Cerritos College students: The final presidential debate won’t change any minds


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Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and U.S. President Donald Trump, shown in a reflection, participate in the final presidential debate at Belmont University on October 22, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. This is the last debate between the two candidates before the election on November 3.

Vincent Medina, Social Media Editor

President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden debate for the final time on Thursday, Oct. 22, at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.

The second debate was scheduled for Oct. 15, in Miami, but was cancelled due to the president testing positive for COVID-19. The president also refused to participate in a virtual debate, so this was the second and last debate between the two candidates.

The moderator was Kristen Welker, the NBC White House correspondent.

Like the previous debate there was a small, socially distanced audience, and everyone was required to wear a mask for the duration of the debate.

Tanlynn Morgan, a student at Cerritos College, feels there will be no improvement from the last debate.

“I’m expecting things to be worse, too,” agreed Cerritos College student Kaitlynn Rodriguez.

“I think it’s too late to change any minds,” Morgan said. “I think if people are still supporting Trump after everything they’re not going to change just because of the debate. It’s too late to change my mind at least.”

The people who support him are loyal and will vote for him no matter what agrees, says Cerritos College student Micheal Salazar.

The debate began with a discussion about the Coronavirus.

President Trump began, stating that the mortality rate is going down and that there will be a vaccine in the coming weeks. He says this despite doctors and health officials stating the vaccine will not be ready until early 2021.

He continued to downplay the virus saying “It’s going away. We’re rounding the turn. It’s going away.”

The president said this despite the 223,000 Americans that have died and the 8 million Americans that have contracted the virus.

Former Vice President Joe Biden holds Trump personally responsible for the significant loss of life.

“Anyone who is responsible for not taking control and for that many deaths should not remain President of the United States of America,” Biden said.

Biden laid out his plan to handle the virus, saying he would call for a national mask mandate, investing in rapid testing, and setting national standards for schools and businesses to open safely.

“People aren’t learning to live with it, they’re learning to die with it,” Biden told Trump.

“Trump goes against everything the scientists say,” said Morgan. “I’m definitely going to wait scientists approval before taking a vaccine. I don’t trust Trump’s opinion at all.”

Welker moved on to national security and the integrity of the election.

With new reports that Russia and Iran are obtaining U.S. voter’s information, Americans worry that these countries are interfering in the election.

Biden stated “Any country that any country that interferes in American elections will pay a price. They are interfering in American sovereignty.”

He also brought up the issue of president Trump’s associate Rudy Giuliani , who has been fed misinformation from Russian intelligence.

“I don’t know why he won’t take on Putin on this issue.”

President Trump began by stating that Biden had received $3,500,000 from Russia, much to Biden’s confusion. He went on to claim Biden’s family has received money from foreign countries.

Biden claims that his son did nothing wrong when he served on the board of the company called Burisma, and that politicians on both sides of the aisle have said he has done nothing wrong.

Biden went on to criticize Trump’s relationships with Chinese president Xi Jin Ping and Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

The former Vice President says he will work with U.S. to make China play by international rules, and be harder on China and North Korea.

The discussion moved to American families and the issue of health insurance.

Welker asked Trump what he would do if Obamacare was repealed and 20,000,000 people lost their health insurance.

“What we would like to do is terminate Obamacare but protect pre-existing conditions,” the president explained. “We’d come up with a new healthcare plan and run it better.”

The President has still not released his replacement healthcare plan.

If Obamacare does get repealed, Biden plans to pass it again with a public option and rename it “Bidencare.”

“If you qualify for Medicaid and you do not have the wherewithal in your state to get Medicaid, you are automatically enrolled providing competition for insurance companies,” the former Vice President explained. “We will reduce premiums and drug prices. I do not want to eliminate private insurance, people can keep their insurance unless they choose to enroll in something different.”

Their was a discussion on the economy, where Trump was questioned as to why a stimulus bill had not been passed.

“Pelosi thinks it will be a victory for her, that’s why she won’t pass it,” Trump argued.

“Businesses and schools need money to reopen safely,” Biden said. “These guys (Republicans) will not give them any money.”

Welker moved on to immigration, and questioned the president as to why 500 plus children at the U.S. – Mexico border have not been reunited with their families.

“The kids are used by criminals to get into the country,” Trump said. “We are trying to reunite them, but they come in with cartels and other bad people.”

Biden claimed that the president’s statement is simply not true.

“These kids came in with their parents.” Biden agued. “They are separated at the border as a way to disincentive families from coming to America to seek asylum.”

Trump tried to justify the family separation, saying “The kids are so well taken care of.” However video evidence from inside these facilities has shown otherwise.

The topic changed to race in America, where each candidate was asked how they would deal with systemic racism.

“I worked on the east side of Delaware so I could learn more about this issue,” Biden said. “I didn’t need to have a discussion with my daughter about what to do if she is pulled over. There is institutional racism in America, and we’ve never lived up to ‘All men are created equal’ in this country.”

He also campaigned for people of color to have better access to schooling, loans, and the ability to start a business.

“Nobody, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, has done more for the black community than me,” Trump said. “I accomplished criminal justice reform and prison reform.”

“Trump has done nothing for people of color,” Morgan said. “Even during the Floyd protests he called the protestors thugs and demonized Black Lives Matter. It shows his lack of support for the black community.”

Climate change was the next issue, where Trump tried to paint the picture that our environment is already clean.

“We have the cleanest air and cleanest water. We have so many programs for the environment, ” the president said. “I took us out of the Paris accord because it would be disastrous for our economy.”

Biden has called global warming a “existential crisis.”

“Scientists have told us we don’t have much time. Four more years with Trump and we’ll keep eliminating regulations to keep the environment clean,” Biden stated. “My climate plan would create thousands of new jobs, and we will have zero emissions by 2025.”

The final topic was leadership, and Welker asked each candidate what they would say to people who did not vote for them.

“We need to be as successful as we were before the plague came in from China,” said Trump. “Success will bring us together.”

Biden shared a message of unity.

“I will be a president for all Americans, even those who did not vote for me. I will make sure you are represented, I’m going to give you hope, we will choose science over fiction. We have enormous opportunities to make our country better,” said Biden. “We will end systemic racism and create jobs in this country.”

“I feel that Biden is a better leader because the bar is so low,” Morgan said. “There is nowhere to go but up, unless Trump stays president. Biden has a better shot of helping those who are in need.”

“Trump dug a grave for us all and we’re all in it,” Salazar said. “He’s el diablo but orange. We will be better off with Biden. Trump has cut taxes on the rich only to make the middle class pay more.”

Election Day is on Nov. 3. Voters can find their voting center at the LA County Registrar website.