Summarizing The Last Presidential Debate

A surprisingly good show from both sides


Last Thursday night, Americans all over the country rejoiced to watch an actually civil presidential debate. Granted, the debate did get heated, but it wasn’t anything like the first debate. As a general rule, Trump didn’t interrupt Biden, and Biden didn’t interrupt Trump.

The evening focused around policy with both candidates presenting themselves quite well. Major issues included COVID-19, foreign policy, healthcare, racism, and climate change. Below is a basic summary of the candidates’ statements on each issue.

On the handling of COVID-19

Magnified view of COVID-19 virus

Trump: When asked about his plans to handle COVID-19, Trump largely defended his record, stating that his administration is currently doing a good job. He stated that he fostered high hopes for a vaccine before the end of the year, and criticized Biden’s attack on the government’s decision to suspend travel with China early in the year.

Biden: When asked the same question, Biden emphasized that Trump knew about the danger of the virus in early January and did not tell the public. He said that his administration would improve rapid testing, vaccinate the public, and maintain social distancing.

As a general rule, Trump supported state control over reopenings while Biden advocated for national standards.

“Anyone who is responsible for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of the America””

— Biden

On election integrity

Biden: When asked what he would do about election interference, Biden stated that any country who dared to compromise the election process was violating the United States’ national integrity and would pay the price. He accused Trump of tolerating Russia’s interference which he believes benefits the incumbent’s campaign. He emphasized holding Russia and Iran accountable

Trump: The President accused Biden of not caring about Russian interference, and stated that Russia actually wants Biden to win. He also attacked the former Vice President over allegations that his son, Hunter, took money from the Moscow mayor’s wife.

On North Korea

by KIM WON-JIN/AFP via Getty Images (AFP via Getty Images)

Trump: The President said the Obama Administration had been worried about North Korea and credited himself with easing tensions. He stated that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un would not dare attack the United States.

Biden: The former vice president scolded Trump for being too friendly with Kim Jong-Un during their multiple meetings. He pointed out that North Korea has continued to improve its nuclear program under the current administration.

On healthcare

Biden: Biden went after Trump for attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would leave 20,000 Americans without health insurance. He stated that his healthcare plan would not force anyone to give up their private insurance.

Trump: The President, on the other hand, stated that he had helped fix Obamacare by terminating the individual mandate, which made citizens “pay a fortune for good healthcare.” He doubled down in his plan to overturn the Affordable Care Act and assured voters that those with preexisting conditions would still be covered. However, he did not explain how this would work.

On racism and minorities

Biden: The presidential candidate accused Trump of inciting racial violence. He said that he would restore peace to the country and understood the hardships black families were going through.

“I am the least racist person in this room”

— Trump

Trump: The president cited his criminal justice reforms and his decision to give historically black colleges long-term contracts. He also stated that he understood the hardships black families were going through. His statements drew controversy after he stated that he had done more for the African-American community than any other president except Lincoln.

On climate change and the environment

Trump: President Trump praised the water and air quality of the United States and compared the country’s environment to China, Russia, and India. He also stood by his decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement, which he said treated the United States unfairly.

Biden: Biden advocated rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and working to hold violators unaccountable. He did not outline his plan for ensuring that other countries complied with the deal. He also criticized the Trump Administration for not holding chemical companies accountable for polluting.

On fossil fuels

Trump: Donald Trump attacked Biden’s climate change plan, saying that it was unrealistic. He maintained that transitioning from fossil fuels would cost millions of jobs and that renewable energy was not developed enough for widespread use.

Biden: Joe Biden defended his climate plan and said that it would create more new jobs than would be lost. He remained hopeful that the country could transition from oil during his administration. When asked about his position on fracking, Biden denied having expressed support for banning fracking but then later clarified and said that he supported banning fracking on federal land.


Overall, this debate had much more substantive information that the first one.