After the Commission on Presidential Debates officially canceled this week’s second presidential debate, both President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will host town halls of their own.
Biden’s event in Philadelphia will air from 8 to 9:30 pm ET on ABC, hosted by George Stephanopoulos. It will be held in person, but in compliance with state and local health regulations and health experts’ guidelines. Trump’s will take place outdoors in Miami and will air on NBC from 8 to 9 pm ET. Today show co-host Savannah Guthrie will moderate the town hall, and Trump and Guthrie will each be situated at least 12 feet from each other and their audience.
The result is dueling town hall events, setting up competition between the candidates and networks for viewership ratings. Both will also be streamed online, with Trump’s on the NBC News livestream and Biden’s on the ABC News stream.
The format isn’t new to either candidate; Stephanopoulos hosted a town hall with Trump on September 15 in Philadelphia, and Biden has held several town hall discussions with undecided voters in recent weeks, including one with NBC in Miami — where Thursday’s debate was going to take place — on October 5.
The debate was canceled after the Trump campaign initially refused to agree to a virtual debate against Biden.
The coronavirus has made holding live events difficult
The whole debate schedule has been thrown into chaos after Trump announced that he had tested positive for the coronavirus early in the morning of October 2, less than three days after the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio. After three days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, he returned to the White House
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