Speed Reads

2020 presidential debate

Trump mocks Biden for wearing masks while at public events

During Tuesday night's debate, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and President Trump showcased their differing opinions on masks, rallies, and how to get the economy back up and running amid the coronavirus pandemic.

When asked by moderator Chris Wallace about reopening the economy and schools, Biden said businesses must receive personal protective equipment and sanitation products in order to safely open their doors again. Biden was interrupted by Trump, who said, "Tell that to Nancy Pelosi," to which Biden responded that the House Speaker and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have a recovery plan, but Trump won't meet with them as he "sits on his golf course." Trump quickly retorted, "You probably play more than I do Joe," which got a laugh out of Biden.

Trump told Wallace that Biden "wants to shut down this country and I want to keep it open," adding that health officials have "found elderly people with heart problems and diabetes and different problems are very, very vulnerable. Young children aren't, even younger people aren't, but he wants to shut it down." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday that nationally, coronavirus cases among young adults jumped by more than 50 percent in August.

On the matter of wearing masks to stop the spread of coronavirus, Trump said he wears face coverings "when needed. I don't wear masks like him. Every time you see him, he's got a mask. He could be speaking 200 feet away, he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen." Biden responded that masks make "a big difference," and noted that CDC Director Robert Redfield recently talked about how wearing masks and social distancing is more effective than a vaccine.

Regarding his decision to keep holding large rallies amid the pandemic, Trump said he still having them because "people want to hear what I have to say," and said because they are outside, "we have had no problem whatsoever." Biden shot back, saying Trump is "not worried" about the health of his supporters. "He's been totally irresponsible the way he's handled the social distancing and people wearing a mask, basically encouraging them not to," Biden said. "He's a fool on this."