Trump defends COVID-19 response, Biden talks ‘UNITY’ | Daily News


Trump defends COVID-19 response, Biden talks ‘UNITY’

US President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
US President Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

US: US President Donald Trump delivered a combative defense on Thursday of his COVID-19 response while election challenger Joe Biden -- offering a glaring contrast in style in a rival town hall -- accused him of doing "nothing" to end the pandemic.

The dueling appearances, scheduled at the same time on rival television networks, showed Biden giving unflashy, empathetic, often in-depth answers to voters in the audience, while Trump delivered a fiery, sometimes agitated defense of his Presidency.

Trump, who trails in the polls ahead of the November 3 election, was especially under pressure about the coronavirus that has killed over 217,000 Americans and inflicted deep economic damage.

"We're rounding the corner," Trump insisted with his usual optimism, even as swaths of the United States see sharply rising caseloads.

The President entered calmer waters when fielding a series of more comfortable questions from members of the audience, one of whom sparked applause by telling Trump: "You have a great smile."

By contrast, Biden's appearance on rival network ABC mirrored his steady and generally low-key campaign, with promises of bipartisan healing in divided Washington and aiming steady fire on Trump's coronavirus record. "We're in a situation where we have 210,000 plus people dead and what's he doing? Nothing. He's still not wearing masks," Biden said of Trump at the event in Philadelphia. "We've got to change the nature of the way we deal with one another," Biden said. "If I'm elected President, the first thing -- and not a joke... I'm going to pick up the phone and call them and say, 'Let's get together.'"

Biden repeatedly came back to the theme of unity, saying he would be President to all Americans including those who voted against him. Originally, both candidates were meant to meet Thursday for what would have been their second of three Presidential debates.

With only 19 days until the election, Trump is now running out of time to overtake Biden. - AFP