President Donald Trump said he would not participate in the next debate with Democratic candidate Joe Biden if it would be held as a precaution against the spread of coronovirus.
“No, I’m not going to waste my time on a virtual debate,” Trump said in a telephone interview with Fox Business on Thursday. “It’s not about the debate.”
The Commission on Presidential Debates first announced that October 15 in Miami, the second of three presidential debates, would be a town hall with participants coming from a remote location.
“The decision was made to protect the health and safety of all,” the commission said in a statement. This comes after Trump’s hospitalization with Kovid-19 over the weekend and the White House reported that a dozen workers had become infected with the virus, killing more than 210,000 people in the US.
Biden and the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Moderator Steve Scully, C-SPAN’s political editor, will live from the planned location of the Adrienne Arsh Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, and the commission says the White House press pool will “provide coverage.”
Trump tested positive for Kovid on October 1, two weeks before the next scheduled debate. He was hospitalized on Friday before returning to the White House on Monday.
The president’s doctor said he felt better, but has refused to release important details since Monday, such as Trump’s specific vital signs, when he last tested negative when he actually fell ill, And is he still receiving a steroid, dexamethasone.
The virus has spread widely throughout the White House. In addition to Trump and the first lady, Hope Hicks, Nick Luna, Stephen Miller and Kayle McNee have all tested positive, as did campaign manager Bill Stephen and former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who helped out before the debate.
Despite Trump being in the active phase of the virus, Wednesday insists on returning to normal to go to the Oval Office. The rule changes were made after the campaign’s first debate, which was particularly marked by a series of Trump’s blockades. The campaign has said that Trump “intends to be up for debate” by 15 October and opposed changes to the rule, such as a mute button that would allow moderators to cut a candidate’s microphone.
The idea of candidates arguing with each other from different places is not new. In the third debate of the famous 1960 debate between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, the candidates remotely married Kennedy in New York City and Nixon in Los Angeles.
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