Second presidential debate going virtual, Trump refuses unless in person

Your Local Election Headquarters

WASHINGTON — The second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will take place virtually amid the fallout from the president’s diagnosis of COVID-19.

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates debates made the announcement Thursday morning, a week before the two were scheduled to face on in Miami. The candidates will “participate from separate remote locations,” while the participants and moderator remain in Miami, the commission said.

However, President Donald Trump, who has the coronavirus, said he will not participate in next week’s presidential debate if it’s held virtually.

Trump said in a Fox Business interview that that arrangement is “not acceptable to us.” He accused moderators of trying to protect his Democratic rival Joe Biden.

Trump was diagnosed with the coronavirus a week ago and said he looked forward to debating Biden on stage in Miami, saying, “It will be great!”

Biden, for his part, said he and Trump “shouldn’t have a debate” as long as the president remains COVID positive.

Biden told reporters in Pennsylvania that he was “looking forward to being able to debate him” but said “we’re going to have to follow very strict guidelines.”

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