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Second Biden-Trump debate: Latest updates

With less than two weeks until the election, President Donald Trump sought to portray himself as the same outsider he first pitched to voters four years ago, while former Vice President Joe Biden argued that Trump was an incompetent leader.

What happened:

  • The rival presidential contenders battled over President Donald Trump's handling of the pandemic, and how to tame the coronavirus, in their second and final debate of this election season. Now the campaigns enter the homestretch to Election Day Nov. 3, though many Americans have already voted.
  • The Nashville meeting between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden was far more civil than their first debate. Things proceeded smoothly with NBC News' Kristen Welker moderating — and there was a mute button.
  • Check out these key takeaways, from COVID-19 to Trump toning it down.

Latest updates

Trump, Biden not talking over each other

The final presidential debate is off without a hitch, with President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden not talking over each other -- at least so far.

The first debate between Trump and Biden deteriorated into bitter taunts and chaos after Trump repeatedly interrupted his opponent with angry — and personal — jabs.

In an effort to curtail interruptions this time, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced that Trump and Biden would each have his microphone cut off while his rival delivered an opening two-minute answer to each of six debate topics.

Trump have been far more restrained during Thursday's debate in Nashville. — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Trump, Biden spar over coronavirus — politely

President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, are sparring over the coronavirus pandemic — but doing so relatively politely.

In a contrast to the first debate, the two presidential contenders went more than 15 minutes before interrupting each other at Thursday night's debate. Helped by a rule that switched off the microphone for the candidate who was not talking, the two traded sharp barbs and critiques, but at least kept their voices lowered.

Trump insisted he had done a good job with a worldwide pandemic and said the country needs to "learn to live with it."

Biden shot back: "People are learning to die with it."

Regardless, it was a markedly less bombastic opening than in the first debate, when Trump frequently interrupted and shouted over Biden. The president seemed fairly calm Thursday, talking about his own recent bout with the virus as an example of how the country can survive it. — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Trump negative for virus, Meadows says

The White House chief of staff says President Donald Trump has tested negative for the coronavirus ahead of Thursday night’s second and final presidential debate.

Mark Meadows says Trump was tested onboard Air Force One while en route to Nashville, Tennessee, and tested negative.

Biden’s campaign said Thursday that he, too, was tested Thursday and tested negative.

The test comes after Trump’s bout with the virus, which put him in the hospital for three nights.

Both campaigns had been required to certify that their candidates and VIP guests have tested negative ahead of the debates. But Trump and the White House have repeatedly refused to say whether Trump actually was tested before participating in the first.

Trump was diagnosed with the virus two days later. — THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

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