Updated: September 30, 2020 2:45:10 pm
US President Donald Trump Wednesday claimed India was among the countries that do not accurately disclose the number of deaths due to Covid-19. Speaking in the first presidential debate against his Democratic challenger Joe Biden, Trump said India, China and Russia “did not exactly give a straight count” on deaths due to the novel coronavirus.
“When you talk about numbers, you don’t know how many people died in China. You don’t know the deaths in Russia or in India… they don’t exactly give you a straight count, just so you understand,” Trump said to Biden after the latter highlighted the United States has more than seven million cases and over 200,000 deaths.
“By closing the country early, we saved thousands of lives… If it was left to you, millions of people would have died. You could have never have done the job we did. You don’t have the blood to do the job,” Trump told Biden.
Biden had claimed Trump had “no plan” to combat the pandemic. “The President has no plan. He knew in February how serious this crisis was, but what did he do? I laid out in March what we should be doing, and did so again in July. We should we providing funds to people so they can get the help they need,” Biden said.
“Fund what needs to be done now to save lives,” he told Trump.
Trump and Biden were responding to moderator Chris Wallace’s question on why the American people should trust them more than their opponent to deal with the public health crisis caused by Covid-19.
The first debate ahead of the US elections on November 3 saw the two candidates spar on several topics, including the vacant Supreme Court seat, the ongoing protests against racial inequality, healthcare, climate change and mail-in ballots. While Biden was targeted for his son Hunter Biden’s alleged Ukraine links, Trump was questioned over a report that alleged he paid only $750 in taxes in the first two years of his presidency. (Read highlights from the first debate)
Wednesday’s debate was the first of three scheduled ahead of the US polls. The next will take place on October 15, followed by the third on October 22. The Vice Presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris is slated for October 7.
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