The 2020 US presidential election has been a contest like no other, and with only 21 days left until the Americans people cast their ballots officially, things are bound to get even stranger.
One of the most obvious ways in which this election differs from those of the past is out on the campaign trail, where the candidates have been both sidelined and sequestered on account of the still-ongoing coronavirus crisis. In the case of President Trump this was quite literal, as the incumbent Republican actually came down with COVID-19 just weeks ago.
Concerns about the health of the candidates pushed the Commission on Presidential Debates to suggest that the second such contest would be held virtually. This not only allowed for the candidates to speak without fear of passing around the coronavirus, but it would also remedy another issue that the first debate had, in which both Joe Biden and Donald Trump constantly talked over one another, leaving poor, hapless moderator Chris Wallace to sit back and groan.
But this second, virtual event was not to be, as the candidates couldn’t come to an agreement about the format. So, instead of seeing Trump and Biden together on the same stage, the dueling politicians will hold simultaneous-yet-separate town halls this week.
President Donald Trump will participate in a town hall with NBC News on Thursday night, setting up a competing television event with Joe Biden in lieu of a presidential debate in which voters would have seen both presidential candidates engage with each other and discuss issues head-to-head.
Biden is set to appear in an ABC town hall, and both events are scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. The two were originally scheduled to participate in a second debate, but the event was eventually canceled after Trump objected to the virtual format announced by the Commission on Presidential Debates in light of Trump’s positive coronavirus diagnosis.
“The event is set to take place outdoors and in accordance with the guidelines set forth by health officials, also consistent with all government regulations,” Hoda Kotb said on NBC’s “Today” show Wednesday.
A final decision has yet to be made as to whether or not the third and final presidential debate will be held at all, and, if so, what sort of format the event will take.
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