President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden attacked each others' credibility and competence as they debated the response to COVID-19 during Tuesday night's presidential debate in Cleveland. (Sept. 29)
DONALD TRUMP: But I'll tell you, Joe, you could never have done the job that we did. You don't have it in your blood. You could have never done that, Joe.
JOE BIDEN: I know how to do the job. I know how to get the job done.
DONALD TRUMP: Well, you didn't do very well in swine flu. H1N1, you were a disaster. Your own chief of staff said you were a disaster.
JOE BIDEN: 14,000 people died, not 200,000. There was no economic recession
CHRIS WALLACE: Sir, you made--
DONALD TRUMP: Far less people diseased.
CHRIS WALLACE: --you made a point, let him answer it.
JOE BIDEN: And there was no one, there's-- no, we didn't shut down the economy. This is his economy that's been-- he shut down. The reason it's shut down is because-- look, you folks at home, how many you got up this morning and had an empty chair at the kitchen table because someone died of COVID? How many of you are in a situation where you lost your mom or dad, and you couldn't even speak to them-- you had a nurse holding a phone up so you could, in fact, say goodbye?
DONALD TRUMP: We would have lost far more people--
JOE BIDEN: How many people--
DONALD TRUMP: --far more people. And it'd happen a lot sooner. It's a very political thing because people like this would rather make it political than save lives.
JOE BIDEN: Oh, god.
DONALD TRUMP: It is a very political thing. I've spoken to Pfizer. I've spoken to all of the people that you have to speak to. We have great-- Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and others. They can go faster than that by a lot. Become very political because the left-- or, I don't know if I'd call him a left, I don't know what I'd call him--
CHRIS WALLACE: So you're suggesting that the head of your Operation Warp Speed, Dr. Slaoui--
DONALD TRUMP: I disagree with him. No, I disagree with both of them. And he didn't say that. He said it could be there, but it could also be much sooner. I had him in my office two days ago.
CHRIS WALLACE: He talked about the summer, sir, before it's generally available.
DONALD TRUMP: He said it's a possibility that we'll have the answer before November 1. It could also be after that.
CHRIS WALLACE: But when it's generally available, not--
DONALD TRUMP: Well, we're going to deliver it right away. We have the military all set up. Logistically, they're all set up. We have our military that delivers soldiers, and they can do 200,000 a day. They're going to be administering the vaccine.
JOE BIDEN: This is the same man--
DONALD TRUMP: It's all set up.
JOE BIDEN: --that told you by Easter this would be gone away. By the warm weather, it'd be gone, miraculous, like a miracle. And by the way, maybe you could inject some bleach in your arm and that would take care of it. This is the same man.
DONALD TRUMP: It was said sarcastically, and you know that. I would have it sarcastically.
JOE BIDEN: So here's the deal-- this man is talking about a vaccine. Every serious-- every serious company is talking about maybe having the vaccine done by the end of the year. But the distribution of that vaccine will not occur until sometime beginning or the middle of next year to get it out if we get the vaccine. You pointed out he puts pressure and disagrees with his own scientists.
CHRIS WALLACE: But you're saying-- or, Senator Harris is saying-- you can't trust the science.
JOE BIDEN: Well, no, no, you can trust the scientists. She didn't say that. You can trust the scientists.
CHRIS WALLACE: She said the public health experts, quote, "will be muzzled, will be suppressed."
JOE BIDEN: Well, that's what he's going to try to do. But there's millions of scientists-- and thousands of scientists out there, like here at this great hospital, that don't work for him. Their job doesn't depend on him. That's not-- they're the people, and by the way--
DONALD TRUMP: I spoke to the scientists that are in charge. They will have the vaccine very soon.
JOE BIDEN: You believe for a moment what he's telling you in light of all the lies he's told you about the whole issue relating to COVID? He still hasn't even acknowledged that he knew this was happening, knew how dangerous it was going to be back in February, and he didn't even tell you. He's on record as saying it. He panicked, or he just looked at the stock market-- one of the two.