During the first presidential debate between Joe Biden and President Trump, Biden said that Trump “doesn’t care” about the health of the tens of thousands of supporters that have packed a number of campaign rallies the president has held amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Trump falsely claimed that he has only held rallies outdoors, and that scientists have said “the opposite” of CDC Director Robert Redfield, who has said that masks could be an even greater factor in beating the pandemic than a vaccine.
Biden Said That Trump’s Packed Rallies Where Supporters Often Don’t Wear Masks Show He ‘Isn’t Worried’ About Their Health
Biden looks like he can barely believe it as Trump insists that masks aren't necessarily good for slowing the spread of coronavirus pic.twitter.com/okZf2pVsw0
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 30, 2020
Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump and Biden both about campaign rallies. Biden has almost entirely confined his events to small affairs, where social distancing is enforced. Trump has held numerous rallies with attendees in the thousands and tens of thousands, often without masks.
Trump insisted that “so far we’ve had no problems whatsoever” with the health of rally-goers and noted that he is able to draw “tremendous crowds,” while Biden’s events are more sparsely attended.
“People want to hear what I have to say,” Trump said. “I’m doing a great job as president. I’ll have 25,000, 30,000 people show up at airports. We use airports.”
When Wallace asked Trump if he was at all worried about the health of rally-goers, Trump insisted that he holds the rallies outside.
Biden referred to a report earlier this month in which Trump asked a reporter to stand six feet from him and said that he wasn’t concerned about his own health at the rally, because he was standing far from the crowd.
“He’s not worried about you,” Biden said. “He’s not worried about the people out there breathing on each other.”
As Trump interjected again that the campaign has had “no problems” with coronavirus at rallies, Biden continued.
“He’s been totally irresponsible in the way he’s handled social distancing, handled people wearing masks. He’s basically encouraging them not to. He’s a fool on this.”
Trump told Biden, “If you could get the crowds, you would have done the same thing, but nobody cares.”
Trump Held 6 Indoor Rallies After Acknowledging the Coronavirus Was Airborne & Recently Re-Started Them After a Pause
Although Trump insisted he holds his rallies indoors, earlier in the year he held six in indoor arenas after admitting to journalist Bob Woodward, on the record, that he knew the virus was airborne, CBS News reported.
Trump also restarted indoor rallies recently after a June indoor rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which public health experts said likely contributed to an increase in coronavirus cases in the region, the Associated Press reported. In Minden Nevada, on September 12, he held an indoor rally — his first after three months — where around 5,000 people showed up.
When Biden Said Masks Could Save 100,000 Lives Between Now & January If Everyone Wore Them, Trump Said the CDC Has ‘Also Said the Opposite’
Joe Biden brought up recent comments by Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield that protective masks may even be a more effective deterrent to coronavirus than a vaccine, and that if everyone in the country wore a mask between now and January, 100,000 lives could be saved, Trump contradicted him.
“They’ve also said the opposite,” he said, of CDC scientists.
When Biden countered that, “No serious person has said the opposite,” Trump insisted that Dr. Anthony Fauci has.
“He said very strongly that masks are not good, then he changed his mind and said masks are good,” Trump said.
Fauci, in fact, said in March that people should forego masks in order to prioritize front-line workers. He later, in June, clarified that masks as well as social distancing were key to slowing the spread, ABC News reported.