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Trump, Biden to stage dueling town halls after 2nd debate canceled

President Donald Trump (R) and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden exchange points during the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29. Photo by Oliver Doulier/UPI/Pool
President Donald Trump (R) and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden exchange points during the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 29. Photo by Oliver Doulier/UPI/Pool | License Photo

Oct. 14 (UPI) -- A clash between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden that was supposed to occur in the second presidential debate on Thursday will now be a televised bout on different networks.

NBC announced Wednesday that it will broadcast and moderate a town hall event with Trump in Miami. ABC said last week Biden's will take place in Philadelphia.

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The second of three debates was originally scheduled as a town hall in Miami, but it was canceled last week when Trump refused to participate after the Commission on Presidential Debates said the candidates would have to appear remotely due to Trump testing positive for COVID-19.

Trump called such a virtual debate "ridiculous" and a "waste of time."

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Immediately after Trump backed out of the debate, Biden's campaign announced it had agreed to the town hall in Philadelphia. It will be broadcast nationally by ABC.

For Trump's event, NBC Today host Savannah Guthrie will moderate and be positioned at least 12 feet away from Trump. The town hall will be held outdoors at Miami's Perez Art Museum and observe recommended distancing guidelines, the network said. The audience will be required to wear masks, answer a symptoms questionnaire and submit to a temperature check beforehand.

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Dr. Clifford Lane, clinical director at the National Institutes of Health, told NBC News in a letter that he and Dr. Anthony Fauci have reviewed Trump's recent medical data and determined "with a high degree of confidence" that the president is "not shedding infectious virus."

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For Biden's event, ABC News political analyst George Stephanopoulos will moderate at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The campaign said the event will comply with all government and health safety recommendations.

Biden has tested negative for COVID-19 multiple times since Trump's diagnosis and hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Both town halls will be broadcast at 8 p.m. EDT by their respective networks.

The final debate between Trump and Biden is scheduled for Oct. 22 at Belmont University in Nashville.

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