On Thursday night, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will hold a town hall meeting on Thursday night at 5 p.m. PST. on ABC. President Donald Trump will hold a competing town hall at the same time on NBC. ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos will moderate the Biden town hall.
In the two weeks since the last debate, Trump tested positive for the coronavirus as dozens of others who had contact with Trump around the time of the debate also tested positive for the virus. Also, revelations surfaced that Trump’s travel party did not follow the debate’s coronavirus guidelines at the Sept. 30 meeting in Cleveland.
As a result, the Commission on President Debates announced last week the debate scheduled for Oct. 15 would be held virtually. Wanting no part of a virtual debate, Trump immediately retracted his participation in the debate. On Wednesday, NBC News announced that Trump had agreed to participate in a town hall at the same time.
Unlike debates, town hall forum responses have no time limit, which allows for deeper discussions on topics. Based on recent town hall forums, the coronavirus and the economic fallout will likely be key topics.
Also of note is that Trump has largely avoided taking questions from reporters since being diagnosed with the coronavirus. It would not be surprising to see direct questions posed to Trump on holding large events without masks amid a pandemic.