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The Final American Presidential Debate

Written by: Tanya Singh

Date: October 2020

The final presidential debate between candidates for the 2020 presidential election Joe Biden and Donald Trump occurred Thursday night on October 22nd and was moderated by NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker.

The debate itself seemed much calmer than the first presidential debate, where we saw President Trump frequently interrupt his opponent and the moderator of the debate Chris Wallace. While Trump no doubt was probably given instructions by his team to stay in line during the debate, most of the praise for this change is to be given to Kristen Welker, whom some are even dubbing the true winner of the debate. Welker effectively kept the debate running and flowing smoothly, keeping the candidates to their time and not allowing them to speak over her.

The usual plexiglass barriers that we saw at the first presidential debate and the vice-presidential debate did not make their appearance at this one. Following negative tests from both candidates, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the dividers weren’t going to make a difference, and were therefore removed. Some experts have been saying that the dividers are nothing more than a theatrical showpiece to make it seem like precautions are being taken, since the barriers don’t stop virus particles from floating above or next to them. Because the podiums were spaced so far apart to the point where the virus cannot spread across such a distance, they decided to remove the almost useless barriers.

Unexpectedly, however, the candidates did clash on different topics. The COVID-19 pandemic understandably took over the majority of the debate, especially being a hot topic on the minds of Americans due to the president contracting the virus at the beginning of the month. President Trump noted this experience with the virus and said that his organization has taken many steps to save lives, while Biden said that the president does not have any strategy and has misled Americans about the severity of the virus, something that was spoken about by Senator Kamala Harris in the vice presidential debate. As of the morning after the debate, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, there have been over 8.3 million cases in the United States, with over 222,000 total deaths and about 75,000 new cases reported in the last day.

The debate also touched base on Hunter Biden, the economy, climate change, and healthcare. As far as who actually won the debate, it seems that there is no clear answer. Some people say that it was the moderator Kristen Welker due to her great control of the debate. Some say that it was Trump, who delivered the performance he needed and was able to provide arguments. Others say it was Biden say that he remained strong and steady, while Trump failed to save his campaign. The general consensus seems to be that while Trump won the battle, Biden seems to be winning the war.