US Elections: Trump - Biden Debate More Civilised Than Expected
Thursday night's primetime duel in Nashville, Tennessee, was a less acrimonious and more substantive affair than the pair's previous showdown on 29 September, which devolved into insults and name-calling, reports BBC.
Following that political brawl, debate organizers this time muted microphones during the candidates' opening statements on each topic to minimise disruption.
But the 90-minute debate, moderated by NBC's journalist Kristen Welker, saw plenty of personal attacks between the opponents, whose mutual dislike was obvious.
On the pandemic, Mr Biden would not rule out more lockdowns, while Mr Trump insisted it was time to reopen the US.
Mr Trump, 74, declared that the virus was "going away" and that a vaccine would be ready by the end of the year, while Mr Biden warned the nation was heading towards "a dark winter".
The president said: "We're learning to live with it." Mr Biden, 77, countered: "Come on. We're dying with it."
Mr Biden laid blame for the 220,000-plus American deaths from the pandemic at Mr Trump's door.
"Anyone who's responsible for that many deaths should not remain president of the United States of America," he said.
Mr Trump cited unsubstantiated claims that Mr Biden personally profited from his son's business dealings. The Democrat brought up Mr Trump's opaque taxes.
Mr Biden has a solid lead with 11 days to go until the presidential election.
In their closing argument to voters, both candidates offered starkly different visions for the nation on everything from shutting down the country to tackle coronavirus, to shutting down the fossil fuel industry to confront climate change./BBC
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