With a virtual debate off the table following President Trump’s refusal to participate in anything but an in-person face-off following his positive COVID-19 diagnosis, the presidential candidates will answer questions in two separate town hall meetings Thursday night at 8 pm. Joe Biden will appear in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, airing on NBC, while President Trump will appear simultaneously on rival network ABC, broadcasting from Miami, Florida, causing viewers to choose between which candidate to watch live.
Joe Biden scheduled a solo town hall event when the Commission on Presidential Debates cancelled the original debate that was set to occur on Thursday night in a virtual format for safety reasons. Trump then arranged his own town hall meeting for the same exact day and time as Biden’s, in an effort to compete for undivided viewer attention.
Trump’s outdoor town hall will be moderated by Savannah Guthrie, who will be seated at least 12-feet away from the president, with mask and social distancing guidelines strictly required for attendees. Reportedly, the network sought independent confirmation that the president is no longer contagious prior to agreeing to host the event.
National polls show Joe Biden leading Donald Trump by double-digits with at least 10% overall. With less than three weeks remaining until Election Day, Trump needs to win over voters in important swing states where he is either tied with or behind Biden. What’s now the second and final debate between the candidates is still scheduled to take place in Nashville on October 22.
Ann Sullivan is a contributing staff writer covering national and world news topics. She brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.