Second US Presidential Debate Cancelled

Second US Presidential Debate Between Donald Trump and Joe Biden Officially Cancelled

Debate called off after Trump refuses to participate virtually; Commission says Oct 22 debate in Nashville still on

The second presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will not proceed, the Commission on Presidential Debates has said in a statement. The Commission said both campaigns had announced "alternate plans for that date".

Second US Presidential Debate Cancelled

"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," the commission said in an emailed statement.

The decision was made a day after the commission announced the debate would take place "virtually" because Mr Trump had contracted coronavirus. Mr Trump announced last Friday he had tested positive, and spent three days receiving treatment in hospital before being released on Monday.

Mr Trump said he would not participate in a debate in that format, prompting Mr Biden to scheduled a town hall-style meeting with America's ABC News for that night. President Trump's team later countered with a call to hold the debates as scheduled, once the President's doctor said he would be cleared to hold public events from Saturday. But the commission said it would not reverse its decision to prevent the candidates from being on stage together, citing health concerns.

It would not have been the first time two United States presidential hopefuls faced off in a televised debate from different locations; Senator John F Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon held a long-distance debate in 1960, live from opposite coasts

Mr Trump expressed concern on Thursday that the new virtual format could lead to his microphone getting cut off during the encounter.

Mr Biden leads in nationwide opinion polls ahead of the November 3 presidential vote, but they show a tighter race in many of the battleground states that may decide the election.

The third debate, scheduled for October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee, is still on. 

The commission said both candidates would have to undergo required coronavirus testing, and adhere to mask and social distancing protocols. 

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