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Analysis: America's two, polarized political realities live on prime time

October 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

More than 800 Americans died from Covid-19 Thursday, yet President Donald Trump still played the victim.

In Trump's, the President shifted blame for everything, refused to condemn conspiracy theories falsely linking Democrats to pedophiles, massively undermined mask wearing amid the pandemic and reinforced questions over whether he knowingly carried on in public while infected with Covid-19.

In the parallel Biden world, viewers saw a candidate who, far from picking fights, was telling Americans he wanted to avoid them, saying, "We have got to change the nature of the way we deal with one another. " The former vice president savaged Trump for his handling of the pandemic and painted a vision of a White House where a President listens to scientists on simple issues like wearing masks.

Trump's answer when questioned by Guthrie about whether he repudiates QAnon conspiracy theorists -- who believe Democrats are part of a satanic cult of child abuse -- epitomized how extraordinary moments that would be unthinkable in any other presidency are now simply routine.

The conversation ended with Guthrie reminding Trump that the President should not just tweet like somebody's "crazy uncle" after he responded to a question about another unhinged conspiratorial fantasy about the killing of Osama bin Laden by saying, "I'll put it out there.

Biden was essentially offering Americans something that no one -- Trump haters or partisans -- have experienced for three-and-a-half years: a calm hand on the helm, peace and quiet and a president who is not inside everyone's heads from dawn to dusk.

For those minded to agree with Biden, his arguments that Trump is an insult to America's democratic soul, runs counter to traditional national values and has taken the country on a self-destructive ride that is tearing it apart, seemed to be borne out by the President's antics on the other network.

Biden accused Trump of being more concerned with the stock market than the pandemic and said if he is elected, he would lean on governors, mayors and council presidents to mandate mask wearing.

"Possibly I did, possibly I didn't," Trump said, strengthening the hand of critics who believe he may have been contagious for several days before his positive test but carried on election activity regardless, potentially exposing many people.

Biden, seeking a clear contrast with the President, said he had been tested before Thursday's town hall.

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