Trump and Biden row over Covid, climate and racism in the final TV debate

Trump and Biden row over Covid, climate and racism in the final TV debate
Mr Biden has a solid national lead over Mr Trump with 11 days to go until the election. Source: AP
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Daily US Times: US President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden clashed over coronavirus and race while trading corruption charges, in their final TV debate.

On the pandemic, Joe Biden would not rule out more lockdowns, while President Trump insisted it was time to reopen the US.

The Republican President Trump cited unsubstantiated claims Mr Biden personally profited off his son’s business dealings, while Biden brought up Mr Trump’s opaque taxes.

Mr Biden has a solid national lead over Mr Trump with 11 days to go until the election.

But the margin is thinner in the handful of states that could vote either way and ultimately decide the outcome of the election.

More than 46 million voter have already cast their ballots in a record-breaking voting surge driven by the Covid-19 pandemic.

What was the overall tone?

Thursday night’s primetime duel in Nashville, Tennessee, moderated by NBC’s Kristen Welker, was more substantive and less acrimonious affair than the duo’s previous showdown on 29 September, which devolved into insults and name-calling.

Following that political brawl, debate organisers this time muted microphones during the candidates’ opening statements on each topic to minimise disruption.

But the 90-minute final TV debate between the two saw plenty of personal attacks between the two, whose mutual dislike was palpable.

In their closing argument to voters, they offered starkly different visions for the nation on everything from tackle coronavirus to shutting down the county, to confront climate change to shutting down the fossil fuel industry.

Nowhere was the distinction between the Mr Trump and Mr Biden more apparent than in their approach to the pandemic.

Asked about his support for more lockdowns if the scientists recommended it, the former Vice President did not rule it out.

But Republican President Mr Trump said it was wrong to inflict further damage on the economy because of an infection from which most people recover.

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