Both Biden and Trump reportedly back out of virtual debate
WASHINGTON — The Associated Press reported Thursday that according to the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, the second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden would take place virtually amid the fallout from the president’s diagnosis of COVID-19.
However, after President Trump was reportedly not on board with the idea, Joe Biden, who at first agreed to go along with a virtual debate, also announced plans not to participate.
According to CNN reporter, Kaitlan Collins, shortly after learning that it was intended for the next Presidential debate to take place virtually, Mr. Trump replied, "That's not acceptable to me. I'm not gonna do a virtual debate."
“That’s not acceptable to me,” Trump says about a virtual debate. “I’m not gonna do a virtual debate.”— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) October 8, 2020
Minutes later, a representative from the Biden camp told CNN reporter Dan Merica that Joe Biden was agreeable to the idea, saying, "Biden looks forward to speaking directly to the American people."
Biden campaign says they will participate in a virtual debate.@KBeds: VP "Biden looks forward to speaking directly to the American people and comparing his plan for bringing the country together and building back better with Donald Trump's failed leadership on the coronavirus."— Dan Merica (@merica) October 8, 2020
But Biden's camp appeared to backtrack, according to journalist Ed O'Keef who tweeted a notice from the Biden campaign, that stated: "Joe Biden also will not participate in the Oct. 15 debate, his campaign announces."
The statement went on to explain that the former Vice President will instead, "find an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly" on Oct. 15.
JUST IN: @JoeBiden also will not participate in the Oct. 15 debate, his campaign announces. Instead, @KBeds says Biden “will find an appropriate place to take questions from voters directly on October 15th, as he has done on several occasions in recent weeks.” pic.twitter.com/vaBxRJSanw— Ed O'Keefe (@edokeefe) October 8, 2020
One week before President Trump and former Vice President Biden were scheduled to face off in Miami, the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates said their decision had been made, “in order to protect the health and safety of all involved with the second presidential debate.”
The candidates will “participate from separate remote locations,” while the participants and moderator remain in Miami, the commission said.
The President fell ill with the virus last Thursday, just 48 hours after debating Biden in person for the first time in Cleveland. While the two candidates remained a dozen feet apart during the debate, Trump’s infection sparked health concerns for Biden and sent him to undergo multiple COVID-19 tests before returning to the campaign trail.
The Associated Press reports that Mr. Trump was still contagious with the virus when he was discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Monday but his doctors have not provided any detailed update on his status. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those with mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 can be contagious for as many as — and should isolate for at least — 10 days.
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