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On the first topic of the third presidential debate, COVID-19 and the path forward, moderator Kristen Welker asked both candidates how they would respond to the ongoing crisis as President of the United States. Trump's answer was clear: The United States could not remain dormant.
"We can't close up our nation, or else you're not going to have a nation. We can't all lock ourselves in our basement like Joe has… he's clearly made a lot of money somewhere," Trump said.
The jab, although responding to the question about a plan for COVID-19, might have also been a nod to circulating allegations of Joe Biden's involvement with his son Hunter Biden's involvement in influence peddling on behalf of international businesses. More directly, however, Trump's answer highlighted the need for the United States to go back to work.
President Donald Trump's answer to dealing with the future of the pandemic was simple: The United States would around the corner, develop a vaccine, and use the world's most formidable military to distribute it to millions of Americans. When asked to name companies that were close to developing a vaccine, Trump listed off five names including Johnson and Johnson.
Trump emphasized a need to bring back schools, reopen businesses, and restart the world's largest economy. The damage, Trump asserted, went beyond COVID patients. The president noted that depression rates, suicide rates, and abuse statistics had spiked during fallout from the pandemic—often overlooked casualties of the virus.
Welker asked Trump if he was concerned about a possible delay in its distribution, Trump didn't shy away from the possibility the fight against the virus would be difficult, but stood his ground on his plan.
"We have learned a lot about the disease. We have learned to live with it, we don't have any other choice." Trump said "We can't do this. We can't keep this country closed."