Tonight's contenders, President Trump and Joe Biden, were physically further apart than any presidential nominees have ever been on the debate state, thanks to new coronavirus safety regulations. And their messages were just as distant. Whereas Trump expressed hope and optimism that we as a country are going to get through this pandemic, Biden used every opportunity to depress us.
Take the very first line Biden uttered: "220,000 Americans dead." Every time Trump tried to be optimistic, Biden responded with that kind of doom and gloom.
"We're about to head into a dark winter, and he has no plan," Biden said of the president.
"I don't think we're going to have a dark winter at all," Trump responded. "We're opening up our country."
The president added that he and his team are doing research and learning more every day about the disease. In other words, we're going to beat this.
"If you notice the mortality rate is down 85 percent," Trump explained. "The excess mortality rate is way down and much lower than almost any other country, and we are fighting it and we are fighting a hard. There is a spike, there was a spike in Florida and it's now gone. There was a very big spike in Arizona. It's now gone."
Trump also spoke highly of Operation Warp Speed, which now has at least three vaccine candidates in Phase Three trials.
"We have our generals lined up, one in particular, that's the head of logistics," the president said. "And this is a very easy distribution for him. He's ready to go, as soon as we have the vaccine, and we expect to have 100 million vials. As soon as we have the vaccine, he's ready to go."
Trump himself caught the coronavirus a few weeks back, and after a few days at Walter Reed and a few round of therapeutics, he's now immune.
"I caught it," he said. "I learned a lot."
And he noted that he's in the majority. Ninety-nine percent of people recover.
"We can't close up our nation, or you're not going to have a nation," he said.
President @realDonaldTrump on re-opening the country:— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) October 23, 2020
"We have to open our country. We are not going to have a country...We can't keep this country closed...People are losing their jobs. They are committing suicide, there is depression, alcohol, drugs..." pic.twitter.com/ZT5C4qXD76
Americans, he noted, are "learning to live with it."
Again, Biden chose to go dark again.
"We're learning to die with it," Biden said, adding the cheery note that folks at home are going to wake up to empty chairs.