***Live Updates*** Joe Biden Faces Voters in PA Town Hall

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All times Eastern.

8:31 PM: A Republican who voted for Trump asks Biden about the Crime Bill that showed “prejudice against minorities.” Biden says the “Black caucus” and every black mayor voted for it at the time. Biden is on the defensive, saying there was a lot of things that were “bad and good.” He talks about the Violence Against Women Act that was included. He mentions about drug courts for mandatory rehabilitation. Biden says we should decriminalize marijuana and wipe out records.

Biden now talks about writing the Second Chance Act with Arlen Specter. He admits that it was a mistake supporting it.

Biden giving a prolonged explanation about the “same time for the same crime” and how the bill was marked up in the judiciary committee with obscure minutiae before Stephanopoulos gives him a lifeline about whether he believes more cops equal less crime. Biden says he still believes that if means community policing and not jump squads.

When asked about “systemic problems,” Biden says he will set up a national task force with cops and members of the black community and other stakeholders to solve various problems. He says cops don’t like bad cops and says there are a lot of things we have learned that we can do like banning chokeholds and de-escalating circumstances. Biden says instead of shooting to kill, cops could shoot them in the leg.

Biden says one of things that must change is that cops get called into circumstances where people are “mentally off,” so that is why there must be “psychologists” and “social workers” to go out with cops on 9-11 calls to de-escalate situations. He says cops are like schoolteachers because they have to deal with all sorts of problems. He says we should not be defunding cops but mandating what police departments should be doing.

8:24 PM: A progressive student from Harrisburg says the true swing vote could be young black Americans who are deciding whether to vote for Biden or stay at home. He says he is one of those voters.

He asks what Biden has to say to young black voters except “you ain’t black.”

Biden says if young black men and women vote, they can determine the outcome of the election.

Biden says talks about allowing black Americans to generate wealth before mumbling something about criminal justice reform (even though he supporter the Crime Bill). Biden talks about expanding school opportunities for black Americans because it will lessen the “shortcomings” some have had at home. He talks about school psychologists and mental illness causing drug abuse. He talks about providing millions for HBCUs. Biden also talking about giving more opportunities for young entrepreneurs… Biden just sounding like an old Senator speaking at a committee meeting.

Biden says a black person’s home will be valued 29% and insurance will be higher than a white person’s. Biden claims he first got involved in politics because of redlining.

8:15 PM: Biden now asked about tax cuts and not raising taxes for people making less than $400,000.

Biden says is is “absolutely” wise to raise corporate taxes even if the economy is weak. Biden says Moody’s found his plan would grow the GDP by more than Trump because “everything moves” when you allow more people to participate in the economy. Biden says Trump talks about a V-shaped recovery when it’s actually a K-shaped recovery. Biden now talks about charging stations on the highway and “owning the electric market.”

8:09 PM: Questioner asks Biden about Harris’s remarks about not wanting to take a vaccine that Trump approves. She asks if Biden would take a vaccine if one were approved before the end of the year and whether he would mandate every American take one if he wins the election.

Biden says Trump talks about things that are not accurate. He says if scientists say the vaccine has gone through the three phases, he would take it. Biden says Trump says crazy stuff like “inject bleach in your arm” and “Regeneron is the answer that will cure everything.”

Biden rips Trump for not wearing a mask and making fun of him for wearing a mask. He says people think it’s not important because of Trump’s terrible example. He says the words and actions of a president matter.

Biden, after saying he would mandate masks, now says you can’t but adds that responsible leaders can encourage mask use. He says he would ask state and local officials to mandate masks. He also says there will be legal questions about a potential national vaccine mandate.

8:01 PM: Moderator George Stephanopoulos kicks off the the town hall. First question is about the Coronavirus. He asks what would following the science have meant for policy and what would his administration do.

Biden says Trump was informed about how dangerous the virus was and Biden blames Trump for not keeping scientists in China. Biden says Trump panicked when he thought Americans would panic in his interview with Woodward because he thought bad news would be bad for the stock market. Biden says Trump thinks the stock market is the barometer of success. He admits that he did not call for social distancing in January because he says the science was not clear about the virus. He says it was clear in March and Trump was still misleading Americans. Biden claims there were plans to send PPE to schools and claims schools could have opened if the stimulus bill that was passed had passed.
7:55 PM: Biden set to start answering questions at the top of the hour.