Trump, Biden clash over coronavirus in split-screen town halls

Trump, Biden clash over coronavirus in split-screen town halls

United States Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Thursday (Oct 15) criticised what he called President Donald Trump’s “panicked” response to the coronavirus pandemic, while Mr Trump defended his handling of a crisis that has killed more than hundreds of thousands of Americans.

The rivals spoke in simultaneous town halls broadcast on separate television networks after a debate originally scheduled for Thursday was called off following Mr Trump’s Covid-19 infection.

The split-screen showdown offered a stark reminder of the many ways the campaign season has been changed by a pandemic that has prompted more than 18 million people to cast ballots more than two weeks before Election Day on Nov 3.

Mr Biden, speaking to voters in Philadelphia on ABC, blamed the Republican President for concealing the deadliness of the virus that has killed more than 216,000 people in the US.