US President Donald Trump on Thursday said that a COVID-19 vaccine is "ready" and going to be announced "within weeks" to combat the deadly disease that has killed over 223,000 Americans, as he debated with his Democratic challenger Joe Biden for the final time before the presidential election.
The debate, just less than two weeks ahead of the crucial presidential elections on November 3, started with opening remarks by both the candidates when the mike of the other was muted.
The coronavirus dominated the opening minutes of the Trump-Biden face-off in Nashville with President Trump terming the contagion a “worldwide problem”.
“This has been a worldwide problem, but I’ve been congratulated by many countries on what we’ve been able to do,” he said at the debate held in Nashville, Tennessee.
"We have a vaccine that's coming, it's ready. It's going to be announced within weeks and it's going to be delivered,” the President said.
Trump claimed that he had done a good job with a worldwide pandemic, saying the country needs to “learn to live with it.”
Responding to the President, Biden said that Trump has no plan.
“He always says people are learning to live with it. People are learning to die with it,” Biden said.
“I will take care of this. I will make sure we have a plan,” the former vice president said.
Biden said that this is a dark winter as he came down heavily on the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic.
Trump praised the US response to the pandemic, claiming that the crisis “is going away”.
On the question of lockdown, Trump said: “We don't have the ability to lock ourselves in basement”.
“We’re not going to shut down and we have to open our schools,” Trump said. “The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself,” Trump said.
According to Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker, the coronavirus has so far infected more than 41 million people and killed over 1.1 million people globally. The US is the worst affected country with over 8 million cases and 223,000 deaths.
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