Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Joe Biden held distant, but still competing, town halls on Thursday night. The topics that were discussed ranged from the pandemic to the Supreme Court nomination.
The town halls took place after the Commission for Presidential Debates announced that the 2nd presidential debate would take place virtually and Trump pulled out. The decision to have the debate be virtual was due to the president testing positive for COVID 19 shortly after the first debate.
Trump’s town hall was held in Miami and Biden’s took place in Philadelphia.
Even though the town halls were held separately, both candidates still managed to throw attacks at each other while they responded to the questions asked by the attending voters.
The coronavirus pandemic remains a pressing issue for President Trump as he continuously praises the actions his administration has taken against the virus.
“We’re rounding the corner,” said Trump in regard to the coronavirus.
Moderator Savannah Guthrie ran a fast-paced style discussion with quick follow-ups to the president’s comments targeting his positive coronavirus test results after holding an event now called a “super spreader” at the White House.
According to a NPR article, 37 White House staff members who were at the event have now tested positive for COVID 19.
From the start of the town hall the president was combative towards Guthrie saying that he was receiving a much more severe line of questioning than Biden when he sat down for a town hall conversation with NBC on Oct. 5.
In Philadelphia, George Stephanopoulos was the moderator with Biden’s discussion where we saw a tame environment in which the former vice president presented his vision for the country if he were to win the election.
Biden was asked questions ranging from LGBTQ discrimination to whether he still agreed with his decision in the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act and whether he now thinks it was a mistake.
“Yes, it was,” said Biden. “The mistake came in terms of what the states did locally. What we did federally.”
One of the most inspiring moments of the night for Biden was when the mother of an 8-year-old transgender daughter asked how he planned to restore rights to the LGBTQ community which Trump has reversed under his presidency.
“There should be zero discrimination, and what’s happening is too many transgender women of color are being murdered,” Biden said. “So I promise you, there is no reason to suggest that there should be any right denied to your daughter.”
According to the Human Rights Campaign there have been 33 transgender or gender non-conforming people fatally shot or killed by violent means so far this year. A majority being Black or Latinx transgender women.
Both candidates will have one final time to try and sway undecided voters at the final presidential debate which will take place Oct 22 at Belmont University in Nashville, TN.
According to a CNN Poll, more than 17 million voters across 44 states have already cast their ballots.