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  • Salsabila Attaria, reporter

2020’s Final Presidential Debate

On Oct. 22, the second and final presidential debate took place at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joseph Biden faced off to discuss topics such as coronavirus, racism, and immigration. With the presidential election less than a week away, the debate was crucial for both candidates.

Although many of the same topics from the first debate were brought up, there was a key difference between this event and the debate in September. The first presidential debate was characterized as unruly and unwatchable.

This time, the lack of insults and interruptions made the debate easier to follow. Although the occasional petty jab was made, many agree that the positions of each candidate were much easier to understand without the messy arguments.

As the debate kicked off with each candidate’s plan about coronavirus, Trump stated his strong belief that a vaccine was ready and would be released within weeks, despite health officials predicting a vaccine being unavailable until well into 2021. Reopening schools and businesses was made a key part in the President’s plan for handling the virus in upcoming months.

On the other hand, Biden cited America’s death toll of 220,000 to discredit the competence of the Trump administration in handling the virus. Biden’s plan for the nation stresses the importance of masks, rapid testing, and a national standard for reopening schools and businesses.

After moderator Kristen Welker posed the question of foreign interference in the election, both candidates threw accusations back and forth pertaining to Russia, China, and Trump’s unreleased tax returns. All claims about foreign entanglements were declared to be false or completely ethical by either candidate.

As the Affordable Care Act heads to the Supreme Court, Trump reiterated his plan to rescind Obamacare, while Biden plans to build upon it. Biden also plans on reducing premiums and drug prices, but emphasized his support for the private insurance that Trump adamantly praised. Similar to his talking points on coronavirus, Biden appealed to the American people on an emotional level with his recognition of the tough financial and medical situations many are currently experiencing.

One of the most discussed topics after the debate was immigration. Trump’s reaction to Wilker’s question about his plan to reunite migrant children at the border with their parents included blaming the Obama administration for the ICE facilities and the parents for coming to America illegally. Biden declared the treatment of immigrants at America’s southern border un-American and criminal, and promised a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented Americans as part of his presidency.

Another controversial point was Trump branding himself the “least racist person in this room” after being asked to address remarks he made after recent BLM protests. Citing his criminal justice reform policies and money given to HBCUs, Trump insists his administration has been nothing but beneficial for Black Americans. Once again, Biden spoke straight to the American people when recognizing the fear many Black families experience in America, ignoring claims of anti-Blackness from his involvement in the 1994 crime bill as a Senator.

Election day is November 3.

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