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"We're about to go into a dark winter": Biden says Trump has no plan for coronavirus

Biden warns of a "dark winter" amid pandemic
Biden warns of a "dark winter" amid the coronavirus pandemic 03:58

At the final presidential debate, Democratic nominee Joe Biden warned Americans that it's going to be a "dark winter" and said President Trump has "no clear plan" to deal with the continuing coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19 has killed more than 220,000 Americans and sickened more than 7 million as some scientists have warned the current wave could be the "biggest wave" of infections.

Debate moderator Kristen Welker of NBC asked Biden about the COVID-19 vaccine, saying "Just 40% of Americans say they would definitely agree to take a vaccine, if it was approved by the government. What steps would you take to give Americans confidence in a vaccine if it were approved?"

Biden answered: "Make sure it's totally transparent. Have the science and we will see it, know it, look at it. Go through the processes." 

"And by the way, this is the same fellow who told you this was going to end by Easter last time," Biden said about Mr. Trump. "This is the same fellow who said, 'Don't worry, we're going to end it this by the summer.' We're about to go into a dark winter."

"A dark winter, and he has no clear plan and there's no prospect that there's going to be a vaccine available for the majority of the American people before the middle of next year," Biden continued. 

When asked to react, Mr. Trump said, "I don't think we're going to have a dark winter at all." 

"We are opening up our country," Mr. Trump said. "We have learned and studied and understand the disease, which we didn't at the beginning," he continued. "When I closed and banned China from coming in – heavily infected  – and ultimately Europe, but China was in January, months later, [Biden] was saying I was xenophobic. Now he says, 'Oh I should have moved quicker.'"

Mr. Trump then compared his coronavirus response to the Obama administrations' response to H1N1 – also known as the swine flu – in 2009. 

When asked to respond, Biden said Trump is xenophobic, "but not because he shut down access from China."

Biden said the U.S. shut down access from China after 40 other countries did. He also said Mr. Trump "made sure we had 44 people that were in there, in China, trying to get to Wuhan to determine what exactly the source of it was."

The former vice president continued to criticize Mr. Trump's coronavirus response, saying "he did virtually nothing."

"Then, he gets out of the hospital, and he talks about, 'Don't worry it will be over soon.' Come on. There's not another serious scientist in the world that thinks it will be over soon," Biden continued.

Mr. Trump said he did not say the pandemic would be over say, but "we are learning to live with it." 

Welker then asked about each candidates' strategies in handling the virus. "Mr. Vice President, you suggested you would support new shutdowns is scientists recommended it. What do you say to Americans who are fearful about the cost of shutdowns, the impact on the economy, the higher rates of hunger, depression, domestic and sex abuse outweighs the risk of exposure to the virus?

Biden responded, "I'm going to to shut down the virus, not the country. It's his ineptitude that caused the country to shut down in large part."

"Why businesses have gone under, why schools have closed why people have lost their living and they are concerned," Biden continued. "He should have been, instead of in a sand trap at his golf course, he should have been negotiating with Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats and Republicans about what to do about the acts they were passing for billions to make sure people have the capacity."

Biden said he has not ruled out shutdowns in the future, but said if certain areas experience higher rates of the virus, they should "slow up" until it is under control. 

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