President Trump has rejected proposals for the second presidential debate between himself and Joe Biden to move online, just hours after the decision was taken by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
The Presidential hopeful has described the proposed online event as a waste of time, stating “that’s not what debating is all about”.
Trump’s remarks, however, come after he and the First Lady, Melania, tested positive for COVID-19 on the 2nd of October and therefore could still be contagious and transmit the virus. It has also since been revealed that at least 22 of Trump’s inner circle have also tested positive for coronavirus, with this number expected to rise, acting as a real health and safety blockade for this second Presidential debate to go ahead in person.
The organisers of the Presidential debate have said in a statement that the decision was taken in order to “protect the health and safety of all involved”.
The President thrives off the public stage
Whilst many commentators have mocked the President for objecting to an online debate due to fears of being muted, the decision today by the organisers could really act as a huge electoral blow for the President. The President thrives off the public stage as it allows him to have a physical presence in a debate. In an online format, many have argued, he may be far more limited in his debating abilities.
Trump has also accused the organisers of trying to “protect Biden”, who he is sees as being to overly cautious of the virus.
As Trump continues to recover from the illness, he has described it as “a blessing from God” – rhetoric that has gone down well with many of his supporters – and refused to wear a mask in most public places.
The two vice Presidential hopefuls also faced off against each other last night, in a debate that was considered far more civilised than Biden and Trump’s first Presidential showdown of 2020. The full debate can be viewed here.
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