Oct 27, 2020

On the key issue of Covid, President Trump didn’t do himself any favors during Thursday’s debate, CNN.com

Who won the debate (CNN)CNN Opinion asked contributors for their takes on how Donald Trump and Joe Biden did in the final presidential debate. The views expressed in this commentary are their own. Peter Bergen: Trump failed the Covid test On the key issue of Covid, President Trump didn't do himself any favors during Thursday's debate. Trump's record speaks for itself: More than 220,000 Americans are dead from Covid and more than 8 million are infected with the coronavirus, while tens of millions of Americans have lost their livelihoods during the crisis. Americans now face a true winter of discontent with the "twindemic" of Covid roaring back and the onset of flu season. During the debate Trump reached into his usual bag of tricks about the virus: He claimed his actions saved more than two million lives from the "China virus" and that a vaccine will be forthcoming "within weeks." Of course, that figure of more than two million deaths referred to a projection on mortality that would result from inaction—something no functional government would have allowed in the face of an onrushing pandemic. And, yes, the virus did originate in China, but it also came into the US from Europe and then it spread like wildfire inside the United States, all while the President mocked mask-wearing, which is the most effective tool against the virus. During the debate Trump did not lay out any kind of real plan to mitigate the worst public health crisis in the United States in a century. If he had done so, he might have won over some undecided voters, but he seems incapable of doing so. Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst, a vice president at New America and a professor of practice at Arizona State University. He is senior editor of the Coronavirus Daily Brief and author of the new book "Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos."