“We have to open our country. We’re not going to have a country,” Trump said during the second and final presidential debate in Nashville on Thursday night, saying that the United States is a “massive country” with rising rates of depression, suicide, drugs, alcohol, and tremendous drug abuse.
“The cure cannot be worse than the problem himself,” he said. “He’ll close down our country.”
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden attempted to say that Trump is focused too much on the economy.
“People aren’t learning to live with it, they’re learning to die with it,” Biden said. “I don’t look at coronavirus in terms of red states and blue states. They’re all the United States,” he said, adding: “All the states where we are seeing spikes are red states.”
Relatively few voters have yet to make up their minds, and the window to influence the outcome may be closing. A record 47 million Americans had already cast ballots before the debate, eclipsing total early voting from the 2016 election.
Trump invited as his guest Tony Bobulinski, a former business associate of Biden’s son, Hunter, who claims he has evidence of business ties between the Biden family and a Chinese Communist Party (CCP)-owned enterprise. Bobulinski said shortly before the debate that he will soon hand over his evidence to the FBI and is cooperating with an investigation by the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee.
After the first debate was punctuated by disruptions from both candidates, each of their microphones will be switched off while his opponent makes his two-minute introductory statement on a topic, so as to give uninterrupted speaking time. Both microphones will then be active for the discussion period that follows.
Debate topics will include the pandemic, race relations, climate change, and national security.
The Trump campaign argued that foreign policy should be included, while noting that several of Thursday’s topics were the same as the previous debate.
Reuters contributed to this report.