Biden announces town hall on Oct. 15 after Trump turns down virtual debate

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Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden walks to board his campaign plane at New Castle Airport in New Castle, Del., Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020., en route to Arizona. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

WASHINGTON – Joe Biden will participate in an ABC News town hall on Oct. 15, the date originally slated for a second town hall presidential debate between the Democrat and President Donald Trump.

The move on Thursday comes after Trump pulled out of their planned duel town hall following an announcement by the Commission on Presidential Debates that it would be held virtually because of the president’s COVID-19 diagnosis.

Biden has called for pushing back the town hall format to Oct. 22, effectively replacing the third planned debate. Trump countered with pushing back both debates, holding a town hall on Oct. 22 and then a third debate Oct. 29, just days before the Nov. 3 election.

George Stephanopoulos will host the Biden town hall in Philadelphia.

President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden had been arguing about the upcoming debate, with both camps offering different proposals after the president’s COVID-19 diagnosis.

After the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the Oct. 15 event would take place virtually to eliminate the risk of the president transmitting the coronavirus, Trump refused to participate unless it was in person.

Biden suggested moving the debate back a week to the 22nd, the day scheduled for the third debate. Trump agreed as long as the debate was in person, but also requested a third and final debate just before the election.

Biden, however, refused to debate so close to election day, on Nov. 3.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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