Trump to participate in town hall on Thursday

Updated: Oct 15,2020 10:21 GMT

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IANS

Washington, Oct 15 (IANS) US President Donald Trump will participate in an NBC News town hall event in Miami on Thursday, the same day his Democratic rival Joe Biden is scheduled to attend a separate town hall hosted by ABC News in Philadelphia.

Trump and Biden were supposed to hold their second debate on Thursday night, but the President pulled out after organizers announced it was going to be conducted virtually following his Covid-19 diagnosis.

After Trump's pull out, the Commission on Presidential Debates cancelled the October 15 showdown altogether.

The last presidential debate has been scheduled for next October 22.

In an announcement on Wednesday, NBC News said that it decided to hold the town hall after Trump produced a Covid-19 test showing he was not contagious.

During the one-hour town hall, NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie will moderate the conversation between Trump and a group of Florida voters.

It will take place outdoors at the Perez Art Museum in accordance with guidelines set forth by health officials and consistent with all government regulations.

But NBC News's decision has received widespread criticism on social media, with critics arguing that it should not have been scheduled up against Biden's town hall which will also air at the same time on ABC News, The Hill news website reported.

"Having dueling town halls is bad for democracy," former NBC "Today" show star Katie Couric tweeted on Wednesday.

"Voters should be able to watch both and I don't think many will. This will be good for Trump because people like to watch his unpredictability. This is a bad decision."

Political analyst Jeff Greenfield slammed the decision, saying that it was "indefensible".

On Twitter, the #BoycottNBC hashtag started trending soon after the announcement.

While one Twitter user said the decision was "palpable", another asked: "What the hell are you thinking, NBC?"

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