2020 Debate Picture

Taken by The New York Times. 

The first 2020 Biden-Trump Presidential debate hosted by ABC News aired on Sep 29, 2020. The debate covered topics surrounding the Supreme Court nomination, COVID-19, the economy, systemic racism, climate change and more. 

Over the course of the debate, Trump continuously interrupted former Vice President and ABC News moderator Chris Wallace. Despite the interruptions, each candidate used their political stance to address concerning topics facing the American people. 

Moderator Chris Wallace began the debate by addressing the Supreme Court vacancy following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. 

"We have a phenomenal nominee respected by all. I think she's going to be fantastic. We have time," says President Trump when referring to Supreme Court nominee Amy Barrett. “We won the election, so we have a right.”

On the other hand, Biden countered his argument saying, “I think we should wait. If he (Trump) wins the election. We should wait until February."

Wallace proceeded to address the number one problem concerning Americans, COVID-19. Wallace asked each candidate to explain why they believed they were the better person to handle the issue. 

Trump attacked Biden by stating, “If we would have listened to you. The country would have been left wide open and millions of people would have died."

Trump also addressed scientists’ work surrounding the development of a vaccine. He has hopes to release the vaccine to the public weeks after approval, but his hopes contradict the hold scientists and researchers have placed on the vaccine. 

“The clinical hold shows that there are functioning checks and balances, in spite of political pressure,” says Marie-Paule Kieny, a vaccine researcher at INSERM, the French national health-research institute in Paris within an nature article. “It might indeed remind everybody — even presidents — that for vaccines, safety is paramount.”

Biden responded by emphasizing the number of cases in America and how he thought Trump failed to be transparent with the severity of COVID-19 when he originally knew back in February. 

Biden also addressed the essential needs of businesses before fully reopening the economy. “You've got to provide these businesses the ability to have the money to be able to reopen with the PPE, as well as with the sanitation they need,” he said.

Finally, Wallace addressed systemic racism and the divide among the American people.

Biden said that Trump hasn’t helped the black community at all by stating how Trump’s plans for COVID-19 has affected the black community.

“One in 1,000 Black Americans have been killed by coronavirus,” Biden said to emphasize how Trump’s actions towards COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting Black families. 

Wallace questioned Trump’s willingness to condemn white supremacists and military groups. Trump initially danced around the question until further pressed.

Trump said, ”Proud Boys — Stand back, stand by, but I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about ANTIFA and the left because this is not a right-wing problem...This is a left-wing problem." 

Biden countered by comparing ANTIFA to white supremacy and militarist groups’ use of violence during protests or any other instances. 

Overall, Biden provided a plan to many of the issues addressed in the debate. He also directed his messaging to viewers by looking directly into the camera or mentioning different communities and people in his responses. 

On the other hand, Trump used attack tactics and incorporated quantitative facts to justify his actions during his presidency. 

Both candidate encouraged individuals to take part in the election by voting. 

President Trump and former Vice President Biden will meet again for a second debate on Oct 15, 2020. Vice President Mike Pence and the Democratic Vice President nominee Kamala Harris will face a debate, Wednesday Oct 7, 2020.