By: Megan Rose Dickey
On Oct. 15, both presidential candidates, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, hosted individual virtual Town Hall meetings. Biden held his Town Hall at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, which was streamed on ABC. NBC broadcast President Trump’s Town Hall from Miami.
These virtual Town Halls aired live at the same time. Due to Trump having been diagnosed with COVID-19, the presidential debate was initially rescheduled to be hosted virtually rather than asan in-person debate. However, Trump refused to participate in a virtual debate, so the Town Halls replaced the debate. The Town Halls allowed voters to still hear the presidential candidates’ policies and opinions on current events.
NBC moderator and Today show host Savannah Guthrie asked President Trump difficult questions about various controversial issues such as the pandemic, electoral fraud and extremist groups, such as Antifa and the Proud Boys. Trump claimed that he is “good with masks,” but at the same time made the unfounded claim that masks do not really work, a suggestion that has long been disputed by infectious disease experts.
Guthrie also questioned Trump’s circulation of the conspiracy theory, QAnon, which suggests that the Democratic Party is full of satanic pedophiles. President Trump did not reject this theory, instead claiming he had no idea what it was. He also deflected the question by mentioning Antifa.
ABC news chief anchor George Stephhanophoulos interviewed Biden, asking questions about COVID-19, minorities and the Supreme Court nomination. Biden admitted that his 1994 crime bill was a mistake, saying that it unfairly affected minorities and does not address the racial justice issues of today. Biden also stated that he will have a definitive stance on expanding the Supreme Court by Election Day.
“They’ll have a right to know where I stand before they vote,” Biden said.
He also vowed to give transgender people more rights, whereas the Trump administration rolled back those protective regulations.
“There should be zero discrimination,” Biden said.
The current polls show that President Trump is trailing behind former Vice President Biden. Voter turnout is surpassing that of previous years. More people are participating in early voting and using absentee ballots to cast their vote due to the pandemic. Voters are encouraged to send in their absentee ballots as early as possible.
President Donald Trump and his challenger, Biden, are scheduled to debate one last time on Oct. 22 in Nashville. The debate will be hosted by NBC News and moderated by Kristen Welker.
Megan Rose is a staff writer for the Samford Crimson. She is a sophomore political science and english double major student.