President Trump repeated baseless claims at the final presidential debate that the coronavirus “will go away” and that the U.S. is “rounding the turn,” while Joe Biden argued that any president that has allowed 220,000 Americans to die on his watch should not be re-elected.
Why it matters: The U.S. is now averaging about 59,000 new coronavirus infections a day, and added another 73,000 cases on Thursday, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The country recorded 1,038 deaths due to the virus Thursday, the highest since late September.
What they’re saying: “More and more people are getting better,” Trump said. We have a problem that’s a worldwide problem. This is a worldwide problem. But I’ve been congratulated by the heads of many countries on what we’ve been able to do … It will go away and as I say, we’re rounding the turn. We’re rounding the corner. It’s going away.”
- Trump later disputed warnings by public health officials in his administration that the virus would see a resurgence in the winter, claiming: “We’re not going to have a dark winter at all. We’re opening up our country.”
Biden responded: “Anyone responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America.”
- “What I would do is make sure we have everyone encouraged to wear a mask all the time. I would make sure we move in the direction of rapid testing, investing in rapid testing.”
- “I would make sure that we set up national standards as to how to open up schools and open up businesses so they can be safe and give them the wherewithal, the financial resources, to be able to do that.”
The bottom line: Biden and Trump are living in two different pandemic realities, but Biden’s is the only one supported by health experts.
Go deeper: The pandemic is getting worse again