Takeaways from the US presidential townhall

It’s 19 days until the US Presidential elections and both candidates faced-off in competing town-halls on Thursday night after US President Trump refused to partake in the virtual format and tried to push the electoral commission to hold an in-person event. Of course, this didn’t happen due to the pandemic.

Here’s a couple of take-aways from the separate townhalls.

US President Donald Trump…

  • Trump praised his own record in light of the country’s response  to the pandemic, stating “vaccines are coming soon and our economy is strong.”

    However, global health experts dampened the hopes for a quick solution on a vaccine by the end of this year, and US health experts disagreed with his positive assessment of the COVID-19 situation in the country.

  • repeated claims he would replace Obamacare without explaining how
  • evaded answers related to his stance on mask-wearing to whether he believed in the false QAnon conspiracy theory
  • confirmed he owes $400 million in debt to creditors, just as a New York Times investigation had reported last month, but repeated “it would not be a big deal”

    “No, I don’t owe Russia money,” Trump said denying previous allegations. Asked if he owed anything to foreign banks in any other country, Trump, however, said “not that I know of, but I will probably.”

Democratic candidate Joe Biden…

  • promoted a federal response to the pandemic led by health experts, said he would take a coronavirus vaccine once available and that the US should consider making it mandatory

  • didn’t give Trump credit for his foreign policy agenda, especially for his Middle East Peace plans

    “He’s pulled out of almost every international organization, he gets laughed at when he goes to — literally, not figuratively — when he goes to the United Nations,” Biden said. “I mean, it’s just about the president, per se, it’s about the nation and the lack of respect that’s shown to us,” Biden added.

  • argued along a fine line between fracking and the environment, saying he would not support the Green New Deal. He, however, promised to to spend $2 trillion over four years to support clean energy, electric vehicles and energy-efficient homes, as well as eliminate emissions from the power sector by 2035

  • said he’ll have a clear stance on whether expanding the Supreme Court is a good idea if he wins, but promised to clarify his position before Election Day

  • vowed to change laws that discriminate against people who are transgender, saying ‘there should be zero discrimination

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