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Donald Trump, Joe Biden to hold rival TV town halls

Combo image of U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden during the first debate on September 29, 2020.   | Photo Credit: AP

President Donald Trump will feature in a televised town hall on Thursday on NBC News, the network said, setting up a direct scheduling clash with rival Joe Biden who had already planned his own version.

The two were originally meant to have been meeting for their second debate on Thursday evening. Instead, they will be simultaneously, but separately, talking to voters in TV studios — NBC for Mr. Trump and ABC for Mr. Biden.

Mr. Trump will be in Miami, the network said, while Mr. Biden, who had already booked his appearance last week, will be in Philadelphia. Their scheduled debate had also been designed as a town hall where the two candidates would have fielded questions from voters, but this was upended after Mr. Trump contracted the coronavirus.

Debate organisers said they wanted to switch the format to a virtual appearance, for safety reasons, and Mr. Trump refused, forcing cancellation of the event.

NBC News said on Wednesday it had received a statement from the clinical director at the National Institutes of Health and lead infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci that they had “a high degree of confidence” that Mr. Trump is now “not shedding infectious virus.” Mr. Trump and the NBC host will be socially distanced and the audience will wear masks.

Mr. Biden has been frequently testing for coronavirus and reporting negative results since Mr. Trump’s illness.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 8:14:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/donald-trump-joe-biden-to-hold-rival-tv-town-halls/article32856586.ece

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