Washington, October 8: The second presidential debate between United States President Donald Trump and Democratic Party rival Joe Biden would be held virtually. The decision was announced by the Commission on Presidential Debates - the nodal body incharge of conducting debates between key contenders - on Thursday. US Presidential Debate 2020: Donald Trump Refusing to Do Virtual Debate With Joe Biden.
The Commission's decision comes in the backdrop of Trump testing positive for coronavirus. The President and the First Lady were found to be diagnosed with the contagious disease on October 1, two days after the first presidential debate.
Trump Says Won't Participate
While speaking to Fox News, Trump said he would be debating with Biden only if it is held in-person. "I'm not going to do a virtual debate," the President said, adding that a remote arrangement is "not acceptable" to him.
With Trump backing out of the contest if not held in-person, a possibility exists that the presidential debate may be called off. The Commission, said reports, is unlikely to change its decision on holding a virtual debate due to the health risks involved.
Trump Was Admitted Last Week
In the past one week, Trump's health had weakened which compelled the authorities to rush him to the Walter Reed Health Center in Maryland. After staying at the military hospital over the weekend, Trump returned to the White House on Monday.
"Feeling better than 20 years ago," Trump had said. On the next day, he confirmed his willingness to battle Biden in the second debate scheduled in Miami on October 15. The former Vice President, however, said on Wednesday that he would skip the debate if Trump does not test negative for COVID-19 before the face-off.
The Commission, in a statement issued today, said Trump and Biden would be participating from separate "remote locations", whereas, a town meeting would be organised in Miami, Florida and the moderator would be present among the attendees.
"The town meeting participants and the moderator, Steve Scully, Senior Executive Producer and Political Editor, C-SPAN Networks, will be located at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami, Florida. The White House Pool will provide coverage of the second presidential debate," the statement read.