Trump defends response to COVID-19, says Biden ‘will close down the whole country’

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Donald Trump made his case for his administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the first presidential debate on Tuesday night.

During a combative evening, the president took aim at Joe Biden, insinuating the former vice president’s handling of the pandemic would be detrimental.

“"He will shut it down again,” Trump said on stage. “He will destroy this country.”

Trump claimed the country has strongly rebounded since shutdowns closed business across America earlier this year, and said the country is “doing record business.”

The president also urged that the country reopen, suggesting that mandated closures are “like prison.”

“They've got to open these states up,” he insisted. “It's not fair. It's like being in prison.”

In one particular moment, moderator Chris Wallace pressed the president on when the country could expect a COVID-19 vaccine, saying that Trump’s own top officials have said that a vaccine won’t be ready until summer 2021.

“It’s a very political thing,” Trump responded.

Biden responded, suggesting the president’s response was not apt.

"Take a look at what he's actually done. He's done very little," Biden said. "He talks about the art of the deal — China perfected the art of the steal. We have a higher deficit now with China now than we did before.”

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