Trump and Biden's Mics to Be Muted While Opponent Gives Initial Answers to Each Topic in Final Debate

Trace William Cowen
·1 min read

A new rule aimed at viewer-annoying interruption tactics has been announced for this week's second (and final) presidential debate.

Both Trump and Biden will have their microphones muted in Thursday's debate while the other gives their initial two-minute answer to each topic. Per PBS, this rule was announced by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates late Monday and notably comes three weeks after a previous debate notoriously featured a litany of topic-stalling interruptions largely by Trump.

A commission rep added in a statement that the group had determined the rule was "appropriate" as a means of promoting "adherence to agreed upon rules and inappropriate to make changes to those rules."

Thursday's 90-minute debate is being held at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee starting at 9:00 p.m. ET. Selected topics for the Kristen Welker-moderated debate include:

  • Fighting COVID-19

  • American Families

  • Race in America

  • Climate Change

  • National Security

  • Leadership

For many, the COVID-19 topic is a crucial one, particularly in light of a new investigative report from the Washington Post on the Trump administration's abandonment of an actual pandemic response. Trump has also continued his efforts to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Most recently, he called Fauci a "disaster," prompting a response from Biden in the form of an extended statement posted to his campaign website on Monday.

"President Trump even criticized me yesterday for listening to the scientists—that's not an attack, that's a badge of honor," Biden said.

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