arms and separated.”
Biden does go on to admit that the Obama administration made a mistake regarding immigration policies and it “took too long to get it right.”
Among the topics of the night was race relations. Welker asked both candidates to address black families, by framing it as the families who have to give their children “the talk” about what to do when dealing with the police.
Trump said that he has done more for Black Americans than any president, with maybe the exception of Lincoln, a claim he has been throwing around since May 2020.
“Abraham Lincoln here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history,” said Biden. Trump went on to attack Biden for the 1994 crime bill, which according to the New York Times, “Criminal justice experts and critics say Mr. Biden’s work on crime legislation helped lay the groundwork for mass incarceration that has devastated America’s Black communities.”
However, Biden expressed regret on this bill and went on to say what he plans on changing if elected president. “Nobody should be going to jail because they have a drug problem,” said Biden. “They should be going to rehabilitation, not to jail, we should fundamentally change the system and that's what I’m going to do.”
“Why didn't you do it four years ago?” Trump responded, not just to this point, but to a lot of Biden’s claims on things he would fix.
Biden responded by saying, “We had a Republican Congress. That’s the answer.”
The muting of the mics helped level out interruptions, but both candidates did seemingly dance around questions they felt uncomfortable. Regardless, this was an actual debate, unlike the first one.