Democrat Joe Biden revived his strike on the U.S. President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic at Thursday's final dialogue before the November 3 election, while Trump leveled corruption allegations at Biden and his family.
Mr. Trump, a Republican, in the first instance acquired a more controlled tone than he did throughout their first presidential dialogue in September, which was quickly diverted by his constant interruptions. But Thursday's clash still featured plenty of personal attacks between two men who evince little respect for each other.
The televised encounter in Nashville, Tennessee, represented one of Mr. Trump's last remaining opportunities to reshape a campaign dominated by a pandemic that has killed more than 221,000 people in the United States. Opinion polls show Mr. Trump is trailing Mr. Biden, though the contest is tighter in some battleground states likely to decide the election.
Debating on climate change, Mr. Trump said: "Look at India... It's filthy. Its air is filthy." He was justifying his administration's decisions with regard to reducing carbon emissions.
The U.S.' coronavirus response was an important talking point.
“Anyone who's responsible for that many deaths should not remain President of the United States of America,” Mr. Biden said.
Mr. Trump defended his approach to the outbreak and claimed the worst of the pandemic was in the past. “We're rounding the corner,” said Mr. Trump, who has played down the virus for months. “It's going away.”
Mr. Trump also claimed that a vaccine was potentially “weeks” away. Most experts, including administration officials, have said a vaccine is unlikely to be widely available until mid-2021.