Biden vs Trump

Does Joe Biden want to shut down USA to control coronavirus?

In the first of three live presidential debates leading up to the election on November 3, sparks flew. We fact check one key claim made by Trump.

Does Joe Biden want to shut down USA to control coronavirus?
OLIVIER DOULIERY / POOL EFE

Trump refused to denounce white supremacy, and Biden call the President "a clown" and "the worst president the country has ever had.”

In Tuesday's fiery first presidential debate, Democratic candidate Joe Biden took on president Donald Trump. The showdown was moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who oversaw and often lost control of a chaotic 90-minute discussion. The key topics covered were Trump and Biden's financial records, the supreme court, coronavirus, the economy, race relations, law and order climate change and election integrity. See our live coverage for a summary of the key points.

Trump on Covid-19: Biden wants to shut down US

Trump accused Biden of wanting to shut down the country to deal with the pandemic and said states should reopen. “People know what to do, they can social distance they can wear masks they can do whatever they want. We have got to open these states...this guy will shut down the whole country,” Trump said.

Biden: Trump won’t deal with Coronavirus

CNN reported in August that if Biden were elected the Democrat would be prepared to shut down the US again, to protect the country and slow the spread of the virus, in the event of a second wave of infections. But Biden would only advocate a shutdown if scientists recommended it and does not have a specific shutdown plan.

“I would listen to the scientists," the former vice president told ABC News' David Muir, in a joint interview with his running mate Kamala Harris.

In the interview, Biden also highlighted that he would “be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving, until we control the virus,” Biden said. “That is the fundamental flaw of this administration's thinking to begin with. In order to keep the country running and moving and the economy growing, and people employed, you have to fix the virus, you have to deal with the virus.”

Currently Biden is ahead of Donald Trump in the nationwide polls, a lead he has maintained for the entire presidential race 2020.