BidenTrump
© Reuters/Brian Snyder
Former VP Joe Biden • US President Donald Trump
First Presidential Debate 2020
In Tuesday's debate, Joe Biden accused President Donald Trump of trying to reopen the economy too soon amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Trump said the shutdowns are "almost like being in prison," saying Americans want them to end. "He will shut it down again," Trump said of Biden when speaking about the economy. "He will destroy this country."

The president, who has been much more open to states reopening after shutting down to battle the pandemic, cited issues like "drugs and alcohol and depression" being elevated because of shutdowns in "Democrat-run cities."

"It's almost like being in prison," Trump said of the effect of economic shutdowns on citizens.

Biden retorted by saying only "millionaires and billionaires" have "done very well" during the shutdown and blasted Trump for insisting states with "increased cases and deaths" reopen.

Though he did not directly endorse another full shutdown on the economy, Biden said: "You can't fix the economy until you fix the Covid crisis," adding that schools have not universally reopened because the administration refuses to spend the money to "do it safely."

"People want their schools, businesses, their states open," Trump said.

"People want to be safe!" Biden responded, setting up a stark contrast between the two candidates when it comes to the pandemic and the direction to move forward. Biden, however, revealed a confusing stance on federally-mandated economic shutdowns, since he also criticized Trump for jobs lost during the pandemic.


It was also made clear that Trump and Biden represent two sects when it comes to wearing a mask to help battle the Covid-19 pandemic. The president has been criticized for not wearing masks enough publicly, but he did not say he was against them, but argued the former vice president goes overboard in his support for them, saying every time he sees Biden, he's wearing a mask.

"I think masks are OK... I don't wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen," Trump said.

Trump's supporters on social media jumped on the "biggest mask I've ever seen" comment, even taking to posting memes inspired by the unusual jab.