Details: 2020-Late September to mid-October
Part 32 of "Conflicts
President Trump's Administration"
News about, & TV debates by,
& Joseph Biden.
President, First Lady, & and
White House Sr. Aide Hope Hicks
all tested positive for COVID-19.
2020-SEP-24: Many military and other leaders endorsed Joe Biden for President:
Almost 500 retired military leaders, Cabinet secretaries and former national security officials came out in support of Joe Biden, describing him as the presidential candidate who has the skills needed to "address a world on fire."
They issued an open letter saying that Biden is:
"... the leader our nation needs for his empathy, honesty and integrity. ... That is why Joe Biden must be the next President of the United States; why we vigorously support his election; and why we urge our fellow citizens to do the same."
They said that his:
"... positions are rooted in sound and judgment, thorough understanding, and fundamental values." 1
2020-SEP-24: President Trump refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power after the election.
Brian Karem, a reporter from Playboy Magazine, at the White House news conference, asked him: "Win, lose or draw in this election, will you commit here today for a peaceful transferal of power after the election?"
The President deferred and criticized the reliability of mail-in ballots. He said:
"We're going to have to see what happens You know that I've been complaining very strongly about the ballots, and the ballots are a disaster."
"Get rid of the [problems with the] ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won't be a transfer, frankly. There will be a continuation. The [mail-in] ballots are out of control. You know it,
and you know who knows it better than anyone else?
The Democrats know it better than anyone else." 2
Senator Mitt Romney (R), of Utah, tweeted:
"Fundamental to democracy is the peaceful transition of power; without that, there is Belarus. Any suggestion that a president might not respect this Constitutional guarantee is both unthinkable and unacceptable."
His reference to "Belarus" relates to Aleksandr Lukashenko, who recently refused to relinquish power in Belarus during 2020-MAY. This triggered months of massive protests. 3
2020-SEP-29: The First Trump-Biden TV presidential debate in Cleveland, OH:
Chris Wallace, moderator of Fox News Sunday, was the moderator at the first Trump-Biden presidential debate. Selected topics were: the Supreme Court nomination battle, the COVID-19 pandemic,
decline of the U.S. economy, the recent protests and violence across the nation during the summer, and the integrity of the election process. Each was scheduled to be discussed for 15 minutes.
According to the article on MorningBrew.com titled "Tuesday Night SmackDown: POTUS Edition,"
"[President] Trump refused to categorically denounce white supremacy when asked to by moderator Chris Wallace." 4
After the debate, Aaron Blake of the Washington Post wrote:
"It was so contentious and full of interruptions that it was almost unwatchable. 5
Two subsequent debates between the two presidential candidates had been scheduled for OCT-15 in Nashville, TN and OCT-22 in Miami, FL.
Steps to make future debates more watchable:
The U.S. Commission on Presidential Debates, a non-partisan group, stated that "... additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues." 4
I think that their suggestion should be implement in the form of actual three-dimensional structures, including:
- A couple of telephone booths, one for each candidate, each with a back door that locks.
- A microphone in each booth.
- Two switches to be under the control of the moderator that would allow her or him to disconnect one or both candidate's microphones whenever either or both of the candidates loses verbal control.
2020-OCT-02: President Trump; the First Lady, Melania Trump; and Senior Aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the Coronavirus:
President Trump and Senior Aide Hope Hicks were traveling with each other several times recently. It is unclear what the chain of infection was. President Trump, 74,
is at a relatively high risk of serious complications from the virus, because of his age. The pandemic has killed over 205,000 people to date in the U.S.
The virus will probably cancel some campaign activity of the President at a critical time just a month before the elections. 8
U.S. stocks sank more than 500 points in reaction to the news of the infection.
The U.S. has over 7.27 million people who have tested positive for the virus -- about 2.22% of the population. Among those who have been infected by the virus, 207,000 (2.9%) have died.
Canada has 160,535 people who have tested positive for the virus -- about 0.43% of the population. Of those with the virus, 9,320 (5.8%) have died.
The U.S. appears to be better than Canada at preventing people with the virus from dying. Canada appears to be much better than the U.S. at limiting the spread of the virus.
2020-OCT-08: Faith in the accuracy of the election drops:
The Gallup Poll found that the percentage of Republican and Republican-leaning voters who believe ballots will be counted accurately dropped from 78% in 2018 to reach an all-time low of 44% in 2020.
Among Democrats, it increased from 66% to 74%. 49 Their poll was conducted on September 14 to 28, so the numbers on voting day may have been even more extreme.
2020-OCT-15: The next Presidential "debate:"
The next "debate" was originally organized to be like the first one: held in a single location in Miami. Instead, the Commission decided that it would be in the form of two virtual "town meetings," with Trump and Biden at separate locations,
and broadcast over separate TV networks at the same time.
The Commission said that the change was being made "because of the presence of the Coronavirus "... to protect the health and safety of all involved. However this does not seem to make a lot of sense,
because two production staffs and two audiences would be in place -- one at each location. This would double the chances of virus transmissions. Perhaps the best way would be to have both Trump and Biden at one auditorium
that was chosen from a state with a low incidence of COVID-19 infection.
President Trump originally indicated that he would not attend the debate because of the Commission's rules. 6
The second "debate" was held in the form of two separate town meetings in different cities, with President Trump on NBC, and Joe Biden on ABC News. Both started at 8 PM EST. Fortunately, many families are able to watch
one channel while recording a separate channel for later viewing.
2020-OCT-22: The final Presidential debate:
The third debate was held on OCT-22 with both candidates on the same stage in Nashville TN. However the production staff was provided with switches that can turn off a candidate's microphone anytime
during the other candidate's first two minutes of speaking, when the latter is supposed to be able to speak without interruption. 7
Jonathan D. Salant, writing for NJ.com, said:
"With each presidential candidate muted for the first two minutes while his opponent answered a question, there were far fewer interruptions this time than in the first debate between
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
David Greenberg, a Rutgers University professor of history and of journalism and media studies, said:
"The winner of tonight’s debate is the mute button."
CNN’s post-debate instant poll found that 53% of viewers said that Biden won the debate, while 39% cited Donald Trump."
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
- Melissa Quinn, "Nearly 500 ex-military, national security officials throw support behind Biden," CBS News, 2020-SEP-24, at: https://www.cbsnews.com/
- "Trump blasts ballots when asked about election aftermath: 'The ballots are a disaster'," Fox News, 2020-SEP-24, at: https://www.foxnews.com/
- "2020 Belarusian protests, Wikipedia, as on 2020-OCT-23, at: https://en.wikipedia.org/
- "Tuesday Night SmackDown: POTUS Edition," Emailing, 2020-SEP-30, at: https://www.morningbrew.com/.
- Aaron Blake, "5 takeaways from the first presidential debate", Washington Post, 2020-SEP 29, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
- John Wagner, et al., "Thursday presidential debate canceled; Trump appears on conservative media," The Washington Post, 2020-OCT-09, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
- John Wagner, et al., "Election live updates: Debate commission says it will change structure to ensure more ‘orderly discussion’," Washington Post, 2020-SEP-30, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
- Tamer Fakahany, "Trump says he and first lady tested positive for Coronavirus, joins growing list of infected leaders, adds another election volatility," AP Morning Wire, 2020-OCT-02. at: https://link.apnews.com/
Copyrighted © 2020 by Ontario
Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2020-NOV-25