President Trump faced "an unusual moment of exposure" Tuesday night as he was confronted on his response to the coronavirus pandemic, his vow to wipe out ObamaCare, his comments on dead soldiers, and more by a group of undecided voters during an ABC News town hall in Philadelphia, per CNN. At one point, he was "shut down" by a voter in the socially distanced audience, reports Business Insider. More:
- Ellesia Blaque, born with sarcoidosis, was asking if Trump would ensure she remained covered by health insurance as under the Affordable Care Act when Trump butted in. "Please stop and let me finish my question, sir," responded Blaque. Should pre-existing conditions be removed, "within a 36-to-72-hour period without my medication I would be dead."
- "We're going to be doing a health-care plan … protecting people with pre-existing conditions," Trump responded, claiming Democrats would do the opposite. Host George Stephanopoulos then interjected, noting Trump is trying to repeal ObamaCare, which Democrats want to preserve, without having presented an alternative that would protect people like Blaque.
- It was a tough night for the president overall, according to CNN. "His self-congratulation, buck passing and audacious falsehoods conspicuously failed to meet the moment when he was confronted by undecided voters," the outlet reports. He "rarely addressed the substance of questions" and promoted a "stream of lies and alternative realities."
- On the coronavirus, Trump offered "confusing answers" that "failed to inspire confidence that he fully understands the implications of the emergency even now," per CNN. He claimed "a lot of people think masks are not good," citing "waiters." He then said waiters wear masks but touch them before touching plates.
- Trump also claimed "herd mentality" would make the virus go away. It was the third time he's flubbed the phrase "herd immunity," per Mediaite. Experts say herd immunity is a dangerous strategy that would cost millions of lives. At another point, Trump again claimed that the virus would "disappear."
- Trump also faulted Joe Biden for not securing a national mask mandate. In a popular tweet, Biden pointed out that he is not the president—yet.
- Asked if he could've done more to prevent coronavirus deaths, Trump responded, "I don’t think so," per Huffington Post. "I think what I did by closing up the country, I think I saved two, maybe two and a half, maybe more than that lives," he said. "I think we did a very good job."
- Asked by a student why he downplayed the virus, as Trump admitted in interviews with Bob Woodward, the president said, "Yeah, well, I didn't downplay it. I, actually, in many ways, I up-played it, in terms of action." The student replied, "Did you not admit to it yourself?" per Politico. CNN notes Trump was "inviting voters to refuse to believe the evidence of their own ears."
- Asked to reflect on the most difficult part of his presidency, Trump did not mention 200,000 lives lost in the pandemic, but focused on the deaths of six people he knows. "I learned that life is very fragile," he said, per CNN. "I knew people that were powerful people, strong people, good people, and they got knocked out by this, and died."
- Trump denied describing dead soldiers as losers and suckers. CNN reports he was at his strongest when discussing foreign wars and the economy—though he dished plenty of lies there, per the Washington Post. He also offered statements in support of police, which should please his base.
- Speaking of that base, Fox News' Laura Ingraham described the president as "unflappable" though she said the forum was a "total set up" in a tweet. "The DNC may as well have put the whole thing on," she added on her show Tuesday night, per Yahoo.
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