WATCH: Trump shares how he will lead the country through COVID-19 if reelected

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Transcript for Trump shares how he will lead the country through COVID-19 if reelected

And we will begin with the fight against the coronavirus. President trump, the first question is for you. The country is heading into a dangerous new phase. More than 40,000 Americans are in the hospital tonight with covid, including record numbers here in Tennessee. And since the two of you last shared a stage, 16,000 Americans have died from covid. So, please be specific. How would you lead the country during this next stage of the coronavirus crisis? Two minutes uninterrupted. So, as you know, 2.2 million people modeled out, were expected to die. We closed up the greatest economy in the world in order to fight this horrible disease that came from China. It’s a worldwide pandemic, it’s all over the world. You see the spikes in Europe and many other places right now. If you notice, the mortality rate is down 85%. The excess mortality rate is way down and much lower than almost any other country. And we’re fighting it and we’re fighting it hard. There is a spike. There was a spike in Florida and it’s now gone. There was a very big spike in Texas, it’s now gone. There was a very big spike in Arizona, it’s now gone. And there are some spikes and surges in other places, they will soon be gone. 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. We have operation warp speed, which is the military is going to distribute the vaccine. I can tell you from personal experience that — I was in the hospital. I had it. And I got better and I will tell you that I had something that they gave me, a therapeutic, I guess they would call it, some people would say it’s a cure, but I was in for a short period of time and I got better very fast or I wouldn’t be here tonight and now they say I’m immune, for months or a lifetime, nobody’s been able to say that, but I’m immune. More and more people are getting better. We have a problem that’s a worldwide problem. This is a worldwide problem. But I’ve been congratulated by the heads of many countries on what we’ve been able to do, with the — if you take a look at what we’ve done in terms of goggles and masks and gowns and everything else. And in particular, ventilators. We are now making ventilators all over the world, thousands and thousands a month, distributing them all over the world. It will go away and as I say, we’re rounding the turn, we’re rounding the corner. It’s going away. Okay. Former vice president Biden, to you, how would you lead the country out of this crisis, you have two minutes uninterrupted. 220,000 Americans dead. You hear nothing else I say tonight, hear this. Anyone who is responsible for not taking control, in fact, not saying, I take no responsibility, initially, anyone who is responsibility for that many deaths should not remain as president of the United States of America. We’re in a situation where there are a thousand deaths a day. A thousand deaths a day. And there are over 70,000 new cases per day. Compared to what’s going on in Europe, as the new England medical journal said, they are starting from a very low rate, we’re starting from a very high rate. The expectation is, we’ll have another 200,000 Americans dead between now and the end of the year. If we just wore these masks, the president’s own advisers have told him, we could save 100,000 lives. And we’re in a circumstance where the president thus far and still has no plan. No comprehensive plan. What I would do is make sure we have everyone encouraged to wear a mask all the time. I would make sure we move in the direction of rapid testing, investing in rapid testing. I would make sure that we set up national standards as to how to open up schools and open up businesses so they can be safe and give them the where with all, the financial resources to be able to do that. We’re in a situation now where the new England medical journal, one of the serious, most serious journals in the whole world, said for the first time ever that the, the way this president has responded to this crisis has been absolutely tragic. And so folks, I will take care of this, I will end this, I will make sure we have a plan. President trump, I’d like to follow up with you and your comments, you talked about taking a therapeutic, and you said a vaccine will be coming within weeks? Yes. Is that a kwarn tee? No, it’s not a guarantee, but by the end of the year. I think it has a good chance. Two companies, I think within a matter of weeks and it will be distributed very quickly. Can you tell us which companies? Johnson & Johnson is doing very well, moderna is doing very well, pfizer is doing well. We have numerous others. We have others that are working with other countries, in particular Europe. Let me follow up with you. You have said a vaccine is coming soon, within weeks now, your own officials say it could take into 2021 for enough Americans to get vaccinated and even then, they say the country will be wearing masks and distancing into 2022. Is your timeline realistic? No, I think my timeline is going to be more accurate. I don’t know that they’re counting on the military the way I do, but we have our generals lined up, one in particular that’s the head of logistics 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. Vice president Biden, your reaction, just 40% of Americans say they would definitely agree to take a coronavirus vaccine if it was approved by the government. What steps would you take to give Americans confidence in a vaccine if it werepproved? Make sure it is totally transparent. Have the scientists of the world see it, know it, look at it. Go through all the processes. And by the way, this is the same fell roe who told you this was going to end by Easter last time, the same fellow that told you, don’t worry, we’re going to end this by the summer. We’re about to go into a dark winter. A dark winter. And he has no clear plan and there’s no prospect that there’s going to be a vaccine available for the majority of the American people before the middle of next year. President trump, your reaction? I don’t think we’re going to have a dark winter at all. We’re opening up our country. We’ve learned and studied and understand the disease, which we didn’t at the beginning. When I closed and banned China from coming in, heavily infected and then ultimately Europe, but China was in January. Months later, he was saying I was — now he’s saying, I should have, you know, moved quicker. But he didn’t move quicker. He was months behind me. Many months behind me. And frankly, he ran the H1N1 swine flu and it was a total disaster. Far less lethal, but it was a total disaster. Had that had this kind of numbers, 700,000 people would be dead right now. But it with us was a far less lethal disease. Look, his own person who ran that for him, who, as you know, was his chief of staff, said it was catastrophic, it was horrible, we didn’t know what we were doing. Now he comes up and he tells us how to do this. Also, everything that he said about the way — every single move he said we should make, that’s what we’ve done. We’ve done all of it. But he was way behind us. Vice president Biden, your response? My response is, he is Senn phobic, but not because he shut down access from China. And he did it late, after 40 countries had already done that. In addition to that, he made sure we had 44 people that were in there, in China, trying to get to Wuhan to determine what the source of it was, the president said in January, he said, no, he’s being transparent, the president of China’s being transparent, we owe him a debt of gratitude, we have to thank him. And then we started talking about using the defense act to go out and get whatever is needed out there to protect people and again, I go back to he had nothing — he did virtually nothing and then he gets out of the hospital and he talks about this is — don’t worry, it’s all going to be over soon. Come on. There’s not another serious scientist in the world who thinks it’s going to be over soon. Your reaction? I didn’t say over soon. We’re learning to live with it. We have no choice. We can’t lock ourselves up in a basement like Joe does. He has the ability to lock himself up, I don’t know, he’s obviously made a lot of money but he has this thing about living in a basement. People can’t do that. By the way, I, as the president, couldn’t do that. I’d love to put myself in the basement or in a beautiful room in the white house and go away for a year and a half until it disappears. I can’t do that. And Kirsten, every meeting I had, every meeting I had and I meet a lot of families, including gold star families and military families — I had to meet them, I had to. It would have been horrible to have canceled everything. I said, you know, this is dangerous. And you catch it and, you know, I caught it, I learned a lot, I learned a lot, great doctors, great hospitals. And now I recovered. 99.9 of young people recover. 99% of people recover. We have to recover. We can’t close up our nation. We have to open our schools and we can’t close up our nation. Or you’re not going to have a The CDC has said people can get sick with covid-19 and pass it. Vice president Biden — Can I respond to that? 30 seconds, and then I have a question. Number one, he says that we’re, you know, we’re learning to live with it. People are learning to die with it. You folks home will have an empty chair at the kitchen table this morning. That man or wife going to bed tonight, reaching over to try to touch, out of habit, where their wife or husband was, is gone. Learning to live with it? Come on. We’re dying with it because he’s never said — he said it’s dangerous — when is the last time — it is really dangerous you tell the people it’s dangerous now? What should they do about the danger? And you say, I take no responsibility. Let me — Very quickly. I take full responsibility. It’s not my fault that it came here, it’s China’s fault. And it’s not Joe’s fault that it came here, either. It’s China’s fault. They kept it from going into the rest of China for the most part, but they didn’t keep it from coming out to the world, including Europe and ourselves. Vice president Biden? Fact is that when we knew it was coming, when it hit, what happened? What did the president say? He said, don’t worry. It’s going to go away. Be gone by Easter, don’t worry. The warm weather. Don’t worry, maybe inject bleach, he said he was kidding when he said that, but a lot of people thought he was serious. A whole range of thing the president has said, even today, he thinks we are in control. We’re about to lose 200,000 more people. President trump? Look, perhaps just to finish this, I was kidding on that, but just to finish this, when I closed, he said I shouldn’t have closed. And that went on for months. Nancy Pelosi said the same thing. She was dancing on the streets in chinatown in San Francisco. But when I closed, he said, this is a terrible thing, I think he called me racist, even, and because I was closing it to China. Now he says I should have closed it earlier. It just, Joe, it doesn’t — I didn’t say either of those things. You did. I talked about it in a different context. It wasn’t about closing the border to Chinese coming to the United States. All right, I want to talk about both of your different strategies — He thought I shouldn’t have closed the border. That’s obvious. Do you want to respond to that quickly, vice president No. Let’s talk about your different strategies towards dealing with this. Mr. Vice president you suggested you would support new shutdowns if scientists recommend it. What do you say to Americans about the impact on the economy, the higher rates of hunger, depression, domestic and substance ap abuse outweighs the risk of exposure to the virus. I would say, I’m going to shut down the virus, not the country. It’s his ineptitude that caused the country to have to shut down in large part, why businesses have gone under, why schools are closed, why so many people are concerned. Those other concerns are real. That’s why he should have been, instead of in a sand trap in his golf course, he should have been negotiating with Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats and Republicans about what to do about the acts they were passing for billions of dollars to make sure people had the capacity. But you haven’t ruled out more shutdowns. Well, no. I’m not shutting down today, but there are — look. You need standards. The standard is, if you have a reproduction rate in a community that’s above a certain level, everybody says, slow up. More social distancing. Do not open bars and do not open gymnasiums. Do not open until you get this under control. Under more control. But when you do open, give the people the capacity to be able to open and have the capacity to do it safely. For example, schools. Schools, they need a lot of money to open. They need to deal with ventilation systems, more teachers, more pods. He’s refused to support that money. At least up until now. Let’s talk about schools. President trump — Well, I think we have to respond. I appreciate that. All he talks about is shutdowns. Forget about him. His Democrats governors, Cuomo in New York, you look at what’s going on in California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Democrats — Democrats all, they’re shut down so tight and they’re dying. They’re dying. And he supports all these all he talks about is shutdown no, we’re not going to shut and we have to open our schools. And it’s like, as an example, I have a young son, he also tested positive. By the time I spoke to the doctor the second time, he was fine. It just went away. Young people — I guess it’s their immune system. Let me follow up with you, president trump. You demanded schools open in person and insist they can do it safely, but just yesterday, Boston became the latest city to move its public school system entirely online after a coronavirus spike. What is your message to parents who worry that sending their children to school will endanger not only their kids but also their teachers and families? I want to open the schools. The transmittal rate to the teachers is very small. But I want to open the schools. We have to open our country. We’re not going to have a country. You can’t do this. We can’t keep this country closed. This is a massive country with a massive economy. People are losing their jobs, they’re committing suicide. There’s depression, alcohol, drugs, at a level that nobody’s ever seen before, there’s abuse, tremendous abuse. We have to open our country. I’ve said it often. The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself. And that’s what’s happening. And he wants to close down — he’ll close down the country if one person in our massive bureaucracy says we should close it down. Vice president Biden, your response? Simply not true. We ought to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time. We ought to be able to safely open, but they need resources to open. You need to be able to, for example, if you’re going to open a business, have social distancing within the business. You need to have, if you have a restaurant, you need to have plexiglass dividers so people cannot infect one another. You need to be in a position where you can take testing rapidly and know whether a person is, in fact, infected. You need to be able to trace. You need to be able to provide all the resources that are needed to do this. And that is not inconsistent with saying that what — we’re going to make sure that we open safely. And by the way, all you teachers out there, not that many of you are going to die, so don’t worry about it. So don’t worry about it. Come on. President trump — I will say this. If you go and look at what’s happened to New York, it’s a ghost town. It’s a ghost town. And when you talk about plexiglass, these are restaurants that are dying. These are businesses with no money. Putting up plexiglass is unbelievably expensive. And it’s not the answer. I mean, you’re going to sit there in a cubicle wrapped around with plastic? These are businesses that are dying, Joe. You can’t do that to people. You just can’t. Take a look at New York and what’s happened to my wonderful city for so many years, I loved it, it was vibrant. It’s dying. Everyone’s leaving New York. Take a look at what New York has done in terms of turning the curve down in terms of the number of people dying. And I don’t look at this in the way he does, blue states and red states. They’re all the United States. And look at the states that are having such a spike in the coronavirus. They’re the red states. They’re the states in the midwest. They’re the states in the upper midwest. That’s where the spike is occurring significantly. But they’re all Americans. They’re all Americans. And what we have to do is say, wear these masks, number one, make sure we get the help that the businesses need, the money’s already been passed to do that, it’s been out there since the beginning of the summer. And nothing’s happened. Kristen, New York has lost more than 40,000 people. 11,000 people in nursing homes. When you say spike, take a look at what’s happening in Pennsylvania where they’ve had to close. Take a look at what’s happening with your friend in Michigan, where her husband’s the only one allowed to do anything. It’s been like a prison. Now, it was just ruled unconstitutional. Take a look at North Carolina. They’re having spikes and they’ve been closed. And they’re getting killed financially. We can’t let that happen, Joe. You can’t let that happen. We have to open up and we understand the disease. We have to protect our seniors. We have to protect our elderly. We have to protect, especially, our seniors with heart problems and diabetes problems, and we will protect them. We have the best testing in the world by far. That’s why we have so many cases. Let me follow up before we move onto our next section, president trump. This week, you called Dr. Anthony Fauci, quote, a disaster, you described him and other medical experts as, quote, idiots. If you are not listening to them, who are you listening to? I’m listening to all of them, including Anthony. I get along very well with Anthony. But he did say, don’t wear a mask. He did say, as you know, this is not going to be a problem. I think he’s a Democrat, but that’s okay, he said, this is not going to be a problem. We are not going to have a problem at all. When Joe says that, I said Anthony Fauci said, and others, and many others, and I’m not knocking him, nobody knew. Look, nobody knew what this thing was. Nobody knew where it was coming from, what it was — we’ve learned a lot. But Anthony said, don’t wear masks, now he wants to wear he also said, if you look back, exact words, here are his exact words, this is no problem, this is going to go away soon. So, he’s allowed to make mistakes. Vice president Biden, your response, quickly, and we’re going to move onto the next section. My response is that, think about what the president knew in January and didn’t tell the American people. He was told this was a serious virus that spread in the air and it was much worse than — much worse than the flu. He went on record and said to one of your colleagues, recorded, that, in fact, he knew how dangerous it was, but he didn’t want to tell us. He didn’t want to tell us because he didn’t want us to panic. He didn’t — Americans don’t panic. He panicked. But guess what? In the meantime, we find out “The New York Times” the other day that, in fact, his folks went to Wall Street and said, this is really dangerous and a memo out of that meeting, not from his administration, but from some of the brokers said, sell short, because we got to get moving. It’s a dangerous problem. Well, this is one I haven’t heard. The Wall Street one, I don’t know, somebody went to wall Street. You’re the one that takes all the money from Wall Street. I don’t take it. You have raised a lot of money. Tremendous amounts of money. And every time you raise money, deals are made, Joe. I could raise so much more money. As president and as somebody that knows most of those people, I could call the heads of wall Street, the heads of every company in America, I would blow away every record, but I don’t want to do that, because it puts me in a bad position. And then you bring up wall Street? You shouldn’t be bringing up Wall Street. Because you’re the one that takes the money from wall Street, not me. I would blow away your records like you wouldn’t believe. We don’t need money. We have plenty of money. In fact, we beat Hillary Clinton with a tiny fraction of the money that she was able to — Average contribution, $43. All right, we’re going to move onto our next section, which is national security.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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