The Commission on Presidential Debates on Saturday cancelled the anticipated virtual debate between United States President Donald Trump and his challenger Joe Biden, after the incumbent declared he would not debate using a virtual format.
“Each (candidate) now has announced alternate plans for that date,” the commission said in a statement. This means that the debate scheduled for October 15 in the United States will no longer push through.
One more debate remains on schedule, which is October 22 in Nashville, Tennessee, roughly a week before the November 3 polls. The presidential elections in the United States has featured debates since 1976.
Biden said earlier last week he would not debate Trump in person if his rival still harbored the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), and called the incumbent’s refusal to participate in a virtual format as “shameful.”
“It’s shameful that Donald Trump ducked the only debate in which the voters get to ask the questions — but it’s no surprise,” Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said.
Trump “doesn’t have the guts to answer for his record to voters at the same time as vice president Biden,” he added.
It was on Friday that Trump thumbed down a virtual debate with Biden
The organizers of the debate chose to push for the two to face off virtually after Trump got confined for the Covid-19 last weekend in a government hospital in Maryland. He went back to the White House early last week, an obvious violation of the need for people who recovered from Covid-19 to remain in isolation for at least 14 days
“I’m not going to do a virtual debate,” Trump, who is still recovering from Covid-19 at the White House, said in an interview with Fox Business.
“I’m not going to waste my time with a virtual debate. That’s not what debating is all about. You sit behind a computer and do a debate, that is ridiculous,” the US president added.
Meanwhile, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she and other Democrats would seek a measure relating to the US Constitution’s 25th Amendment, allowing the vice president to take over should it be determined that the president “is unable” to fulfill his duties.
Pelosi’s also said Trump was suffering from “disassociation from reality [that] would be funny if it weren’t so deadly.”
The House Speaker was obviouly irked at Trump recently saying “I am a perfect physical specimen and I’m extremely young.”