GTFS: The Final Debate

Trump and Biden prepare for their final debate

by Alejandro Olsen, Reporter

After Trump’s refusal to participate in a virtual debate amid his Covid-19 diagnosis, his second debate with Biden was canceled, but the third and final debate is officially planned for Thursday, Oct. 22 and will take place at Belmont University in Nashville. The frenzied chaos of the first debate left wonder as to how they would handle this next one. The coronavirus safety plan remains the same, but changes to the debate’s format and a plan to mute microphones to limit interruptions stirred a fair amount of controversy. 

NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker is the chosen moderator for the highly-anticipated final debate, and has chosen the six topics to be discussed. These topics (fighting COVID-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security and leadership) are to fit the debate’s new format; the planned 90 minutes will be divided into six 15-minute segments, each discussing one of the previously-mentioned topics. Trump has expressed criticism towards both the moderator and the topics. He has accused Welker of being biased, and has conveyed confusion, for he and his campaign were informed that this was supposed to be a foreign policy debate which it is obviously not.

Most controversial is the announcement of the plan to silence the microphone of the candidate who is not speaking during the opening segments. Each opening lasts two minutes, and there will be an open discussion right after. Both candidates have been reported to have strategized on how to work with this new format, and many have raised questions about how the debate itself will go. 

The debate will take place on Oct. 22 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. CST.