Last Presidential Debate Recap

For the last time, The Lance sorts through the presidential debate to get you the information you need.


Tala Areiqat

Trump and Biden face off for the last time as the 2020 election presidential season is headed towards the end.

Thursday, October 22, marked the final presidential debate of the 2020 election season. For the final time, incumbent President Donald Trump (R) and democratic opponent Joe Biden (D) faced off in a debate moderated by NBC News’s Kristen Welker, regarding the following topics: fighting COVID-19, national security, American families, race in America, leadership, and climate change. In order to get the most important information to our viewers, we have made the decision to replace the “leadership” category with economy, as it was a big focus in this last debate.

Unlike the first presidential debate of this election season, the Commission on Presidential Debates has made the decision to mute the candidates’ mics when they are not speaking during their uninterrupted two-minute segments. Additionally, the commission states that, “all required testing, masking, social distancing and other protocols” will be followed during the debate. 

Here’s the rundown:



Key points

Fighting COVID-19


- Claims a vaccine will be ready for distribution by the military within weeks.
++Fact check: False.
- Claims he is immune to the coronavirus for an unknown period of time.
++Fact check: False.
- Expects to have 100 million vials of the vaccine.
- Claims there is a low transmission rate from teachers to students which is why schools should stay open.
++Fact check: True.
- Believes that the country cannot stay shut down forever because of the 99.9% survival rate among young people.
- Blames China for the virus spread to the US.
- Believes the country must open due to widespread mental health issues across the nation, domestic abuse, and alcoholism.
- Believes democratic states that shut down are “dying”.
- Claims Dr. Anthony Fauci said not to wear masks.
++Fact check: True, but has since recommended them due to the pandemic.
- Claims the US has the best testing in the world “by far” which is why they have the most cases.
++Fact check: False.
Biden- Wants a safe reopening and to provide resources to reopen. For example, social distancing, plexiglass dividers, and rapid testing.
- Claims if masks are worn 100,000 lives could be saved.
++Fact check: True.
- Wants everybody to understand the science that goes on behind the making of the vaccine.
- Claims Trump has no plan for the upcoming winter.
++Fact check: True.
- Believes the pandemic will not be over soon.
- Claims he never called Trump xenophobic because he closed the borders from China, but in a general statement on twitter saying he has a record of “xenophobia, hysterical xenophobia, and fear-mongering to lead the way instead of science” when referring to his ability as a leader to handle the pandemic.
++Fact check: True.
- Is not opposed to more shutdowns, for more control of the virus
- Claims Trump knew about the severity of the virus in January, but did not want to tell Americans so they do not panic.
++Fact check: True.

National Security

Trump- Believes Russia wants him to lose.
- Claims nobody has been tougher than him on Russia.
++Fact check: False.
- Claims Biden and his family got paid by Russia when he was Vice President and are probably still getting paid by Russia.
++Fact check: False.
- Claims he prepaid “tens of millions of dollars” when it came to his tax returns.
++Fact check: False.
- States that he will release his tax returns as soon as possible and that he wants to release them.
- Claims during his campaign that 18 democrats and an FBI agent went through his tax returns, spending $48 million, and found nothing.
++Fact check: False.
- Believes North Korea has a good relationship with the US.
Biden- Believes Russia, China, and Iran are interfering with the election and American sovereignty. He states that when he becomes president, these countries will pay the price.
- Claims Trump has not said anything to Putin regarding Russia’s interference with the election.
++Fact check: True.
- Claims he has never taken a penny from foreign countries.
++Fact check: True.
- Claims Trump is being paid by foreign countries, specifically Russia and China. He demands Trump to release his tax returns.
++Fact check: True, but it is unknown where they are from.
- Claims Trump bribed Ukraine to hurt Biden.
++Fact check: True.
- Claims his late son, Hunter, did not make money from China. He also claimed he never did anything wrong in Ukraine.
++Fact check: Unclear.
- Wants China to play by the “international rules” and that they should pay the economic price if they don’t.


Trump- Wants to terminate Obama care and create better healthcare to always protect people with pre-existing conditions.
- Claims Biden will terminate 180 million private health insurance policies.
++Fact check: False.
- Believes Biden wants socialized medicine.
- Claims 401 K plans are booming.
++Fact check: True.
- Claims he has a plan of COVID relief to women and people of color but Pelosi won’t approve it.
++Fact check: True.
- Claims the Heroes Act simply funds illegal immigration and has nothing to do with COVID.
++Fact check: True.
- Believes helping businesses does not mean raising the minimum wage.
- Would consider raising the minimum wage in a second administration but not on a level that would put small businesses out of business.
Biden- Wants to pass Obama Care with a public option. Believes it does not mean it is a socialized plan. The Public Option means that if someone qualifies for medicaid but does not have enough money, they are automatically enrolled.
- Wants to reduce premiums on drugs to ensure there is competition.
- Believes Trump cannot protect people with pre-existing conditions because he has no plan.
- Claims Social Security will be bankrupt by 2023.
++Fact check: False.
- Claims Trump has tried to cut Medicare.
++Fact check: True.
- Claims no one lost their health insurance under Obamacare.
++Fact check: False.
- Projects that his climate change plan will cost over 750 billion dollars over 10 years.
- Claims he has pushed COVID relief (Heroes Act) for women and people of color since the beginning of the summer.
++Fact check: True.
- Believes it is the right time to raise the minimum wage.
- Believes first responders deserve more.

American Families

Trump- Believes children are brought here by “coyotes” and bad people like cartels to get into the country.
- Claims the country has stronger borders now than before 2016.
++Fact check: False.
- Claims there is a plan to migrant children with their parents at the border.
++Fact check: Unproven.
- Claims Biden and Obama “made the cages” that hold children at border facilities in 2014 and the Trump administration changed the policy.
++Fact check: True.
- Claims the migrant children are “well taken care of” in clean facilities.
++Fact check: False.
- Claims to have ended the practice of “catch and release.”
++Fact check: True.
Biden- Claims more than 500 children came with parents when they immigrated.
++Fact check: True.
- Claims the Obama administration did not build the cages.
++Fact check: False.
- Plans to send a pathway to citizenship for over 11,000 undocumented immigrants within his first 100 days.
- Plans to give kids under DACA a pathway to citizenship.
- Claims that people do come back under Catch and Release.
++Fact Check: True.

Race in America

Trump - Claims no one has done more for the black community than him since Abraham Lincoln.
++Fact check: False.
- Believes Biden had 47 years in the Senate and 8 years as Vice President to make the change he proposes.
- Claims Biden hurt the black community with the 1994 Crime Bill because it caused mass incarceration rates to rapidly increase.
++Fact check: Half true, pre-existing trends showed a rising prison rate, but Biden’s crime bill did aim to keep people out of prison.
- Has helped the black community in terms of criminal justice reform and prison reform.
- Claims that unlike Obama, he gave long term funding for Historical Black Colleges and Universities.
++Fact check: False.
Biden- Understands why families of color fear for their children.
- Believes there is institutional racism in the United States.
- Claims the Obama/Biden administration commuted over one thousand sentences and the prison system was reduced to 38,000 inmates.
++Fact check: True.
- Claims Donald Trump wanted the “Central Park Five” to have the death penalty.
++Fact check: True.
- Wants to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and implement drug court.
- Believes Trump is the most racist President in history.
- Has a plan to provide economic opportunity, better education, better healthcare, better access to schooling, and better access to loans.

Climate Change

Trump- Claims the country has the lowest number in carbon emissions since 35 years ago.
++Fact check: Partially true, the country has the lowest number in carbon emissions since 28 years ago
- Believes the Paris Accords treated the country unfairly.
- Claims wind is expensive, kills all the birds, and produces more fumes than natural gas.
++Fact check: False.
- Claims $6,500 will be taken away from families under the Biden plan.
- Claims Biden’s climate change plan actually costs one trillion dollars.
++Fact check: Partially true, it costs more.
Biden- Believes global warming is a threat and the country does not have a lot of time to combat it.
- Plans to invent 50,000 charging stations on the highways for electrical vehicles.
- Plans to take four million businesses and two million homes and retrofit them to reduce the amount of energy that is leaked.
- Claims the fastest growing industry in America is solar energy and wind.
++Fact check: True.
- Plans to transition from the oil industry to solar and wind because it causes pollution.
- Plans to rejoin the Paris Accords and force China to agree to certain terms.
- Does not oppose fracking.
- Claims he is endorsed by every labor group and environmental group.
++Fact check: True.

Election day is this Tuesday, November 3. Visit the 2020 New Jersey Voter Information Portal to locate polling locations in Bergen County, New Jersey.