Washington, October 15: The second presidential debate between US President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden has been cancelled. The second presidential debate, which was supposed to happen today, was called off after Donald Trump refused to participate in a virtual face-off with Joe Biden. The Commission of Presidential Debates decided for a virtual debate because Donald Trump had returned after receiving treatment for coronavirus (COVID-19). Though the second presidential debate isn't happening, Donald Trump and Joe Biden will address people through separate programmes.
Donald Trump, Joe Biden to Participate in Town Hall Events:
Trump and Biden will join separate town hall events on American television networks ABC and NBC. Biden has scheduled a town hall interview on ABC America from 11:00 am AEDT. At exactly the same time, Trump will be on NBC participating in his very own town hall interview. Both the candidates will face questions from an audience of voters. US Presidential Elections 2020: Joe Biden Campaign Raises Over $12 Million After Kamala Harris-Mike Pence Debate.
Why Aren't Trump and Biden Just at Same Event?
On October 1, two days after the first presidential debate, Trump tweeted that he and his wife Melania had tested positive for coronavirus. The next day, he was admitted to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre. He returned to the White House on October 6. After the vice-presidential debate between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris, the CPD announced to hold the second presidential debate virtually, with the two candidates appearing from remote locations as Trump had tested positive for coronavirus.
The US President, however, declined to join the virtual debate. "I'm not going to do a virtual debate. I'm not going to waste my time at a virtual debate. That's not what debating is all about. It's ridiculous. And then they cut you off whenever they want," Trump told Fox News in a telephonic interview. Trump's campaign accused the commission of helping Joe Biden by changing the format of the second presidential debate, rather than changing its date.
Later, the CPD issued a statement, saying: "It is now apparent there will be no debate on October 15, and the CPD will turn its attention to preparations for the final presidential debate scheduled for October 22."
Will 3rd Presidential Debate Happen?
As of now, yes. The third presidential debate is scheduled for October 22. It's supposed to be held in Nashville. The format will be similar to the first debate — two candidates, one moderator asking the questions.
Has Presidential Debate Been Cancelled Before?
Yes. Presidential debates have been cancelled in past too. For instance, in 1980, then US President Jimmy Carter refused to participate in a three-way debate with his Republican nominee Ronald Reagan and independent candidate John B Anderson. Similarly, in 1992, then-President George H W Bush initially refused to participate in a debate with Democratic challenger Bill Clinton and independent candidate Ross Perot. He later agreed.