President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will participate in separate town halls Thursday in lieu of a now-canceled presidential debate that had been scheduled for the same day.
NBC News announced Wednesday morning it will host a live, one-hour town hall with Trump in Miami.
This comes after ABC News announced last week it would host a live town hall event with Biden in Philadelphia after Trump refused to take part in virtual debate.
Both will take questions from members of the public during the town halls, which will take place at the same time.
How and where to watch
The Trump town hall event is scheduled for 8 p.m. EDT on NBC News, according to a statement from the network. It will also be available on MSNBC, CNBC, NBC News Now and Telemundo’s digital platforms. It will be moderated by Savannah Guthrie. A livestream is also posted on the network’s YouTube channel.
The Biden town hall will also be held at 8 p.m EDT on ABC News. It will be moderated by George Stephanopoulos. The event will also be available for streaming on ABC’s YouTube channel.
Second debate canceled
Trump and Biden were originally scheduled to meet Thursday for what would have been their second debate. But the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced last week the town hall event would be held virtually for safety reasons, and the president later said he would not participate.
The CPD’s decision came after Trump and others in the White House tested positive for COVID-19.
Trump was admitted to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Oct. 2 after testing positive for the virus. He was released Oct. 5, but his doctors wouldn’t answer many questions about his health — including when he last tested negative for the virus before his diagnosis, which could have provided insight into how far along he was in his illness and who else could have been exposed.
White House physician Dr. Sean Conley over the weekend said the president is no longer a transmission risk and that he has met criteria to discontinue isolation. On Monday, Conley said Trump had tested negative for the virus “on consecutive days.”
Following the CPD announcement last week, Biden’s campaign asked that the town hall debate be moved to Oct. 22, the date of the third presidential debate.
“Given the president’s refusal to participate on October 15th, we hope the debate commission will move the Biden-Trump town hall to October 22nd so the president is not able to evade accountability,” Kate Bedingfield, deputy campaign manager and communications director, said in a statement.
The Trump campaign later requested a third debate Oct. 29, with the second still held Oct. 22. The Biden campaign rejected the idea.
“We accepted three debates — Sept. 29, Oct. 15 and Oct. 22 — in June. Trump chose today to pull out of the October 15th debate,” Bedingfield wrote in a statement to reporters. “Trump’s erratic behavior does not allow him to rewrite the calendar and pick new dates of his choosing.”
The first presidential debate was held Sept. 29 and filled with interruptions and violations of the rules agreed to by both campaigns. The CPD later promised changes for future debates, an idea the president rejected.