World News – US – Next Trump-Biden debate now uncertain as rival camps argue


Photo: AP / Patrick Semansky

his combination of seven On February 29, 2020, file photos show President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate at Case Western University and the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland , Ohio The Presidential Debates Commission says second Trump-Biden debate will be ‘virtual’ amid President’s COVID-19 concerns

The fate of the final debates between President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden has been left in limbo as campaigns offered dueling proposals to move forward with a process that has been shaken by the president’s coronavirus infection

As of Thursday afternoon, it was unclear when and how the next debates would unfold, or whether voters might even see the two again appearing at the White House on the same stage before election day.

Whipsaw’s Day began with an announcement from the Non-partisan Presidential Debates Commission, which said the next debate, a town hall-style affair slated for October 15 in Miami, would be held virtually The commission cited health problems following Trump’s infection as the reason for the change

President Donald Trump makes a point as Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden listens during the first presidential debate on Tuesday, Sept. February 29, 2020, at Case Western University and the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, Ohio

Trump, who is anxious to get back on the election track despite uncertainties over his health, said he would not participate if the debate was not in person Biden suggested the event be delayed d ‘one week until October 22, when the third and last debate is already scheduled

Trump then retaliated again, accepting a debate on October 22 – but only if face to face – and asking that a third contest be added on October 29, just before the election But Biden rejected the confrontation at the end of the campaign

ABC News later announced that it will host its own town hall where Biden will answer voter questions on national television in Philadelphia next Thursday

The debate committee, which has the unenviable task of finding common ground between competing campaigns, has not weighed in on any of the new proposals.The organization has already come under scrutiny during of this election after the first debate between Trump and Biden deteriorated, with the president frequently interrupting his opponent and the moderator unable to take control

For Trump, who is recovering from COVID-19 in the White House after spending three days in hospital, all the talk of contagiousness is an unwanted disruption of his efforts to distract from a virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans this year

In an interview with Fox Business presenter Maria Bartiromo shortly after the commission’s announcement, Trump insisted he was in « great shape » and called the idea a virtual « joke » debate

The president’s campaign manager Bill Stepien has said Trump will hold a rally rather than a debate next Thursday, although it is not yet clear if he will be good enough to do so

With less than four weeks to go on election day and with millions of voters voting early, pressure is on Trump to reverse a campaign that is dragging Biden nationally and across most fields battle, where the margin is narrower A debate in front of an audience of tens of millions of viewers could provide this reset

But another debate could also put Trump at political risk GOP strategists say party support began to erode after his bubbling performance against Biden last week when he failed to clearly denounce a group white supremacist

Trump’s apparent reluctance to change his style to win back the voters he needs – especially women – was exposed again Thursday during his interview with Fox Business when he called the Democratic candidate for election back Vice President Kamala Harris of « Monster » Harris and Vice President Mike Pence debated in person in Salt Lake City on Wednesday night, but were separated by plexiglass barriers to prevent the spread of the virus

It wouldn’t be the first time Trump has skipped a debate During the 2016 Republican primary, he boycotted the last debate in front of the first Iowa caucuses around the country, instead organizing a fundraiser for them. veterans – a move he later speculated may have contributed to his downfall in the state

On board a flight to campaign in Arizona on Thursday, Biden said it would be « irresponsible » of him to comment on Trump’s debate decision

« We don’t know what the president is going to do, » Biden said « He’s changing his mind every second »

Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield simply said Biden « was eager to speak directly to the American people » That was before ABC News announced her mayoralty in Biden

Biden said earlier in the week he was « looking forward to a debate », but added that he and Trump « should not have a debate » as long as the president remains positive for COVID

Trump fell ill with the virus last Thursday, just 48 hours after sharing a scene with Biden in person during the first presidential debate in Cleveland as the two candidates remained a dozen feet away from one of the Another, Trump’s infection sparked health concerns for Biden and sent him to undergo several COVID-19 tests before returning to the election trail His campaign announced Thursday that Biden had undergone his fifth such test and s ‘was found to be negative

Trump was still contagious with the virus when he was released 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 at least – and should self-isolate for at least – 10 days

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