By Ty Russell

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Thursday was supposed to be debate night in Miami until President Donald Trump’s COVID infection derailed it.

Instead, he fielded questions from undecided voters at the Perez Art Museum Miami. Democratic challenger Joe Biden did the same some 1,200 miles away.

During the dueling town halls, President Trump was pressed about COVID-19, which has claimed the lives of nearly 16,000 in Florida.

He said he doesn’t remember taking a required test before the first debate.

“Did you take a test on the day of the debate?” asked Savannah Guthrie, the moderator of the NBC News Town Hall.

“If you ask the doctor, they give you a perfect answer. They take a test and I leave and I go about my business,” he said.

“Did you take a test on the day of the debate is the bottom line?” Guthrie pressed.

“I probably did,” he responded.

Sometime later, Guthrie then asked Trump if he would accept a peaceful transfer of power, something he had declined to do in the past.

Trump went on to say for the first time that he would honor the results of a fair election, but only after casting an extraordinary amount doubt on the likeliness of fairness.

“And then they talk ‘Will you accept a peaceful transfer,’” Trump said. “And the answer is, ‘Yes, I will.’ But I want it to be an honest election, and so does everybody else.”

The Supreme Court didn’t side with the Trump administration this summer to end the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals program or DACA. It’s designed to protect young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, or so-called DREAMers. A Republican voter asked what’s next.

“DACA is somewhat different than DREAMers. You understand that,” the president said. “We are going to take care of DACA. We are going to take care of DREAMER. It’s working right now.”

Polls show Florida is a must-win state for the Trump campaign. It’s a state he’s slightly trailing in to his Democratic opponent.

WATCH: Political Expert Breaks Down Why President Trump Must Win Florida

 

Biden’s team is pushing for Obama-era Black support to help cross the finish line on top.

“Black entrepreneurs are just as successful as white entrepreneurs as anyone else when given a shot. But you can’t get the money. Where do you go to get the startup money?” Biden said.

Biden held his town hall in Pennsylvania. The CBS News Battleground Election Map show it’s a state that’s leaning toward him. He also talked about COVID-19 prevention.

“When a president doesn’t wear a mask or makes fun of folks like me when I was wearing a mask for a long time, then people say it mustn’t be that important,” the former VP said.

Not only are polls close but CBS News has learned the difference between registered Democrats and Republicans in Florida is smaller than in 2016. Now, Democrats only lead by 130,000 registered voters.

“We are 19 days away from a great victory all across Florida,” Vice President Mike Pence said.

Vice President Pence made two stops in Miami-Dade Thursday. One was a rally at Tamiami Park speaking directly to the county’s Cuban and Venezuelan communities.

“We are not going to defund the police. Not now. Not ever,” Pence told the crowd.

The vice president continued campaign attacks, claiming Biden would defund police and turn America into a socialist or communist country. The Biden camp has denied those claims.

The president has an event in Fort Myers on Friday to speak to seniors and then a rally in Ocala.

Ty Russell

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