A review of the six topics covered in the final presidential debate

Benedetta Daugereau, Copy Editor

In the final presidential debate Thursday October 22, 2020, President Donald Trump and Former Vice President Joe Biden went head to head talking about their views on six topics, starting with the coronavirus pandemic. 

Trump began by stating that the COVID-19 mortality rate was down by 85% and the spikes in Florida, Texas, Arizona and other countries have been decreased. He argued that people are getting better, and the vaccine would be distributed within the next few weeks by the military. He doesn’t guarantee that it will be out in the next few weeks, he just estimates that it will be. 

“We’re learning to live with it,” said Trump. 

He stated that 99.9% of young people recover, and 99% of people in general recover, thus being the reason why he doesn’t want to close up the nation. Because of these statistics, Trump wants to reopen schools. He said America was seeing the most depression, suicide, abuse and drug consumption because everything was closed down. He sees that businesses are dying, and New York is losing lots of people.

Biden wants to end COVID-19 by closing up the nation and ridding America of it for good by only opening businesses when it is safe to do so. He stated that if he became president he would make sure the vaccine was completely transparent, with no room for error, before he gave it to the American people. He said that Trump has no plan and is xenophobic. He stated that if Trump were re-elected president, the country would enter a difficult and troubling period of time.  Instead of people learning to live with COVID, Biden said people are learning to die with it.

“Anyone who is responsible for not taking control should not be president,” said Biden. 

Biden’s strategy is to give people the capacity and the right resources to open. He wants people to wear masks and make sure they get the right help for the businesses to open. He says he wants to shut down the virus, but not the country. He believed Trump knew how bad the virus actually was in January, but didn’t tell the American people. Trump replied by saying he knew how dangerous it was but didn’t want the people to panic.

The next topic they were to debate about was national security, specifically the security of the elections. Both were asked what they would do in their next term to ensure national security. Trump said that Biden took three and a half a million dollars from Russia, and Biden returned that Trump had a secret bank account in China, and that Russia, China and Ukraine were paying Trump a lot of money. He stated that foreign countries were trying to interfere in the election to make sure Biden didn’t get elected. Trump answered that his bank account, started in 2013, was closed in 2015, before he got elected president. Biden explained that if he was elected, he would make any country that interfered with an American election pay the price. He would make China play by the “international rules.” Trump answered that China was paying 28 billion dollars all of which he gave back to the farmers. 

Both had completely different views on North Korea . Biden thought North Korea was America’s biggest problem because in a nuclear war with North Korea we would lose. Biden would make it clear to China that North Korea is a problem and they would need to control them. Trump argued that the two countries were on better terms, so North Korea wouldn’t attack.

Then, the debate continued onto the third topic: the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Trump claimed that 20 million Americans would lose health insurance, so he wants to change it so that it’s not Obamacare anymore. He claimed his new plan would be better than Obamacare, and always protect people with pre-existing conditions.

Biden would pass Obamacare with an option. He wants to focus on reducing drug prices with insurance companies and ensure people keep their private health insurance. He also wants to protect the people with preexisting conditions.

The fourth topic was minimum wage. Trump’s focus was mainly on small businesses. He said 1 in 6 businesses were going under. He would consider raising minimum wage, but he explained that it would be up to the states to decide. According to Trump, having a standard minimum wage of $15/hour would be affordable for some states but not others. His view was focused on small businesses. Biden, on the other hand, was for having a standard minimum wage. 

Next, the candidates debated immigration and social justice.. Trump accused people of using children to get within the borders illegally. He said kids come in through “coyotes” and “gangs.” He explained that the kids would be taken through the borders and taken care of, and the cages that have caused lots of controversy were built by Biden. Biden accused Trump of splitting up the kids from their parents because they didn’t come through coyotes or gangs, rather as whole families. 

Trump pointed out that when Biden was Vice President there was a catch and release program created, and it would catch illegal immigrants and give them a date to show up for a hearing. Trump argued the catch and release program was faulty because many illegal immigrants wouldn’t show up for their hearing. 

On the topic of social justice, things got heated. Biden said that black parents have to tell their kids they will be targeted often because of the color of their skin. He also mentioned that black parents teach their kids not to move their hands from the wheel when they get pulled over because they could be shot if the cop thinks they are reaching for a gun in their glove compartment. In response to that, Trump accused Biden of calling black people “super predators.” He declared that, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, no president had ever done as much for the black community as he had.

The sixth and last topic of the debate was climate change. Biden viewed climate change as an existential threat. He plans to invest in 50,000 charging stations on highways for electric car markets. He would clean the environment and open 18.6 million jobs in clean energy.  

“We don’t have much time and will pass the point of no return in 8-10  years,” Biden said. 

Trump, on the other hand, said America has the cleanest air and best carbon emission numbers than we’ve had in 35 years. He claimed that Americans would have to spend trillions of dollars and lose lots of jobs if we were to rejoin the Paris Accord. 

“We have done an incredible job environmentally, “ Trump said.