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NBC Says Trump Will Hold Town Hall Meeting Thursday, Competing Against Biden

President Trump may not be debating Joseph R. Biden Jr. on the same stage on Thursday night as originally planned. But the two candidates will still face off head-to-head.

NBC News confirmed on Wednesday that it would broadcast a prime-time town-hall-style event with Mr. Trump from Miami on Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern, with the president fielding questions from Florida voters.

The event will directly overlap with an already-scheduled ABC televised town-hall meeting with Mr. Biden in Philadelphia, which will begin at the same time.

Mr. Biden’s town hall has been on the books since last week, after Mr. Trump, who had recently contracted the coronavirus, rejected plans to convert the second formal presidential debate into a virtual matchup; the debate was eventually canceled.

The NBC event, to be moderated by the “Today” show host Savannah Guthrie, had been contingent on the Trump campaign providing independent proof that the president would not pose a safety risk to the other participants — including NBC crew members, voters and Ms. Guthrie herself.

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As late as Tuesday afternoon, NBC executives were waiting for that proof, but the network determined late Tuesday that it would be comfortable moving forward, according to two people familiar with the planning.

On Wednesday’s “Today” show, the NBC anchor Craig Melvin said the town hall would occur “in accordance with the guidelines set forth by health officials” and proffered a statement from Clifford Lane, a clinical director at the National Institutes of Health.

In the statement, Dr. Lane said he had reviewed medical data about Mr. Trump’s condition, including a so-called P.C.R. test — a widely used diagnostic test for the coronavirus that is considered more reliable than a rapid antigen test — that the N.I.H. “collected and analyzed” on Tuesday. Dr. Lane concluded “with a high degree of confidence” that the president is “not shedding infectious virus,” NBC said.

The network did not explicitly say that Mr. Trump had received a negative result from the P.C.R. test.

Mr. Trump and his aides have not shared extensive details about the president’s medical condition with the public, and over the past few days, NBC executives were no exception. Until late Tuesday, the network had been prepared to cancel the event if the president’s team did not present convincing evidence that Mr. Trump would not potentially infect those around him, one of the people said.

The town hall on Thursday will be held outdoors at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, and audience members will be required to wear face masks, the network said. Ms. Guthrie and Mr. Trump will be seated at least 12 feet apart.

NBC officials began discussing the possibility of a town hall with the Trump campaign last week, after Mr. Trump pulled out of the second planned presidential debate. The network made clear at the start that it needed outside proof of the president’s medical condition.

NBC officials did not say exactly what testing

The VHSL needs to start playing because athletes are already competing

Maybe it’s just time.

Despite what doctors and scientists say about the coronavirus and its ability to easily spread between people, maybe it’s just time to start high school sports.

Damn the virus, go ahead, full speed!

It’s not that our children are any safer than they were in August – they aren’t. It’s that it really doesn’t matter if high school sports start – they’re already happening throughout Hampton Roads with pay-to-play programs.

You’ll find anything from football at Virginia Beach Sportsplex to field hockey at the U.S. Field Hockey Regional Training Center. Soccer programs are moving forward – with the blessing of the governor’s office – and recently a team tennis program and club cross country program were started for high school athletes.

About the only organization that isn’t moving forward is the Virginia High School League, and it’s not moving because it doesn’t have the blessing of the governor’s office. And this isn’t sitting well with high school athletes, coaches, parents or fans. As a matter of fact, there are some within the VHSL membership who have a sense of frustration over the fact that the league hasn’t received approval while pay-to-play programs are moving forward.

The VHSL put together its Championship + 1 schedule and is ready to move forward with high school sports in early December. The delay was established to allow schools to open, get students back in the classroom and to learn how to handle possible outbreaks, busing and any other coronavirus-related issues. This was smart and sports shouldn’t start before December.

But, as we sit here in October, the VHSL is still waiting for guidance. Unless the governor’s office gives its blessing, high school sports can’t happen in Phase 3. As of right now, the VHSL hasn’t heard it cannot play, but it hasn’t received permission either. The league is stuck in limbo.

There needs to be some resolution between the VHSL and the governor’s office, giving people a better picture of what’s going to happen or what needs to happen as we approach December.

If there isn’t any clarity as we enter November, it might be time for the VHSL to take the lead from the pay-to-play folks. The VHSL may need to say, “We’re playing if we have permission or not and if you don’t like it, enforce the rules across the board.” From that point, high school sports will open. The state will be forced to either let the schools play or stop the VHSL – along with everyone else.

In addition, the VHSL can establish state-wide regulations that could help hinder the spread of coronavirus while athletes compete. Will athletes, coaches and referees still get exposed to the virus? It’s a definite possibility. Will it cause spreading to parents or grandparents? It certainly could. Are there dangers to doing this? Undoubtedly. Could schools be forced to shutter again? Yep. But it doesn’t matter.

If the VHSL doesn’t start the kids are just going to sign up

Trump’s doctors grapple with competing demands from public and patient, experts said

The chief White House physician was facing heavy scrutiny over the weekend for obscuring aspects of President Donald Trump’s health after he was diagnosed with COVID-19, focusing attention on the vexing challenge he faces navigating the demands of an anxious nation and a commander-in-chief who favors rosy assessments.



a group of people standing in front of a building: Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Oct. 4, 2020.


© Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Oct. 4, 2020.

“When you’re in a complicated situation like this, you can only go so far,” said Dr. Benjamin Aaron, the chest surgeon who in 1981 removed the bullet from President Ronald Reagan, and said he and his colleagues “felt a sense of duty to level with the American people.

“It’s appropriate to be open, but there has to be a certain amount of implied trust” with his VIP patient,” he said.

MORE: An unusual patient, an unusual treatment: Trump and the risks of ‘VIP syndrome’


a group of people standing in front of a building: Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Oct. 4, 2020.


© Jacquelyn Martin/AP
Dr. Sean Conley, physician to President Donald Trump, briefs reporters at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., Oct. 4, 2020.

The man standing at the crossroads of these competing interest now is Dr. Sean Conley, an Afghan War veteran and military physician who has addressed reporters twice over the weekend about the president’s battle with the novel coronavirus, a diagnosis he received late last week.

Conley offered conflicting statements about the president’s health status and treatment timeline, prompting a crisis of credibility emanating from the esteemed hospital’s medical staff. On Saturday, Conley said he and his staff were “extremely happy with the progress the president has made,” and described his symptoms as mild. But after the briefing concluded, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows offered a vastly more dire prognosis, calling the president’s vitals on Friday “concerning.”

MORE: Trump adviser defends campaign virus precautions despite packed events, maskless attendees

Conley attempted to clean up the diverging takes on Sunday, telling reporters that Meadows’ comments had been “misconstrued,” but acknowledged he was “trying to reflect the upbeat attitude of the team and the president, over the course of the illness, has had,” in describing the president’s status.

“I didn’t want to give any information that might steer the course of illness in another direction,” Conley said, “and in doing so, it came off that we were trying to hide something, which wasn’t necessarily true.”



a man sitting at a table using a laptop: U.S. President Donald Trump works in a conference room while receiving treatment after testing positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S. October 3, 2020.


© White House/via Reuters
U.S. President Donald Trump works in a conference room while receiving treatment after testing positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, U.S. October 3, 2020.

The president’s critics have accused the White House of deliberately misleading the American people. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, issued a call on Sunday for the full details of Trump’s health status to be released, along with the names and health status of everyone who has tested positive at recent related events.

“When you don’t have full transparency, when there’s