'It's so sad': Trump says he's unsure New York can recover during presidential debate

NEW YORK (WABC) -- During the first presidential debate for the 2020 election, President Donald Trump said he thinks New York is like a ghost town and he's not sure if it will ever recover.

The comment was made as Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden discussed the economy and the COVID-19 pandemic.

"People want their schools... they don't want to be shut down, they don't want their states shut down. They don't want their restaurants. I look at New York, it's so sad what's happening in New York, it's almost like a ghost town and I'm not sure it can ever recover, what they've done in New York. People want their places open. They want to get back to their lives," Trump said.

"People want to be safe," Biden responded.

RELATED | Trump, Biden meet for first president debate at time of mounting crises
EMBED More News Videos

Dave Evans has more on the contentious debate between President Trump and Joe Biden on Tuesday night.


Trump and Biden began the first presidential debate with heated exchanges over other topics like health care and the Supreme Court.

Fitting for an edge in their bitter campaign, the two men frequently interrupted each other with angry interjections, with Biden eventually snapping at Trump "Will you shut up, man?" That was after the president badgered him over his refusal to comment on whether he would try to expand the Supreme Court in retaliation if Trump's high court pick, Amy Coney Barrett, was confirmed to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"The fact is that everything he's said so far is simply a lie," Biden said. "I'm not here to call out his lies. Everybody knows he's a liar."

Trump struggled to define his ideas for replacing the Affordable Care Act on health care in the debate's early moments and defended his nomination of Barrett, declaring that "I was not elected for three years, I'm elected for four years."

"We won the election. Elections have consequences. We have the Senate. We have the White House and we have a phenomenal nominee, respected by all."

ALSO WATCH | Biden references Trump comments on disinfectants, COVID-19 during debate
EMBED More News Videos

Former VP Joe Biden and President Donald Trump spare over the COVID-19 pandemic, with Biden referencing Trump's previous comments about disinfectants and coronavirus.



(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

2020 VOTE RESOURCES
Voter registration, information and resources from Vote.org
League of Women Voters of the City of New York
Board of Elections in New York City

NY Voter Registration and Poll Site Search
2020 VOTE COVERAGE
Eyewitness News Elections Coverage
ABC News Elections Coverage
FiveThiryEight.com

Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.