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Voter says she will choose Biden after Trump ‘didn’t answer’ her health care question during town hall

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President Trump denies downplaying COVID-19 during ABC News town hall

President Trump denied downplaying the threat from coronavirus during a town hall hosted by ABC News, despite his views ‘to always play it down.’

Ellesia Blaque, one of the undecided participants in an ABC News town hall with President Donald Trump on Tuesday, said she will now vote for Democratic nominee Joe Biden after her question was not addressed by the president.

“He didn’t answer my question,” Blaque told CNN after the town hall, adding that Trump had “reanimated” her to vote in the presidential election, whereas before the town hall she was still undecided on whether she would vote at all.

Blaque asked Trump during the town hall about how he plans to protect those with pre-existing health conditions so that they can afford their health care and remain insured. She described struggles she has faced in paying for health care due to her inflammatory disease. 

“From the day I was born, I was considered uninsurable,” said Blaque, who is from Philadelphia and voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“I want to know what it is that you’re going to do assure that people like me who work hard, we do everything we’re supposed to do, can stay insured,” Blaque said. “It’s not my fault that I was born with this disease. It’s not my fault that I’m a Black woman and in the medical community, I’m minimized and not taken seriously.”

“First of all, I hope you are taken seriously,” Trump said.

Trump told Blaque that his administration is “not going to hurt pre-existing conditions, and in fact, just the opposite.”

He went on to rail against Biden and Democrats’ approach to health care, accusing them of wanting to remove protections for pre-existing conditions and enact Medicare for All.

Biden, however, is opposed to Medicare for All, and coverage for pre-existing conditions is already a stipulation of the health care law enacted while Biden was vice president. Trump’s administration has repeatedly attempted to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

Trump said he has a health care plan that will protect pre-existing conditions and come at a lower cost: “I have it already, and it’s a much better plan for you, and it’s a much better plan.”

Town hall moment: Trump attacks Biden on coronavirus mask mandates. But Biden doesn’t hold public office

The president has long claimed he will be unveiling a health care plan to replace the ACA, but has so far not released any information about it. Asked about the plan at a press briefing on Wednesday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany shared principles of a plan that include “better and cheaper” health care, coverage for pre-existing conditions, increased price transparency and finding cures to diseases.

Pressed on specifics about then plan and who in the White House is working on it, McEnany told a reporter, “If you want to know, come work here at the White House.”

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Trump’s answer, Blaque said, “broke my heart and made me extremely angry.”

Blaque also got attention on social media because she cut Trump off and asked him not to interrupt her question during the town hall. While questioning Trump about whether coverage for pre-existing conditions, part of the ACA, should be removed, Trump began to say, “No.”

“Please stop and let me finish my question, sir,” Blaque said before continuing.

She told CNN afterward, having left the event upset, “I’m going to vote for Biden.”

Other town hall participants reached by CNN also told the outlet they didn’t feel their questions were answered. Carl Day, a pastor who said he voted for Jill Stein in 2016, asked Trump when America has ever been great for Black Americans in reference to the “Make America Great Again” campaign slogan.

“I don’t feel like he adequately answered it,” Day told CNN, “but essentially in doing so, he actually did. America was never great for Black Americans in the ghetto.”

Paul Tubiana, a conservative who has diabetes and voted for Trump in 2016, asked him about his pandemic response. “Why did you throw vulnerable people like me under the bus?” Trump said he didn’t and touted his handling of coronavirus.

“He didn’t answer anything. He was lying through his teeth,” Tubiana told CNN.

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