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Joe Biden visits South Florida today ahead of prime time town hall

Joe Biden is in Miami for an 8 p.m. televised NBC town hall outdoors with a socially distanced audience of undecided voters at the Peréz Art Museum.

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will visit Little Haiti and Little Havana ahead of this evening’s NBC town hall event near downtown Miami.

The former vice president and his wife, Jill Biden, are scheduled to visit the Little Haiti Cultural Center in the mid-afternoon, according to his schedule. Then they will head to Little Havana to talk about Biden’s “Build Back Better” campaign platform — re-branded “Reconstruir Mejor” in recognition of the majority-Hispanic neighborhood.

After that, Jill Biden will head to Boca Raton in Palm Beach County for a drive-in rally. And Joe Biden will attend the 8 p.m. televised NBC town hall outdoors with a socially distanced audience of undecided voters at the Peréz Art Museum Miami. NBC has said it previously extended a similar offer to President Donald Trump, who, as of Monday morning, remained hospitalized with COVID-19.

Biden’s Miami visit is his first since September of 2019. It comes on the final day to register to vote in the Nov. 3 election in Florida, and as tens of thousands of mail ballots are being filled out and returned daily.

Polls show Biden’s support in left-leaning Miami-Dade County — Florida’s most populous county — is below what 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton won four years ago, back when President Donald Trump won Florida by 1.2 percent. The increase in support for Trump in the county is due largely to Trump’s improved performance among Hispanic voters, especially Cuban-Americans.

Trump last visited Miami-Dade County on Sept. 25, when he held a Latinos for Trump event at his Doral golf resort. Less than a week later, Trump announced he’d contracted COVID-19. He is currently a patient at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

It’s likely the coronvirus pandemic will be on Biden’s agenda in Miami. As of Sunday, 14,671 Florida residents had died of COVID-19. The pandemic has hit Miami’s Hatian-American community — the largest in the U.S. — especially hard.

Haitian-Americans publicly called for Biden to visit the community in person after being left out of a Black leaders roundtable last month in Miami Gardens with Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris.