Biden, Trump Engage in Dueling Town Halls Amid COVID-19 Outbreak at White House

Aidan Lewis '21

President Donald Trump and Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden engaged in dueling town halls on Thursday, October 15. The separate town halls came after President Trump and many of his aides tested positive for coronavirus in early October. The Commission on Presidential Debates changed the scheduled in-person debate into a virtual setting; however, President Trump declined to participate. Instead, both candidates decided to engage in voter-led discussions, each airing on different television stations.

Joe Biden’s town hall aired on ABC News and was moderated by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos while Donald Trump’s town hall aired on NBC and was hosted by Today, NBC’s morning news show, co-anchor Savannah Guthrie. Both town halls were similar in the topics that were discussed, as they both dealt with the on-going coronavirus pandemic, the Supreme Court, and the election, among other issues.

At Saint Patrick High School, registered voters watched the town halls with much anticipation and interest. Even voters who have already cast their ballots watched. Senior Patrick Lewis has already voted for the candidate that he believes is best suited for the presidency. “This is an extremely important election for America,” Lewis explained, and said that he “can see the value that others would get from (watching) them (town halls).”

In addition, he wants voters to remember that there is more to America’s political system than the traditional two-party monopoly. “Neither candidate appealed to my more progressive and socialist values, which is why I casted a vote for Howie Hawkins of the Green Party,” Lewis stated.

The last Presidential Debate was Thursday, October 22 at 6 p.m. central time.