Cleveland, United States:
US President Donald Trump defended his response to coronavirus, which has affected over seven million people in the country, as Democratic challenger Joe Biden today said at the first US Presidential debate:”7 million (have) contracted the virus. The President has no plan.”
Joe Biden branded Donald Trump a liar and told him to “shut up” as the two clashed in a bad-tempered start to their first televised debate. “The fact is that everything he is saying so far is simply a lie. I’m not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he’s a liar,” Biden said.
“How many of you got up this morning and had an empty chair at the kitchen table because someone died of Covid?” Biden asked.
Facing the threat of being made a one-term president, Trump hit back, saying: “It’s China’s fault, it should have never happened,” Trump said.
“China, India… don’t ever give you a straight count. You don’t know how many people have died in China,” Trump stressed amid attacks from his opponent.
“Many of your Democrat governors said President Trump did a phenomenal job,” Trump claimed. He also claimed that “we’re weeks away from a vaccine,” and said that “far fewer people are dying.”
The United States has logged the highest number of Covid cases in the world.
Tension was palpable from the opening minutes, with the pair interrupting each other repeatedly, leading Mr Biden to lash out at one point: “Will you shut up, man!”
The debate, watched by a deeply divided nation, comes 35 days ahead of the most tense US election in recent memory.
(With inputs from AFP, ANI)