“We’re studying to dwell with it,” Mr. Trump mentioned, citing his personal hospitalization and restoration.
“Studying to dwell with it?” Mr. Biden mentioned incredulously. “Come on. We’re dying with it.”
Mr. Trump tried to dismiss Mr. Biden for principally campaigning from residence this spring and summer season (“We will’t lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does”). He mocked the plexiglass dividers which have emerged in eating places in New York and different locations to maintain folks socially distanced, dismissing the concept of diners sitting “in a cubicle wrapped round in plastic.”
“We will’t shut up our nation,” he mentioned. “Or we received’t have a nation.”
Mr. Biden argued for prioritizing public well being, warning People of a “darkish winter” approaching. “Shut down the virus, not the nation,” he mentioned, rattling off one of many night’s scripted traces.
The candidates disagreed, civilly, on well being care and the setting. Mr. Biden mentioned he would push the nation to “transition from the oil business” and finish federal subsidies.
“That may be a massive assertion,” Mr. Trump replied. “Will you do not forget that, Texas? Will you do not forget that, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma?”
The Biden declaration received cheers amongst progressives however fast distancing from Democrats in energy-heavy states, similar to Consultant Kendra Horn of Oklahoma and Consultant Xochitl Torres Small of New Mexico.
Over all, Colin Reed, a Republican strategist, mentioned the controversy was a draw.
“Each candidates got here ready not solely in tone and tenor, but additionally substantively,” he mentioned. “For Biden, a push is a win proper now. Trump is the one who wanted the knockout blow.”
Isabella Grullón Paz contributed reporting.