Biden sees a 'dark winter' ahead on coronavirus, while Trump says the U.S. is 'rounding the turn'

President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden disagreed sharply during Thursday’s final presidential debate of 2020 about how the coronavirus pandemic would play out in the United States over the winter.

Trump was asked about his assertion that America is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic and that a vaccine for COVID-19 will be ready in a matter of weeks, in the face of less optimistic estimates from members of his own administration and the companies currently working to produce one.

“I think my timeline is going to be more accurate,” Trump said at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. “I don’t know that they’re counting on the military the way I do, but we have our generals lined up, one in particular that’s the head of logistics, and this is a very easy distribution. He’s ready to go as soon as we have the vaccine, and we expect to have a hundred million vials of the vaccine. He’s ready to go.”

Biden responded by questioning the president’s credibility on the issue. “This is the same fellow who told you this is going to end by Easter last time. This is the same fellow who told you that, ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to end this this summer,’” Biden said. “We’re about to enter a dark winter, a dark winter, and he has no clear plan and he has no prospects that there’s going to be a vaccine for the majority of the American people before the middle of next year.”

Joe Biden speaks during the final 2020 U.S. presidential campaign debate in the Curb Event Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, U.S., October 22, 2020. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)
Joe Biden speaks during the final 2020 U.S. presidential campaign debate on Thursday. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Trump, however, saw a much rosier situation.

“I don’t think we’re going to have a dark winter at all. We’re opening up our country. We’ve learned and studied and understand the disease, which we didn’t at the beginning,” Trump said.

Trump has often assured the country that the pandemic is “going to go away by itself,” with or without a vaccine. The number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths have been rising in recent weeks, as Biden pointed out.

“Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America. We’re in a situation where there are a thousand deaths a day and there are over 70,000 new cases per day,” Biden said, adding, “The expectation is that we’ll have another 200,000 dead by the end of the year. Come on.”


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