The Commission on Presidential Debates on Friday canceled the second debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden after the President declined to do a virtual debate despite concerns over his Covid-19 diagnosis, organizers said.
The cancellation is the culmination of a furious 48-hour back-and-forth between the commission and
both campaigns and means what would have been the third debate in Nashville on October 22 will likely
be the final meeting between the two candidates. The Wall Street Journal was first to report on the
“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 a
The commission, with the backing of their health advisers, announced on Thursday morning that —
because Trump tested positive for the coronavirus — the debate that was scheduled for Miami would be
held virtually, with the two candidates appearing from remote locations. Trump swiftly rejected that plan,
saying he would not show up and setting off a series of events that put the future of all general election
debates into question.
In response to Trump’s cancellation, a Biden spokeswoman swiftly said that they would have agreed to
a virtual format for next Thursday’s contest, but because the President had seemingly bailed, they would
book another format for the former vice president to take questions. And they did just that when, later in
the day, ABC News announced they would be hosting a town hall with the former vice president.
“Vice President Biden looks forward to making his case to the American people about how to overcome
this pandemic, restore American leadership and our alliances in the world, and bring the American
people together,” Biden campaign spokesman Andrew Bates said Friday in a statement. “It’s shameful
that Donald Trump ducked the only debate in which the voters get to ask the questions — but it’s no